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November 19, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Another Term for Governor Brewer?

  |   Video
  • Attorneys Joseph Kanefield and Paul Eckstein debate if Arizona law allows Governor Jan Brewer to serve another term.
  • Joseph Kanefield - Attorney
  • Paul Eckstein - Attorney
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: brewer, governor, term, elections, ,

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Richard Ruelas: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona horizon." I’m Richard Ruelas of the Arizona republic. Filling in for Ted Simons.

Richard Ruelas: Governor Brewer hasn't ruled out running for another term despite language in the state's constitution that seems to prohibit her from doing so. Or does it? Here to tell us why he thinks that Governor Brewer can seek another term is Joseph Kanefield, a partner in the phoenix law firm Ballard Spahr. He is former assistant attorney general, state elections director and had served as general counsel for Governor Brewer, and here to explain why he thinks Governor Brewer is not eligible for another term Paul Eckstein, an attorney with the phoenix law firm Perkins-Cooey. Thanks for joining us this evening. We'll kick this off with the Arizona Republic, last Friday. Briefly lay out the case why you think Governor Brewer is not on her second term, but I guess, term zero, term one, term 1.5?

Joseph Kanefield: Richard, thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about this. I guess that I should start by saying Governor Brewer hasn't said whether she intends to seek another term. So, a lot of this debate is academic at this point. It's now on the third cycle in the last year, and the reason that I wrote the piece for the Arizona republic was because so many people keep asking me, why can't she? So I thought I would spell it out. And essentially, the reason why is that the, the, although we have term limits from the voters in 1992, and it does say the executive officers shall serve no more than two terms, which includes any part of a term served, the one unique situation that we have is the office of the governor. Where, and the situation here when, when governor for whatever reason, is not able to fill the term. The secretary of state becomes governor by constitutional succession, in other words, the constitution automatically elevates that person to that office. Whether they want to do it or not. And that's important for continuity and government, it's important that we have someone in the office of governor to run the state, times of good and bad, but that's our leader. So, I don't think when the voters drafted this language, put this provision in the constitution, that they were thinking of the situation involving the succession to the office of governor by the secretary of state. And I think that when, when you -- it's important, it's in the constitutional interpretation to read all the provisions together. So, you have to not only look at the term limit provision, but you have to look at the provision that governors succession in office. There is nothing that says anything about a term. It says you become the governor, in fact, when anything happens to the governor, the governor vacates the office, you inherit the powers and duties of the office, but I don't think that the voters have intended to necessarily penalize that person or keep them from serving two elected terms. That's the crux of my position.

Richard Ruelas: There is not ancient history. What did voters think when we passed term limits in 1992?

Paul Eckstein: The voters adopted proposition 107 in 1992. It covered not only the executive offices, but other offices, including congress and the senate, the corporation commission, and the state line inspector, and the legislature. It differentiated between those offices. And in fact, when you look at the proposition, with respect to congress and, and the senate, and with respect to the corporation commission, the language is different than the language with respect to the executive offices. Executive offices, it says, part of any term. That's the language that's used with respect to the legislature, and the language that's used with respect to the state mine inspector. The language that's used with respect to term limits for congress and, and the senate, and the corporation commission, is less than one-half of term. The people knew exactly what they were doing, and Richard, if I could read what, what the, the legislative counsel said, with respect to executive offices, service, service for, for any portion of a term, would count as service for a full term. That's what, what the people had in front of them when they voted on this proposition. And all of these, and, in 1992.

Richard Ruelas: And you mentioned that this is academic, but the governor has, has not just said that she is considering, but she said that she is looking into the possibility of whether it's legal. Have you been asked by the governor to look into this? Or have you been asked by anyone in the executive office to research this on her behalf?

Joseph Kanefield: Any conversations, of course, I have with the governor, regarding this issue -- I'm still her counsel so I would rather not --

Richard Ruelas: You are still serving as counsel for the governor.

Joseph Kanefield: Yes.

Richard Ruelas: Ok.

Joseph Kanefield: But, you know, what she has said is, is this is a, a debatable question. And people assume that she cannot run again, and all she's done is point out, if that's not settle, and I very much disagree with Mr. Eckstein's reading of the constitution. Those -- the provisions that he was just reading, are from the term limit law in 1992. And they cover the office of the attorney general, the secretary of state, the superintendent, but what they don't address is the situation of the governor. None of those officers inherit another office if something happens to the person above them, so I don't think the voters were thinking --

Richard Ruelas: You think the fact that the law did not include, the proposition did not include what-if you can session, means the voters didn't think about it? Instead of just saying, the governor is going to get -- the secretary of state will get the job automatically, and these things will still kick in anyway.

Joseph Kanefield: I went back and looked at the voter panel. What they were concerned about that legislator this is congress, there is no mention about the governor or any of that material.

Paul Eckstein: That's not true. I just read from the section of executive offices. If upped to read it, there it is. Right there.

Richard Ruelas: Does it matter -- this is the law of the land.

Paul Eckstein: It does not matter when the language is clear. And with all respect to, to Mr. Kanefield, and I respect him a lot, where the language is clear, the rule of construction, whether it's a constitution or a statute, is you go with the language. You don't go with what you think the voters intended.

Richard Ruelas: And for you --

Paul Eckstein: If you were going to look at legislative history, you would look at what the pamphlet says, and what the pamphlet says is what i read.

Joseph Kanefield: And he's reading from the general statement about, about all the officers covered under sections five. There is nothing in there that talks about where the voters, that the outline, the arguments raised by legislative leaders -- if counsel, the arguments raised, they were focused on term limits.

Richard Ruelas: But does the focus matter so long as the words, part of any term served, are in the law?

Joseph Kanefield: And he's right. You do read the language, but you also have to read all the language in all the constitution together, and he knows that, that that's -- yes, we start with the language. But, the job of the courts is to harmonize all the provisions of the constitution.

Richard Ruelas: It sounds like your argument would be not just this is not the voters intend, but the voters didn't consider this aspect so we cannot divine the intent if this was not a question they were asked.

Joseph Kanefield: We have to look at the succession and read that provision in harmony with the succession language, and frankly, the holdover language, we have supreme court case interpreting the term limits, and saying when someone holds over, because the, their successor hasn't qualified, that does not violate the term limits even though they serve more than one term so that's analogous of the situation where someone, a secretary of state inherits the office of governor, by virtue of the constitutional succession. That person is not there by choice. Like someone who is appointed or elected. They should not be penalized, and the voters should decide this question, Richard. At the end of the day, if there is ambiguity in the constitution, which there is, the voters are the ones who put the language in there. They created that ambiguity, and they should settle the question. They can decide whether they wish for the governor --

Paul Eckstein: If there is ambiguity in this clause, there is ambiguity in everything. Joe is absolutely wrong. It mentions governor here. And, and in one of the, one of the arguments, against the proposition, it points out that people will not be able to vote for the governor.

Richard Ruelas: The, the -- well, does he have a point about voters not knowing what, what they were voting about? That voters might not have been able to sense the succession question since it was not outlined for them? Or did voters know what they were doing? Should it be put back before them again?

Paul Eckstein: Well, if Mr. Kanefield and others want to put it before the voters, they are perfectly free to do so. But, this was absolutely clear. In the language in article 5, section 1, it uses the term governor, and in the explanation given by legislative counsel, there is no doubt. As I said, in a comment, this may be the law on Mars but not the law in Arizona.

Joseph Kanefield: That's very unfair. I mean, for him to suggest that this is out there, I mean, that's just not true. He's just in denial about this issue, about succession. They just did not consider the issue succession.

Richard Ruelas: What would happen? Let's say the governor does decide does she bring a challenge? Does she bring a case forward? What would be the next step if she wanted to run for governor?

Joseph Kanefield: The next step would be if she -- that's a good point because this issue is not ripe as we call it in the law until the governor decides to do this. And it's not ripe until she walks into the secretary of state's office in 2014.

Richard Ruelas: But she would have to file and others would have to battle her off --

Joseph Kanefield: That's correct.

Paul Eckstein: And they don't have to battle her off the ballot. They can let her run, if she gets elected, then challenge her after she gets elected, and that's the traditional way to do it. And what a mess that would be.

Richard Ruelas: We'll see what happens is this goes forward. Thanks for joining us.

Arizona’s Democratic Majority in Congress

  |   Video
  • ASU Political Science Professor Rodolfo Espino comments on Arizona’s election, which produced a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in decades.
  • Rodolfo Espino - Political Science Professor, ASU
Category: Government   |   Keywords: ASU, political, science, democrats, congress, ,

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Richard Ruelas: Arizona is one of the reddest of red states in the country. Yet, elected a democratic majority to congress for the second time in decades. Here to talk about the schizophrenic nature of the Arizona electorate is Rudy Espino, a political science professor at ASU. Thanks for joining us this evening. What happened on election night? It seemed like the congressional races were the only saving grace the democrats had?

Rudy Espino: Yeah. Independent redistricting commission was charged, it has been around a couple decades was charged with creating competitive districts, and they did that here in Arizona. We went from eight congressional seats to nine with the 2010 reapportionment. And what we saw in 2012, the general election, was that some of the competitive districts that were created were, and the democrats were able to, right here in Arizona, were able to have the democratic enthusiasm that re-elected Barack Obama.

Richard Ruelas: So, our introduction to you, you talked about the schizophrenic voter. It sounds like it's less than the way the electorate is portioned out?

Rudy Espino: It's more, has to do with, with mid-term versus presidential election years. And what we, we political scientists refer to as during presidential election years, there is the things that we call presidential coat tails, that they hang down, and the winning candidate, his party will typically pull other, lower ticket candidates into office with him. Now, what we see in midterm election is typically the pattern where the president's party loses seats. We saw this in 2010. Democrats took a loss from the mid-term election and is lost control of the House of Representatives. Now, the presidential coat tails were there for the democrats again in 2012, we saw democrats gain seats in the house. And not enough to regain control. You know, I suspect that some other competitive districts that we saw, you know, Kirkpatrick, Barber, that republicans are already vying for that money recruiting candidates to win those seats back.

Richard Ruelas: Did Romney have coat tails in Arizona as far as state candidates or even some of the republican senate races or, or congressional races?

Rudy Espino: Yeah, there was a lot of enthusiasm here for Romney. Certainly with the LDS vote. You know. Certainly benefited Jeff Flake, I would think. But, you would have to keep in mind that republicans hold a voter registration advantage over democrats. So, it's typically the case, when in Arizona, the presidential coat tails would benefit the democratic candidates, than republican candidates.

Richard Ruelas: On a practical level, once congress starts their work with a democratic majority, delegation, what happens once they seat? Is there an Arizona caucus? Does the fact that there is more democrats, will have any practical effect on the state?

Rudy Espino: Not really. Used to in the past. Used to be in the air of John Rhodes, republicans and democrats here in Arizona consider themselves as Arizona politicians first and foremost. They worked together on a lot of land and water issues. Which has led to a lot of economic development we saw since the 1950s to the present here in Arizona because democrats, republicans work together, now congress is polarized, it's unlikely that I expect that democrats and republicans, regardless of whether they are from the same state or not, would be willing to sit down together and working a whole lot of issues.

Richard Ruelas: So, even with Arizona’s eccentric issues, I mean, there is going to probably -- it sounds like you are saying there will be few eccentric issues, and those we might not see?

Rudy Espino: The reason being is that the national party in congress much stronger now than it used to be in the 1950s and 1960s. So, the democratic caucus, the republican conference, in congress, really makes their members tow the line.

Richard Ruelas: And incumbents have an advantage in Arizona, and you mentioned the three races that were down to the wire.

Rudy Espino: Right.

Richard Ruelas: However, Cinemas, Barber, Kirkpatrick, which one is the safest do you think going two years from now?

Rudy Espino: Probably Cinemas. I think that barber, you know, barber is a leaning republican district. Always has been. This is the old seat of Jim's, a popular republican down there. Liberal republican. But, so it's either liberal republican or conservative democrat. And I don't think that Kirkpatrick is necessarily safe. She'll have to really ensure that Navajo vote turns out again like it did in 2012.

Richard Ruelas: And so, does this tell us anything about how the commission did its job? I know it was very controversial.

Rudy Espino: It was controversial, but in my opinion, I think that they did the job that they were tasked with. Create a more competitive district. There is certainly valid criticisms that they did not do as good of a job in 2000, but in 2010, I think that it's hard to see that, that the districts they drew were not competitive.

Richard Ruelas: And if competitive is the goal, would we say a time when the state legislative districts are redrawn, I’m not sure when that is. It did not seem to have the same effect as far as of the state legislative lines?

Rudy Espino: Well, the state legislature did, I mean, democrats did gain seats so now, republicans still control both chambers but they don't enjoy the supermajority but they used, that they used to prior so they cannot push for that as easily, some other republican agenda as they did in the past.

Richard Ruelas: So, when, when you look at these races, it seems like one of the most surprising was down south with Ron Barber.

Rudy Espino: Yes.

Richard Ruelas: Did you follow what the messages were or how it was that the race tightened up?

Rudy Espino: To paraphrase, Tip O'neil, all politics is local, and I think both candidates made some mistakes along the way. And both of them sticking their foot in their mouth, and also, Ron Barber and democrats underestimated, you know, the republican candidate that the party couldn't field it. She was a phenomenal candidate.

Richard Ruelas: Does this send any message to, to, again, we have a, a state with, with no democratic statewide office-holders, should republicans look at these results and, and sense any upheaval or was this a novel?

Rudy Espino: I think what they want to pay attention to more of the national trends especially similar to Arizona, take Nevada, Colorado; those are states that are now moving into that so-called battleground status. That president Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were fighting title for, pouring tons of campaign resources. And Arizona, we did not see this in 2008, we did not see it in 2012, but the demographic trends here in Arizona suggest that we are going to be trending into a blue state, especially with the growth of the Latino population here. Now, there are opportunities for republicans to court that Latino vote if they want to, as long as they push away from some of their agenda. A poll that we looked at of Latino voters on Election Day in 2012 showed that if republicans were willing to take a leadership role on immigration, 30% of Latinos that turned at the polls indicated they would be more willing to vote for the republican ticket.

Richard Ruelas: And lastly, which race did the Latino vote have the most effect of the three tight races that is we saw here?

Rudy Espino: Probably, you know, certainly helped barber, and I think helped cinema over the edge, so in both those districts, I think that both those candidates, although Latino electorate, not the majority of districts, but certainly non trivial portions of the electorate in those districts.

Richard Ruelas: And if we do become a swing state, we'll see more ads. I don't know if that's a good thing. But, I appreciate you joining us, professor.

Rudy Espino: Thank you.

Saving Billions with Energy Efficiency

  |   Video
  • The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has released a report that shows how Arizona households and businesses can save billions of dollars through improved energy efficiency. SWEEP Executive Director Howard Geller talks about the report.
  • Howard Geller - Executive Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
Category: Energy   |   Keywords: energy, efficiency, ASU, ,

View Transcript
Richard Ruelas: According to new report, Arizona can save billions of dollars, create new jobs, and conserve water, and reduce air pollution by fully implementing an energy reduction plan. The southwest energy efficiency project, or sweep, is a public interest group that seeks to improve energy efficiencies in six southwestern states. Here to talk about the plan to reduce energy consumption is Jeff Schlegel, sweeps Arizona representative. Thanks for joining us.

Jeff Schlegel: Thank you for having me.

Richard Ruelas: To sounds like there is no downside to this. Tell us what steps we would have to take as consumers to implement the plans you are going to present tomorrow at the Carnegie Library.

Jeff Schlegel: We are on our way here. Arizona utilities are offering energy efficiency programs to their customers now. And these programs do everything from helping customers insulate their homes to more energy efficient lighting, better air-conditioners, and for businesses, and same deal. The businesses can improve their lighting or their cooling and ventilation, their motors. A to z. The programs are out there now, and our report suggests increasing and ramping those programs up.

Richard Ruelas: Will consumers you, is there anything in your report that, will consumers feel in effect or feel difference in their lives? Besides the money savings?

Jeff Schlegel: Yes. Absolutely. The one aspect is the money savings and the other is the jobs, and this report, if we save the energy savings by 2020, the report promotes, there will be 10,400 new jobs in Arizona. And net new jobs. Those are in addition to -- there will be more in insulation, engineering, fields like that and few less jobs at power plants. The net impact will be 10,000 new jobs, in addition, there will be 4.1 billion gallons of water savings. Each year by 2020. And they will be, there will be less pollution so things like pollution related, induced asthma will be fewer cases of that in children.

Richard Ruelas: Are you asking people to do things like up their thermostat or god for bid turn off their television. Are there any steps like that, that you are asking consumers to take?

Jeff Schlegel: We do have a behavior program, which encourages customers to learn how they are using energy, and then make better or more efficient use of that energy, but there is no curtailment or hardship.

Richard Ruelas: Do you find when people have the energy audit, that they do change the way that they use the power?

Jeff Schlegel: Yes, we do. Some of the programs that we have out there, both the audit program and the home energy report, a report that is sent to customers or, where customers can go online, that report has tips in there, and customers do end up changing their behaviors, so the tips are targeted to them.

Richard Ruelas: There is steps for consumers and business, and does government have a role? How much buy-in do you need to implement this program?

Jeff Schlegel: Arizona is, is on track already. The Arizona corporation commission, in 2010, pass the energy efficiency standard, which requires Arizona utilities to, to save 20% of its, for the Arizona energies by 2020. Our report suggests that, that we can save 21% so we're right on track. We're already on, on our -- on a task. And that 21% energy savings in 2020, that's the power equivalent of 10 large power plants, so it's a significant savings. A significant impact on Arizona. And as I have said, the commission passed a rule, energy efficiency standard, that's equivalent to what we proposed here.

Richard Ruelas: At what barriers do you see? And roads blocks to you sense might be coming down that you have to guard against?

Jeff Schlegel: Well, I think that two main barriers are funding support you, if you, you know, energy efficiencies investment, so investing in energy efficiency is going to provide the 7.3 billion of savings, and that would come to Arizona consumers, but one does need to make the investment. So that usually requires some action or funding up front. In this case, the utilities are offering rebates and incentives to help customers but they have to take that action. And in terms of government barriers, the corporation commission, and SRP board, they have programs like this. And the corporation commission and the board would need to continue to fund those programs. So, those are, essentially, both the opportunities, therefore, but also the action needed.

Richard Ruelas: I guess to put it to a very basic level, the CFL light bulbs are more expensive but we trust they are going to save us money in the long run. You are talking about on massive scale, businesses to buy into those efficiencies?

Jeff Schlegel: Absolutely. Especially on the business side. You know. We have had some good success with residential customers. On the business side, these programs really ramp up and increase the activity, everything from, from, every time a business renovates or revamp, every time there is a new small business open, there is great opportunities for, for reducing their energy bills, say 10 to 40%.

Richard Ruelas: So you are presenting a study tomorrow. Do you expect business and government to be in concert with this? There is no real opposition to, to this plan yet?

Jeff Schlegel: We don't believe that there is any significant opposition, when the commission passed the, the energy efficiency standard in 2010, it was mixed commission, republicans, democrats, and the vote was to approve the standard. This is a win-win for, for, for customers, for the utilities, for, for the economy and the environment. And again, 7.3 billion in savings to Arizona consumers and businesses. A big deal.

Richard Ruelas: With taking what sounds like small steps, not a lot of these.

Jeff Schlegel: These are significant steps that business, and consumers need to take, but each step they take is a cost effective step. It's each step you take will reward you, in the taking of that.

Richard Ruelas: Excellent and, and without a lot of, a lot of what I meant by small step was not asking us to, to change our lifestyle, it seemed. It's small things that will result in savings.

Jeff Schlegel: Right, these are all things that take energy and use if better doing things better rather than wasting it.

Richard Ruelas: It seems to make sense. I appreciate you coming down and sharing the report with us.

Jeff Schlegel: Happy to do so.

Richard Ruelas: Thank you.