Arizona Republic Lets Lawyer for Solar Company Shill for Industry Without Disclosing Ties

Solar power will be the "new economic engine for Arizona," writes local lawyer Jordan Rose in Saturday's "My Turn" column in the Arizona Republic.

Whether that's true or not, it's already an economic engine for Rose, [pictured].

She's the lawyer for SolarCity, a California company planning to install solar panels on the roofs of two Scottsdale schools. Yet the Republic column identifies her only as the "founder and managing partner of Rose Law Group in Scottsdale."

That's what we in journalism call "failure to disclose." Clearly, the Repub folks are either asleep at the switch or too distracted by the current round of layoffs. It's not like Rose isn't sort of high-profile, either -- she's the wife of local PR heavyweight Jason Rose. It's too much to expect a healthy dose of skepticism at the state's biggest daily, apparently.

Rose's Saturday column seemed a bit out-of-the-blue to us when we first saw it, and we were barely done with the fifth sentence before thinking, "C'mon, what's Rose's angle in all this?"

We left Rose a message, asking her on voice mail yesterday whether she had any clients who were in the solar industry. She didn't return our call, but it turned out that was a dumb question, anyway. The answer was on the front page of Monday's Republic.

There, in an article about a major solar project coming to the Valley, Rose is quoted as SolarCity's lawyer.

And then there's the Rose Law Group Web site, which states, "We could boast about being Arizona's leading firm for renewable energy work." The site's client list also shows several solar or renewable energy firms.

The Republic's readers should have known that before reading Rose's Saturday sales pitch.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.