Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 26, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

AZ Legislature: A to Z "Lobbyists"


  • It looks like a typical outdoor luncheon but is it really a power lunch to influence lawmakers? Continuing our series examining the state legislature, "Horizon" takes a look at lobbying.
Guests:
  • Frank Fairbanks - Phoenix city manager
  • Al Brown - Maricopa County Environmental Services


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," Phoenix water is testing safe. The boil water advisory is over but could what happened with the city water supply happen again? City and county leaders talk about mopping up after the Phoenix water problem. Plus, it looks like a typical outdoor luncheon but is it really a power lunch to influence lawmakers? Continuing our series examining the state legislature. "Horizon" takes a look at lobbying. That's next on "Horizon."

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8. Members who provide financial support to this PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." As you probably know, yesterday and most of today City of Phoenix had an advisory to boil tap water for drinking, washing dishes, food preparation and other uses. The cause: particulates in the runoff from recent storms caused water leaving the Val Vista water plant to violate some federal standards. Late today that warning was lifted but questions remain about how it happened and whether it can happen again. Here to talk about it is Phoenix city manager Frank Fairbanks; also here is Al Brown from Maricopa County environmental services. Gentlemen, good to see both of you.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Good to be here.

>> Michael Grant:
Well Frank, let's start with the latest. What's the latest situation?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Well, the good news is the plant is back producing an excellent quality water. The water coming out of the plant has a very low level of turbidity. We've been able to chlorinate the system. We've run dozens and dozens of tests on the system throughout the neighborhoods, throughout the community. We haven't come up with even one bacteria test. And so it appears that the water is safe, that there was no contaminant that would cause a problem. We've also been able to eliminate and drain out the water, which had a high level of turbidity, and so we've solved the problem. We made some changes in the way we treat the water at Val Vista. So even with the very high level of turbidity in the water coming into the plant, we're able to produce high-quality water coming out.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, you know, it's amazing the new words you pick up in your vocabulary as situations come down the pike. Frank has mentioned turbidity a couple of times. What's turbidity?

>> Al Brown:
Turbidity is an index to measure the amount of light that will pass through water. A water sample needs to be very clear so that there's no particulate matter or dirt basically floating around in it. Dirt particles can harbor bacteria and other organisms, and so the federal government has adopted turbidity standards, which all cities follow. The drinking water has to be below one turbidity unit, which is once again is a scale to measure the transmission of light through the water. The City of Phoenix went over that for a few hours on Monday morning, early Monday morning. It was about as high as 2 turbidity units on the scale. So it could have been a lot worse. That's still an exceedance of the standard, and that's why they made the wise choice of issuing a boil water advisory. They really had some tough decisions they had to make here because it really either came down to that or letting the water system go dry in some parts of the town. People wouldn't have been able to flush toilets or take showers. It would have been a real disaster then.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously the county has been working with the city over the past couple, three days, and county's role here is primarily that the testing and health oversight issue, right?

>> Al Brown:
Yes, Maricopa County environmental services department works with state DEQ and the county department of public health to do the oversight role on all the drinking water systems throughout the state. We have local jurisdiction for the cities in Maricopa County and it's our responsibility to make sure the water is safe at all times whenever there is an exceedance of a national standard, then that's an indication that there could be a problem. So the potential did exist there for unsafe water, and that's why we are erring on the side of caution and asked the city to do some additional tests which they did. They worked round the clock to test the water over and over again in many locations around the city, to fix the problem right away at the treatment plant, and now it's producing better water than it was before.

>> Michael Grant:
Frank, it's surface water that we're talking about here that's being treated. It's coming from the SRP system of lakes. With the heavy storms a couple, three weeks ago obviously you're picking up more sediment with the water coming into the lake system, and you were telling me that as contrasted to what normally comes into the plant to be treated, at times the dirty water index, let's call it, instead of turbidity, was running from 10 to 30 to 40 times higher than you normally see.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
That's absolutely correct. Normally the canal water coming into the plant has an index of 15 to 20, and for brief spurts it got as high as 600, and the standard is we have to get that down to one. So that was really the challenge, how do you take in water that has 600 units in it and produce water out the back end of the plant that can only have 1 unit in it. And for several hours we rose as high as 2. But we're now back down to about a 10th of a unit which is very good quality water and that's what we believe we can continue to produce.

>> Michael Grant:
In a couple of the City of Phoenix treatment plants out of commission because SRP is in its annual canal dry-up maintenance cycle, right?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Normally we have five plants. Two are down because of the annual canal dry-up we have every year and we all know about, and one plant is actually very near the Salt River and it was damaged during the floods. So we're running on two plants, which eliminated our ability to turn off one plant and turn on another. So we've talked about it being a perfect storm. We didn't have many alternatives to deal with the situation.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, are there monitoring systems in place where you could -- you could get more advance warning that this was a likelihood?

>> Al Brown:
Well, a city the size of Phoenix has to run over 100 tests per day on the water, and so they have a lab onsite, they're continuously testing the water, and so there are real time tests being taken. The system appears to have been designed for maximum event of turbidity, which was lower than what we experienced. These were historical highs for turbidity coming in, and so now that we know that in Phoenix, Arizona, we can actually get turbidities at these high levels that we never expected before, that's something that I'm sure the city and county will be talking about in the future.

>> Michael Grant:
I guess what I was wondering, obviously we've had heavy rains before in the Valley of the sun, although not in the past maybe eight or nine years, and I was wondering why this situation was so unique.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Well, this plant is much closer to the river. One of the things that happens in the canals is the water, the particulates, precipitate out of the water, fall to the bottom of the canal. And our other plants are much further up, miles and miles further up the canal and those were not in use. It's really part of the equation that we had plants down. Since then we have -- we're starting to use new agents to coagulate the particles and to make them fall out of the water, agents that weren't necessary before, approved EPA agents, and they're doing the job and producing great water. We also have membranes that we pass the water through, and we're in the process of upgrading those membranes so that they'll provide a higher level of filtration. We really believe that we will not have this problem again in the future. Something else we've done is starting today at noon we have mixed in C.A.P. water with the SRP water so the water now coming to that plant is half C.A.P. water, half SRP water, so the turbidity, the cloudiness, coming into the plant is much lower than it was earlier this week.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, is there any other way -- I mean, once -- maybe once you get the increase in turbidity that's it. But there's no other way, for example, to chemically treat it if you had a higher -- higher level of turbidity than would normally be acceptable, there's no other chemical process you can follow to knock that down?

>> Al Brown:
Michael, it has to be done at the water treatment plant itself. Once it's out in the distribution system, it's hard to do any additional treatment because there's turbulence in the water lines. There's really no design for additional treatment downstream of the water treatment plant. They did experience some sudden water chemistry change, too, and one of the things we may learn as we further work in studying this incident is perhaps the forest fires in the past several years and the drought combined changed the water chemistry of the runoff. That's a theory, but when you have a sudden change in water chemistry, that can throw any water treatment plant into an upset condition, something that wasn't normal condition.

>> Michael Grant:
Frank, it was not possible for City of Phoenix to shift to groundwater pumping, for example, the way some other cities did to try to handle the problem?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
The problem for Phoenix is that our groundwater capacity is in the far north and the Val Vista plant is in the far north and we simply would be unable to get enough water pressure to Ahwatukee, to South Phoenix, to central Phoenix, and so you would have had dry lines, which would have meant no fire fighting, no sort of bathing or cleaning whatsoever, and there's the risk that if the pipes go dry that you could also start growing bacteria in them or have other problems. So we knew, and the reason we asked people to start boiling, was we knew that this turbidity was unacceptable, but it was the only choice if the lines weren't going to go dry.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Well, they're not dry at this point in time and it looks like we've cleared the hurdle, right?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
That's true.

>> Michael Grant:
All right.

>> Al Brown:
Water looks great. All the test results that came in today are meeting the standards and we're very confident the water is safe to drink. Time for us all to go have a drink.

>> Michael Grant:
Al Brown, Maricopa County, thanks for joining us. Phoenix city manager Frank Fairbanks, I appreciate it. There are more than 3,000 lobbyist registered with the Arizona Secretary of State's office. Most are part time, casual or volunteer lobbyists. Less than 300 legislative advocates regularly lobby on behalf of their business, government agency, professional association or other clients. We take a look at lobbying in part 3 of our series about the Arizona legislature. First, Merry Lucero looks at some of the ins and outs of lobbying.

>> Merry Lucero:
On any given weekday at the capitol, there is a big tent out on the front lawn. In it people eat and schmooze. This day is cities and towns day. Folks representing local municipalities win a captive audience of state lawmakers by offering them lunch. In return, a moment of time.

>> Lobbyist:
We want to stress the vital importance of local government.

>> Merry Lucero:
They may not all be paid registered lobbyists, but this is a type of lobbying. If you want to see professional schmoozing, meet a real lobbyist.

>> Mike Gardner:
All right, another day at the legislature.

>> Merry Lucero:
Mike Gardner was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1994 to 2000, then chief of staff for the Senate president. Now he works with a large lobbying firm. His clients... --

>> Mike Gardner:
Microsoft, Intel, DirecTV, Verizon Wireless, Vanguard Healthcare System, Eastern Arizona College, City of Mesa, Williams Gateway Airport, Siemens Technology, Energy Education Incorporated --

>> Merry Lucero:
And more.

>> Mike Gardner:
Let's get together and have lunch.

>> Merry Lucero:
It's not uncommon to see former state lawmakers at the capitol re-employed as lobbyists.

>> Client:
I'll be there too. Stay out of trouble.

>> Mike Gardner:
You never want to see two things being made, sausage and laws because both are kind of an ugly process and if you don't understand the process you won't be able to effect change. Lawmakers since they've lived it, and they've had to push their own bills through the process, we understand the ins and outs and know the rules but anybody else can learn it, too. You can't learn it in a textbook. You have to come down and watch it and participate to truly understand the intricacies.

>> Mike Gardner:
House Bill 2014 --

>> Merry Lucero:
And with 12 to 1400 bills introduced every session, the intricacies involve a lot of schmoozing.

>> Mike Gardner:
Do you think it's a good idea? If you have any questions let me know.

>> Mike Gardner:
I'll grab one legislator and talk about this particular issue might be affecting this community college. Next thing you know I need to talk to another lawmaker something that's going to affect Intel or Microsoft. So it's a lot of very quick short conversations with people trying to help educate them about what the latest is on the policy they're interested in. Lobbyists educate folks. They educate lawmakers, they also educate staff members, also educate other lobbyist about what you're doing, why you do it and the intent behind the words on the piece of paper.

>> Howard Fischer:
It is an education process. But it is spin.

>> Merry Lucero:
Howard Fischer has covered the state capitol since 1982 and has uncovered his share of spin.

>> Howard Fischer:
Several years ago the lobbyists for America West Airlines came in here for a change in the tax on jet fuel. Sounds reasonable. I started nosing around. The way they structured the bill, it would have lowered the tax for America West and raised it for Southwest. Well, I wrote about it, and that was the end of that bill.

>> Merry Lucero:
Do stories like that feed a perception that lobbyists are shady?

>> Mike Gardner:
The perception is out there. We know it's real. I think it comes about because the press only writes about the bad effects of lobbying. They never talk about the good effects or good policies that now became into effect because of the lobbyists that effected that policy.

>> Howard Fischer:
If we would have put a headline in the paper, 20,000 people fly in planes, no one injured, people are going to say, yeah. I mean, it's the plane crash where people are injured. Do we look for the things going wrong? Sure. But we're in a lot of ways the safe guard on this, because we're there to say when somebody's trying to slide something through.

>> Mike Gardner:
It's only when the AzSCAMs hit that people start saying it must be the lobbyists, they're bad, they must be evil. And I think it's just that misinterpretation of what we do. The way Hollywood treats it, the way the press treats it. But if people actually saw it in a real-time basis they would understand that a lobbyist, number one, has to be honest. If I were to deceive a member of the house or Senate, they will never talk to me again. If they'll never talk to me, I'm out of business.

>> Merry Lucero:
AzSCAM was the biggest lobbying scandal to date. In 1991, seven lawmakers were indicted for taking bribes. But Fischer says the real tool for many lobbyists is campaign contributions.

>> Howard Fischer:
Let me put it this way, you're a lawmaker. You've got two calls on the incoming line. One is from somebody you don't know. The other is from a lobbyist who, together with his organizations, perhaps helped you raise $10,000 for your last election? Which call do you think you're going to take? Come on.

>> Merry Lucero:
But Gardner says everyday citizens who get involved can effect change.

>> Mike Gardner:
There's nothing more powerful than a real person that is their own lobbyist. If it's a schoolteacher, kindergarten teacher calls you up and says I have a problem in my classroom, here's what I think you should do, lawmakers listen to that. If a lobbyist says I think your schoolteacher is wrong, the lawmaker is going to listen to the schoolteacher because they live it day in and day out. That's the most powerful lobbyist we have out there. They come down on a daily basis and testify in front of committee, make phone calls, is he send emails. That's the most powerful tool citizens have.

>> Merry Lucero:
Fischer says it's up to journalists and the public to track campaign contributions from lobbyists.

>> Howard Fischer:
It used to be before 1996 the organizations gave as a group, and the trial lawyers gave 10 grand or somebody gave somebody 5 grand. Now with the advent of campaign limits, they don't give as a group. They give individually. And so what I did is I pulled the name of all the doctors who had given and it turned out in one Senate race they gave -- actually two-thirds of what this candidate, the successful candidate raised.

>> Merry Lucero:
While not everyone can do that kind of research, anyone can track campaign contributions on the Secretary of State's website and anyone can write letters or come to the state capitol to lobby, to try to influence a lawmaker about a bill.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Stan Barnes, founder and president of Copper State Consulting Group, also a six-year veteran of the state legislature. Stan, good to see you.

>> Stan Barnes:
Nice to be on the show again.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me give you Howie's hypothetical to start off with.

>> Stan Barnes:
Might as well start with the meat of the story.

>> Michael Grant:
That's right. You're back in your legislator days. You have two lines blinking, one's from a guy you don't know, the second is from a lobbyist who helped you raise $5,000 for your campaign. Intuitively you're hitting line 2, aren't you?

>> Stan Barnes:
Yeah, you are. You're hitting line 2, not because you're a bad person, not because you have some hidden agenda but because you're a human being and you want to go to the warm and fuzzy call before you go to the one that is -- who knows what. It's politics and lobbying and serving in office are all about people and when you think about this issue, think about it in those terms. How do people behave? What are they all about? Lobbyists are about understanding that phenomenon, the hidden forces that hold it all together. They're unseen but are real. They motivate people to do certain things. And they motivate them to not do certain things. Lobbyists are experts in understanding that process and helping clients get it done.

>> Michael Grant:
Here's the fear or the perception in the public, and you know it as well or better than I do, it's not just, though, that you're punching line two, it's not just the access issue, it's the concern that the 5 grand in campaign contributions actually bought you a vote.

>> Stan Barnes:
Yeah. That's a fair accusation if we were sitting here pre-1986, as Howie referenced in the story. There's been so much reform in the system since then, since the original Proposition 200 of 1986, that it's difficult for any industry or person to give so much money that they have that kind of undue influence. I don't concede the very premise that money buys votes. It didn't buy my vote as a legislator. It doesn't buy the legislators I know. But for a moment, if -- I'll give you that people that help in campaigns have access that Mr., Mrs. Joe Average don't but that is again just a human phenomenon. Who helped me get here as an elected official? Who cares about my issues? Who's going to be there when I lose and still talk to me? That's a human nature thing. I don't ascribe to it any bad agenda or nature and there's not a dark side to it. We've got so much limit and reform in the system that there are no longer brown bags full of cash as there was in the old days and one person is limited to a few hundred dollars. A couple hundred dollars. There's not a lot of influence you can buy with that.

>> Michael Grant:
Ironically, has one of the reforms, clean elections, maybe in many instances almost led to more influence from the standpoint that it's oftentimes trade associations and other groups, certainly labor unions that can put the people or manpower resources on the ground to collect X number of $5 contributions and the candidate looks at that and says, that was really valuable. That bought me X thousand bucks in clean election financing.

>> Stan Barnes:
The lore of the moment of the cycle we're in politically was our governor was the first one to really make that happen. She need to do collect thousands of $5 contributions and signatures, I might add which is just as hard as getting the 5 bucks. It's as if she snapped her fingers and they appeared at her doorstep. There was that kind of groundswell from her core constituency, not financial givers but numbers, and almost everybody can part with $5 if they want to be in the political game. And she managed to get that done instantaneously. There have been other great statewide candidates of great repute running for statewide office who could not gather the contributions one at a time, one $5 at a time, and I do know that you are right, that those who can collect groups of $5 contributions are powerful people, and they're not giving any money. They're actually just hustling on behalf - and in a good way and getting things done for the candidate.

>> Michael Grant:
How core is to that a lobbyist's function? I guess from a broader standpoint, how core is the political involvement necessary to be a good lobbyist or bad lobbyist if you're not very good at it?

>> Stan Barnes:
That is the fun, fun question. The short answer is that you can be a great lobbyist and not be a person who gives a lot of money. But the more complete answer is if you're going to be a great lobbyist, you probably want to give some money because what you want are people in the legislature that share the belief that you're representing with your clients, in the case of somebody like myself who represents varied interests, and you want to help those people get re-elected, and so it's in your selfish interest to give money and to get people reelected but it's not a must -- it's not a prerequisite. You can be a great lobbyist and give no money. I've seen it done, particularly if you're representing a white hat client, someone who has great aura about their issue. They go down, don't give any money but they've got great strength of political maneuvering. That happens all the time.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's lay the monetary issue to one side. What about the bigger issue of, you know, going to the district committee meetings, being politically involved for whatever party you happen to be involved with, how critical is that that a lawmaker looks at you and says, oh, yeah, he's very active in my district, from that standpoint, placing the funds issue to one side.

>> Stan Barnes:
In the big issue, whether or not the lobbyist is involved in the party structure outside of the legislature is probably not that big a deal. Some lobbyists use that as their niche and they run hard with it. Others use fund raising and putting on fundraisers for legislators as their niche. Some have a niche of perhaps like myself and some others are great lobbyist in town, including Mike Gardner on the television right there, that have been in the legislature and know how it feels to sit in that chair and understand the process. The real fundamental about being a lobbyist people have to trust what you're saying because you're going to be exposed an the minute you're exposed for not telling the truth, you're not going to do anything and you have to know how the process works, how does a bill really become a law. When I was in school in Chandler High School so long ago learning about Arizona civics they taught us certain things but in the reality of self-government it's much different and if you understand that as a lobbyist, you can have clients pay you for that knowledge of how to move along legislation or how to kill legislation.

>> Michael Grant:
Is that what you find to be maybe a key advantage, a former lawmaker like yourself might have over some lobbyists, that you've been there, you've done that and you got that kind of inside look at the process?

>> Stan Barnes:
It certainly helps. In fact, I've said on many occasions in the nine years I've been lobbying since I left the Senate that I don't know how guys ever become confident enough to be great lobbyists having never served because there's so much schooling that goes on behind those closed doors. And you're also as a former legislator holding a card that every other lobbyist who hasn't done that is not holding, that's the card of, I know how you feel, I've been in your shoes. As a legislator I used to tell lobbyist all the time, look you have no understanding what it feels like to be me making this tough call. Be gone. I don't want to talk to you anymore. That doesn't work so well with a guy that's been in office before because after all, you've been there, you've done that, and you have a way of making the legislator feel like you're more on his side of the table than on this other side of the table trying to demand or push in a different direction.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Stan Barnes, appreciate the information. Take care of yourself.

>> Stan Barnes:
Great to be on the show.

>> Michael Grant:
To link to the Secretary of State's web page and other websites related to lobbying, go to our website. That address is www.azpbs.org. Click on "Horizon." You can also see transcripts of "Horizon" and you can find out about upcoming topics.

>>> Mike Sauceda:
This weekend Iraqis around the world will be voting in the long awaited election in their country. We'll talk to one local Iraqi who will be heading to Los Angeles to vote. Also we continue with our series on the legislature telling you how you can access the legislature and the story of an average citizen who got a bill passed, that's Thursday at 7 on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
And tomorrow following "Horizon," please stay tuned for "Horizonte." Then on Friday, our panel of journalists talk about the week's news. Thanks for being here this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

City of Phoenix advisory to boil tap water for drinking, washing dishes, food preparation and other uses


  • Phoenix water is testing safe. The boil water advisory is over but could what happened with the city water supply happen again? City and county leaders talk about mopping up after the Phoenix water problem.
Guests:
  • Frank Fairbanks - Phoenix city manager
  • Al Brown - Maricopa County Environmental Services


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," Phoenix water is testing safe. The boil water advisory is over but could what happened with the city water supply happen again? City and county leaders talk about mopping up after the Phoenix water problem. Plus, it looks like a typical outdoor luncheon but is it really a power lunch to influence lawmakers? Continuing our series examining the state legislature. "Horizon" takes a look at lobbying. That's next on "Horizon."

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8. Members who provide financial support to this PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." As you probably know, yesterday and most of today City of Phoenix had an advisory to boil tap water for drinking, washing dishes, food preparation and other uses. The cause: particulates in the runoff from recent storms caused water leaving the Val Vista water plant to violate some federal standards. Late today that warning was lifted but questions remain about how it happened and whether it can happen again. Here to talk about it is Phoenix city manager Frank Fairbanks; also here is Al Brown from Maricopa County environmental services. Gentlemen, good to see both of you.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Good to be here.

>> Michael Grant:
Well Frank, let's start with the latest. What's the latest situation?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Well, the good news is the plant is back producing an excellent quality water. The water coming out of the plant has a very low level of turbidity. We've been able to chlorinate the system. We've run dozens and dozens of tests on the system throughout the neighborhoods, throughout the community. We haven't come up with even one bacteria test. And so it appears that the water is safe, that there was no contaminant that would cause a problem. We've also been able to eliminate and drain out the water, which had a high level of turbidity, and so we've solved the problem. We made some changes in the way we treat the water at Val Vista. So even with the very high level of turbidity in the water coming into the plant, we're able to produce high-quality water coming out.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, you know, it's amazing the new words you pick up in your vocabulary as situations come down the pike. Frank has mentioned turbidity a couple of times. What's turbidity?

>> Al Brown:
Turbidity is an index to measure the amount of light that will pass through water. A water sample needs to be very clear so that there's no particulate matter or dirt basically floating around in it. Dirt particles can harbor bacteria and other organisms, and so the federal government has adopted turbidity standards, which all cities follow. The drinking water has to be below one turbidity unit, which is once again is a scale to measure the transmission of light through the water. The City of Phoenix went over that for a few hours on Monday morning, early Monday morning. It was about as high as 2 turbidity units on the scale. So it could have been a lot worse. That's still an exceedance of the standard, and that's why they made the wise choice of issuing a boil water advisory. They really had some tough decisions they had to make here because it really either came down to that or letting the water system go dry in some parts of the town. People wouldn't have been able to flush toilets or take showers. It would have been a real disaster then.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously the county has been working with the city over the past couple, three days, and county's role here is primarily that the testing and health oversight issue, right?

>> Al Brown:
Yes, Maricopa County environmental services department works with state DEQ and the county department of public health to do the oversight role on all the drinking water systems throughout the state. We have local jurisdiction for the cities in Maricopa County and it's our responsibility to make sure the water is safe at all times whenever there is an exceedance of a national standard, then that's an indication that there could be a problem. So the potential did exist there for unsafe water, and that's why we are erring on the side of caution and asked the city to do some additional tests which they did. They worked round the clock to test the water over and over again in many locations around the city, to fix the problem right away at the treatment plant, and now it's producing better water than it was before.

>> Michael Grant:
Frank, it's surface water that we're talking about here that's being treated. It's coming from the SRP system of lakes. With the heavy storms a couple, three weeks ago obviously you're picking up more sediment with the water coming into the lake system, and you were telling me that as contrasted to what normally comes into the plant to be treated, at times the dirty water index, let's call it, instead of turbidity, was running from 10 to 30 to 40 times higher than you normally see.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
That's absolutely correct. Normally the canal water coming into the plant has an index of 15 to 20, and for brief spurts it got as high as 600, and the standard is we have to get that down to one. So that was really the challenge, how do you take in water that has 600 units in it and produce water out the back end of the plant that can only have 1 unit in it. And for several hours we rose as high as 2. But we're now back down to about a 10th of a unit which is very good quality water and that's what we believe we can continue to produce.

>> Michael Grant:
In a couple of the City of Phoenix treatment plants out of commission because SRP is in its annual canal dry-up maintenance cycle, right?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Normally we have five plants. Two are down because of the annual canal dry-up we have every year and we all know about, and one plant is actually very near the Salt River and it was damaged during the floods. So we're running on two plants, which eliminated our ability to turn off one plant and turn on another. So we've talked about it being a perfect storm. We didn't have many alternatives to deal with the situation.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, are there monitoring systems in place where you could -- you could get more advance warning that this was a likelihood?

>> Al Brown:
Well, a city the size of Phoenix has to run over 100 tests per day on the water, and so they have a lab onsite, they're continuously testing the water, and so there are real time tests being taken. The system appears to have been designed for maximum event of turbidity, which was lower than what we experienced. These were historical highs for turbidity coming in, and so now that we know that in Phoenix, Arizona, we can actually get turbidities at these high levels that we never expected before, that's something that I'm sure the city and county will be talking about in the future.

>> Michael Grant:
I guess what I was wondering, obviously we've had heavy rains before in the Valley of the sun, although not in the past maybe eight or nine years, and I was wondering why this situation was so unique.

>> Frank Fairbanks:
Well, this plant is much closer to the river. One of the things that happens in the canals is the water, the particulates, precipitate out of the water, fall to the bottom of the canal. And our other plants are much further up, miles and miles further up the canal and those were not in use. It's really part of the equation that we had plants down. Since then we have -- we're starting to use new agents to coagulate the particles and to make them fall out of the water, agents that weren't necessary before, approved EPA agents, and they're doing the job and producing great water. We also have membranes that we pass the water through, and we're in the process of upgrading those membranes so that they'll provide a higher level of filtration. We really believe that we will not have this problem again in the future. Something else we've done is starting today at noon we have mixed in C.A.P. water with the SRP water so the water now coming to that plant is half C.A.P. water, half SRP water, so the turbidity, the cloudiness, coming into the plant is much lower than it was earlier this week.

>> Michael Grant:
Al, is there any other way -- I mean, once -- maybe once you get the increase in turbidity that's it. But there's no other way, for example, to chemically treat it if you had a higher -- higher level of turbidity than would normally be acceptable, there's no other chemical process you can follow to knock that down?

>> Al Brown:
Michael, it has to be done at the water treatment plant itself. Once it's out in the distribution system, it's hard to do any additional treatment because there's turbulence in the water lines. There's really no design for additional treatment downstream of the water treatment plant. They did experience some sudden water chemistry change, too, and one of the things we may learn as we further work in studying this incident is perhaps the forest fires in the past several years and the drought combined changed the water chemistry of the runoff. That's a theory, but when you have a sudden change in water chemistry, that can throw any water treatment plant into an upset condition, something that wasn't normal condition.

>> Michael Grant:
Frank, it was not possible for City of Phoenix to shift to groundwater pumping, for example, the way some other cities did to try to handle the problem?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
The problem for Phoenix is that our groundwater capacity is in the far north and the Val Vista plant is in the far north and we simply would be unable to get enough water pressure to Ahwatukee, to South Phoenix, to central Phoenix, and so you would have had dry lines, which would have meant no fire fighting, no sort of bathing or cleaning whatsoever, and there's the risk that if the pipes go dry that you could also start growing bacteria in them or have other problems. So we knew, and the reason we asked people to start boiling, was we knew that this turbidity was unacceptable, but it was the only choice if the lines weren't going to go dry.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Well, they're not dry at this point in time and it looks like we've cleared the hurdle, right?

>> Frank Fairbanks:
That's true.

>> Michael Grant:
All right.

>> Al Brown:
Water looks great. All the test results that came in today are meeting the standards and we're very confident the water is safe to drink. Time for us all to go have a drink.

>> Michael Grant:
Al Brown, Maricopa County, thanks for joining us. Phoenix city manager Frank Fairbanks, I appreciate it. There are more than 3,000 lobbyist registered with the Arizona Secretary of State's office. Most are part time, casual or volunteer lobbyists. Less than 300 legislative advocates regularly lobby on behalf of their business, government agency, professional association or other clients. We take a look at lobbying in part 3 of our series about the Arizona legislature. First, Merry Lucero looks at some of the ins and outs of lobbying.

>> Merry Lucero:
On any given weekday at the capitol, there is a big tent out on the front lawn. In it people eat and schmooze. This day is cities and towns day. Folks representing local municipalities win a captive audience of state lawmakers by offering them lunch. In return, a moment of time.

>> Lobbyist:
We want to stress the vital importance of local government.

>> Merry Lucero:
They may not all be paid registered lobbyists, but this is a type of lobbying. If you want to see professional schmoozing, meet a real lobbyist.

>> Mike Gardner:
All right, another day at the legislature.

>> Merry Lucero:
Mike Gardner was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1994 to 2000, then chief of staff for the Senate president. Now he works with a large lobbying firm. His clients... --

>> Mike Gardner:
Microsoft, Intel, DirecTV, Verizon Wireless, Vanguard Healthcare System, Eastern Arizona College, City of Mesa, Williams Gateway Airport, Siemens Technology, Energy Education Incorporated --

>> Merry Lucero:
And more.

>> Mike Gardner:
Let's get together and have lunch.

>> Merry Lucero:
It's not uncommon to see former state lawmakers at the capitol re-employed as lobbyists.

>> Client:
I'll be there too. Stay out of trouble.

>> Mike Gardner:
You never want to see two things being made, sausage and laws because both are kind of an ugly process and if you don't understand the process you won't be able to effect change. Lawmakers since they've lived it, and they've had to push their own bills through the process, we understand the ins and outs and know the rules but anybody else can learn it, too. You can't learn it in a textbook. You have to come down and watch it and participate to truly understand the intricacies.

>> Mike Gardner:
House Bill 2014 --

>> Merry Lucero:
And with 12 to 1400 bills introduced every session, the intricacies involve a lot of schmoozing.

>> Mike Gardner:
Do you think it's a good idea? If you have any questions let me know.

>> Mike Gardner:
I'll grab one legislator and talk about this particular issue might be affecting this community college. Next thing you know I need to talk to another lawmaker something that's going to affect Intel or Microsoft. So it's a lot of very quick short conversations with people trying to help educate them about what the latest is on the policy they're interested in. Lobbyists educate folks. They educate lawmakers, they also educate staff members, also educate other lobbyist about what you're doing, why you do it and the intent behind the words on the piece of paper.

>> Howard Fischer:
It is an education process. But it is spin.

>> Merry Lucero:
Howard Fischer has covered the state capitol since 1982 and has uncovered his share of spin.

>> Howard Fischer:
Several years ago the lobbyists for America West Airlines came in here for a change in the tax on jet fuel. Sounds reasonable. I started nosing around. The way they structured the bill, it would have lowered the tax for America West and raised it for Southwest. Well, I wrote about it, and that was the end of that bill.

>> Merry Lucero:
Do stories like that feed a perception that lobbyists are shady?

>> Mike Gardner:
The perception is out there. We know it's real. I think it comes about because the press only writes about the bad effects of lobbying. They never talk about the good effects or good policies that now became into effect because of the lobbyists that effected that policy.

>> Howard Fischer:
If we would have put a headline in the paper, 20,000 people fly in planes, no one injured, people are going to say, yeah. I mean, it's the plane crash where people are injured. Do we look for the things going wrong? Sure. But we're in a lot of ways the safe guard on this, because we're there to say when somebody's trying to slide something through.

>> Mike Gardner:
It's only when the AzSCAMs hit that people start saying it must be the lobbyists, they're bad, they must be evil. And I think it's just that misinterpretation of what we do. The way Hollywood treats it, the way the press treats it. But if people actually saw it in a real-time basis they would understand that a lobbyist, number one, has to be honest. If I were to deceive a member of the house or Senate, they will never talk to me again. If they'll never talk to me, I'm out of business.

>> Merry Lucero:
AzSCAM was the biggest lobbying scandal to date. In 1991, seven lawmakers were indicted for taking bribes. But Fischer says the real tool for many lobbyists is campaign contributions.

>> Howard Fischer:
Let me put it this way, you're a lawmaker. You've got two calls on the incoming line. One is from somebody you don't know. The other is from a lobbyist who, together with his organizations, perhaps helped you raise $10,000 for your last election? Which call do you think you're going to take? Come on.

>> Merry Lucero:
But Gardner says everyday citizens who get involved can effect change.

>> Mike Gardner:
There's nothing more powerful than a real person that is their own lobbyist. If it's a schoolteacher, kindergarten teacher calls you up and says I have a problem in my classroom, here's what I think you should do, lawmakers listen to that. If a lobbyist says I think your schoolteacher is wrong, the lawmaker is going to listen to the schoolteacher because they live it day in and day out. That's the most powerful lobbyist we have out there. They come down on a daily basis and testify in front of committee, make phone calls, is he send emails. That's the most powerful tool citizens have.

>> Merry Lucero:
Fischer says it's up to journalists and the public to track campaign contributions from lobbyists.

>> Howard Fischer:
It used to be before 1996 the organizations gave as a group, and the trial lawyers gave 10 grand or somebody gave somebody 5 grand. Now with the advent of campaign limits, they don't give as a group. They give individually. And so what I did is I pulled the name of all the doctors who had given and it turned out in one Senate race they gave -- actually two-thirds of what this candidate, the successful candidate raised.

>> Merry Lucero:
While not everyone can do that kind of research, anyone can track campaign contributions on the Secretary of State's website and anyone can write letters or come to the state capitol to lobby, to try to influence a lawmaker about a bill.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Stan Barnes, founder and president of Copper State Consulting Group, also a six-year veteran of the state legislature. Stan, good to see you.

>> Stan Barnes:
Nice to be on the show again.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me give you Howie's hypothetical to start off with.

>> Stan Barnes:
Might as well start with the meat of the story.

>> Michael Grant:
That's right. You're back in your legislator days. You have two lines blinking, one's from a guy you don't know, the second is from a lobbyist who helped you raise $5,000 for your campaign. Intuitively you're hitting line 2, aren't you?

>> Stan Barnes:
Yeah, you are. You're hitting line 2, not because you're a bad person, not because you have some hidden agenda but because you're a human being and you want to go to the warm and fuzzy call before you go to the one that is -- who knows what. It's politics and lobbying and serving in office are all about people and when you think about this issue, think about it in those terms. How do people behave? What are they all about? Lobbyists are about understanding that phenomenon, the hidden forces that hold it all together. They're unseen but are real. They motivate people to do certain things. And they motivate them to not do certain things. Lobbyists are experts in understanding that process and helping clients get it done.

>> Michael Grant:
Here's the fear or the perception in the public, and you know it as well or better than I do, it's not just, though, that you're punching line two, it's not just the access issue, it's the concern that the 5 grand in campaign contributions actually bought you a vote.

>> Stan Barnes:
Yeah. That's a fair accusation if we were sitting here pre-1986, as Howie referenced in the story. There's been so much reform in the system since then, since the original Proposition 200 of 1986, that it's difficult for any industry or person to give so much money that they have that kind of undue influence. I don't concede the very premise that money buys votes. It didn't buy my vote as a legislator. It doesn't buy the legislators I know. But for a moment, if -- I'll give you that people that help in campaigns have access that Mr., Mrs. Joe Average don't but that is again just a human phenomenon. Who helped me get here as an elected official? Who cares about my issues? Who's going to be there when I lose and still talk to me? That's a human nature thing. I don't ascribe to it any bad agenda or nature and there's not a dark side to it. We've got so much limit and reform in the system that there are no longer brown bags full of cash as there was in the old days and one person is limited to a few hundred dollars. A couple hundred dollars. There's not a lot of influence you can buy with that.

>> Michael Grant:
Ironically, has one of the reforms, clean elections, maybe in many instances almost led to more influence from the standpoint that it's oftentimes trade associations and other groups, certainly labor unions that can put the people or manpower resources on the ground to collect X number of $5 contributions and the candidate looks at that and says, that was really valuable. That bought me X thousand bucks in clean election financing.

>> Stan Barnes:
The lore of the moment of the cycle we're in politically was our governor was the first one to really make that happen. She need to do collect thousands of $5 contributions and signatures, I might add which is just as hard as getting the 5 bucks. It's as if she snapped her fingers and they appeared at her doorstep. There was that kind of groundswell from her core constituency, not financial givers but numbers, and almost everybody can part with $5 if they want to be in the political game. And she managed to get that done instantaneously. There have been other great statewide candidates of great repute running for statewide office who could not gather the contributions one at a time, one $5 at a time, and I do know that you are right, that those who can collect groups of $5 contributions are powerful people, and they're not giving any money. They're actually just hustling on behalf - and in a good way and getting things done for the candidate.

>> Michael Grant:
How core is to that a lobbyist's function? I guess from a broader standpoint, how core is the political involvement necessary to be a good lobbyist or bad lobbyist if you're not very good at it?

>> Stan Barnes:
That is the fun, fun question. The short answer is that you can be a great lobbyist and not be a person who gives a lot of money. But the more complete answer is if you're going to be a great lobbyist, you probably want to give some money because what you want are people in the legislature that share the belief that you're representing with your clients, in the case of somebody like myself who represents varied interests, and you want to help those people get re-elected, and so it's in your selfish interest to give money and to get people reelected but it's not a must -- it's not a prerequisite. You can be a great lobbyist and give no money. I've seen it done, particularly if you're representing a white hat client, someone who has great aura about their issue. They go down, don't give any money but they've got great strength of political maneuvering. That happens all the time.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's lay the monetary issue to one side. What about the bigger issue of, you know, going to the district committee meetings, being politically involved for whatever party you happen to be involved with, how critical is that that a lawmaker looks at you and says, oh, yeah, he's very active in my district, from that standpoint, placing the funds issue to one side.

>> Stan Barnes:
In the big issue, whether or not the lobbyist is involved in the party structure outside of the legislature is probably not that big a deal. Some lobbyists use that as their niche and they run hard with it. Others use fund raising and putting on fundraisers for legislators as their niche. Some have a niche of perhaps like myself and some others are great lobbyist in town, including Mike Gardner on the television right there, that have been in the legislature and know how it feels to sit in that chair and understand the process. The real fundamental about being a lobbyist people have to trust what you're saying because you're going to be exposed an the minute you're exposed for not telling the truth, you're not going to do anything and you have to know how the process works, how does a bill really become a law. When I was in school in Chandler High School so long ago learning about Arizona civics they taught us certain things but in the reality of self-government it's much different and if you understand that as a lobbyist, you can have clients pay you for that knowledge of how to move along legislation or how to kill legislation.

>> Michael Grant:
Is that what you find to be maybe a key advantage, a former lawmaker like yourself might have over some lobbyists, that you've been there, you've done that and you got that kind of inside look at the process?

>> Stan Barnes:
It certainly helps. In fact, I've said on many occasions in the nine years I've been lobbying since I left the Senate that I don't know how guys ever become confident enough to be great lobbyists having never served because there's so much schooling that goes on behind those closed doors. And you're also as a former legislator holding a card that every other lobbyist who hasn't done that is not holding, that's the card of, I know how you feel, I've been in your shoes. As a legislator I used to tell lobbyist all the time, look you have no understanding what it feels like to be me making this tough call. Be gone. I don't want to talk to you anymore. That doesn't work so well with a guy that's been in office before because after all, you've been there, you've done that, and you have a way of making the legislator feel like you're more on his side of the table than on this other side of the table trying to demand or push in a different direction.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Stan Barnes, appreciate the information. Take care of yourself.

>> Stan Barnes:
Great to be on the show.

>> Michael Grant:
To link to the Secretary of State's web page and other websites related to lobbying, go to our website. That address is www.azpbs.org. Click on "Horizon." You can also see transcripts of "Horizon" and you can find out about upcoming topics.

>>> Mike Sauceda:
This weekend Iraqis around the world will be voting in the long awaited election in their country. We'll talk to one local Iraqi who will be heading to Los Angeles to vote. Also we continue with our series on the legislature telling you how you can access the legislature and the story of an average citizen who got a bill passed, that's Thursday at 7 on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
And tomorrow following "Horizon," please stay tuned for "Horizonte." Then on Friday, our panel of journalists talk about the week's news. Thanks for being here this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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