Rio Nuevo Board Member: Grinnell's Not Registered as a Rosemont Lobbyist
I read the article "Birthplace Battle" (Currents, Nov. 10) and wanted to get my two cents in. Although I am writing about the use of the words "lobbyist for Rosemont Copper" as it applies to Rick Grinnell, I wanted to digress for just a couple of other glaring misstatements of fact within the article by some of the people you interviewed.
First of all, it is not a lawsuit, but a notice of claim; we are mediating it with the city. Secondly, it is not these folks' sales tax; it is the state's sales tax, and it funds general state government, including education. Only the portion that is taxed by the city sales tax belongs to Tucson, so the state does have a right to find out why it was misspent.
Now for Rick. I went to the secretary of state's website, and looked him up under "Lobbyists." He does not show Rosemont, nor has he ever. I also went to the Rosemont Copper site, and they do not list him, and do not show him ever being a lobbyist for them. He may have provided PR services, but he has never been their lobbyist. He would be committing a crime if he did lobby for them without registering. I should know as a registered lobbyist and a former state senator.
(Editor's note: Grinnell himself has referred to lobbying for Rosemont, so we based the statement on his own words.)
I might close with the fact the proposed claim would not change our goal as it was originally designed, to bring back Tucson's birthplace. It could just provide a check and balance on the city's seeming inability to build anything of value in this area in the past.
The activists should be suing the city for the $18 million to be returned so the project can be fulfilled, and not complain about a group of volunteers who are working for all taxpayers in Arizona, and the ones in Tucson in particular.
Jeffrey J. Hill
Member, Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District