Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 3, 2005


Host: Cary Pfeffer

First Thursday: The Governor on HORIZON


  • Governor Napolitano stops in to discuss her plan to visit the border next week as well as other topics.


View Transcript
>> Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon," governor Janet Napolitano does some border hopping Wednesday, and she will tell us about that. Speaking of the border, the Governor has ordered that state contractors make sure that the people they hire are legal. Plus, a sneak peek at GUV TV, a musical satire that skewers our current governor, as well as those from the past. That's next on Horizon.

>> Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by the friends of Channel 8. Members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Good evening, I'm Cary Pfeffer in for Michael Grant. Welcome to First Thursday, the governor on Horizon. Once a month the governor appears on Horizon to talk about issues affecting our state. One of the top issues, of course, is immigration. Yesterday the governor toured the border stopping at Douglas, Nogales, Sells, Yuma, and San Luis. Here to talk about that trip and other issues is Arizona governor Janet Napolitano.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Good evening.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Thanks for being here. Because the border trip is fresh on your mind, let's talk a bit about that. There's not certainly, a week that goes by and probably not a day that goes by for you where, where there aren't border?related issues that come up for the office ?? that come up for the office. Talk about the specific goal you were hoping to accomplish with this sort of whirlwind tour.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Several things. One is I wanted to follow?up and meet with sheriffs and local law enforcement leaders, mayors, police chiefs in the border communities to, to see what the current status was, how they had applied the money that we made available to the declaration of emergency and what more they need. So, that was one purpose. The second purpose was to take four members of the legislative leadership, two from the house and the senate to the border so that as we prepare for the next session, and I'm prepared to ask for some substantial resources to be deployed to the border, they have an understanding of the context about, in which those resources will be used, and then, you know, finally, it's just ?? I think that its always important to get out and about Arizona and talk to people where they live and what they are seeing and feeling. One of the more striking presentations was made by a woman who own as ranch about five miles east of Douglas. Family has been there for decades. Ranching and just the environmental degradation caused by, by the sharp increase in legal immigration. We heard good things. I mean, we heard that, for example, in the Tucson sector apprehensions are substantially down, meaning that, that not as many people are crossing. The crime rate in Douglas is less than half what it was, so some good things are happening out there, but we also heard that there is an increase in gang violence, and that the human smuggling organizations are a lot more violent and a lot more organized than they have been in the past. They are actually becoming very similar to the big narcotics traffic organization, so we want to get in on that on the law enforcement side.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
On the good news' side, what do you think they attribute, for example, the idea that there are fewer crossings and, perhaps, seeing that reduction in traffic in the Tucson sector. Anything?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I think it's a combination, but I do think that we are now beginning to see more federal resources deployed to the border. We're not near where we need to be. We're not near where we have been promised to be, but we're actually seeing some more, more manpower, equipment, technology, and so forth down there. That's a deterrent to illegal immigrant trafficking, so I think that has to be a part of it.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
On the downside, when you are talking with Sheriffs, when you are talking with people who are dealing with this stuff on a regular basis, what are they able to tell you about, about the dollars and cents kinds of issues? Obviously, they appreciate the fact that there may be extra dollars coming their way, but sort of where are they on that question?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Well, they could always use more, but really, the, the ?? they would like to have a greater physical presence in the border communities, and that means they need more officers and, and more officers who can be paid overtime, so if the state can help with those ?? those border communities, those are sparsely populated communities, with not the largest tax bases in the world. So, if the state can step in and help them with that, that also enables them to better protect the citizenry of their own communities, and also, we can, we can partner up with the department of public safety, and we're going to be looking at asking for more resources for DPS, so those can also be deployed at the border.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
What's the legal status on that? It seems like there is, at times, been debate about how much DPS ends up playing a border, a border role ??

>> Governor Napolitano:
Well, you know, I feel as someone who has been a federal u.s. attorney and a state attorney general and been in the law enforcement world for, for many years, I think it's very important that, that state law enforcement do what state law enforcement is supposed to do, which is to protect the people in its communities from crimes. Property crimes, violent crimes, what have you. A lot of those crimes are associated with illegal immigration traffic, so we need the border patrol to have a heavy presence, to slow the illegal immigrant traffic, and we need to give local law enforcement more resources to deal with, with the kind of corollary state crimes.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
But then the DPS, how do they fit in between there?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Well, they can do, you know, they can do drug intervention, they can do stops, for example. We have now trained about, about 60 DPS officers. They will be ?? they will, actually, be manning the southbound lanes going through the port looking for stolen cars. Which augments illegal immigration traffic, so what I am trying to do is say look, this, this illegal immigration issue is, is a serious law enforcement problem, and, and our border needs to be safe and secure, and our citizenry along the border are entitled to feel safe and secure. We need to be pragmatic, realistic, focus on the law enforcement, and then Washington DC needs to get at the business of immigration reform.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And for, for people who aren't necessarily paying attention to, to everything that's happening on that part of the equation, what kind of an update can you give ?? can you provide there? Because people, people always understand that, that the federal government has a role to play here, and obviously, you have a pretty strong opinion about that, but, but talk about, about what, what kind of progress you feel like is being made.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Well, the federal government has more than a role, and until recently, you will never have heard a governor talking about immigration law enforcement. It was held to be exclusively federal, and in fact, federal law enforcement told state and local law officers, you know, keep out ?? you do your thing and we'll do ours. Obviously, we can't have that situation in Arizona any more because the problem has become too severe and the federal resources haven't been put here. The federal government is primarily responsible for homeland security for the safety of the border. We're trying to augment that. But the federal government is the only level of government that can address immigration reform. Guest worker programs, for example, which are sorely needed in our state.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And is your sense that there's going to be more, more dollars flowing as far as --

>> Governor Napolitano:
Yeah, I think so. I have had some good conversations with Secretary Chertoff, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. I think they're refocused. They were pretty much, you know, uni?dimensional on Katrina for awhile, for obvious reasons, but we are now beginning to refocus on the border. I think there are more resources that being deployed here. I am going to continue to advocate that Arizona needs more. We've been short?changed for a decade, and Arizonans have had to pay an undue price for that.

>> Cary Pfeffer: Speaking of a side issue to exactly what you are talking about, you asked that state contractors make sure that they are not hiring illegals, and it seems like while that might be easier ?? that may be one of those easier said than done, because you are talking about contractors, and then subcontractors, and sometimes, you know, third parties that are involved.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Talk about approaching that problem and, and maybe an update on, on what, what kind of success you feel like it is having.


>> Governor Napolitano:
What I did was issued an executive order that all vendors for state contracts certify their employees are here legally, and they can actually ?? there's actually a free toll?free number that they can call that's offered by the federal government to check on people's status, and so it's not anything other than saying, if you are getting state tax dollars for a contract, you have got to comply with federal law. That's all we are saying, and I think it's an important thing to say because this is a supply issue, but the supply issue of the illegal immigration is fed by the demand on our side in the border for the workers. So, we put that in place, and then that directed each of our agency directors to put in place kind of a random audit procedure in their contracts to go in and check to make sure that their vendors have done what we have asked.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And people might be surprised that there had not been any sort of official proclamation along those lines previously?

>> Governor Napolitano:
There hadn't, and, and when I appreciated that, I said let's do an executive order. Let's get it going. And, and that, that work is underway now.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Ok. On, on Halloween earlier this week, there was a scary court hearing where, where there was the possibility ?? [laughter]
Where there was the possibility of top state officials being thrown in jail. Were you getting fitted--outfitted, perhaps?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Oh, well, people have had a lot of fun with that, but the underlying problem is a serious one, and that is that the stalemate between myself and the legislature on how to fund instruction for English language learners ?? I believe the bill the legislature sent me did not meet the court requirements. They believe it did. What I hope the federal judge does, after he's done being frustrated with us, and he can be frustrated with us, but he needs to understand the context in which this occurs, which is my desire to make sure that, that both the letter and the intent behind his prior ruling was adhered to. Now, once we are through with that, I think what we would appreciate from the federal judge is some guidance on what he thinks needs to happen in order to comply with federal law.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And in trying to move the parties along, there has been discussion, I mean, beyond the throwing of people in jail, there has been discussion about withholding federal highway dollars or doing something as a major hammer over everybody involved?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right, and, and I hate to see it come to that. I was hopeful that when I vetoed the bill last spring, that over the summer, legislative leadership and I could get together, hammer out a compromise, and pass in a special session and not have to resort to the judiciary to fix our problems. The legislative leadership were unwilling to do that, and I think basically felt, you know, if the judge doesn't think that we obey the law, let him tell us that, not you, governor. So, now we need the federal judge to act.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And we're talking about, about a matter of teaching what, 160,000 estimated students, I think, something like that?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Yes, something like that. It's a large number, and realize that these are almost all children who are here legally. These are not illegal immigrant children, which kind of gets mixed up in the public debate about the earlier thing we talked about.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Right.

>> Governor Napolitano:
But we have a lot of people who moved here from other countries, and the language spoken at home is not English. We have to teach these kids to read, write, and speak English because we need to have an English speaking?speaking workforce at the end of the education system, so it's very important that we have the ability to do that, do it well, and do it early.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And it seems like you are getting a buy in from the business community and others who maybe didn't necessarily always earlier understand the role that, ?? the role that they played and the benefits that they would necessarily have?

>> Governor Napolitano:
That's right, I think the business community understands this all goes into an overall process, or what we're trying to do is to increase our education standards so that we have the kind of workforce that will enable us to create and sustain and retain a really high?wage job, and you have got to have an English?speaking workforce in this country to do that. So, I'm asking the legislature for the proper funding to get that done for the English language learners. We disagree on the amount. We disagree on the process. It's in the federal court's hands.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Earlier this week the President outlined his plan for bird flu and answering the ?? that possible pandemic situation. You are part of a leadership group that is designed to sort of speak for the states. Talk a bit about that and also I want to, to just kind of talk about this issue because I think that its still one that raises a lot of questions for people.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Yeah. We've been, well, first of all, I think the media has, to some degree, scared people. Not unnecessarily. We need to be prepared.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Right.

>> Governor Napolitano:
But there's not going to be a pandemic flu this year, or likely next year. It's, it's something that likely is going to happen at some point in the future, and it may not be the bird flu or the avian flu they are talking about now, it may be another flu.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
It's not an if, but it's a when.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Exactly. We have gotten tons of calls. They run these special reports on television, and people are concerned and call our office, what's going on. We have a flu plan in place. We're also looking at adding to it. One idea that we are looking at is having a real thorough statewide initiative to immunize people for pneumonia. Why? Because, because when people get sick from the flu, they get secondary infections, the most common ones being pneumonia. It's the pneumonia that can kill people, too. So, we're looking at things like that, as well, to help better prepare Arizona. Myself and the governor of Minnesota have been asked to co?chair the taskforce of all the governors of the country to make sure that the states up to date on their flu preparations, that they are tied in closely to the CDC, and that they are getting the resources that they need from the federal government. I was pleased to see President Bush's plan in that regard, in that the best practices and best medicine ideas are being communicated clearly and quickly.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
I don't know if there's a connection here, but it seems like a place like Arizona, especially the warm weather sections of our state, would be less likely to be greatly affected by that, as opposed to I'm thinking, you know, the Northeast where people are shut in or, or over the winter, when it's flu season.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Are we ?? do we possibly ?? might we possibly be in better shape because of where we are? The warm weather?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Oh, I don't think we can rely on that, no. I think this is, this is a true ?? a true flu virus that's going human?to?human, is not weather dependent, and when you look at the history of pandemics, they have not been limited by climate. In fact, I think interestingly enough, the governor of Minnesota, who is a republican, was selected, and I'm a democrat from a southern border state, and I think there was sensitivity to border issues with legal immigration and other things coming in, agriculture, animal products, and so forth, coming into the ports at the borders.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
You spoke to the house homeland security committee earlier this month.

>> Governor Napolitano:
I did.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Concerns about, speaking of dollars, concerns about, about reductions in spending there and, and dollars that are, that are making their way or not making their way in our direction?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right. You know, I, I make no bones about it. I think that the United States appropriations process, if congressional, is broken, and it doesn't have a way of setting clear priorities and funding priorities, and that's why, why you end up with record deficits. Somehow you manage to pay for this multi?$100 million bridge to nowhere in Alaska to a place where 50 people live, and it actually would be cheaper to buy each of them a Learjet than to build a bridge, but you can't fund homeland security. Arizona's homeland security funding has been cut 35\% in the last year and a half. I mean, our, our homeland security issues, which, a lot of which are border related, haven't been reduced 35\%. You can't fix the levies or do all these other things. I testified in the homeland security committee about those funding issues, and the importance of, of making sure that in our reaction to Katrina, that we don't cut emergency preparedness in other areas.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
While that gives me an opportunity to speak your peace, do you have a sense you are throwing a pebble into the ocean? [laughter]

>> Governor Napolitano:
Maybe I'll get some ripples. [laughter]

>> Cary Pfeffer:
It does seem like, as you mentioned, the appropriation process is far from perfect ??

>> Governor Napolitano:
It's the worst I have ever seen. It's the worst I have ever seen, and I really do believe that congress, you know, which is having all these oversight hearings on Katrina for the executive branch, really needs to look at itself in a, in a new way and say wait a minute, we were making these funding decisions all these years. We have some accountability here, as well. I haven't heard that yet. Not surprisingly.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Not surprisingly. All right. You are interested ?? you talked to access about the idea of expanding the copper card, the prescription card available in our state. Talk a bit about that and also, also the fact that people may be confused given the fact that there are other changes in overall health care and prescriptions on the federal level and all of that sort of thing. It creates a lot of chatter out there.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Let me be real clear ?? we started the Copper Card, description discount card for all Medicare?eligible Arizonans. No enrollment fee. The card continues. Now we have the overlay of the federal Medicare bill, and people are being asked to choose a plan under Medicare bill. That should not be confused with the Copper Card. They always have the Copper Card, but they have to make an independent judgment under Medicare on what best meets their medical needs. But, the Copper Card, like I said, was restricted to Medicare?eligible Arizonans. We are now, now putting out for bid, basically, opening it up to all Arizonans so that all Arizonans who have, have to buy prescription medication, if they have a Copper Card, would be entitled to a discount.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And if that were to move forward, what timetable would we be talking about?

>> Governor Napolitano:
Sometime in early 2006.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Ok.
>> Governor Napolitano:
So we're moving as rapidly as possible.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Last question ?? when you head into a new job, you can't know everything about it.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Isn't that the truth? [laughter]

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Speaking of the obvious here. You have been at this for a bit. What has surprised you the most about being governor and having those responsibilities?

>> Governor Napolitano:
You know, the variety of the work is, is unceasing, and the amount of work is unceasing. I think I am still learning how to work with the legislature, particularly one that sometimes, you know, they don't want to meet. They don't want to, whatever, and, you know, we have got to keep working together to move this state forward, and I am going to, as we look forward to a new session, we had some bad feelings at the end of last month. I am going to do my best to say, you know what, guys, let's put that aside. We are grownups and we have got to move ahead.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
All right, we'll see what happens.

>> Governor Napolitano:
We'll see what happens.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
Thank you very much. Well, you like some good political satire? If so, you will want to see the musical GUV-TV, a third in a series poking fun at the state's politicians and issues. Imagine that. It's playing at the Theater 4301 in downtown Scottsdale. The production is set in a day and a life of a small TV station.

>> Sit back, relax, and keep your mouth shut. You got that? And enjoy the show.

>> Philip Taylor:
One of the reasons why GUV TV is so popular is that Saturday Night Live, for instance, or The Daily Show, you get a chance to make fun of the national leaders, but the safety valve on the local level isn't really there. You don't get an Arizona version of Saturday Night Live, for instance, and so by taking pot shots at local politician and personalities, I think the public really enjoy that.

>> Announcer:
Jay Fife Simington III ?? [laughter]

>> Character of Jay Fife Simington III:
Thank you. Hello again and welcome to cooking the books ??

>> Larry Lemmons:
GUV TV is taking those shots from the Scottsdale center of the performing arts. It's the third of the GUV satires that cast a sharp and witty glimpse at Arizona politics. The format this time is different.

>> Character of Maria Rodriquez:
Howdy Arizona. This is your morning news.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
I'm Patrick Smith.

>> Character of Maria Rodriquez:
And I'm Maria Rodriguez. [laughter] Today's top story.

>> Philip Taylor:
Ben and I wanted to do a completely different take on the GUV tradition, as it were, and we kicked around with several ideas and came up with the old wonderful one of my favorites, SE-TV, which is the day in the life of a small, inept, local television station, and that's why we came up with GUV-TV, because within the format of, of a TV station, we, we make fun of the local news channels.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
So, Chad, what's the weather?

>> Character of Chad:
Hot.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
And for tomorrow?

>> Character of Chad:
Extremely hot.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
And the day after tomorrow?

>> Character of Chad:
Asbestos underwear will be mandatory.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Arizona governors are remembered for the music of the times.

>> Ben Tyler:
I look at that opening section as Arizona's version of schoolhouse rock. We had to find a way to make all this historical information entertaining, and we wanted to do it with music. So, the notion came up that we would do it by the decade, as far as the music.

>> Ben Tyler:
We had six actors, three men, three women. How many off the top of your head would you guess? How many different characters?

>> Philip Taylor:
I would say each actor plays a minimum of maybe 15 to 20 different parts.

>> Character of Governor Napalovito:
Like my old wrestling coach used to tell me back in high school, old dog, she'd say, there is no "I" in the word "team." that is what we need to remember. We need to be a team! We need to work together! Let me just get my strap on.

>> Philip Taylor:
Obviously, the most major part is Kathie, who plays governor Napolitano.

>> Character of Governor Napalovito:
One, and two, and away we go. There ain't no I in team. There ain't no G in love.

>> Ben Tyler:
One of the hardest people, I think, to lampoon in this show has been governor Janet Napolitano because she's so well liked, and I think that this is just my personal opinion, I think she's been a darn good governor, especially when you have the other governors to compare her to. So, she was the toughest one, I think, to come up that we could skewer her about.

>> Larry Lemmons:
GUV-TV tosses Arizona politicians into national TV shows and turns up the heat.

>> Welcome to Survivor, Arizona.
The island, the search for the GOP candidate.

>> Philip Taylor:
We have a lot of videos in the show. A lot ?? well, maybe, what, half a dozen.

>> Ben Tyler:
Right.

>> Philip Taylor:
About half a dozen that make fun of local commercials and, and the recognition factor there in the audience is extremely high. They just ?? the minute that they see the commercial, they start falling on the floor.

>> Billips and associates will fight aggressively for you.

>> I was arrested for driving 120 miles per hour on the 101 while having a blood alcohol content of 55. I was of course innocent of all these charges, so I called Billips and Associates. As soon as I was sober and--as soon as I could get to the phone. Billips and Associates not only got me off but they rescued me from bankruptcy, they persuaded my wife to come back to me, and they saved my dog Fluffy from being hit by a truck. Thank you Billips and Associates. Thank you.

>> You will go free. We guarantee it or your money back. Our charges are scarcly credible. Easy payments, no money down, and first four is accepted. If you are feeling the heat, let Billips and Associates help you chill.

>> Where's little Esther and little Kaleb and little Ruth and Zechariah and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the one we call Ishmael!

>> Over yonder.

>> Should I fetch him?

>> The creators of GUV-TV say the show isn't just for the political savvy. Apparently, living in Arizona is the only requirement.

>> Ben Tyler:
I think that if you watched one newscast on television a week, you would know what we are talking about.

>> Philip Taylor:
We end up saying, you know, this is a great place to live. Having, having mowed down every political leader in the last 15 years, we go, but it's a great place to live, which it is.

>> Ben Tyler:
It is a good place, and that's the question we pose at the end, why do people keep moving here, and that's what we try to answer at the end of the show.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
But you know what, I really do remember when North High School was considered North Phoenix. And, you know what, I did do a lot of cruising up and down Central Avenue and eat a lot of burgers.

>> Character of Maria Rodriquez:
Now, Patrick, I understand that you are considerably older than me, but I don't know how you could possibly remember those things.

>> Character of Patrick Smith:
It's not that I'm that old, it's that Arizona is that young!

>> Cary Pfeffer:
You can catch the performance of GUV-TV at Theater 4301 at Galleria Corporate Center in downtown Scottsdale through Sunday, November 20.

>> Cary Pfeffer:
And if you would like to check on future Horizons, look at tonight's show and check out our website. Thanks very much for watching. Michael Grant will be back here for the political round table tomorrow night.


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