Last year, people were creating a stink after it was discovered that some Arizona legislators got tickets and trips to sporting events thanks to the Fiesta Bowl.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery explained in December that none of the politicos would face charges, saying prosecutors were unable to "find evidence leading to criminal liability for those investigated."
He did say, however, that the probe identified "areas where Arizona law does not meet legitimate public expectations for transparency."
Now, there's a bill in the Legislature that offers "comprehensive election law amendments," and Democratic state Senator Steve Gallardo offered seven floor amendments to that bill yesterday, several of them addressing things that went down in that Fiesta Bowl fiasco.
Each of the amendments was rejected on a voice vote, but Gallardo called for a roll-call vote on one of the amendments -- a proposal to ban legislators receiving any kind of tickets to special events.
More likely intentional than not, Gallardo's successful motion for a roll-call vote on the amendment put the senators' votes on the record.
"I would believe that this would be something that would send a nice message to the people of Arizona that legislators...are not going to these special events, but we're going to be focusing on the priorities of Arizona and looking after the constituency of the state of Arizona," Gallardo said while explaining his amendment.
When the roll-call vote was approved, Gallardo said there's no need for legislators to get these tickets, and if you really want to go to these things -- like sporting events -- buy tickets like everyone else.
"It makes us look like we're here not to do what's good for the state Arizona," he said.
Gallardo's amendment failed by a vote of 13-16.
Here's who voted "no"(thereby putting a well-deserved target on their backs, as in: We're watching you):
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- Sylvia Allen
- Frank Antenori
- Nancy Barto
- Andy Biggs
- Judy Burges
- Rich Crandall
- Adam Driggs
- Linda Gray
- Lori Klein
- John McComish
- Al Melvin
- Rick Murphy
- John Nelson
- Don Shooter
- Steve Yarbrough
- Steve Pierce
Gallardo's other amendments included limits to candidate contrubutions collected by lobbyists, disallowing legislators from accepting free food and drinks from lobbyists, banning lobbyists from contributing to candidates, prohibiting legislators from promoting themselves with taxpayer-funded public-service announcements, allowing audits of finance reports from independent-expenditure committees, and making it a felony for candidates to coordinate with independent-expenditure committees.
Senators Allen and Gray rose in opposition of a couple of Gallardo's amendments, with Allen saying a few times that these weren't problems with the law, but rather "the moral integrity of the individual."
Video of the proceeding can be found here.