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February 17, 2014

Host: Ted Simons

Democratic Legislative Leaders

  |   Video
  • Senate Minority Leader Anna Tovar and House Minority Leader Chad Campbell give us their take on the latest from the State Capitol.
  • Anna Tovar - Senate Minority Leader
  • Chad Campbell - House Minority Leader
Category: Legislature   |   Keywords: legislative, update, legislature, democratic,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Each month during the legislative session we hear from leadership in both the house and senate. Tonight we welcome senate minority leader Anna Tovar, and house minority leader, Chad Campbell. Good to see you both again. Thanks for joining us. Let's get started with this idea of repeal those election changes that came through at the end of the last session. Folks got enough signatures to say we don't want it, lawmakers are saying we don't want it either. Why is that a problem?

Anna Trover: It's a huge problem. It's a slap in the face to the voters. This bill was passed in the middle of the night in last session, a Christmas tree of voter suppression items. We had a rally today, and essentially what democrats want is for the will of the voters to prevail, and to allow them to vote on this repeal. This election cycle. And this is -- this suppression bill is nothing new. Across the nation there are 19 different states putting in similar legislation to make it tougher and create barriers for minorities, and for elderly to vote. So it's an issue that we're going to continue to fight, but essentially what voters should be very upset at is the fact that legislators feel they know what's best for them.

Ted Simons: And yet those legislators are saying, we're just doing what these voters wanted, these people that signed the petitions, they want to get rid of this thing, we're getting rid of this thing.

Chad Campbell: The problem with that theory, that claim from the republicans is, we offered an amendment on the house floor this past week that would have delayed the effectiveness, effective date of the measure. So it would have allowed the voters to actually vote on it, and if they had passed it, it would have stayed in and if they repealed it, they repealed it. But would it have allowed the voters to have their choice and make their voices heard. And the biggest concern for us is this, this is why we're fighting this. They repeal it, it takes the referendum off the ballot, the referral off the ballot, excuse me, and they're going to come back and piecemeal this, put it different in different bills, pass it without the voters and get this done without ever engaging the voters of the state.

Ted Simons: Are some of the issues, though, do they need the attention of a piecemeal? I'm speaking about the early permanent voter list which had a bipartisan group saying this was a mess.

Anna Trover: They might have had a few supporters on it, but as far as the stakeholder meeting with democrats, we didn't have that. And we asked and urged them to have democrats at the table to make sure that the issues that we're presented forward were issues that we approved with. So again, it shouldn't be about county assessors making their job easier, it should be about getting voters and making it easier for them to vote. Essentially we want as many people to vote that are qualified. And that's our major goal.

Ted Simons: So the idea of someone never voting, on the early permanent voting list, they never vote, keep them on the list?

Anna Trover: It's their choice. Permanent early ballot permanent list should mean exactly that. Being on as being permanent.

Ted Simons: If these people are dropping off ballots or doing other things that the recorders and assessors are saying this is a real problem, should it not be addressed in some way?

Chad Campbell: There's ways to address these issues that -- The real issues. But this was packaged together with a lot of different things that were intended to suppress voter activity. And in particular, probably voters and lower income communities, minority communities, elderly communities, it's been a nationwide trend we've seen from the more conservative side of the political spectrum. But there are some legitimate concerns, and let's deal with those in a bipartisan way, work with the county recorders, the groups that do voter outreach and voter engagement and get these things done. But that's not what happened last year. It was forced down our throats, it's one side took every issue they had a problem with and put it in one big bill. And now they don't want to actually let the voters are have their voices be heard.

Ted Simons: With that in mind, they are saying, the Republicans are saying it was too big, too much to it, that's why we've got to get rid of it because if the voters say we don't want this, that's a lot of election law that is now voter protected. Are you concerned about that?

Chad Campbell: Yeah. But I think it's going to lose at the ballot regardless. Anything that is unconstitutional will end newspaper court regardless. We say this every year, we waste so much time down there on bills that are absolutely unconstitutional or going to end up in court, excuse me, and get tossed out. And we're spending taxpayer dollars. We have a whole litany of bills this year, the religious freedom act is going to be another one like that, they're going to end up in court, tax the taxpayers and never see the light of day. We do this time and time again. It's time the republicans learn their lesson and pay the price for passing very bad legislation. That's what this is about. Let's let the voters have their voice be heard.

Ted Simons: Voter rejection would block future election laws, say those who don't want this thing on the ballot. Valid?

Anna Trover: It is a valid concern, as representative Campbell said. This was a bill that was -- Had many, many different aspects much it, but ultimately its major goal was to suppress voters that. Will be very proactive on in making sure our voters prevail.

Ted Simons: The senate president wants an external audit, the proverbial nose-to-toes audit of CPS, what was CPS. Is that needed, do you agree?

Anna Trover: Absolutely. It is needed. But I'm one in favor of this legislation that the president has introduced allows the DOA, a department in Arizona, so actually what I'm -- What I would propose is having an external outside of Arizona have the eyes looking on the CPS. It doesn't do us any good to have an agency in Arizona whose -- Would be biased to CPS to be investigating it. I would love for an outside agency with national expertise to come in and look at Arizona.

Ted Simons: Do you want that outside agency, that audit to be A, mandatory, and B, required for future funding?

Chad Campbell: I don't know about any type of mandate or requirement for funding. I don't know if I want to go that far yet. That may be a little bit much. I don't know what the details would be. I do think we need to have external oversight of CPS. My concern with the proposal from senate president is I'm worried this is more after political game aimed at kind of the ongoing feud between him and the governor from last year's Medicaid battle, intended to slow down reforms around CPS. And we can't take more time on this. We've got to get these reforms through this session. We can't push this off to next year. We have a new legislature next year, a new governor, this has to be done, it has to be fixed under our watch. So any delay is something that I can't accept.

Ted Simons: In other words, you're seeing a problem, or perhaps a potential problem between what the governor's office and Charles Flanagan wants and what maybe an audit might recommend.

Chad Campbell: Quite Frankly, we've got too many cooks in the kitchen. We've had several different committees, two committees in the interim, a new committee on it now. We've got to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We note problems. For all my criticism of governor Brewer and how she's handled this and the delay she put in place once this was made public, Flanagan has done a good job. I think the care team report was excellent put together, and let's follow those recommendations now and start doing our job. And build on that and put money and time and resources into the preventive measures to keep kids out of the system in the first place.

Ted Simons: Funding contingent on what the audit recommends?

Anna Trover: I believe it can be, but I think as representative Campbell said, our focus needs to be on creating a new agency that doesn't fail our children. We've learned from the past, and we learned how kids can fall through the cracks. Essentially with the new task force in place, the new legislation that is coming, funding is going to be an essential part of it. But I think the focus needs to be on the preventive services and also the foster care aspect as well.

Ted Simons: Quickly, many folks thought this session CPS would be a major issue throughout the session. Is it?

Anna Trover: I think when you see the realities of the day-to-day workings at the senate and at the house, it is not the priority. We are hearing extreme bills that have nothing to do with the Arizona economy. Nothing to do with public education and investing in our public education. So it is a disappointment to know, being in the minority, and knowing that we don't have control of the priorities that get pushed forward, but it is disappointing to see that we are not tackling CPS as we should be.

Ted Simons: Could you do you agree with that?

Chad Campbell: I do. And I've heard different scenarios from people involved with the ongoing conversations that they're going to come down there with legislation, proposed solutions, in late April, early may I've heard. That's way too long. We cannot wait till session is almost over to start dealing with CPS. It needs to be on the priority list right now, on the front burner getting it done.

Ted Simons: Which brings me to my last point, there's a push for a shorter legislative session out there. We've got the idea of maybe 100 days, maybe adjourning on may 1st, maybe starting in February, 45 days, then you're out, it's over. What are your thoughts on that?

Chad Campbell: I think it's a well-intended effort, but I'm not sure it's the right solution. We already scramble enough down there. We do too much in too short a time frame, too many bills introduced, we don't have full debates and we make mistakes and we have to come back and debate whether to repeal it. Which is what we discussed at the beginning of this show. That exemplifies why we don't want to rush this process. What I proposed a few years ago is limit the amount of bills each legislator can introduce, give us eight bills each and I can guarantee you, we'll make a much more thoughtful approach to the bills we introduce if we're limited to eight, it will take more pressure off the system and give us more time to debate them and vote on them.

Ted Simons: What about the idea of the shorter legislative session, 45 days, 100 days, whatever the case I be -- May be, and have once a month or periodically the rest of the year these vetting sessions, these kind of, I don't know, minor league legislative sessions? What do you think about that?

Anna Trover: Regardless if the session is 100 days, 200 days, the issue of transparency is not addressed. So as long as you don't address the issue of transparency and having these meetings in the light of day, having public participation, having input, we're essentially not going to get rid of how the legislature is run right now. So unless we tackle the issue of transparency and accountability, regardless, it's not going to matter how many days we're in session.

Chad Campbell: Can I add one thing? This idea of interim committees and ongoing work throughout the year, it's going to limit the ability for people to run for office. Most of us have outside jobs as it is, many people can't run for office as it is because they can't leave their job for four to five months to do this. And we don't have a legislature reflective of the actual citizens of the state any longer. We have a small group of people that do not reflect the general population of the state. And if you make people really shift into a time frame where they're going to have to leave their job on a monthly basis throughout the year, you're going to isolate -- You're going to take a lot of people out of the running to ever run for office and that's the last thing we should be doing.

Ted Simons: Other than transparency, do you see any reason for an artificial limit to a session?

Anna Trover: I mean, I believe representative Campbell brings up great ideas. We need to tackle the issue and have a stakeholder meeting on what is most beneficial for Arizona constituents. And in regards to transparency and also meeting during the interim, that's something I think has to be discussed and vetted. And making sure we're doing what's right for Arizona voters.

Ted Simons: All right. It's good to see you both. Thank you for being here.

Chad Campbell: Thanks.

Anna Trover: Thank you.

Women in the Media

  |   Video
  • A new report on women in the media is being released by the Women’s Media Center. The center and The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will hold an event centered around the report February 19 at Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium. Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of “Take the Lead,” an organization that prepares women for leadership roles, and Kristin Gilger, Associate Dean in the Cronkite School, will talk about the report and women in the media.
  • Gloria Feldt - Co-Founder and President, Take the Lead
  • Kristin Gilger - Associate Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: women, business, economy, cronkite, school, asu, leadership, report, media,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: A new report by the New York and Washington-based Women's Media Center shows that disparities exist when it comes to women in the media, and that because of this disparity, journalism is missing voices and missing stories. ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will hold an event focused on the report this Wednesday at Gammage Auditorium. Joining us now to talk about women in media is Gloria Feldt, cofounder and president of Take the Lead, an organization that prepares women for leadership roles, and Kristin Gilger, associate dean of the Cronkite school. Good to see you both here. Good to see you both again as well. Women's Media Center, what is that?

Gloria Feldt: The Women's Media Center is an organization, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make women's voices heard. To make women powerful and visible in the media. It's an organization that I've served on the board for some years, though I have term limited out, so I'm no longer on the board, but because I started Take the Lead, which is also a nonprofit organization to private sector pair and propel women to take their equal share of leadership positions across all sectors, and actually Take the Lead is hosting this event at Gammage, I wanted to make sure that this whole issue of women in the media and the impact of media on women's leadership would be an important part of that conversation.

Ted Simons: So what is the status of women in the media?

Kristin Gilger: Oh, wow. I'm glad you asked that question. Actually, they've been tracking this for some time, jump in here. It hasn't changed very much. Women represent, if you look at employment in the media, for example, women are about a third of the staff of newspapers, about a third of the management of newspapers, they represent about 40% of those in broadcast, but much smaller when you get higher up in the field. About 20% in radio. And when you look at the higher level positions, then of course there's still far fewer women than men in leadership positions.

Ted Simons: You mentioned a few categories here, define media. What are we talking about?

Kristin Gilger: Oh, geez. OK. Well, talk about who is surveyed in this.

Gloria Feldt: Well, the report itself looks at radio, television, print, online, and sports media for the first time, I think, and also looks at a breakdown not only by gender, but also minorities as well. So it's very comprehensive in its scope.

Ted Simons: I seem to remember, though, not so long ago, that some thought journalism was become a pink collar industry for lack after better phrase. That was the phrase being used. What happened there?

Gloria Feldt: It's what's happened in just about every profession. What's happened is, women have opened doors, women are earning 57% of the college degrees now and have been for almost two decades. So in the professions, women get the degrees, they start into their field, and then when they start, they're about 50/50, and as the years go on, there are fewer and fewer women closer and closer to the top. So that across all sectors of professions, women are about 18% and have been stalled at that place for almost 20 years. That's why we're taking the lead and saying, we gotta change that.

Kristin Gilger: If you look at journalism school, the Cronkite school, for example, is almost 70% women enrollment. And those -- Those numbers are not unusual for the Cronkite school. That's true for journalism schools across the country. Colleges, universities are primarily female enrollment now, I think it's around 60% or more. So there's a great interest with women going into the field, and some people say that is because as the field has had some stresses and maybe employment is a little bit more difficult or the pay is not as much as it might have been, then that men flee to other fields and there's more openings for women. That can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing.

Ted Simons: Interesting, I hadn't heard that. What -- Obviously as a dean you look at this, you're in the position of authority, you're seeing kids come in, you know what they want, you know where they want to go. How do you get them to where they want to go and also be cognizant of these numbers?

Kristin Gilger: Some of it is giving students opportunities here while they're here to be in leadership positions, and to try things that maybe they would have a harder time getting into into the profession. A good example is women in sports, for example. We have -- We're really ramping up our sports offerings and doing a sports journalism degree at the Cronkite school because there's so much interest in sports journalism. But that's driven a lot by female students. We have so many female students now who are very interested in sports journalism, and we were talking about this earlier as to why that is. And I think it's has to do with other cultural changes. They're coming to us and they play sports all their lives, or they're in families where sports has been a big deal. And it's not an unusual thing for them to think, why not? Sports journalism. I can do this. And so if they get the opportunities here to run organizations, to do internships, to run stats, or whatever it is, or cameras, or do the reporting, or work for, or do our spring training program where they're going out and covering the spring training teams here, they come out with this level of confidence that they can do this.

Ted Simons: I want to ask you about that. In taking the lead, you have to be a bit of a leader. Do you -- Can you learn that at the university level with what we just heard, or is that kind of an innate sort of thing that you either got it or you don't?

Gloria Feldt: I think there are perhaps some innate characteristics some people may have more than others, but definitely these are learnable and teachable skills. And in fact I've been teaching a course at ASU for the last five years called women, power and leadership. I have a fairly low tech definition of leadership. I believe a leader who someone who gets something done. It begins to be less frightening when I deconstruct it like that, it begins to be less of something they would say I don't want to do that. But what I'd like to say is that what I have found in the research that I've done the last book I wrote, really delved into it, I interviewed women all over the country, I looked at the research, I looked into my own learned -- My own actual lived experience as a leader, and what I found is that women have an ambivalent relationship with power. And that until we grapple with that and deal with that head on, that we're not going to see women actually breaking through that to 18-20% barrier. So that's what I hope to infuse into this whole discussion of women in leadership.

Ted Simons: That's a great point. When you're dealing with students and you're looking at their future, 70%, that's a considerable amount there in this particular capacity. And yet we see so few in the professional world. How do you get a little bit more of that, I don't know, gumption or whatever you need, to make that --

Kristin Gilger: I don't know, the students I work with they've already got it. We just have to give them the opportunities. And I think that as this generation of women moves into the media, they're going to take those leadership roles. And there are -- And sports is another good example where if you look at the numbers of women in sports, if they're not sports editors, 10% of the women in newspapers, 10% of sports editors at newspapers around country are women, but there are slight increases, there are increases at the bottom level. So you see women going in as sports reporters, as producers, as web producers, as video producers, television, and so I still think that if they're equipped with what we can give them, if we encourage them in their practices and their leadership skills, they're going into those jobs and I think they'll move up.

Ted Simons: And I mentioned gumption on the part of the women. I'm sure there are quite a few with quite a lot of gumption who wind up just absolutely unable to move ahead for a variety of reasons. Are those reasons changing at all?

Gloria Feldt: There are still plenty of implicit biases. We all live in the same cultural soup as it were. And so both men and women ingest some of the same stereotypes about gender. Even though this is 2014, there are still some of those there. We still know that if you send two resume and one is Harry and one is Harriet, Harry is always viewed as being more qualified for the position. And so women have to be prepared for that kind of thing, and I believe one of the problems we face is actually a problem of success. Because we have seen a woman first almost everything. And so it's easy to think there are no more problems. But then what happens is that young women enter a profession and about 10 years later they get smacked with all kinds of consequences of these implicit biases they were not prepared for. We have to prepare them for that.

Kristin Gilger: There's no female bob Costas yet.

Ted Simons: No, I guess there's not. I assume they can all see right now with two eyes wide open. You know, you mentioned 10 years from now, in so many ways you can see this 18 to 25-year-old group, whether it's medical marijuana, whether it's gay marriage, a whole variety of issues, they see things differently than their elders, than the boomers and such. Is this a situation where we won't even be talking about this in 20 years, because this generation will have moved into higher levels of power and this won't be such a problem?

Gloria Feldt: We may have some differences of opinion about this. I tend to think that knock ever just happens. -- Nothing ever just happens. Though there are cultural trends, ultimately people have to consciously decide, we're going to take those steps forward. And that one of the things also that take the lead values very much and teaches women is how to do what I call sister courage, in other words, to join together with each other to move forward together, women are more likely to keep going forward if they feel they have that support system. So they have to learn to make that support system for themselves.

Ted Simons: We've got about a minute left. Do you see a certain generation having to move on if you will, before something like this evens itself out?

Kristin Gilger: I don't know how long it's going to take, but I can tell you when I started in journalism, which was a few years ago, women weren't in the business sections of newspapers. Women weren't -- There were no female editors. And I saw that change dramatically in the last 20 or so years. And it's not going to change overnight. And women have to make sure it happens, but I definitely think it can happen.

Ted Simons: All right. Wednesday at Gammage. Correct?

Gloria Feldt: Yes.

Ted Simons: Good to have you both here.

Gloria Feldt: Thank you.

Kristin Gilger: Thank you, Ted.