The attacks on the Goldwater Institute continue unabated.

As I’ve written about before (here and here), the Goldwater Institute has gone hammer and tongs after what they characterize as a bad deal for taxpayers, Arizona, Glendale residents, and all the best values as we know them. Their fight is in regard to Glendale’s efforts to keep the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team in that city.

Goldwater smells quite a bit of the giving-away-the-farm odor, all to benefit a private entity. That would be a violation of the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause, the Institute claims.

But to mix sports metaphors, hockey supporters have mounted a full-court press—against the Goldwater Institute.

(Today’s Arizona Republic has a story about the Coyotes’ travails. Read it here.)

I wondered last week about the strange melding and churning of self-interest that leads someone to support one side in the battle.

On the one hand, you might very well enjoy hockey. Or at least you may like having hockey as a dynamic part of a vibrant package that keeps Glendale hopping.

But on the other hand, you may want your city officials to get the best possible deal when they’re waving your tax dollars around. And here and across the country, city councils have a poor record of that; they are known to give away far too much to private entities that threaten to pull up stakes, even when it’s unlikely they will.

So in a “don’t waste-my-tax-dollars” sense, I’d expect the Institute’s position to be a bit more popular than it has been. But in the PR war over the Coyotes, rank-and-file residents have been rallied pretty effectively to mount the barricades in support of the team’s owner (or maybe it’s more accurate to say they’ve been rallied to keep the team in the city).

What I have not heard (and what I think I expected) is a groundswell of thanks or support to the Institute for looking out for how public money is spent.

And maybe that says something about residents of any city. No one wants money wasted. But they do want development to occur. And if a little gifting occurs along the way, perhaps residents are OK with that.

Yesterday, I was driving in what I think is northern Glendale (we were on Happy Valley Road west of the I-17—you tell me). There, I spotted an SUV with its windows chalked with a message: “Keep the Coyotes in Glendale.” Next to that was the imprecation “Say no to Goldwater.”

On the passenger side of the car, the owner had drawn the universal symbol for “No,” a circle with diagonal line, with the word “Goldwater” in the center.

Pretty inside-hockey, if you ask me. I’m not sure how many drivers will understand the news items drawn on the car. But if I’m right, more and more will understand it as the media blitz comes to a head.