by Dan Gibson
I'm not entirely sure why Michele Reagan feels like it's the Fiesta Bowl's responsibility to make sure she obeys the law, but it really does seem like this is going to get much uglier for some legislators (I'm looking at you, Russell Pearce) in the next few weeks. Maybe we should actually pay our legislators a reasonable salary, so they're not inclined to be swayed by a nice trip somewhere, but when they pull shady stuff like this, it's hard to justify handing out raises.
From the Arizona Republic:
On Thursday, the Fiesta Bowl confirmed that three lawmakers - Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, Sen. Robert Meza, D-Phoenix, and Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale - wrote checks to retroactively pay for free tickets they received while on the out-of-state trips, which were billed as "educational" events designed to show support for the Fiesta Bowl, given the competitive nature of college football.
Aboud wrote a check for $55 to cover the cost of one ticket she received during a 2009 trip to Dallas. Meza wrote a check for $320 to cover free tickets he received to two separate football games. Reagan wrote a check for $160 to cover tickets to a Boston College game.
None of the lawmakers repaid other expenses covered by the bowl.
"Airfare and hotel and all of that stuff is fine," Reagan said when asked about the level of reimbursement. "But it's questionable whether tickets were, so I thought I would just be safe."
Reagan added that she was "disappointed" that the Fiesta Bowl never indicated whether accepting such tickets was legal.
"If there was a question about that, I think the Fiesta Bowl should have told us that," Reagan said. "I am so honest, I would have done it (paid for it) then."