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February 27, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona Centennial: Arizona’s Progressive Constitution

  |   Video
  • ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy Senior Fellow David Berman explains why Arizona has one of the most progressive state constitutions in the nation.
  • David Berman - Senior Fellow ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Category: Government   |   Keywords: progressive, state constitution, arizona,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: Tonight we focus on Arizona's centennial with a look at the state's constitution drafted in 1910. The Arizona Constitution was considered a progressive attempt to emphasize popular control over Representative democracy. Here to explain what went into the framing of Arizona's constitution is David Berman, senior research fellow for ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Good to have you here, thanks for joining us. One of the most progressive constitutions in the country. I think a lot of people would be surprised by that.

David Berman: I think so too. It was a product of the time. The progressive movement was really at its height, and the ideas were just floating around in the air, but they were very appropriate for Arizona. They came off a fairly difficult time in territorial times. There was a failure in Representative government, it wasn't working. They were looking for solutions.

Ted Simons: Well, what were they aiming for, and what were they reacting against?

David Berman: I think they were reacting against corporate control of the legislature, territorial legislature, primarily. The feel was the legislature wasn't performing in the interests of the people, it was performing in the interests of the dominant corporations, the large corporations that had recently emerged. We're talking about big four, the two railroads, the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe, and two giant copper companies, the united verde and Phelps Dodge. Between them they pretty much had their say. The government was more responsive to them than, say, to the average person. They were responding to that. But there was a general belief that the people should rule, damn it. Who else should rule? Why not? Is this a bad idea? They thought the initiative, referendum and recall would be a perfect way to do that. Initially allow them to just make their own laws and not worry about the corrupt legislature, just do it. The referendum would give them an opportunity to protest what the legislature had done and force them to go before the voters and stand whether they wanted them or not. The recall could get them out of office before they do any more damage as soon as possible.

Ted Simons: Especially the initiative and referendum process. How was that developed? I mean were other states looked at was something in history considered?

David Berman: You can go back to the Swiss on the initiative. You can go back to a number of reform movements. It first became popular in Arizona with the populists the O’neil fame back in the 1890’s as part of the populist movement as it sorted blended into the progressive movement. They were at that time complaining about pretty much the same thing that, corporate control -- they were more concerned about the railroads than just about anyone. But it had that Genesis in Arizona. It was designed to -- with certain assumptions that the people were really able to do that sort of thing. And that it was sort of a gun behind the door. If you don't pass this legislation, we'll do it ourselves. It was a way of getting around a legislature that wasn't responding.

Ted Simons: How unique it was and is, that much referendum and initiative?

David Berman: In Arizona, there were -- and the west, I should say, this was fairly common. It was something the old eastern governments didn't do in New York and all these places really lagged on the initiative, referendum and recall. Oregon became the very strong state in pioneering the use of the methods. Arizona came maybe second or third among the western states. We were in the -- we were a territory much longer than any other territory. In part because they thought we were sort of wild, and we would do things like this. You know, they weren't going to give us statehood after they gave to it Kansas and all the populists took over Kansas you know too many nuts out there already in congress we can’t let more come in from Arizona. There was a frustration with territorial government that built up. The corporations didn't want us to become a state necessarily, because they were having a field day out here. So that they would -- they thought keeping us a territory was in their interests. There was a lot of resentment going up. In Arizona you had a growing labor movement, and you had women who wanted the vote. And you had people who wanted prohibition who could never get anything through the legislature. They all sort of got together and said, let's push this initiative. The initiative was what they were after, although the recall was very important to labor, too, because they were having judges who were issuing injunctions against unions trying to organize. They couldn't get rid of the injunctions, but they could get rid of the damn judges if they had the recall.

Ted Simons: That was something at play with President Taft, as far as granting Arizona statehood. He basically said, you can't be recalling judges. Arizona said okay, and then we go to be a state nine months later, we did what we wanted to do anyway.

David Berman: We put that provision right back in the constitution, after having taken it out about a year earlier. But the recall was never really -- it was important to Taft and important to labor, because they wanted it. But the issue, nobody really thought there were going to be a lot of recalls. One of the things the framers did, too, is instituted two-year terms, so you were electing and reelecting people constantly. When would you have time for a recall in there? It wasn't going to be that often. And Governor George Hunt, who was president of the constitutional convention, said we're not going use the recall. It's only going to be used against the most grievous injustice. Oddly enough, he was the first one the recall targeted against. But he played it down. Most people played it down. Taft stood on principle because he felt the courts really should be protected. They have to be. He didn't like the idea that the judges were being elected, either.

Ted Simons: Last question: What should Arizona be most proud of regarding our constitution?

David Berman: I think they should be proud of the direct democracy. That was an important innovation and something we pushed. There have been some problems. I think it also had provisions in there that were very progressive, and this notion of equal rights for all, special privileges for none, they banned a lot of things. And also they have created a corporation commission which had a mission in the economy. So they were sort of a forward-thinking progressive thinkers at that time. They put their document together. It's not been altogether honored, but it has been I think a significant contribution in political theory and application.

Ted Simons: Great information. Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

David Berman: Well, I enjoyed it.

Ted Simons: Thank you.

AZ Presidential Preference Election

  |   Video
  • Political consultant Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting Group explains the process and purpose of Arizona’s presidential primary election.
  • Stan Barnes - Copper State Consulting Group
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: Presidential Preference Election, process, purpose,

View Transcript
Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. Another state lawmaker has been accused of domestic violence. Representative Daniel Patterson of Tucson is accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend, who is also Patterson's campaign manager. The woman filed an order of protection against Patterson. The state Democratic Party and several other Democratic lawmakers have called for Patterson to resign. A new poll shows Mitt Romney increasing his lead over Rick Santorum in Arizona. The survey shows Romney at 43% with Santorum at 26%. The poll was conducted yesterday by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm. Indeed, Arizona's Republican presidential preference election does take place tomorrow. Here now to talk about how it all works is Stan Barnes from Copper State Consulting, a political consulting agency. Always good to see you, thanks for joining us. Why is this a political preference election and not just a good old Arizona primary? Is it all verbiage? Is it nomenclature? What’s going on?

Stan Barnes: I think it's a little legalese and I think it’s also an important nuance. We, Arizona, are not choosing the primary winner for the Republican Party. We're one part of a bunch of different states voting. I think the way you get there legally is to call it a preference rather than just a simple primary. In any regard, it came about the first time in 1996. I know that because when I was a state senator I sponsored the bill to get it done, one of the best things I ever did.

Ted Simons: Why did you do that? What was the goal?

Stan Barnes: The goal at the time was to make Arizona relevant in the presidential sweepstakes. At the moment, back in the mid 90’s, we watched Iowa and watched New Hampshire get all of this love and attention and more than that set the agenda for policy kickoff. We wanted to be the New Hampshire of the west, that's how we thought of it back in the day. I remember Governor Symington at the time invoking the Governor of New Hampshire to send his troops to Arizona if we landed on their same day. New Hampshire was so mad about us choosing an early day, I learned quickly New Hampshire will always go earlier than Arizona. We finally surrendered and picked a day in February.

Ted Simons: This is always the same day, correct?

Stan Barnes: No, it's not always the same day. The Governor can select a date. If the Governor does not select a date, it falls on a day in law.

Ted Simons: I think it's the fourth Tuesday in February.

Stan Barnes: But the Governor can choose to make it earlier. And she almost did this year for the same reason, wanted to be relevant and all that. But through negotiations that I was not a part of she decided to keep it where it is.

Ted Simons: Is there a Democratic vote tomorrow?

Stan Barnes: No, there is not a Democratic vote.

Ted Simons: So when there is an incumbent president you don't have to have a vote, there is no sort of process you have to go through. It is to get a candidate on?

Stan Barnes: Right. That was part of the gripe of passing the bill in the first place so many years ago. It always benefits one party generally. And in this case the Republicans are the ones benefiting. Taxpayers are paying for this. But that's part of the cost of democracy, I guess.

Ted Simons: I believe there are a couple dozen people on the ballot technically? How do you get on the ballot?

Stan Barnes: I actually don't know the direct answer but I want to find out. Every four years I see that, how did a guy named Dick Perry get on there, not Rick Perry? You know it might be fun to be on the ballot but when I voted mine by mail, I saw them there. You have to dig through to find your candidate.

Ted Simons: The legislature is looking at a way to make it a little more problematic, at least gather some signatures to get your name on.

Stan Barnes: And how can somebody not qualify? Seems like every so often an important person does. And if Dick Perry can get on why not Rick Perry?

Ted Simons: Who can vote tomorrow?

Stan Barnes: Any registered Republican -- let me think this through. It's a pop question for me.

Ted Simons: You have to be a Republican, correct?

Stan Barnes: Yes. I get that sometimes confused with the rest of our elections system. In the presidential preference primary, independents don't get to vote, which they do in other primaries. This is a Republican-only affair, correct. I’m glad you pointed that out.

Ted Simons: So open primary provisions and independents, you're out of luck.
Stan Barnes: You’re out of luck because this is the Republican Party nominating for a presidency. 5
Ted Simons: Write-in candidates not allowed correct?
Stan Barnes: I think they are allowed, but it simply won't matter.

Ted Simons: And no recounts. I mean it's a done deal. The process is over and it’s a done deal.

Stan Barnes: Yeah, it's a done deal. Arizona is getting what it wants out of it. In other words, I think the idea of Arizona going earlier in the system has benefited us, looking over the three or four elections we've had since the bill passed in 1996. In other words, candidates are looking at Arizona now and we're getting to be a bigger state and starting to be more relevant in this most important decision. I'm glad we're doing it.

Ted Simons: It sounds as though that debate in Mesa last week really helped Romney, at least here in Arizona. He's got now a sizeable lead. It's pretty much his, isn't it?

Stan Barnes: We thought for a moment that Santorum might be surging in Arizona. Newt has folks here, but he decided not to play in Arizona, really. Santorum barely did. This is Mitt Romney territory, it’s got to be If Mitt Romney for some weird reason loses Arizona, he's in big trouble. Michigan is all about him tomorrow because they have the same day as we do. If he loses Michigan, it’s his place of birth, it’s a big deal.

Ted Simons: Shouldn't he win with some bit of a margin?

Stan Barnes: He should. If he doesn't, it'll be said it's still game on with he and Santorum. If he loses, for some reason to Santorum, the whole applecart get turned over and the Republicans will be lost.

Ted Simons: Last question before we let you go. Obviously Romney has a big lead now we just talked about the recent poll. The Governor endorses Romney, John Huppenthal endorses Santorum. A bunch of other folks were in line earlier behind Romney. Do these endorsements mean all that much, especially when you got a bit of a lopsided race?

Stan Barnes: My own opinion is I don't think they mean a lot to the electorate. In the inside game of political figures that know and interact with one another, I think they mean a great deal. I think it’s very important to Mitt Romney that the governor of Arizona endorses him. Will it mean a lot of change in the vote? Maybe not, because my experience is voters are pretty independent about that sort of thing. But Romney wanted to know that Governor Brewer was with him. I think it's a calculation on the governor's part that Mitt Romney is not only the guy she likes but the guy likely to win. If her friend is in the big chair in the oval office next year at this time, it'll be an important thing for Arizona.

Ted Simons: Good to see you, Stan, thanks for being with us.

Legislative Budget

  |   Video
  • Republican Representative John Kavanagh, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; and Democratic Representative Chad Campbell, the House Minority Leader; debate the merits of the legislature’s budget plan for next fiscal year.
  • John Kavanagh - Republican Representative - Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Chad Campbell - Democratic Representative - House Minority Leader
Category: Legislature   |   Keywords: budget, education, suspension,

View Transcript
Republican state lawmakers released their budget last week, and Governor Jan Brewer was not amused with legislative spending priorities. So much so, she suspended budget negotiations. Here to discuss the legislative budget is John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Democratic Representative Chad Campbell, who serves as House Minority Leader. Welcome to both of you. Why is this proposal good for Arizona?

John Kavanagh: First of all, let me make one thing clear. The budget we passed out of the appropriations committee is still a work in progress. This was not meant to be the final budget. We're looking for input from the public, from our Democrat colleagues, and most importantly from the governor. So what eventually passes will be different from what we passed out, but hopefully not too different. We think this is a very responsible start.

Ted Simons: Why?

John Kavanagh: Because two years ago we had a $3 billion budget deficit. It was very painful to get out of that deficit. We still have $3 billion in debt we have to pay off that we took on to avoid even deeper cuts than we made. We have a big revenue cliff coming down the road. In '14 we lose the temporary sales tax. In '15 we will be hit with about $450-$500 million dollars worth of Obama care mandates. We can’t spend too much because we have to put money aside so when those cliffs come they will just be curbs that we step over, as opposed to having a repeat of what happened two years ago.

Ted Simons: Why is this work in progress not good for Arizona?

Chad Campbell: Well, for many reasons. I agree with John that we’re going to have a revenue cliff in the next couple of years, there's no doubt about that. But the GOP budget doesn't spend any money at all on the important things that we've cut in recent years, most notably our schools. The governor’s budget does put some money back into the schools. The GOP budget actually reduces money into our schools, which is just unconscionable to me at this point, based on cuts over the past couple of years. The Governor's budget spends too much money in some areas that we shouldn't be spending money. I think the GOP budget doesn't spend enough money. I think we need to find a more common sense based solution that looks at long-term solutions and also short-term needs. And that’s what you’ll see from some of the house democrats later this week.

John Kavanagh: We've committed to fully funding any increases in population in AHCCCHS and corrections and schools. From there we've made few increases. Chad is right, for the most part we're staying away from increases because we don't think they are warranted with the extreme problem we have with the big cliffs in the next year or two.

Ted Simons: What about this idea that we've got the federal health care on the way, the one-cent sales tax at least in its present form will go away. And we’ve got all sorts of tax cuts and tax breaks taking effect in FY 15, I believe. We even got some lawmakers, including the, I believe the senate appropriations chair, talking about a double dip recession he's trying to prepare for, as well. Is it not wise to prepare to this?

Chad Campbell: It is. We released earlier this week that we're setting aside money, well in our budget, probably somewhere between what the Republicans and the Governor have offered. But I think the most bothersome part of this and the greater conversation we're not talking about is a long-term plan for the State. We can talk about the fact that the sales tax is going to expire soon, which is one of the reasons many of us voted it was a horrible move. We can talk about the fact that we're going to face a revenue cliff, but we're not doing anything about that. We need to fix our taxes and economic outlook so we can fund our schools and maintain our roads and bridges and keep cops on the street. We're not doing that right now and not having that conversation either from the governor or the GOP leadership.

John Kavanagh: I've waited for five years to see a Democratic budget so I’m very excited.

Chad Campbell: No, that's not true, we offered a budget two years ago.

John Kavanagh: Are you going to give us the usual talking points or will you have a line item budget that shows a balance at the end?

Chad Campbell: We will have a budget for you. We’re taking probably what you guys did take the GLDC baseline and add what we say is the surplus right now, and how it should be spent and in a lot of cases how it should be saved. I do agree with John, we have to make sure we're saving for the long-term outlook in the state but we also have to be investing in the things that matter. We have to invest in educating our kids and money for health care and all the other things we need to do.

Ed Simons: The Governor saw your plan and basically called it reckless and short-sighted. And then we saw a suspension as far as budget negotiations are concerned.You've got your disconnects and you’ve got your disconnects. This sounds like a disconnect here.

John Kavanagh: Number one, this was never meant to be the final budget, it was a starting point for negotiations with the governor and other inputs. It's unfair for her to characterize this as the budget that we want to pass. We don't want to pass this. We want to work with her and get public input and work with the Democrats to get a reasonable budget.

Ted Simons: We've got school construction zeroed out, we’ve got soft capped school spending zeroed out, third grade remedial reading education zeroed out, community colleges zippo, for university zippo; everything I just mentioned, the Governor has some money set aside for those educational goals. Zero out on all of those?

John Kavanagh: Again, a starting point. But there's not much room for us to move because, again, a $650 million deficit we're facing using our reasonable revenue projections, and with our limited spending. We get over it by putting aside $450 million for the '14-'15 cliffs. If you don't have that money in the bank and, God forbid, you do get a second recession, which I’m hoping isn’t going to happen but look at Greece, look at Europe, $6 gasoline. A lot of things could trigger a repeat of the 2008 meltdown in this state.

Chad Campbell: I just want to say something though. That $650 million dollar projected deficit and some of the other projected deficits are a direct result of bad fiscal policies by this governor and by this GOP lead majority party. We looked at the sales tax increase, the temporary extension, we said that was bad fiscal policy. The republicans passed a massive corporate tax bill last year. It's going to cost the state $540 million and not do anything to create jobs. That is the problem we have in the state, not just a one-year budget problem. It's a lack of a long-term fiscal plan and a long-term plan of what we want the state to become. We have not seen leadership from the Governor or from the Republicans in the legislature.

John Kavanagh: Those tax cuts were phased in ’15, ’16, ’17. They phased in small, not a problem. We got by the sales tax going away easily with our budget. Obama care is a bigger problem, but we can solve all of those things if we stay fiscally responsible and don't open up the spending spigots again.

Ted Simons: Ok, but my question would be, if it is okay for the tax cuts to go ahead? If you see the openings for these in '15, '16, '17, doesn't sound like you're preparing for a double dip recession or a health care reform fallout?

John Kavanagh: The big problem is in 2015. The tax cuts are minimal, minimal compared to the $465 million Obama care mandate we have to face that’s the killer.

Chad Campbell: The corporate taxes will cost the state over $500 million. That's a lot of money taken away from schools and health care for kids. Kids care, we're the only state in the country not to reinstate kids care. That would only cost us $30 million dollars. Yet we're going to give $540 million in large mainly out-of-state tax cuts. That's not proper fiscal management in the state, and not what we need to be doing to get the state back on track.

John Kavanagh: That's the end of the decade. Let's talk the '13-'14 budget. We're facing the cliffs in '14-'15. If we spend much more than what we've proposed, and don't put money away, this state will be back in the 2008 budget meltdown.

Chad Campbell: This is the problem; we have to look past just next year and the year after that. We have to start thinking about 10 years down the road. That's why we're where we're at in Arizona right now.

Ted Simons: Gentlemen, good discussion. Thanks for joining us.