The Law of the Land

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Contact Patti Epler at her online address: [email protected]

super lobbyist (sooper lahbeeist) n.--An individual who conceives of, writes and pushes for legislation on behalf of a client or clients, usually business interests, at the Arizona Legislature. Also argues against legislation not favored by clients. Often distinguished from other lobbyists by representing many clients at once, on a contract basis. Power derives not only from their own contributions and gifts, but the promise of what their client base can pony up as well.

A look at some of Arizona's Super Lobbyists, their clients, and their contributions to statewide and legislative candidates during the 1998 campaign season:

Jim Bush and Michael Preston Green, Fennemore Craig. Bush gave $4,085. Green gave $8,235. Their firm's PAC gave $27,815 through its political action committee; its employees gave another $18,617. Some of the firm's clients and their contributions: ASARCO, PAC: $2,025; employees: $3,075; Anheuser-Busch, PAC: $16,625; employees: $250; Bank One, PAC: $36,850; employees, $1,286; Cyprus Metals, PAC: $17,265; employees, $1,435; Phelps Dodge, PAC: $27,880; employees: $12,430; Arizona Mining Association, PAC: $9,970; employees: $2,175; Arizona Restaurant Association, PAC: $13,100. In 1997, the firm spent $6,965 on entertainment for legislators. Reported expenses for 1998 total $1,948 through June.

Bob Fannin, Quarles and Brady. He's widely considered the most influential lobbyist at the Capitol. Fannin chaired then-governor Fife Symington's 1994 campaign committee and 1998 exploratory committee. He also chaired John Kaites' attorney general campaign committee. He gave $15,435 in direct and in-kind contributions. Quarles and Brady employees, other than Fannin, gave another $9,519. The firm's clients and their contributions: American Express Co., PAC: $3,610; employees, $3,110; American Greyhound Racing Inc., PAC: $3,625; employees, $1,325; American Insurance Association, PAC: $5,630; employees, $75; Arizona Diamondbacks, managing partner Jerry Colangelo: $6,405; employees, $14,525; Honeywell, PAC: $750; employees, $4,293; IBM: employees, $2,300. In 1997, Fannin's firm spent $2,011 on entertainment for legislators.

Don Isaacson, Ridge and Isaacson. Isaacson gave $9,801. His clients and their contributions: Arizona Association of Homes and Housing for the Aged, PAC: $950; Arizona Licensed Beverage Association, PAC: $24,551; employees, $1,325; Arizona Optometric Association, PAC: $10,250; employees, $525; Rural Metro Corp., PAC: $24,900; employees, $6,897; Tobacco Institute: $0; University of Phoenix/Apollo Group, PAC: $5,555; employees, $2,929. For 1997 and 1998, no significant expenditures for entertainment for legislators are on file.

David Kimball, Gallagher and Kennedy. Kimball gave $1,600. Gallagher and Kennedy's PAC gave $7,175. The firm's clients and their contributions: Arizona Chamber of Commerce, whose employees gave $3,837.50 individually; Arizona Rock Products Association, $16,325 in PAC contributions; its employees another $925. In 1997, the Arizona Rock Products Association spent $3,364 on a legislative golf tournament at the Arizona Biltmore. For 1997 and 1998, Kimball reported no significant entertainment expenditures.

John Mangum, Law Offices of John Mangum. He gave $12,167. His clients and their contributions: Philip Morris, PAC: $1,300; Arizona Contractors Association, PAC: $4,635; Eli Lilly & Co.: $0; Sumitomo Sitix, employees: $550; Turf Paradise, employees: $10,819; Xerox: $0; Walgreens: employees, $325. In 1997, Mangum spent $1,349 on entertainment for legislators. There were no records on file for 1998.

Allan Stanton. He gave $9,444. His clients and their contributions: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, PAC: $3,995; employees, $8,630; Arizona Golf Association: $0; General Motors Corporation: employees, $560; Robson Communities, PAC: $2,115; employees, $28,415; Union Pacific Corporation, PAC: $4,050; employees, $125; Abbott Laboratories, employees: $50. In 1997, Stanton spent $10,687 on entertainment for legislators, including $1,225 for a Christmas lunch at Phoenix Country Club for House and Senate staff. Reported expenses for 1998 total $474 through June.

Charlie Stevens, Stevens and Leibow. He gave $7,870. His clients and their contributions: Arizona Cemetery Association, PAC: $400; employees, $25; Arizona Credit Union League, PAC: $2,425; employees, $230; Chevron: $0; Suncor Development Co. (Arizona Public Service Company subsidiary): employees, $3,735; Arizona Psychological Association, PAC: $2,050. For 1997 and 1998, no significant entertainment expenditures are on file.

Campaign finance data in this special report came from the Secretary of State's Office. Arizona State University professor Steven K. Doig, a Pulitzer Prize winner and computer-assisted reporting specialist, extracted contribution information from the database. New Times Associate Editor Patti Epler standardized and sorted the information, then computed totals for candidates, individuals and PACs.

This report reflects more than 50,000 contributions to statewide and legislative campaigns during the 1998 cycle. We included direct and in-kind contributions as well as loans from candidates, family members and others. We did not consider interest earned on accounts as contributions and we did not include money raised in previous campaigns and transferred to this cycle. Husbands and wives and some families are grouped as single contributors, particularly when all contributions came from the same address.

We found many inconsistencies and mistakes in the information being reported by candidates to the state, as well as in data about lobbyists maintained by the Secretary of State's Office. About 20 percent of the contributions have no employer or occupation information, as required.

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Patti Epler
Contact: Patti Epler
Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.