Russell Smoldon

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Russell Smoldon is the Manager of State and Local Government Affairs of the Salt River Project (SRP).[1]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Smoldon is also on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011.[2]

In 1997, Smoldon was also registered as a lobbyist in Arizona for the Better Schools for Arizona Committee[3], which was a pro-voucher group active in Arizona in the mid-1990s.[4] ALEC has been an active proponent of school vouchers, publishing model legislation in support.[5]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Salt River Project

The Salt River Project (SRP) is a collective name used to refer to two separate entities: the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, a political subdivision of the state of Arizona, and the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association, a private company that serves as an electrical utility and water provider for the Phoenix metropolitan area. Operating under the umbrella name, SRP, it is one of the primary public utility companies in Arizona.

In 2010, Salt River Project had a net revenue of $371 million[6]

SRP employs 14 individual active lobbyists and three outside lobbying firms to push its legislative agenda in Arizona.[7]

Russell Smoldon has been employed as an active lobbyist for SRP from 1997 through 2011.[8]

Support of the American Legislative Exchange Council

SRP is a long-time member and supporter of ALEC. According to the Phoenix New Times, "in 1997, SRP, mainly through Smoldon, spent $6,573 on state legislators, including $2,352 to send Republican lawmakers to the annual American Legislative Exchange Council meeting; $152 for a picnic for legislators and staff; and various sums on flowers and food for public officials (including Jim Bloom, assistant to the chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission)."[9]

Other Activities

Smoldon is also a Board Member of the Keogh Health Foundation,[10] the Western Business Roundtable, Greater Phoenix Urban League, the Challenger Space Center[11] and the Arizona Tax Research Association.[12]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Greater Phoenix Urban League, Board of Directors, organizational biography, accessed July 8, 2011
  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Enterprise Board, organization website, accessed June 9, 2011
  3. Ibid.
  4. Amy Silverman Fife's Double Talk on Education: Governor Symington's School-Voucher Plan is a Gift for Conservatives-- Not the Poor, Phoenix New Times, February 23, 1994
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act as Passed by the Education Task Force, model legislation published by the Heartland Institute, May 2007
  6. Management's Financial and Operational Summary for 2010,""
  7. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Principal/Public Body SALT RIVER PROJECT (SRP), State Lobbyist Database, accessed June 9, 2011
  8. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Lobbyist Information: Smoldon, Russell D, State Lobbyist Database, accessed June 9, 2011
  9. Patti Epler A peek at how the power companies played the political game in 1998, Phoenix New Times, January 7, 1999
  10. Keogh Health Foundation, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed July 8, 2011
  11. 2010 Leaders of the Year awards recipients, Arizona Capitol Times, September 27, 2010
  12. Arizona Tax Research Association Senator Bob Burns Receives ATRA's Watchdog Award, organizational website, accessed July 8, 2011

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