Pop quiz, I want to give $10,000 to my favorite State Representative. Legal or Illegal? Answer: Obviously illegal. Even if I don't give him the money in exchange for anything, it's illegal for me to give him a gift.
Hmm, what if I buy his car for $10,000? Legal or illegal? Well, if the car is worth $10,000 then legal.
Ok, so what if I buy his car from him for $10,000 and then...let him keep it? Legal or illegal? Obviously illegal because I'm not really buying it, I'm using it as an excuse to give him $10,000.
Now let's change the scenario a bit. A cool high tech company wants to move its headquarters to Phoenix, so the City of Phoenix gives the company $1.2 million in cash to relocate. Legal or illegal? Answer: Illegal. It's an obvious violation of the state's gift clause.
So explain this paragraph from the Business Journal to me.
The city of Phoenix is paying $1.2 million for two of the company’s three-dimensional imaging devices, called Cell-CTs, which can show cells turning cancerous. The instruments will be housed at VisionGate’s new downtown Phoenix headquarters so other researchers can use the technology, said Jason Harris, deputy director of the city’s Community and Economic Development Department.
That's the same as the car example. The City of Phoenix "owns" the equipment, but the company still keeps and uses the equipment. The transaction boils down to the city paying the Company to locate here.
Ironically, the company is called "VisionGate." So is the whole controversy going to be called VisionGateGate? How about VisionGateScam? GordonGate? I don't know about the name, but I have a rough idea who to call.