Questions raised about funding for Gov. Katie Hobbs inaugural events

Hobbs has an incomplete list of donors on a government website for her inaugural events, and some organizations include APS, Banner Health and the Phoenix Suns.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:43 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A matter of transparency is rising for new Gov. Katie Hobbs. While running for governor, Hobbs promised her administration would be open and accountable. However, there are questions about where the funding is coming from for her inaugural events.

After Hobbs was declared the winner of the governor’s race, she spoke about being open. “We’ll make state government more transparent and responsive to you,” Hobbs said during her victory speech. However, since then, the new governor has been a closed book, keeping the public in the dark about big business and lobbyist donations to her inaugural fund.

Aaron Sherb works for Common Cause, a nonpartisan group that fights for more government transparency. He said special interest groups use inaugural donations to buy access to a new administration. While we know some donors, we don’t know how much influence they are trying to buy. “In nearly all cases, you have major donors, special interests, big corporations that expect something in return for their donations. They’re very rarely doing this out of the goodness of their heart,” Sherb explained. “At the minimum, voters deserve to know who’s trying to influence public policy decisions.”

Hobbs has an incomplete list of donors on the government website for her inaugural events. The organizations listed represent the state’s wealthiest and most influential organizations, such as APS, Banner Health and the Phoenix Suns.

When Arizona’s Family asked for specific fundraising information, the Hobbs campaign said, “We are thankful to all of our donors who have backed our vision for a new Arizona that is focused on bipartisan solutions and results.”

While the contributions remain a mystery, it’s known how much Hobbs is asking for. Documents show top platinum sponsors must donate more than $250,000, and gold sponsors must donate over $100,000.