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September 13, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

AZ Independent Redistricting Commission Investigation

  |   Video
  • Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard comments on an investigation of the IRC launched by current AG Tom Horne.
  • Terry Goddard - Former Arizona Attorney General
Category: Government   |   Keywords: government, redistricting, commission, Goddard,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled today that the recall election against senate president Russell Pearce can proceed November 8th. Pearce supporters had challenged signatures on recall petitions, but the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's rejection of that challenge.

Ted Simons: Arizona attorney general Tom Horne is conducting an investigation into the way a mapping firm was hired by the Arizona independent redistricting commission The commission is charged with redrawing congressional and legislative maps. Former Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard has criticized the investigation and joins us now to talk about those concerns. Good to see you again.

Terry Goddard: Good to be here. Sounds a little like who's on first.

Ted Simons: Let's try to figure this out. First, your thoughts on the investigation on the special action filed by general Horne.

Ted Simons: First, if there's a civil or criminal wrongdoing, the A.G. is one of several authorities in Arizona along with the county attorneys, that is charged with getting to the bottom of the situation. My letter, which was published along with -- signed by myself and Paul Johnson, who is an independent now, he's leading the effort to change the way primaries are conducted in Arizona to make them nonpartisan, so I think his credentials are pretty good as somebody not coming from a partisan point of view. We basically said if you're going to make an investigation, if you've got valid complaints, the proper way to do it, the way I tried to do it as attorney general and people all across the country follow this rule, is basically you get your facts together, you do it as quietly as possible so if in fact there's no problem, you don't ruin somebody's reputation along the way. And then if you find there's sufficient evidence, you bring a civil complaint or you go to a grand jury and get an indictment if it's a criminal matter. You don't start saying, a bunch of people have come to me and I think I'm going to investigate. Because what does that do? It makes it harder to find out the truth. It drives people -- they lawyer up, in the popular phraseology. And Frankly it means the investigation has a much harder time trying to find out what's going on.

Ted Simons: He's saying he filed a special action because he couldn't get the commission to cooperate.

Terry Goddard: I know that's what he says. I've read the articles. I know all the lawyers involved, so does Tom Horne. And these are reasonable people, they've been doing the best job they can, they're the top of their profession. They both have a lot of experience in this area. First thing you do, you don't go to court, you sit down and try to figure out, if there's truly an open meetings law problem, what was the genesis of it, and unfortunately he's made a point of going to court, but he never went and met with the lawyers for the commission and said, here's what I'm after, can you help me figure out what's going on? That would have been the first step, in my opinion, if you were going after an open meetings law problem. I did a lot of them as attorney general.

Ted Simons: We spoke with Mr. Horne last week, he said it's the A.G.'s job to find out if someone broke the law. Listen to what he had to say.

Terry Goddard: OK.

Tom Horne: We're trying to get at the facts. What I think is sad is that here's a former attorney general participating in a cover-up where he's tried to justify people not testifying, when I have the facts to show we have probable cause a crime has been committed.

Terry Goddard: He's going to a court to find out whether he does have the facts. Who's covering up anything? All I said was if you're going to do a serious investigation, and I stand by this, you don't start with the press, you start with the investigation. And then you find out what your facts are. He said in public when he made this announcement, I don't know what's going on, maybe there’s a problem, maybe not, but I'm going to investigate. Let's think about the situation here. You've got representatives of the majority party, the Republicans, in the house of representatives and the senate calling for the head of the various majority members of the independent redistricting commission. They obviously don't want any maps to be drawn. They've suddenly decided this actually might be -- this commission might do what they're charged by the voters of Arizona to do. They might come up with a truly impartial map and it might not be such a sweet deal for them as they got ten years ago. That's what they're fighting to protect. I don't know whether Tom Horne is siding with them or not. But his timing was suspicious, because right at the time that the legislative leadership was getting the most adamant, he jumped in and said, and I'm going to investigate.

Tom Horne: He's also saying he's trying to get folks on the commission to just simply answer some questions and cooperate with his investigation. And for you to say that they don't necessarily need to or what he's doing --

Terry Goddard: I didn't say that.

Ted Simons: From his perspective is what you're doing, and what democrats in general are doing, he sees that again as a cover-up. I want to you hear what he had to say. Second cut here.

Tom Horne: Just because you call it a skunk doesn't mean it is. I think they need to think a second time. If Terry Goddard thinks he can intimidate me into not examining the facts by attacking me, someone needs to tell him to think twice. I haven't reached a conclusion as to the results of the investigation, whether or not there was anything illegal, but I'm not going to let people stone wall me or cover up -- the people expect me to get to the fact and I'm going to do it.

Terry Goddard: There's a rule involved. If the law is on your side, you talk about the law. If the facts are on your side you talk about the facts. If neither one are on your side you use words like cover-up, stone wall, the kinds of terms he just used. I’m a private citizen. I'm not intimidating anybody. He has the grand jury power. But the bottom line here in context is, we've got a citizens commission, these are volunteers, they're not paid to do this, there's a judicial decision from 10 years ago that says they are in a sense the legislature. When proposition 206 was passed, it basically said that we want to have something, voters of Arizona said we want something beyond politics. We're sick of the way it's been done in the past. It's been a mess. We're going to put a group of people, two Republicans, two Democrats, one independent, put them in a room, give them the maps and have them come out with the most equal plan they can. It didn't work very well 10 years ago. And that plan ended up in court for the next eight years. And a lot of people were dissatisfied with it, but Mr. Horne and his party were not. It gave them the majority in both houses of the legislature and an overwhelming majority in our representatives in Congress, until very recently. I don't think anybody feels the last mapping job was fair. All we're doing is hoping this group comes up with a more bipartisan and fair alternative, and they don't even want them to try.

Ted Simons: So what should the attorney general do when he hears people, including commissioners tell him two Republican commissioner, one in particular, tell him that there was some sort of phone calls, bid rigging, if you will, as far as the map consideration was concerned. We've even got claims of shredded documents. But what do you do when you hear those things, and you say, I think I'm going to investigate. I want to get a response from the person who may have made those calls. I'm not going to respond. What should he have done?

Terry Goddard: He should have done from the beginning, what any knowledgeable prosecutor would do, is you take your investigators, you don't rattle Sabres out in public, you don't threaten people, as he did, but do you try to get the facts. If somebody stone walls you, you do have a court proceeding. I'm not saying he's wrong not to go to court, but I know initially he refused to tell people about the complaints. I read through 50 of them and there may be one or two that were citizens off the street who simply said to Mr. Horne, I think you ought to look that the because it doesn't look right. But I can tell you every one of the 50 I read identified them as -- identified themselves as Republican precinct committee men and they wanted -- they had a wild set of allegations against the commission. Mostly that they didn't want them to use the mapping firm they chose that has nothing to do with the open meetings law, but procurement and Frankly their wild and partisan accusations. Now, the open meetings law issues are frequent, against school boards, against councils, against other agencies of government. The maximum penalty I believe is $500. We're not talking about capital crimes. We're talking about an effort to do the public's business in public. I know this chairman has said that all the minutes of everything they've done could be made public. She's not making anything a secret.

Ted Simons: Last question, the democrats have filed a complaint against that one particular commissioner, I think he was Russell Pearce appointee, because they say he didn't include things on his application and so you're going back -- I mean -- .

Terry Goddard: It's all school children in the playground, for heaven's sakes. Let's let this group people -- bottom line, I don't think an 11th hour challenge with democrats should matter. I don't think Mr. Horne's statements should matter. Let's wait until they get a map and we can decide whether they're doing it fairly or not. But there are a lot of people in Arizona, most of them partisan Republicans who don't want to see that map because they're afraid that it will be fair. And they won't get as good a deal as they got for the last 10 years. I think it just boils down to that. Unfortunately weather that's Mr.-- whether that's Mr. Horne's motivation or not, he's certainly playing on that side of the fence. He’s given a lot of aid and comfort to the folks who say “impeach the chairman of the commission”.

Ted Simons: Last question, he said you're trying to intimidate him. He's pretty sure you're trying to intimidate him to keep him from doing this business.

Terry Goddard: I just think he should do his job, stay out of a lot of chest thumping as you just saw in that film clip, and if he's got reasonable belief that anybody on the commission has committed a crime, he has an obligation to go after them. But not to try it in the press.

Ted Simons: OK.

Terry Goddard: He's already got a court date in October. That's the appropriate time to make these claims.

Ted Simons: We need to stop it there. Good to see you.

Terry Goddard: Thank you, Ted. It's a pleasure to be here.

“Five Communities” Finalists

  |   Video
  • Dr. Lattie Coor, Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, discusses the 10 finalists in a competition to make Arizona a better place to live and work.
  • Dr. Lattie Coor - Chairman and CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona
Category: Community   |   Keywords: community, future, competition,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The five communities project is a competitive effort to strengthen Arizona on the local level. Communities were asked to submit ideas to move Arizona forward in terms of jobs, education, and other issues identified in the Gallup poll as important to Arizonans. The competition now has 10 finalists, here to tell us more is Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the center for the future of Arizona, which is sponsoring the contest. Good to have you here again.

Lattie Coor: Good to be here.

Ted Simons: Kind of a capsule to the five communities contest project. What are we talking about?

Lattie Coor: What we discovered in the Gallup, Arizona, poll is that Arizonans love this place and they think the strength of Arizona is in the communities. So in a sense it begged the question, how do communities act in a way that will advance the larger goals, goals you've just mentioned of education and job creation, and environment, well, we said let's ask the community -- ask people in communities all over the state if you could get funding, if we could help you get some national foundations to help fund what you're going to do, what would you propose to do? We thought we'd get maybe 30 or 40 proposals. 96. We got 96 from all over the state. So the process we're at now is having narrowed it to 33 semi finalists, all of them wonderful. They're just fascinating proposals. Keeping all of the rest of them still working on it, just because they were not chosen for the next level, we're saying, don't stop. Keep working on what you're doing, but now we're down to 10. And we're going to take these 10 to a national conference that we're cohosting next week, happily you're on one of the panels. Introduce these 10 programs to the people who are here, and then have them move to the final stage in which we will choose five. Once we have those five in hand, and again, we're going to encourage the others to keep working, we want to make sure we provided a $5,000 development grant to each of the 10 to make their proposals truly competitive on a national level. Before a national foundation. And we're going to try to introduce them to some of these people, get them ready, so that by November we will have the five and we then will work with them to get three years of funding at a level somewhere between 25 and 100,000 a year, per project over that period -- per year, to carry it out.

Ted Simons: As far as the 10 finalists, how are they chosen, chosen by whom, and what were the criteria?

Lattie Coor: We had a committee of 12 people. Eight of them from Arizona, four from national organizations, foundations. With a variety of experiences behind them. In fact, among the Arizonans, two or three who themselves are involved with foundations and make judgments about it. We did set a series of criteria that everyone had to respond to. Central to it of all is your idea transformational? Can you do it? Can you make it happen? If in fact you make it happen will your community ever be the same? Will it always be better for what you've done? And there were six questions originally that people had to answer. The committee reviewed them, evaluated them, met, chose the 33 semi finalists, we then got a feasibility assessment from them, what is your strategic plan, have you gotten other organizations involved, what will the grant you get enable you to do, will you raise other funds to do it? And the same commission, same committee made the choice there, and ultimately they will make the final choice.

Ted Simons: In other words, this is not an academic exercise, and you're not looking for theory and ideology, you're looking for change, realistic change.

Lattie Coor: On the ground, focused with -- and the way you'd like any project to be, but the actual test will be, have you done something. Has it been something that is important. That you go from success to significance in your own community.
Ted Simons: Give us an example. I notice there were three finalists on job creation, including the wine country getting that industry going, a couple focused on education and including girls in the Navajo reservation and three focused on the environment, Phoenix mountain preserves, give us --

Lattie Coor: And two or three focused on extending civil -- civic involvement in their own communities. The wine consortium is a very good example. Initially there were three. One from Verde valley, one from Cochise county, and one from Santa Cruz county. Two of them consolidated after they were selected as semi finalists, and what they're seeking to do is take advantage of this emerging industry, advertise it, make sure people know about it, and then get the entire community working toward bringing visitors, tourists, wine tastings, all of those kinds of things. In the Verde Valley alone, the industry generated $38 million last year. So it's a significant and interesting endeavor. The project on Navajo, it's a combination of the girl scouts and Arizona state University, and their stone studies program, their entrepreneurial program. And in projects they've been doing around the world, getting communities to come together and train their citizens, train their young people to be effective. This one targets girls on Navajo with special emphasis on math and science, stem education. So -- and entrepreneurship. So they can then begin entering the work force and even doing their own companies. On the environment, very interesting set. One locally here, desert botanical gardens, the Sonoran desert is one of the most recognizable in the world. We have a constellation of urban parks that treasure the desert, let's pull them all together, make sure we have a plan that not only uses them, but sustains them and most importantly makes it clear around the world this is somewhere to go. If when you to New York you go to Central Park or if you go to San Francisco -- San Diego you go to Balboa park, you come to Arizona, you go to south mountain park. It's to really get -- give it an attractiveness that will endure.

Ted Simons: The idea -- last question, about a minute left. How do you make sure that again, I know the effort is there to keep this from being an academic exercise or just a point and click kind of thing, how do you make sure this effort makes a difference?

Lattie Coor: If the proposal cannot show exactly what they're going to do, how they're going to do it, how they will use the money, I guarantee you this hard-nosed committee won't choose it. They will not choose them. The ideas -- we started with the ideas, but then we felt it was our role to move them through the process of making it real in terms of what they propose to do, and now it is making it real in terms of actually doing it. Proof will ultimately be in the pudding, but I think they've all positioned themselves to really get in there and make something happen.

Ted Simons: Sounds like a fascinating competition to watch. We'll keep abreast of that, and thank you so much for joining us.

Lattie Coor: My pleasure. Thank you.

Flu Shots

  |   Video
  • Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Will Humble talks about strategies to encourage people to get their flu shots.
  • Will Humble - Director, Arizona Department of Health Services
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: health, flu, shots,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Flu season is almost here. That means it's time to start thinking about flu shots. Here to talk about the state's effort to get Arizonans vaccinated is Will Humble, director of the Arizona department of health services. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.
Will Humble: Thanks.
Ted Simons: Different kind of focus this time around, instead of please get a shot, it's more like, do your duty and get a shot?
Will Humble: Yeah. I'm starting to talk about the influenza vaccine differently. Everybody knows it's a good idea to get the flu shot to protect yourself. But what I don't think people really truly realize is that the real community benefit for getting vaccinated is that we slow the spread in families and communities, and so to me it's really more about a social contract that you have with your community and with your family to get vaccinated. For those people reluctant to get vaccinated or think ‘I'm healthy enough, it's no big deal’, think about it differently and think about how it's important to protect the family members that you love and your community, because that's really the true value of getting vaccinated.
Ted Simons: Is this one of those things where even if you aren't sick, you could still spread the virus?
Will Humble: Right. You're a pretty healthy guy, you probably will never, at least if you get the flu this year you won't get super sick, but you might spread to it your family. Or somebody else in the community who has a vulnerable medical condition. So really it's important to get vaccinated, not just for yourself, but for your community.
Ted Simons: Talk about basically a herd effect.
Will Humble: Right. The idea is if you can get folks vaccinated, especially kids are and get them up -- if we can get 80% of our kids vaccinated we could adopt level of circulating virus this winter. Big-time. Not just a little, but a big drop.
Ted Simons: I think I read somewhere, 80% of kids vaccinated means like 90% of the cases adios.
Will Humble: Right. Because they're the amplifiers of the virus. Kids have amplifying the virus, but it's important for everybody to get vaccinated.
Ted Simons: Why not mandate these flu shots for these kids?
Will Humble: It's a good question. Really everything in public health is all about cost benefit. Really. If you ultimately look at the decisions we make, it's what's the benefit for the input. And when you look at the flu vaccine, if you were to make it a mandatory flu shot, you'd be putting the burden on school nurses to do that compliance check every year in the schools. They're already overburdened and it's a vaccine that happens every year. So we make where there's a lot of school requirements for MMR and other vaccines, but it's a school readiness vaccine that nurses check and have to check once. If you were to put that extra mile and ask them to do it for influenza, you wouldn't get the real payoff at the school.
Ted Simons: This is the yearly kind of a thing, so it would --
Will Humble: It would have to be over and over again. For me it's just not worth that extra benefit. We're trying to get people to do the right thing on their own without the mandate.
Ted Simons: How do you get people to do the right thing on their own when they're concerned that if they get a flu shot, they're going to get a bad reaction?
Will Humble: Well, the basic -- let me say it this way -- there are many options now that weren't available before. Most people when they talk about that reaction they're talking about the soreness from the needle. There's so many options now. There's the nasal spray, which is good for folks from 2-49 years old. So it's a nasal mist. There's no needle.
Ted Simons: What's with 49?
Will Humble: That's all he -- they did clinical trials up to 49.
Ted Simons: An odd number. OK.
Will Humble: There's a new microneedle, a ray technology which is almost like a Band-Aid, that you can put on your skin. That vaccine is available this year. That's approved as a whole different number, from 18-64. And then there's also a new vaccine for seniors which is four times as potent as the regular seasonal flu shot. And that's for folks 65 and up. That is a needle shot. So there's all these different combinations. If you're afraid of needles, then find the nasal mist.
Ted Simons: Not just that kind of reaction, but I know folks are also concerned with the idea that I never get the flu and I never get the flu shot, so why -- I'm just asking for trouble if I go there and get a shot.
Will Humble: You know, it's just -- if it happens, it's just a coincidence. I can say that on TV. Some people just won't believe it. Our message is really clear, the data is obviously clear, that that doesn't happen. There's no link between getting the vaccine and getting sick. You could take my word for it or not, but that's what the data shows.
Ted Simons: If you're healthy as a horse, you get the vaccine, you're a healthier horse.
Will Humble: And you're healthier for your community.
Ted Simons: For the other horses.
Will Humble: That's right.
Ted Simons: Last question, there's a lot, pharmacists can can now --
Will Humble: That's the reason you why see all these signs at the pharmacies. The state legislature has pass add couple of bills that have let pharmacists give vaccinations for the flu. And that drives more traffic into those stores, which is -- that's really their incentive for giving the shot. You get the flu shot at the pharmacy but buy stuff on the way out. Physicians have been for some time becoming less and less enthusiastic about giving out the flu shot because it's a lost leader for them. They lose money giving out flu vaccine, but pharmacies make money, and that's why you're seeing them pop up. Pharmacists can actually give the vaccine now and you don't even need a prescription.
Ted Simons: And they can give the vaccine now.
Will Humble: Yeah. You can hardly drive around the valley anywhere and not see flu shots available now.
Ted Simons: Good information. Thanks for joining us.
Will Humble: Take care.