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Updated Jun 20, 2012 - 10:45 am

Off the Ice: Clearly we need some transparency

As far as I know, the Goldwater Institute could be hiding zombies. (AP Photo)

I like when things are transparent.

Aside from the obvious reason (zombies can't hide behind things that are transparent), I find that when nothing can contain a secret it tends to be simpler, smoother and, overall, much more popular.

That doesn't sound anything like the Goldwater Institute (and I'm pretty sure they're hiding zombies, too).

As the Coyotes saga enters what feels like the 947,812,045th year, we've seen the claims -- from both sides -- that transparency is necessary in order to facilitate the sale of the team to prospective owner Greg Jamison.

I couldn't agree more. Granted, some may argue that transparency would allow both sides to nitpick even more and the possibility of lawsuits would increase, but you're wrong. Transparent organizations have to cut out the shady deals, the conflicts of interest and the unnamed donors. When everything is out in the sunlight and available for public perusal, it's impossible to keep skeletons (or zombies) in the closet. When those undead things aren't permitted to exist, it's miraculous the way lawsuits fade and business gets done.

The Coyotes deal is still creeping forward, but about 1,800 signatures could really complicate things. Should a referendum pass, the Coyotes deal could move to a vote. I can guarantee that, in the allotted time of two weeks barring any extensions, the Goldwater Institute will be out in full force to get as many of those as possible.

And that's a problem. A "taxpayer watchdog," as the organization proclaims itself to be, has shady dealings. It has conflicts of interest. It has unnamed donors. And now this organization will be approaching possibly uninformed Glendale citizens in an attempt to get them to sign a referendum? For Coyotes fans, that's about as damn close as you can come to the zombie apocalypse without any brains being eaten.

Now, I'm not alleging that there will be any misconduct by Goldwater, far from it. I'm just saying that, for an organization who demands a look into each and every action that the city of Glendale takes -- at least as far as the Coyotes are concerned -- they sure aren't willing to describe their inner workings or disclose any information.

I shared a few tweets with @patriot1123, whose wicked-cute Basset Hound avatar told me a private think tank, such as the Goldwater Institute, should not have to disclose its donors or other documents. And normally, I'd be right alongside that view. There is a reason that a company is private.

But I think, along with tweeters like @doubled81638378, @davidstuart, @Jakita10, @gfallar, @azisles02, that a think tank that purports to have taxpayer interests at heart should act like a government institution and not be forced, but obligated, to disclose some information. It would likely move things along if we could view some of the alleged conflicts of interest to dismiss the suit or at least keep in line with their own demands that the city of Glendale be transparent.

If it's actually possible, I'm asking Goldwater to take the high road here and reveal itself. Become transparent. Donors shouldn't need to be "protected," but named. Privacy is hurting this deal and the taxpayers of Glendale. In the short term, some damage will be done as both sides have likely done things they are not proud of. In the long run, both the city and Goldwater come out better for it, the taxpayers benefit and the Coyotes will probably stay.

But I'm not holding my breath. As a person who kind of relies on the Coyotes (yes, I do get paid to write), I'm looking at those hired to get the referendum signatures like they want nothing more than to eat my brains.


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