Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 24, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

AZ Legislature: A to Z "Legislative Leaders"


  • Throughout this week we'll be examining the effect of term limits on the legislature, the influence of lobbyists and show how a private citizen can get a bill passed. Tonight we start the series with a look at the new leadership of both houses and how the dynamics are expected to play out between the House, the Senate and the Governor's office.
Guests:
  • Robbie Sherwood - Reporter, Arizona Republic
  • Chip Scutari - Reporter, Arizona Republic


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant :
Tonight on "Horizon"...

>>Jim Weiers:
By numbers we've actually lost a little bit of ground on the Republican caucus but if you look at philosophy, it has gotten quite a bit more conservative.

>> Michael Grant:
The Arizona legislature, A to Z, we begin a four-part series on the working of the state's legislature. And a visit with the founder of the national review, William F. Buckley, Jr., and with his son, noted author, Christopher Buckley. Those stories are coming up.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." The Valley's light rail system is finally on track. Today transportation authorities made available $587 million in federal money. Over half a billion dollars will come from the federal government to pay for the initial 20-mile arterial route. Construction on a track connecting Tempe and Phoenix will begin by the end of February.

>> Michael Grant:
Tonight we start a four-part look at the Arizona legislature. Throughout this week we'll be examining the effect of term limits on the legislature, the influence of lobbyists and show how a private citizen can get a bill passed. Tonight we start the series with a look at the new leadership of both houses and how the dynamics are expected to play out between the House, the Senate and the Governor's office. Larry Lemmons gives us this overview.

>> Sen. Pres. Ken Bennett:
Neither of us can truly succeed unless the other is succeeding as well. So I hope that everything we do over the coming weeks in this legislative session, but more importantly, everything that we do this year and in the future, will keep in mind our mutual reliance on each other and our interdependence and that we will be able to work together, communicate more effectively and make Arizona an even better place tomorrow than it was yesterday.

>> Larry Lemmons:
President of the Arizona Senate Ken Bennett is addressing both houses of the Legislature on tribal day. Beside him the new speaker of the house, Jim Weiers. Bennett is speaking in a wider context but his words could easily apply to the narrower realities facing the 47th legislature. New faces mingle with old faces in both houses this year. New leadership compliments continuing leadership. Because of the changes, the general consensus is that the legislature has become more conservative.

>> Jim Weiers:
Any time you have change there is going to be a difference, and I think this year, a lot of the media have come to the conclusion, rightfully so, the legislature is a lot more conservative than it has been in the last couple years.

>> Linda Aguirre:
A lot of the same people that were in the house are now in the Senate. I don't know if you know my background, I was in the House for six years, then moved over to the Senate for another six years and the same people are there. I think we have new member in that body. Has it gone more conservative, I think the has.

>> Ken Bennett:
The Senate picked up one Republican from the 17-13 split that we had last year a couple of the seats are now occupied by a little bit more conservative members. So I think the bargaining position will be strengthened, kind of on the conservative side.

>> Phil Lopes:
That is the perception, but I think we have to wait and test that because whether one's conservative or liberal, one can't be conservative or liberal until you vote on something.

>> Larry Lemmons:
How the legislators vote is determined to some degree by the leadership. In the Senate, Ken Bennett returns as president. Timothy bee is majority leader. Majority whip is Jay Tibshraeny. For Democrats, Linda Aguirre is Senate minority leader. She replaces Jack Brown who is now in the house. She's assisted by Richard Miranda as minority whip and Harry Mitchell as assistant minority leader.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Jack was such a wonderful mentor, I learned a lot from him, it was my first time being in leadership, and I watched Jack and I saw how he handled things. I tended to be a little more spontaneous than Jack and would respond a little bit too quick. I learned from him to be patient, and so I learned a lot of patience from jack. So am I going to handle things differently? Yes, I probably will just because I have a new dynamic of different kind of leaders, I have an assistant, your former Mayor in Tempe, Harry Mitchell and Richard Miranda, where Harry has never been in leadership and neither has Richard, where with myself I had Pete Rios on one side and I had Jack Brown on the other to learn from. We have different leadership styles but me and Harry have sat down and I think we are on the same page.

>>Larry Lemmons:
In the house, Phil Lopes is minority leader. Pete Rios moved from the Senate to the House and serves as minority whip. Linda Lopez is assistant minority leader. For Republicans, Gary Pierce, is majority whip, Steven Tully is majority leader, but the biggest change is Jim Weiers, a previous speaker, who replaces Jake Flake. Flake has moved to the Senate.

>> Jim Weiers:
The speaker, and I think Jake was a great speaker, everybody has their different styles in the way they do things, and I've had this job before, which I have an advantage over Jake, he had two years to learn it, I had two years learn it and now I have two years to practice it. So I think I have a huge of advantage. I don't know if my expectation bars go one a lot of people at that point. I hope people understand that we do the best we can with what we've got and we'll service the people of the state with the best intentions and the best of our abilities.

>>Phil Lopes:
The speaker assured me as leader of the house Democrats that we will be involved at every step, that we will be at the table, whether we're talking about budget negotiations or bill negotiations, that we will be at the table, and if that happens, and I have no reason to believe it will not, then that will be a change because for the last couple of years the Democrats have felt as though we have been totally out of the loop.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Last year conservative Republicans failed to get the budget they wanted through the legislature. The governor's budget was passed largely because moderate Republicans allied themselves with Democrats.

>> Ken Bennett:
Because of the stance that some moderate Republicans took that they really favored the governor's budget, per se, it really forced the negotiations to the leadership level rather than allowing the budget to normally, as it does, normally, work through the process of the appropriations committees. This year because of some of the changes in the memberships, I think the budget process is going to move back more into the appropriation committees both in the house and the Senate, where there's representation from both the Democrat and Republican caucuses, but it's going to have to get the votes out of the appropriations committee and move through the caucuses and onto the full floor of each body.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Democrats and Republicans look at the needs of the state, and again, you have that conservative edge last year that didn't get anywhere with a budget, and it took a little, in the house side, not necessarily the Senate side, that they had to have a little upheaval amongst themselves before they realized they had to come onboard. I kind of foresee some of that may happen this time around also.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Still early in the session a more conservative legislature under different leadership must still hammer out a budget. Democratic leaders say they meet weekly with the governor to discuss strategy and her agenda. Republicans have their own agenda but it's clear the new speaker anticipates compromise.

>> Jim Weiers:
There shouldn't be a bad relationship with the governor. She plays her role as the executive branch and we play our role when it comes to legislative, and there are going to be problems, there always will, I don't care if you're married or I don't care if you're a speaker and governor or business partners, there's always going to be reasons to disagree, but you don't have to be disagreeable to do so, so I'm looking forward to it. I find her extremely interesting, very, very intelligent, I think for the most part there is a philosophical difference that we're going to have to work out and in doing so we'll just see how she either adapts or we do because there's got to be some adaptability. There has to be compromise to get anything done down there and we will see where that compromise ends up.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining us to talk about the dynamics of the current state legislature, a couple of capital reporters, Robbie Sherwood of the "Arizona Republic" and Chip Scutari of precisely the same publication. Gentlemen, good to see you. We've been overplaying this thing about the dramatic shift to the right out of the primary in general, Chip, or not?

>> Chip Scutari:
I think it's too early to tell. I think, as we were talking before the show a lot of these new conservative lawmakers, mostly Republicans, are still getting their sea legs. We haven't seen any critical issues come to the front, meaning the budget or some of the social issues. One of the first test cases could have been this ban on gay marriages, but some social conservative groups took that to the public and they're going to do an initiative in 2006. I don't see really you how these new conservatives and the new leaders, speaker Weiers and Ken Bennett president of the senate, would have dealt with this issue and how fast they would have got it to Governor Napolitano's desk.

>> Michael Grant:
Robbie, at least some element of the right felt uncomfortable enough with this legislature that it would pass too moderate a ban on gay marriage to leave it in the hands of the legislature.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
Now they didn't admit to exactly that, but certainly the assumption was that if they could get it -- the version of that referendum through in the form that they wanted, they would just do that because why seed credit for for doing this important piece of legislation to like the center for Arizona policy or a grass roots effort when you could have done it yourself.

>>Michael Grant:
You were making the point, and I hadn't focused in on that, but actually Jim Weiers sits in a rather unique seat at this point.

>>Robbie Sherwood:
Yeah, you heard him talking in a little more conciliatory tone of wanting to get to know Janet Napolitano and that's probably a very smart thing to do because Jim Weiers, you're going to talk about term limits later in the week, but he started his clock, so to speak again as speaker. He's new to the house.

>>Michael Grant:
Pretty rare that someone becomes speaker right after they walk in the door.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
Yes, but this is Arizona, and -- but he has the potential to remain in that position for eight years. Governor Napolitano, if she wins reelection in two years has the potential to stay in her seat for eight years. These two probably ought to get together and know each other because they might be stuck with each other for the better part of the next decade.

>> Michael Grant:
But Chip is this the usual kum ba yah stuff we hear at the start of every legislature?

>> Chip Scutari:
January is always a nice month, we'll work together, solve the budget, bipartisan but when February comes around and March and starts getting hotter in April and May, then things -- we'll see how these new leaders up to the task. One point I wanted to make, this is clearly a more conservative legislature, when you take Linda Bender who is a moderate and replace her with Ron Gold who is not a moderate and replace Slade Mead, Republicans called him a rhino Republican in name only and replace him with John Huppenthal who was in the House, we clearly have a more at least philosophical conservative movement in the house and Senate. So I think that's good to establish that. We're definitely dealing with a much more conservative group of law makers this time around.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
And we are -- you haven't seen what some of the hurdles to this arrangement are going to be, but I think that once you progress on the budget, you're going to see where these divisions -- where the changes have really come forth because you have a group of lawmakers who are now in control of the budget who are trying to paint a picture where we're still in a fiscal mess, where the revenues are not coming n we're too broke to do some of the things on the governor's agenda, the expansion of all day K, that sort of thing. On the other hand, if you read the bills that are coming into the hopper, just off the top of my head, can I name at least $100 million in proposed tax cuts that are coming through the -- we're apparently not too broke to propose those, although it will come in the next fiscal year, but they will have to get the story straight as they move forward in a way that makes sense to the public.

>>Michael Grant:
What about the dynamics between the houses? It's no secret that the relationship between Senate president Bennett and house speaker Weiers personally is a little chilly, going back a couple years.

>> Chip Scutari:
We have to keep in mind that senator Bennett defeated Jim Weiers to be Senate president just two years ago, so when Jim Weiers was in the Senate, he kind of played the role of a back bencher, didn't do a lot. We hear they're not chummy. We don't know if they're going out socializing or anything like that, but I think what they are trying to do is establish a better working relationship with the governor. We all know that the past two years, Eddie Farnsworth, the house majority leader and speaker Jake Flake didn't enjoy a good relationship with the governor and things broke down over that. So I really think the X factor in all these dynamics is Governor Napolitano. Her state of the state speech, most people said it sounded like a Republican, she talked about business tax cuts -- she even labeled all day K as the greatest single school choice program. So she's clearly trying to sound more moderate leading up to her 2006 reelection. That will be a big deal in how all these dynamics play out.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
But the test is to come once the legislation starts getting to her desk and she has to decide whether to sign it. We're talking about tax cuts. There's a tax cut for school supplies for teachers that I'm sure she's probably not going to like because they would rather have an appropriation for that but what it if it passes, this is the year it gets to her desk, she has to think long and hard about signing something like that. Because he thinks like a political strategist instead of a reporter. And when that hits, Janet Napolitano vetoed school supplies for teachers, why do you hate children, Janet Napolitano, can't you just that happening? She will have to think about some of these things that are landing on her desk.

>>Michael Grant:
How -- are we going to see a strength of -- they have been referred to as wedge issues, in fact, I call it that, but are we going to see a string of measures on abortion, gay rights we talked about, put it aside, basically the social -- the values issues be passed out and governor sign this or run the risk of not good results in 2006?

>>Chip Scutari:
You know, leading up to the session I would have said that would have been the case but as we talked about before, the gay marriage ban is going to be put to the ballot. When I talked to Kathy, the lobbyist for the pro-family conservative center for Arizona policy, she said she's not sure if they will do an informed consent bill this year, they may work on it or not. There are other social issues that will be brought up I'm kind of thinking that 2006 may be the year for that. That's when Governor Napolitano is up for reelection, then they can get a lot of stuff to her desk and put her on the spot which could eventually translate into radio or TV ads.

>>Robbie Sherwood:
The other factor is there's at least I think six or so new lawmakers that ran on that strong pro-family conservative platform who are just freshmen. The barely know where their office is this year. Next year they will be more confident.

>> Michael Grant:
Robbie Sherwood, thanks for joining us. Chip Scutari we'll continue to keep an eye on the place. If you want to know more about the "Horizon" series Arizona legislature A to Z, please visit the website at www.azpbs.org. Click on the title, discover more about dynamics, term limits, lawn lobbyist and your power as a citizen. And he has been called the father of conservative thought in America, William F. Buckley, Jr., was the guest of the Goldwater Institute last month to talk about the history of American conservatism. Buckley founded "The National Review" and is a best selling author. Accompanying him was his son, noted author, editor, humorist, Christopher Buckley. Larry Lemmons caught up with the Buckleys at the Ritz-Carlton.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It's been mentioned that National Review helped Barry Goldwater get the G.O.P. nomination in '64. Could you talk about that time and what was going through your mind?

>> William Buckley:
Sure, beginning in 1960 became plain that Goldwater was the voice of that part of the Republican party that wanted to cultivate conservative principles, and it was acknowledged when he didn't get the vice presidential nod that a fight had to be made in that direction. So he was then speaking constantly in the book, the conscious of a conservative was written in "The National Review," kept after him, kept after the Republican community to acknowledge him as that leader, and both of us succeeded. The only thing we lost was the election.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Clearly, too, as time has gone on, when you think about the election recently, Republican conservatives control both houses of Congress as well. There seems to be quite a victory for conservatism in America if you look at it in that period, '64, even though Goldwater lost the election. Things changed to Reagan, and Bush Sr. Could you talk about what seems to be a conservative victory through that period of time.

>> Christopher Buckley:
I'm not quite clear on whether or not we have had a conservative victory. I think we've had a pretty emphatic Republican victory, but when you look at the spending bill that was recently passed, this $388 billion bill that one non-conservative pundit described as a luau with some very funny things in it, I'm less clear that the principles of Barry Goldwater have been triumphant recently. But that's just my 25 cents.

>> William Buckley:
I think it's true. It becomes sort of nominally conservative when you sit around without any protests and see bills get through Congress which would have been -- which would have stopped the traffic 20 years ago. So that something is going on. What is conservative, I think, is the resistance that has been effectively given to a radical alternative, a very radical alternative was not presented but to the extent that it was, there was a sense that it wasn't wanted and, of course, on individual issues like the gay marriage, it was simply emphatic. 11 vote sites, 11 victories.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Certainly free market values could claim a victory over that period of time. Big government, you're right, it still exists and it seems to be getting bigger when you're talking about homeland security and all of that. So you have described yourself as a Libertarian. I've seen it in print. Do you see -- perhaps what is a better way to help stop the spending? Is there anything that can be done?

>> Christopher Buckley:
Well, probably calamity, economic calamity. There is a school of -- there's a school of thought that the only way to arrest government spending is to make it impossible. It's called starving the beast --

>> Larry Lemmons:
The Grover Norquist sort of thing?

>> Christopher Buckley:
Exactly. We have very high deficits. Some conservatives are worried less about deficits, they see them as almost a sort of Keynesian engine for economic growth. I am more sort of a paleorepublican in that regard. I was, by the way, brought up to believe the government should balance budgets and spending ought to be responsible. We had a president who we sadly buried earlier this year named Ronald Reagan whom I still revere and admire and was very much in the Gold -- there would have been no Reagan without Goldwater - but deficits were pretty fancy in that first term, too. So I'm frankly worried about it. I don't think we're going to see any stanching of government spending until things get really bad and the dollar is currently plummeting. We may be approaching that point. It's worth pointing out that President Bush in his -- President George W. Bush in his first term vetoed not one single bill. That strikes me as a very unconservative -- as unconservative behavior. Reagan I think vetoed, you'll have to correct me on this, but he wielded the veto pen multiple times. Even as he created large deficits.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you agree that the deficit is a problem or not?

>> William Buckley:
Well -- the answer is -- it certainly is a problem. The mechanical means by which we sought to arrest it 20 years ago, namely an amendment, which the bad deficit spending beyond a certain point simply lost appeal. That lost appeal in part for intellectual reasons because conservatives acknowledge that there are moments when deficit spending should be authorized, but those moments are in times of depression, not in times -- not at times of prosperity. Still, that voice has been substantially lost, and who is going to revive it, I don't know. I thought it was very encouraging that President Bush said just a week or so ago, any of you people want to come up with ideas of new legislation, come up simultaneously while you're at it with new ways of getting revenue for them, and that's a very good break on irresponsible spending, figure out how to pay for it.

>> Larry Lemmons:
You are on the record in the "New York Times," you had said if you had known what you know about Iraq before we had gone in that you wouldn't necessarily have supported going in. Do you still feel that way?

>> William Buckley:
Sure. I think knowing what we did, we did the right thing. Knowing what we now know, it seems to me it would have been crazy to go in as we have done without looking for alternative means of affecting the same thing, especially since we weren't as it turned out under the pressure of devastating weaponry.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Weapons of mass destruction.

>> William Buckley:
Yes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you feel the same way?

>> Christopher Buckley:
I was never particularly interventionist with regard to Iraq. I think -- during the campaign I -- if asked, I pointed out the inconsistencies in Senator Kerry's position, who in 1991 voted against going to war to kick Saddam out of Kuwait, and then voted for this war, but this war, frankly, always made me nervous. I take not joy in the humiliations that the U.S. Government has endured in the face of not finding these weapons and in the face of Abu Ghraib and one must support the troops and one does, and yet if you look at the historical success in a place like Iraq, which was simply created by Winston Churchill by drawing either a rhomboid or a parallelogram around three tribes that had been warring since the time of Nebuchednezzer, I always thought the odds of success were rather long and not encouraging. One doesn't want to be defeatist, but there it is.

>> William Buckley:
It's not a matter of infidelity to a cause to say retroactively the tactical steps I took were not a good idea. The attempted mini invasion of Europe in 1942, which beachhead was that --

>> Christopher Buckley:
The Kasserine pass --

>> William Buckley:
The answer is, we should have done it. Obviously Japan should not have attacked Pearl Harbor and wouldn't have attacked Pearl Harbor if they had known what was going to happen. So it's not -- it doesn't mean infidelity to a cause to say we should have acted differently when up against this particular crisis.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Thank you both very much for speaking with us today.

>> William Buckley:
Nice to talk to you.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona voters approved term limits for lawmakers more than a dozen years ago. How are they working? "Horizon" examines the effect of restricting the length of time people can serve in the legislature. Plus, results from the latest KAET/ASU poll. Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we continue the series by examining the role of lobbyists in the legislative process. On Thursday we're going to introduce you to a private citizen who got a bill through the legislature and talked to someone who can explain how you can do it as well. Then on Friday, please join us for the Journalists Roundtable. We'll talk about the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on this Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

The Buckleys


  • He has been called the father of conservative thought in America. William F. Buckley, Jr., was the guest of the Goldwater Institute last month to talk about the history of American conservatism. Buckley founded "The National Review" and is a best selling author. Accompanying him was his son, noted author, editor, humorist, Christopher Buckley.
Guests:
  • Robbie Sherwood - Reporter, Arizona Republic
  • Chip Scutari - Reporter, Arizona Republic


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant :
Tonight on "Horizon"...

>>Jim Weiers:
By numbers we've actually lost a little bit of ground on the Republican caucus but if you look at philosophy, it has gotten quite a bit more conservative.

>> Michael Grant:
The Arizona legislature, A to Z, we begin a four-part series on the working of the state's legislature. And a visit with the founder of the national review, William F. Buckley, Jr., and with his son, noted author, Christopher Buckley. Those stories are coming up.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. I'm Michael Grant Grant. Welcome to "Horizon." The Valley's light rail system is finally on track. Today transportation authorities made available $587 million in federal money. Over half a billion dollars will come from the federal government to pay for the initial 20-mile arterial route. Construction on a track connecting Tempe and Phoenix will begin by the end of February.

>> Michael Grant:
Tonight we start a four-part look at the Arizona legislature. Throughout this week we'll be examining the effect of term limits on the legislature, the influence of lobbyists and show how a private citizen can get a bill passed. Tonight we start the series with a look at the new leadership of both houses and how the dynamics are expected to play out between the House, the Senate and the Governor's office. Larry Lemmons gives us this overview.

>> Sen. Pres. Ken Bennett:
Neither of us can truly succeed unless the other is succeeding as well. So I hope that everything we do over the coming weeks in this legislative session, but more importantly, everything that we do this year and in the future, will keep in mind our mutual reliance on each other and our interdependence and that we will be able to work together, communicate more effectively and make Arizona an even better place tomorrow than it was yesterday.

>> Larry Lemmons:
President of the Arizona Senate Ken Bennett is addressing both houses of the Legislature on tribal day. Beside him the new speaker of the house, Jim Weiers. Bennett is speaking in a wider context but his words could easily apply to the narrower realities facing the 47th legislature. New faces mingle with old faces in both houses this year. New leadership compliments continuing leadership. Because of the changes, the general consensus is that the legislature has become more conservative.

>> Jim Weiers:
Any time you have change there is going to be a difference, and I think this year, a lot of the media have come to the conclusion, rightfully so, the legislature is a lot more conservative than it has been in the last couple years.

>> Linda Aguirre:
A lot of the same people that were in the house are now in the Senate. I don't know if you know my background, I was in the House for six years, then moved over to the Senate for another six years and the same people are there. I think we have new member in that body. Has it gone more conservative, I think the has.

>> Ken Bennett:
The Senate picked up one Republican from the 17-13 split that we had last year a couple of the seats are now occupied by a little bit more conservative members. So I think the bargaining position will be strengthened, kind of on the conservative side.

>> Phil Lopes:
That is the perception, but I think we have to wait and test that because whether one's conservative or liberal, one can't be conservative or liberal until you vote on something.

>> Larry Lemmons:
How the legislators vote is determined to some degree by the leadership. In the Senate, Ken Bennett returns as president. Timothy bee is majority leader. Majority whip is Jay Tibshraeny. For Democrats, Linda Aguirre is Senate minority leader. She replaces Jack Brown who is now in the house. She's assisted by Richard Miranda as minority whip and Harry Mitchell as assistant minority leader.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Jack was such a wonderful mentor, I learned a lot from him, it was my first time being in leadership, and I watched Jack and I saw how he handled things. I tended to be a little more spontaneous than Jack and would respond a little bit too quick. I learned from him to be patient, and so I learned a lot of patience from jack. So am I going to handle things differently? Yes, I probably will just because I have a new dynamic of different kind of leaders, I have an assistant, your former Mayor in Tempe, Harry Mitchell and Richard Miranda, where Harry has never been in leadership and neither has Richard, where with myself I had Pete Rios on one side and I had Jack Brown on the other to learn from. We have different leadership styles but me and Harry have sat down and I think we are on the same page.

>>Larry Lemmons:
In the house, Phil Lopes is minority leader. Pete Rios moved from the Senate to the House and serves as minority whip. Linda Lopez is assistant minority leader. For Republicans, Gary Pierce, is majority whip, Steven Tully is majority leader, but the biggest change is Jim Weiers, a previous speaker, who replaces Jake Flake. Flake has moved to the Senate.

>> Jim Weiers:
The speaker, and I think Jake was a great speaker, everybody has their different styles in the way they do things, and I've had this job before, which I have an advantage over Jake, he had two years to learn it, I had two years learn it and now I have two years to practice it. So I think I have a huge of advantage. I don't know if my expectation bars go one a lot of people at that point. I hope people understand that we do the best we can with what we've got and we'll service the people of the state with the best intentions and the best of our abilities.

>>Phil Lopes:
The speaker assured me as leader of the house Democrats that we will be involved at every step, that we will be at the table, whether we're talking about budget negotiations or bill negotiations, that we will be at the table, and if that happens, and I have no reason to believe it will not, then that will be a change because for the last couple of years the Democrats have felt as though we have been totally out of the loop.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Last year conservative Republicans failed to get the budget they wanted through the legislature. The governor's budget was passed largely because moderate Republicans allied themselves with Democrats.

>> Ken Bennett:
Because of the stance that some moderate Republicans took that they really favored the governor's budget, per se, it really forced the negotiations to the leadership level rather than allowing the budget to normally, as it does, normally, work through the process of the appropriations committees. This year because of some of the changes in the memberships, I think the budget process is going to move back more into the appropriation committees both in the house and the Senate, where there's representation from both the Democrat and Republican caucuses, but it's going to have to get the votes out of the appropriations committee and move through the caucuses and onto the full floor of each body.

>> Linda Aguirre:
Democrats and Republicans look at the needs of the state, and again, you have that conservative edge last year that didn't get anywhere with a budget, and it took a little, in the house side, not necessarily the Senate side, that they had to have a little upheaval amongst themselves before they realized they had to come onboard. I kind of foresee some of that may happen this time around also.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Still early in the session a more conservative legislature under different leadership must still hammer out a budget. Democratic leaders say they meet weekly with the governor to discuss strategy and her agenda. Republicans have their own agenda but it's clear the new speaker anticipates compromise.

>> Jim Weiers:
There shouldn't be a bad relationship with the governor. She plays her role as the executive branch and we play our role when it comes to legislative, and there are going to be problems, there always will, I don't care if you're married or I don't care if you're a speaker and governor or business partners, there's always going to be reasons to disagree, but you don't have to be disagreeable to do so, so I'm looking forward to it. I find her extremely interesting, very, very intelligent, I think for the most part there is a philosophical difference that we're going to have to work out and in doing so we'll just see how she either adapts or we do because there's got to be some adaptability. There has to be compromise to get anything done down there and we will see where that compromise ends up.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining us to talk about the dynamics of the current state legislature, a couple of capital reporters, Robbie Sherwood of the "Arizona Republic" and Chip Scutari of precisely the same publication. Gentlemen, good to see you. We've been overplaying this thing about the dramatic shift to the right out of the primary in general, Chip, or not?

>> Chip Scutari:
I think it's too early to tell. I think, as we were talking before the show a lot of these new conservative lawmakers, mostly Republicans, are still getting their sea legs. We haven't seen any critical issues come to the front, meaning the budget or some of the social issues. One of the first test cases could have been this ban on gay marriages, but some social conservative groups took that to the public and they're going to do an initiative in 2006. I don't see really you how these new conservatives and the new leaders, speaker Weiers and Ken Bennett president of the senate, would have dealt with this issue and how fast they would have got it to Governor Napolitano's desk.

>> Michael Grant:
Robbie, at least some element of the right felt uncomfortable enough with this legislature that it would pass too moderate a ban on gay marriage to leave it in the hands of the legislature.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
Now they didn't admit to exactly that, but certainly the assumption was that if they could get it -- the version of that referendum through in the form that they wanted, they would just do that because why seed credit for for doing this important piece of legislation to like the center for Arizona policy or a grass roots effort when you could have done it yourself.

>>Michael Grant:
You were making the point, and I hadn't focused in on that, but actually Jim Weiers sits in a rather unique seat at this point.

>>Robbie Sherwood:
Yeah, you heard him talking in a little more conciliatory tone of wanting to get to know Janet Napolitano and that's probably a very smart thing to do because Jim Weiers, you're going to talk about term limits later in the week, but he started his clock, so to speak again as speaker. He's new to the house.

>>Michael Grant:
Pretty rare that someone becomes speaker right after they walk in the door.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
Yes, but this is Arizona, and -- but he has the potential to remain in that position for eight years. Governor Napolitano, if she wins reelection in two years has the potential to stay in her seat for eight years. These two probably ought to get together and know each other because they might be stuck with each other for the better part of the next decade.

>> Michael Grant:
But Chip is this the usual kum ba yah stuff we hear at the start of every legislature?

>> Chip Scutari:
January is always a nice month, we'll work together, solve the budget, bipartisan but when February comes around and March and starts getting hotter in April and May, then things -- we'll see how these new leaders up to the task. One point I wanted to make, this is clearly a more conservative legislature, when you take Linda Bender who is a moderate and replace her with Ron Gold who is not a moderate and replace Slade Mead, Republicans called him a rhino Republican in name only and replace him with John Huppenthal who was in the House, we clearly have a more at least philosophical conservative movement in the house and Senate. So I think that's good to establish that. We're definitely dealing with a much more conservative group of law makers this time around.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
And we are -- you haven't seen what some of the hurdles to this arrangement are going to be, but I think that once you progress on the budget, you're going to see where these divisions -- where the changes have really come forth because you have a group of lawmakers who are now in control of the budget who are trying to paint a picture where we're still in a fiscal mess, where the revenues are not coming n we're too broke to do some of the things on the governor's agenda, the expansion of all day K, that sort of thing. On the other hand, if you read the bills that are coming into the hopper, just off the top of my head, can I name at least $100 million in proposed tax cuts that are coming through the -- we're apparently not too broke to propose those, although it will come in the next fiscal year, but they will have to get the story straight as they move forward in a way that makes sense to the public.

>>Michael Grant:
What about the dynamics between the houses? It's no secret that the relationship between Senate president Bennett and house speaker Weiers personally is a little chilly, going back a couple years.

>> Chip Scutari:
We have to keep in mind that senator Bennett defeated Jim Weiers to be Senate president just two years ago, so when Jim Weiers was in the Senate, he kind of played the role of a back bencher, didn't do a lot. We hear they're not chummy. We don't know if they're going out socializing or anything like that, but I think what they are trying to do is establish a better working relationship with the governor. We all know that the past two years, Eddie Farnsworth, the house majority leader and speaker Jake Flake didn't enjoy a good relationship with the governor and things broke down over that. So I really think the X factor in all these dynamics is Governor Napolitano. Her state of the state speech, most people said it sounded like a Republican, she talked about business tax cuts -- she even labeled all day K as the greatest single school choice program. So she's clearly trying to sound more moderate leading up to her 2006 reelection. That will be a big deal in how all these dynamics play out.

>> Robbie Sherwood:
But the test is to come once the legislation starts getting to her desk and she has to decide whether to sign it. We're talking about tax cuts. There's a tax cut for school supplies for teachers that I'm sure she's probably not going to like because they would rather have an appropriation for that but what it if it passes, this is the year it gets to her desk, she has to think long and hard about signing something like that. Because he thinks like a political strategist instead of a reporter. And when that hits, Janet Napolitano vetoed school supplies for teachers, why do you hate children, Janet Napolitano, can't you just that happening? She will have to think about some of these things that are landing on her desk.

>>Michael Grant:
How -- are we going to see a strength of -- they have been referred to as wedge issues, in fact, I call it that, but are we going to see a string of measures on abortion, gay rights we talked about, put it aside, basically the social -- the values issues be passed out and governor sign this or run the risk of not good results in 2006?

>>Chip Scutari:
You know, leading up to the session I would have said that would have been the case but as we talked about before, the gay marriage ban is going to be put to the ballot. When I talked to Kathy, the lobbyist for the pro-family conservative center for Arizona policy, she said she's not sure if they will do an informed consent bill this year, they may work on it or not. There are other social issues that will be brought up I'm kind of thinking that 2006 may be the year for that. That's when Governor Napolitano is up for reelection, then they can get a lot of stuff to her desk and put her on the spot which could eventually translate into radio or TV ads.

>>Robbie Sherwood:
The other factor is there's at least I think six or so new lawmakers that ran on that strong pro-family conservative platform who are just freshmen. The barely know where their office is this year. Next year they will be more confident.

>> Michael Grant:
Robbie Sherwood, thanks for joining us. Chip Scutari we'll continue to keep an eye on the place. If you want to know more about the "Horizon" series Arizona legislature A to Z, please visit the website at www.azpbs.org. Click on the title, discover more about dynamics, term limits, lawn lobbyist and your power as a citizen. And he has been called the father of conservative thought in America, William F. Buckley, Jr., was the guest of the Goldwater Institute last month to talk about the history of American conservatism. Buckley founded "The National Review" and is a best selling author. Accompanying him was his son, noted author, editor, humorist, Christopher Buckley. Larry Lemmons caught up with the Buckleys at the Ritz-Carlton.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It's been mentioned that National Review helped Barry Goldwater get the G.O.P. nomination in '64. Could you talk about that time and what was going through your mind?

>> William Buckley:
Sure, beginning in 1960 became plain that Goldwater was the voice of that part of the Republican party that wanted to cultivate conservative principles, and it was acknowledged when he didn't get the vice presidential nod that a fight had to be made in that direction. So he was then speaking constantly in the book, the conscious of a conservative was written in "The National Review," kept after him, kept after the Republican community to acknowledge him as that leader, and both of us succeeded. The only thing we lost was the election.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Clearly, too, as time has gone on, when you think about the election recently, Republican conservatives control both houses of Congress as well. There seems to be quite a victory for conservatism in America if you look at it in that period, '64, even though Goldwater lost the election. Things changed to Reagan, and Bush Sr. Could you talk about what seems to be a conservative victory through that period of time.

>> Christopher Buckley:
I'm not quite clear on whether or not we have had a conservative victory. I think we've had a pretty emphatic Republican victory, but when you look at the spending bill that was recently passed, this $388 billion bill that one non-conservative pundit described as a luau with some very funny things in it, I'm less clear that the principles of Barry Goldwater have been triumphant recently. But that's just my 25 cents.

>> William Buckley:
I think it's true. It becomes sort of nominally conservative when you sit around without any protests and see bills get through Congress which would have been -- which would have stopped the traffic 20 years ago. So that something is going on. What is conservative, I think, is the resistance that has been effectively given to a radical alternative, a very radical alternative was not presented but to the extent that it was, there was a sense that it wasn't wanted and, of course, on individual issues like the gay marriage, it was simply emphatic. 11 vote sites, 11 victories.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Certainly free market values could claim a victory over that period of time. Big government, you're right, it still exists and it seems to be getting bigger when you're talking about homeland security and all of that. So you have described yourself as a Libertarian. I've seen it in print. Do you see -- perhaps what is a better way to help stop the spending? Is there anything that can be done?

>> Christopher Buckley:
Well, probably calamity, economic calamity. There is a school of -- there's a school of thought that the only way to arrest government spending is to make it impossible. It's called starving the beast --

>> Larry Lemmons:
The Grover Norquist sort of thing?

>> Christopher Buckley:
Exactly. We have very high deficits. Some conservatives are worried less about deficits, they see them as almost a sort of Keynesian engine for economic growth. I am more sort of a paleorepublican in that regard. I was, by the way, brought up to believe the government should balance budgets and spending ought to be responsible. We had a president who we sadly buried earlier this year named Ronald Reagan whom I still revere and admire and was very much in the Gold -- there would have been no Reagan without Goldwater - but deficits were pretty fancy in that first term, too. So I'm frankly worried about it. I don't think we're going to see any stanching of government spending until things get really bad and the dollar is currently plummeting. We may be approaching that point. It's worth pointing out that President Bush in his -- President George W. Bush in his first term vetoed not one single bill. That strikes me as a very unconservative -- as unconservative behavior. Reagan I think vetoed, you'll have to correct me on this, but he wielded the veto pen multiple times. Even as he created large deficits.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you agree that the deficit is a problem or not?

>> William Buckley:
Well -- the answer is -- it certainly is a problem. The mechanical means by which we sought to arrest it 20 years ago, namely an amendment, which the bad deficit spending beyond a certain point simply lost appeal. That lost appeal in part for intellectual reasons because conservatives acknowledge that there are moments when deficit spending should be authorized, but those moments are in times of depression, not in times -- not at times of prosperity. Still, that voice has been substantially lost, and who is going to revive it, I don't know. I thought it was very encouraging that President Bush said just a week or so ago, any of you people want to come up with ideas of new legislation, come up simultaneously while you're at it with new ways of getting revenue for them, and that's a very good break on irresponsible spending, figure out how to pay for it.

>> Larry Lemmons:
You are on the record in the "New York Times," you had said if you had known what you know about Iraq before we had gone in that you wouldn't necessarily have supported going in. Do you still feel that way?

>> William Buckley:
Sure. I think knowing what we did, we did the right thing. Knowing what we now know, it seems to me it would have been crazy to go in as we have done without looking for alternative means of affecting the same thing, especially since we weren't as it turned out under the pressure of devastating weaponry.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Weapons of mass destruction.

>> William Buckley:
Yes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you feel the same way?

>> Christopher Buckley:
I was never particularly interventionist with regard to Iraq. I think -- during the campaign I -- if asked, I pointed out the inconsistencies in Senator Kerry's position, who in 1991 voted against going to war to kick Saddam out of Kuwait, and then voted for this war, but this war, frankly, always made me nervous. I take not joy in the humiliations that the U.S. Government has endured in the face of not finding these weapons and in the face of Abu Ghraib and one must support the troops and one does, and yet if you look at the historical success in a place like Iraq, which was simply created by Winston Churchill by drawing either a rhomboid or a parallelogram around three tribes that had been warring since the time of Nebuchednezzer, I always thought the odds of success were rather long and not encouraging. One doesn't want to be defeatist, but there it is.

>> William Buckley:
It's not a matter of infidelity to a cause to say retroactively the tactical steps I took were not a good idea. The attempted mini invasion of Europe in 1942, which beachhead was that --

>> Christopher Buckley:
The Kasserine pass --

>> William Buckley:
The answer is, we should have done it. Obviously Japan should not have attacked Pearl Harbor and wouldn't have attacked Pearl Harbor if they had known what was going to happen. So it's not -- it doesn't mean infidelity to a cause to say we should have acted differently when up against this particular crisis.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Thank you both very much for speaking with us today.

>> William Buckley:
Nice to talk to you.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona voters approved term limits for lawmakers more than a dozen years ago. How are they working? "Horizon" examines the effect of restricting the length of time people can serve in the legislature. Plus, results from the latest KAET/ASU poll. Tuesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we continue the series by examining the role of lobbyists in the legislative process. On Thursday we're going to introduce you to a private citizen who got a bill through the legislature and talked to someone who can explain how you can do it as well. Then on Friday, please join us for the Journalists Roundtable. We'll talk about the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on this Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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