Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

July 9, 2007


Host:

Arizona Economic Forum


  • Forum President Alan Maguire shares what the forum participants considered last month in Flagstaff.
Guests:
  • Russell Pearce - State Representative
  • Steve Gallardo - State House minority whip
  • Jessica Pacheco - Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Category: Business/Economy

View Transcript
>>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, the employee sanctions bill is now law but won't take effect until January. Meanwhile, will the legislature need to tweak it?

>>> Richard Ruelas:
Two political types go head to head on issues that affect Arizona in our regular Monday feature, one on one.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
And a gathering in Flagstaff focuses on the state's economy. Those stories next on Horizon.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
At the beginning of next year, some of the toughest penalties for companies hiring undocumented migrants will go into effect in Arizona. A week ago Governor Janet Napolitano signed house bill 2779 into law. Employers could face the loss of a business license if caught knowingly hiring illegal immigrants but she's willing to call for a special session of the legislature to fix flaws in the law. That prompted response from the legislature.

>>Russell Pearce:
I'm concerned about what she sees as flawed, you know, there is a letter that was left out which is almost non-consequential because it's stayed in several other places. But the information I'm getting from that is they would like to weaken the bill and i'm here to tell you, that won't happen. That's why, I mean, voters will have the last say, if there's any effort to destroy or weaken it. It's a fair bill, a fair bill. And to want to call a special session before it even takes effect, you know, in January? You know, this is a little silly. Already wanting to water down the bill before we see the effects of good legislation. This is good. I worked with the honest business community who was come to me, we worked hard on this with good language. This is a good bill.

>>Steve Gallardo:
I feel that businesses across the state of Arizona would be very, very, very concerned this terms of hiring anyone who is perceived to be undocumented. I think businesses would be very reluctant on who they hire and could face possible discrimination issues on some businesses, and no fault of their own. They are now under this particular piece of legislation required to verify employees through pilot program that does not work. Anyone in this country will tell you that the basic pilot program is not 100\%, it's a failed Program and it needs to be addressed at the federal level. There are also the prosecution flaws to it. The whole issue that we can have a county attorney, a very -- county attorney can be very selective who he applies this law to. Are we going to target every business or just those businesses that are small businesses that hire folks of Hispanic or Mexican descent?

>> Richard Ruelas:
Joining me now to talk about the future of employer sanctions in Arizona, the sponsor of the original bill, representative Russell Pearce of mesa and house minority whip representative Steve Gallardo. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.

>> Russell Pearce, Steve Gallardo:
Thank you.

>> Richard Ruelas:
we start with you, representative pearce. You have introduced some version of this measure for five years now. We were trying to add up how many sessions it's been.

>>Russell Pearce:
Six years, yes.

>> Richard Ruelas:
it's now passed. Talk of a special session, the governor in her signing statement said that the session would be simply to fix flaws in the law but not to water down the intent. But how would you see a special session?

>>Russell Pearce:
the rumor has it that there's an attempt to water it down. But the point is, a special session is not necessary. The bill doesn't take effect until January 1st. Then it wilt be months before you see any effect, because investigations take time. I'm hoping employers will self-comply. That's the purpose of law. I'm hoping there's no investigations or sanctions. I'm hoping people follow the law. It's been the law since 1986. It's a felony to hire illegal immigrants.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona chamber of commerce said that if I special session is held, use of the basic pilot program should be delayed, Jake Flake, member of the house, had reservations. You see buyer's remorse from republicans? Anyhow,

>> Russell Pearce:
Maybe Jake should have come to the invite I gave limb to view the basic pilot verification program when we had a demonstration in the house. It works well ultimately within three to four days, 99.7\% of all legal workers are verified. And the point is, they said and we asked right there, if we put every single Arizona employer on it tomorrow, what would be the impact to the system, they said absolutely nothing. They're more than prepared for that advent. They're hearing it from the nation to come on board if they so choose in terms of mandatory provision. It is designed for the purpose of helping employers hire legal aliens. That's the whole purpose. It's free, easy to use. To back away at all is absolutely silly. It's there for that purpose. We have a crisis in America it's about time we start dealing with it and use the tools available to us through homeland security, you know, in order to help employers be honest and hire the right people.

>> Richard Ruelas:
representative Gallardo, you have a different point of view. What do you see as the flaws of this legislation?

>>Steve Gallardo:
you touched on one; the actual basic pilot program is one of the biggest flaws. I have to totally disagree, that's inaccurate. 97\% accuracy is not true. You ask anybody either on the federal level or locally, even business owners, they'll tell you it is not 100\% accurate, not even close to 97\%, as Mr. Pearce --

>>Russell Pearce:
this is the information right here.

>>Steve Gallardo:
-- has indicated. Even congress is wanting to talk about revamping the basic pilot program. It is a flawed -- and to hold businesses accountable to be able to use it and expect it to be valid is false. It's a wrong way of treating businesses. We need to hold businesses accountable. We do not want to kill them. We need to provide them the path and methods and tools they need to vary, it's a flawed program, the basic pilot program.

>> Richard Ruelas:
not to quote back yourself back to yourself, representative Gallardo, but you've said in October 3rd, 2006, we need to secure the border and go after employers hiring illegally, January '06, the magnet this country has in terms of jobs, getting people to come across the border. How would you propose we somehow 6 make employers check their workers without using basic pilot or without being discriminatory?

>> Steve Gallardo:
that's part of the actual debate nationally, congress is looking at. We can't forget. This is a federal issue. Congress has to step up to the plate. We need to deal with illegal immigration from a comprehensive standpoint that includes border security, employer sanctions, what do we do with the 12 million undocumented that are in the country already illegally. How do we correct the legal path to citizenship, all aspects that have to be dealt with on a federal level, not state level. The Arizona state legislature cannot solve a federal issue alone. We don't have the resources or manpower to deal with this issue. We need to rely on the federal government. We have to continue to put pressure on federal government.

>> Richard Ruelas:
what is your thought on the database?

>> Russell Pearce:
first of all, we had a demonstration with homeland security, we had them there for two hours asking tough questions. Simply the misinformation by those who don't want to enforce the law and you talk about Representative Gallardo and statements in the past, others too, and they voted against every piece of legislation to do something with it. This is called the fare and legal employment act and that's because it is a fair and legal employment act. Even the governor admitted that they'll stand with the constitution and it's fair.

>> Steve Gallardo:
it's a flawed immigration act. It's flawed.

>>Russell Pearce:
no, see --

>> Steve Gallardo:
the way.

>> Russell Pearce:
-- don't interrupt.

>>Steve Gallardo:
it's not a workable solution.

>>Russell Pearce:
misinformation -- I'm not going to put up with the misinformation. We talked to homeland security. Steve wasn't there. He was invited and didn't come down for that demonstration as many others didn't. We had them on the floor for over two hours in terms of video and teleconferencing with homeland security, and we asked every question you could possibly ask, and here's their own data. Within three to four days, 92\% initially, after that the 8\% nonverified initially, most of that employer error on data entry. Within three to four days, 99.7\% were ultimately solved within that time frame.

>> Steve Gallardo:
president bush and congress even --

>>Russell Peace:
first of all -- Steve, don't.

>>Russell Pearce:
first of all, he's right. First of all, let's deal with the facts. You're not punished for misinformation by them. First of all, understand, you're given a rebuttal for presumption. That is a presumption of innocence if you use the program. It's a good program. It's to their benefit to use it.

>> Richard Ruelas:
that is where the typo is, rebuttal of presumption, using basic --

>>Russell Pearce:
no, no, no, it's not that's not the typo. The typo is based on the reference to the federal statute u.s.c. And 24, should have been a and b. It's mentioned several other places in the bill though. It has no effect on the enforcement. But I want people to understand, it's a tool given to them. It's free, easy to use. The purpose of it is to help them. Why wouldn't you use a tool if unless you don't want to know who you're hiring, that's the only purpose for not using it. And you're rewarded for using it, not if it fails, you get a rebuttal presumption, presumption of innocence if you use it. We did everything we could to protect the good employer and go after those who knowingly and intentionally hire illegal immigrants. You won't be prosecuted for an honest mistake.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Representative Gallardo, how do you see this being enforced and what are your fears if this stays as is and goes forward?

>> Steve Gallardo:
I think the governor put it best in her letter that there are issues of discrimination that could possibly come out of this. This is one of the unintended consequences, the idea you have a very egregious county attorney, who would be selective in whom they prosecute. Is he going after the home builders, the resorts and hotels in our society or state, or are they going to be very selective, small independent Hispanic owned businesses that cater to the Hispanic community. Is he going to be selective on how he prosecutes? That's a big issue. The egregious county attorney made himself very clear on where he stands.

>> Russell Pearce:
it's based on the law. That's an outrageous assumption, steve.

>>Steve Gallardo:
no, we're not giving the attorney general the prosecuting, we're giving it to the county attorney. Let's give it to the.

>> Richard Ruelas:
ratchet down the heat.

>> Steve Gallardo:
let's give it to the --

>>Russell Pearce:
I know Steve --

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen.

>>Steve Gallardo:
you're the only one that doesn't want to talk about discrimination.

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, we'll have you back and talk solely about the prosecution and as this goes forward and if special session comes through, we'll see how that goes, but for now, we have to end it here. As things are going, you're making channel 8 viewers turn down their volume. But thanks for joining us. Every Monday evening we feature two political experts going one on one on issues that affect the state. Tonight we focus on guess what employment issues. Rebekah friend, executive director of the afl-cio debates Jessica Pacheco vice president of public affairs for the Arizona chamber of commerce.

>>Jessica Pacheco:
Rebekah, it's great to be here with you, and we wanted to briefly mention that last week the governor signed into law the toughest employer sanctions bill in the country and quite frankly we at the Arizona chamber of commerce and industry think it's a crippling blow for business, and not because a lot of people have been claiming because you don't believe in employer sanctions, that's not the case. We do. We think employer sanctions are an important piece of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. We think state by state immigration policy or piecemeal pol is are bad for Arizona and the united states. It's a crippling blow to Arizona because it really cuts into our competitive edge. Why are you going to come here when you can go to Nevada or New Mexico and not have all of this additional bureaucracy to deal with?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we are very, very concerned about the issues that this is going to cause for Arizona, and the potential discrimination that's embedded in this law. And we hope sincerely that the governor and legislative leaders are going to come together, call a special session, and address some of the very blatant issues that this law has.

>>Rebekah Friend: and I understand the chamber's concerns, and i've read some of the material you've put out. Currently the Arizona afl-cio has not taken a position on this issue because our affiliates have not reached consensus. So we will be i'm sure addressing this as we go down through the year. 11

>> Jessica Pacheco: we hope to be shoulder to shoulder with you in that fight. Come on over.

>> Rebekah Friend: understand. Understand. Understand that it usually works better if we do agree on a subject. So let's talk about the employee free choice act, which just last week we had the majority of votes in the senate but didn't reach the 60 to get it out, and why I believe that that's an important bill. That bill does three things. It allows for a majority sign-up, which means that if a majority of employees in a workplace want a union, they can sign cards and then you go to negotiating a contract. It provides for a neutral mediator in case the two parties cannot agree to mediate the first contract and it also increases penalties for employers who violate the law. We in labor collectively believe this is probably one of the most important pieces of federal legislation that we've ever faced and believe it's necessary.

>> Jessica Pacheco: I want to talk to you about that. Because on those very three points we have concerns, and right now there's a secret ballot process to establish a unionized workforce. And we very firmly believe in that secret balloting process because we feel it's a fundamental part of the America n democracy. We also believe, and to your last point, that the it eliminates potential coercion that can occur on both sides. 12 both by an employer and an employee, or an organization or union.

>>Rebekah Friend: I'm glad you brought that up because we have studies that show that 78\% of employers use some form of coercion, and the secret ballot elections are unlike any other in any other democratic party.

>> Jessica Pacheco: that's funny; we have the same studies that show the exact opposite. So to your second point on arbitration, and we think the process of arbitration is not a bad one. However, to have binding arbitration for three years we feel does not appropriately take into account market fluctuations. Both as an example, we don't want a company to be going into bankruptcy because of a potential contract, and conversely, we don't want a company that has come into a tremendous windfall and not be able to appropriately adjust to the contract with its employees. And thirdly to your point on employer coercion, I believe, and I think that you and I are on the same page here, that those bad actors should be significantly punished. However, I don't believe that that only falls on one side of the aisle. And so were that part of the legislation talking about both organized labor and employers, I think we'd have something to talk about.

>> Rebekah Friend: so let's get back to the secret ballot elections that we hear consistently from the business community as part of the democratic process. These secret ballot elections are not a democratic process. They're controlled by the employer. They have the ability to hold closed door meetings and it's not a democratic process. It is a process which favors the employer. So we believe that should be set aside. Now, clearly in the legislation, it says that if one third of those workers want a national labor relations board election, you can still have the secret ballot. So it takes the decision about forming and joining a union and puts it where it belongs in the worker's hands, not the employer's.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
back to the secret ballot process, if that is the case, you're concerned about potential closed-door meetings that stuff, let's structure legislation that allows workers to keep the secret ballot. That's fundamental and organized labor has thought that for a long time this. Is a new thing that's come about. We're looking at many member organizations across the country. We're looking at decreasing membership, and in our opinion this is an attempt to legislate a membership drive. And by the way, I think it's a phenomenal idea. I wish we could do it at the chamber but unfortunately we can't.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, I think at the chamber is a whole different ballgame. But let's get back to this. This allows the worker the right to form and join a union if they choose. It's a fundamental right. Long, long time of employer abuse and misuse of these practices.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
and organized labor also.

>>Rebekah Friend:
and it is --

>> Jessica Pacheco:
abuses take place on both sides of the aisle.

>>Rebekah Friend:
supported across the board by most of congress, it's supported by everybody except the president of the United States, faith groups, advocacy groups.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
70\% of folks that belong to a union agree with the secret ballot process. But enough of that, because we're back to Arizona.

>>Rebekah Friend:
one point --

>>Rebekah Friend:
and 77\% of the general population believes that an employee's right to freely choose to form and join a union now go back.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
ok. We can stay there all day. But now back to Arizona and the right to work. Obviously we believe in the concept of right to work, because we believe in employee choice. An employee should have the choice whether or not to join a union. And let me be very clear, we don't advocate whether you should or shouldn't join a union. We advocate on choice the. You have have that choice. Arizona is a big tenet in we want works that do and don't belong to unions, we want everybody. So I have a hard time understanding what's wrong with Right to work.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, right to work is misnamed. It's not the right to work. It's the right to free load. One of the basic concepts about it is that you have a right to choose to join a union or not. If a union and no business would put up with this, by the way. If I owned a business and a customer came in and they came in and say it was a candy business and they went around and ate all of the candy then started to go out the door without paying and said oh, the customer before me paid for it, businesses would be up in arms. This is the same thing that happens with right to work. You can go to work at a company where there is a collective bargaining agreement and not pay the dues.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
if I understand you rectally, then should every business in Arizona be a member of the chamber?

>>Rebekah Friend:
I have no idea. Is the chamber effective?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
very.

>>Rebekah Friend:
well, I guess that's your selling point, just like what we sell is quality labor.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
exactly. If you're effective people will join up.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they are.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
give them the choice.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they do have the choice.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
they don't.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we're a right to work state and we should keep that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
right to work states across the board have lower healthcare, lower wages, it's a misnamed.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
you know, i've looked at some of those statistics and quite frankly if you take one data Point out of the entire picture it doesn't give you a good sense of what's going on. Michigan is a great example of that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
we have different statistics and we'll always disagree with statistics.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
that's very true.

>>Rebekah Friend:
you have yours. But the reality is one of the things it does is impede unions, because we have to represent someone who's not paying dues, just the same as we represent a dues-paying member. It's a free loader.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
same thing on the chamber when I'm advocating on behalf of a healthy business climate. The point is the individual or company, whoever, has the choice, the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
I will tell you most of the large corporate citizens in Arizona have unions, they're profitable and successful, AT&T, A.P.S., quest, Fry's, Safeway.

>>Rebekah Friend:
so a union doesn't contribute to the downfall of a business.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I'm saying we should keep the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
it should go.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I don't think so.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona economic forum meets every year to discuss the state's economy and ponder possibilities that might improve it. The 28th forum was held in flagstaff and earlier I spoke with the president of the forum, alan maguire. Alan maguire, thanks for joining us.

>>Alan Maguire:
my pleasure.

>> Richard Ruelas:
tell us about the Arizona economic forum.

>>Alan Maguire:
this was our 28th year, we've been meeting in flagstaff, Arizona, every june, to talk about issues confronting our state and try to provide an opportunity for free market economic ideas to be brought forward but in a balanced perspective so we have viewpoints that differ and we allow the people who attend to form their own opinions based on facts and discussions.

>>Richard Ruelas:
flagstaff in june, smart people.

>> Alan Maguire:
lovely, absolutely.

>> Richard Ruelas:
you had a lot on the agenda, the initiative process being one of the forums. What came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire
t's a very controversial topic. People love it and hate it at the same time. We had comments from some of the panelists talking about the fact that well, you know, these initiatives guess passed with misleading campaigns. On the other hand, they are a classic and traditional form of the final refuge for voters if they're fed up with the legislature, they can use that process. I think there's some continuing conversation about the fact that we could improve the system a little bit, maybe make the topics narrower, not so broad, and but at the same time protect this important right for citizens to be able to speak out. And I think there are some lessons that have been learned from the voter protection process, you remember a number of years ago there was a medical marijuana initiative passed, legislature changed it, the people came back and said wait a Second, that was our initiative, we want it the way it was. Don't mess around with our initiatives anymore. So it was a good healthy discussion, no specific recommendations, but some serious thought about future improvements.

>> Richard Ruelas:
there was a legislator on the panel, Mr. Adams. Was there some talk of changing the voter protection act or asking the voters if they want to again take away some of those?

>> Alan Maguire: not so much the vote procedure text act in particular but maybe the signature-gathering process, to make sure they're gathered in a fair and appropriate fashion, always concerned about the fact some buy signatures and what does that mean, is that really democracy if you pay for signatures.

>> Richard Ruelas: also on the agenda, transportation, some discussion of toll roads, what came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire:
it's a perennial issue in Arizona, keeps coming back, we keep growing and needing more ways to get around. One of the things brought up was the concept of maybe having more reliance on a market based toll road structure. Might work for some places. You can't toll existing facilities but maybe new routes or routes that would save truckers time could be a toll road example. But I think there was a consensus among all the people there that it's important to think about transportation in Arizona a little bit different. We have three different needs in Arizona, urban needs, getting around metro phoenix and tucson, rural needs, getting between flagstaff and Kingman, and we also are right between the huge metropolitan areas of Dallas/fort worth, and Los Angeles, southern california, so we're also an interstate transit route and we have to think about all those needs in transportation and makes a real challenge.

>> Richard Ruelas:
was there a discussion of heavy rail or continuing light rail?

>> Alan Maguire:
continuing conversations about the potential for commuter rail as freeways fill up and there's no more room for freeways, one way to move people, light rail and heavy commuter rail so I think we're going to see good conversations coming out in the next six months to a year.

>>Richard Ruelas:
what seemed like a vigorous discussion on the issue of state spending limits.

>> Alan Maguire:
absolutely. In 1978 and 1980, the voters passed first state spending initiative and then a refinement of that. It's been in place now for over 25 years, it limits state spending to a percentage of personal income. Over time that limitation has fallen away from actual spending. There's quite a bit of room underneath it because of a number of different reasons, but I think there was a sense that having a state spending limit helps provide sort of a check, an opportunity to stop and say how are we doing, are we growing Faster than personal income, faster than the ability for people to pay taxes and support state spending or are we growing ok, but on the other hand, be careful not to limit the prerogative of the legislature or governor when you do that.

>> Richard Ruelas:
and your panel wasn't stacked, I mean, you had a democratic lawmaker as well as my colleague bob rob at the Arizona republic.

>> Alan Maguire:
it was a great panel. We had two members of the panel involved in public policy for 30 years in Arizona. And we had two that have probably been involved for less than 10 but also very knowledgeable. So we had both a mixture of philosophical perspectives and almost different generations talking about the issues. So it was a very lively panel and I think everybody enjoyed it very much.

>> Richard Ruelas:
nobody came to blows?

>> Alan Maguire:
no, no fisticuffs.

>> Richard Ruelas:
any thoughts on topics that might bubble up next year?

>> Alan Maguire:
we set our topics early in the calendar year, based on what's up there. Next year is an election year, we often have conversations about ballot initiatives, there will be a bunch of them out there, so I would suspect we'll talk about some of those.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Alan Maguire, president of the Arizona economic forum, thanks for joining us tonight.

>> Alan Maguire:
thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
that's all for this edition of horizon. I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.

Employer Sanctions


  • A discussion of the new law signed by the governor that punishes employers who knowingly hire undocumented migrants. The billís sponsors, Representative Russell Pearce and Minority Whip Representative Steve Gallardo, will be our guests.
Guests:
  • Russell Pearce - State Representative
  • Steve Gallardo - State House minority whip
  • Jessica Pacheco - Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Category: Immigration

View Transcript
>>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, the employee sanctions bill is now law but won't take effect until January. Meanwhile, will the legislature need to tweak it?

>>> Richard Ruelas:
Two political types go head to head on issues that affect Arizona in our regular Monday feature, one on one.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
And a gathering in Flagstaff focuses on the state's economy. Those stories next on Horizon.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
At the beginning of next year, some of the toughest penalties for companies hiring undocumented migrants will go into effect in Arizona. A week ago Governor Janet Napolitano signed house bill 2779 into law. Employers could face the loss of a business license if caught knowingly hiring illegal immigrants but she's willing to call for a special session of the legislature to fix flaws in the law. That prompted response from the legislature.

>>Russell Pearce:
I'm concerned about what she sees as flawed, you know, there is a letter that was left out which is almost non-consequential because it's stayed in several other places. But the information I'm getting from that is they would like to weaken the bill and i'm here to tell you, that won't happen. That's why, I mean, voters will have the last say, if there's any effort to destroy or weaken it. It's a fair bill, a fair bill. And to want to call a special session before it even takes effect, you know, in January? You know, this is a little silly. Already wanting to water down the bill before we see the effects of good legislation. This is good. I worked with the honest business community who was come to me, we worked hard on this with good language. This is a good bill.

>>Steve Gallardo:
I feel that businesses across the state of Arizona would be very, very, very concerned this terms of hiring anyone who is perceived to be undocumented. I think businesses would be very reluctant on who they hire and could face possible discrimination issues on some businesses, and no fault of their own. They are now under this particular piece of legislation required to verify employees through pilot program that does not work. Anyone in this country will tell you that the basic pilot program is not 100\%, it's a failed Program and it needs to be addressed at the federal level. There are also the prosecution flaws to it. The whole issue that we can have a county attorney, a very -- county attorney can be very selective who he applies this law to. Are we going to target every business or just those businesses that are small businesses that hire folks of Hispanic or Mexican descent?

>> Richard Ruelas:
Joining me now to talk about the future of employer sanctions in Arizona, the sponsor of the original bill, representative Russell Pearce of mesa and house minority whip representative Steve Gallardo. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.

>> Russell Pearce, Steve Gallardo:
Thank you.

>> Richard Ruelas:
we start with you, representative pearce. You have introduced some version of this measure for five years now. We were trying to add up how many sessions it's been.

>>Russell Pearce:
Six years, yes.

>> Richard Ruelas:
it's now passed. Talk of a special session, the governor in her signing statement said that the session would be simply to fix flaws in the law but not to water down the intent. But how would you see a special session?

>>Russell Pearce:
the rumor has it that there's an attempt to water it down. But the point is, a special session is not necessary. The bill doesn't take effect until January 1st. Then it wilt be months before you see any effect, because investigations take time. I'm hoping employers will self-comply. That's the purpose of law. I'm hoping there's no investigations or sanctions. I'm hoping people follow the law. It's been the law since 1986. It's a felony to hire illegal immigrants.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona chamber of commerce said that if I special session is held, use of the basic pilot program should be delayed, Jake Flake, member of the house, had reservations. You see buyer's remorse from republicans? Anyhow,

>> Russell Pearce:
Maybe Jake should have come to the invite I gave limb to view the basic pilot verification program when we had a demonstration in the house. It works well ultimately within three to four days, 99.7\% of all legal workers are verified. And the point is, they said and we asked right there, if we put every single Arizona employer on it tomorrow, what would be the impact to the system, they said absolutely nothing. They're more than prepared for that advent. They're hearing it from the nation to come on board if they so choose in terms of mandatory provision. It is designed for the purpose of helping employers hire legal aliens. That's the whole purpose. It's free, easy to use. To back away at all is absolutely silly. It's there for that purpose. We have a crisis in America it's about time we start dealing with it and use the tools available to us through homeland security, you know, in order to help employers be honest and hire the right people.

>> Richard Ruelas:
representative Gallardo, you have a different point of view. What do you see as the flaws of this legislation?

>>Steve Gallardo:
you touched on one; the actual basic pilot program is one of the biggest flaws. I have to totally disagree, that's inaccurate. 97\% accuracy is not true. You ask anybody either on the federal level or locally, even business owners, they'll tell you it is not 100\% accurate, not even close to 97\%, as Mr. Pearce --

>>Russell Pearce:
this is the information right here.

>>Steve Gallardo:
-- has indicated. Even congress is wanting to talk about revamping the basic pilot program. It is a flawed -- and to hold businesses accountable to be able to use it and expect it to be valid is false. It's a wrong way of treating businesses. We need to hold businesses accountable. We do not want to kill them. We need to provide them the path and methods and tools they need to vary, it's a flawed program, the basic pilot program.

>> Richard Ruelas:
not to quote back yourself back to yourself, representative Gallardo, but you've said in October 3rd, 2006, we need to secure the border and go after employers hiring illegally, January '06, the magnet this country has in terms of jobs, getting people to come across the border. How would you propose we somehow 6 make employers check their workers without using basic pilot or without being discriminatory?

>> Steve Gallardo:
that's part of the actual debate nationally, congress is looking at. We can't forget. This is a federal issue. Congress has to step up to the plate. We need to deal with illegal immigration from a comprehensive standpoint that includes border security, employer sanctions, what do we do with the 12 million undocumented that are in the country already illegally. How do we correct the legal path to citizenship, all aspects that have to be dealt with on a federal level, not state level. The Arizona state legislature cannot solve a federal issue alone. We don't have the resources or manpower to deal with this issue. We need to rely on the federal government. We have to continue to put pressure on federal government.

>> Richard Ruelas:
what is your thought on the database?

>> Russell Pearce:
first of all, we had a demonstration with homeland security, we had them there for two hours asking tough questions. Simply the misinformation by those who don't want to enforce the law and you talk about Representative Gallardo and statements in the past, others too, and they voted against every piece of legislation to do something with it. This is called the fare and legal employment act and that's because it is a fair and legal employment act. Even the governor admitted that they'll stand with the constitution and it's fair.

>> Steve Gallardo:
it's a flawed immigration act. It's flawed.

>>Russell Pearce:
no, see --

>> Steve Gallardo:
the way.

>> Russell Pearce:
-- don't interrupt.

>>Steve Gallardo:
it's not a workable solution.

>>Russell Pearce:
misinformation -- I'm not going to put up with the misinformation. We talked to homeland security. Steve wasn't there. He was invited and didn't come down for that demonstration as many others didn't. We had them on the floor for over two hours in terms of video and teleconferencing with homeland security, and we asked every question you could possibly ask, and here's their own data. Within three to four days, 92\% initially, after that the 8\% nonverified initially, most of that employer error on data entry. Within three to four days, 99.7\% were ultimately solved within that time frame.

>> Steve Gallardo:
president bush and congress even --

>>Russell Peace:
first of all -- Steve, don't.

>>Russell Pearce:
first of all, he's right. First of all, let's deal with the facts. You're not punished for misinformation by them. First of all, understand, you're given a rebuttal for presumption. That is a presumption of innocence if you use the program. It's a good program. It's to their benefit to use it.

>> Richard Ruelas:
that is where the typo is, rebuttal of presumption, using basic --

>>Russell Pearce:
no, no, no, it's not that's not the typo. The typo is based on the reference to the federal statute u.s.c. And 24, should have been a and b. It's mentioned several other places in the bill though. It has no effect on the enforcement. But I want people to understand, it's a tool given to them. It's free, easy to use. The purpose of it is to help them. Why wouldn't you use a tool if unless you don't want to know who you're hiring, that's the only purpose for not using it. And you're rewarded for using it, not if it fails, you get a rebuttal presumption, presumption of innocence if you use it. We did everything we could to protect the good employer and go after those who knowingly and intentionally hire illegal immigrants. You won't be prosecuted for an honest mistake.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Representative Gallardo, how do you see this being enforced and what are your fears if this stays as is and goes forward?

>> Steve Gallardo:
I think the governor put it best in her letter that there are issues of discrimination that could possibly come out of this. This is one of the unintended consequences, the idea you have a very egregious county attorney, who would be selective in whom they prosecute. Is he going after the home builders, the resorts and hotels in our society or state, or are they going to be very selective, small independent Hispanic owned businesses that cater to the Hispanic community. Is he going to be selective on how he prosecutes? That's a big issue. The egregious county attorney made himself very clear on where he stands.

>> Russell Pearce:
it's based on the law. That's an outrageous assumption, steve.

>>Steve Gallardo:
no, we're not giving the attorney general the prosecuting, we're giving it to the county attorney. Let's give it to the.

>> Richard Ruelas:
ratchet down the heat.

>> Steve Gallardo:
let's give it to the --

>>Russell Pearce:
I know Steve --

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen.

>>Steve Gallardo:
you're the only one that doesn't want to talk about discrimination.

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, we'll have you back and talk solely about the prosecution and as this goes forward and if special session comes through, we'll see how that goes, but for now, we have to end it here. As things are going, you're making channel 8 viewers turn down their volume. But thanks for joining us. Every Monday evening we feature two political experts going one on one on issues that affect the state. Tonight we focus on guess what employment issues. Rebekah friend, executive director of the afl-cio debates Jessica Pacheco vice president of public affairs for the Arizona chamber of commerce.

>>Jessica Pacheco:
Rebekah, it's great to be here with you, and we wanted to briefly mention that last week the governor signed into law the toughest employer sanctions bill in the country and quite frankly we at the Arizona chamber of commerce and industry think it's a crippling blow for business, and not because a lot of people have been claiming because you don't believe in employer sanctions, that's not the case. We do. We think employer sanctions are an important piece of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. We think state by state immigration policy or piecemeal pol is are bad for Arizona and the united states. It's a crippling blow to Arizona because it really cuts into our competitive edge. Why are you going to come here when you can go to Nevada or New Mexico and not have all of this additional bureaucracy to deal with?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we are very, very concerned about the issues that this is going to cause for Arizona, and the potential discrimination that's embedded in this law. And we hope sincerely that the governor and legislative leaders are going to come together, call a special session, and address some of the very blatant issues that this law has.

>>Rebekah Friend: and I understand the chamber's concerns, and i've read some of the material you've put out. Currently the Arizona afl-cio has not taken a position on this issue because our affiliates have not reached consensus. So we will be i'm sure addressing this as we go down through the year. 11

>> Jessica Pacheco: we hope to be shoulder to shoulder with you in that fight. Come on over.

>> Rebekah Friend: understand. Understand. Understand that it usually works better if we do agree on a subject. So let's talk about the employee free choice act, which just last week we had the majority of votes in the senate but didn't reach the 60 to get it out, and why I believe that that's an important bill. That bill does three things. It allows for a majority sign-up, which means that if a majority of employees in a workplace want a union, they can sign cards and then you go to negotiating a contract. It provides for a neutral mediator in case the two parties cannot agree to mediate the first contract and it also increases penalties for employers who violate the law. We in labor collectively believe this is probably one of the most important pieces of federal legislation that we've ever faced and believe it's necessary.

>> Jessica Pacheco: I want to talk to you about that. Because on those very three points we have concerns, and right now there's a secret ballot process to establish a unionized workforce. And we very firmly believe in that secret balloting process because we feel it's a fundamental part of the America n democracy. We also believe, and to your last point, that the it eliminates potential coercion that can occur on both sides. 12 both by an employer and an employee, or an organization or union.

>>Rebekah Friend: I'm glad you brought that up because we have studies that show that 78\% of employers use some form of coercion, and the secret ballot elections are unlike any other in any other democratic party.

>> Jessica Pacheco: that's funny; we have the same studies that show the exact opposite. So to your second point on arbitration, and we think the process of arbitration is not a bad one. However, to have binding arbitration for three years we feel does not appropriately take into account market fluctuations. Both as an example, we don't want a company to be going into bankruptcy because of a potential contract, and conversely, we don't want a company that has come into a tremendous windfall and not be able to appropriately adjust to the contract with its employees. And thirdly to your point on employer coercion, I believe, and I think that you and I are on the same page here, that those bad actors should be significantly punished. However, I don't believe that that only falls on one side of the aisle. And so were that part of the legislation talking about both organized labor and employers, I think we'd have something to talk about.

>> Rebekah Friend: so let's get back to the secret ballot elections that we hear consistently from the business community as part of the democratic process. These secret ballot elections are not a democratic process. They're controlled by the employer. They have the ability to hold closed door meetings and it's not a democratic process. It is a process which favors the employer. So we believe that should be set aside. Now, clearly in the legislation, it says that if one third of those workers want a national labor relations board election, you can still have the secret ballot. So it takes the decision about forming and joining a union and puts it where it belongs in the worker's hands, not the employer's.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
back to the secret ballot process, if that is the case, you're concerned about potential closed-door meetings that stuff, let's structure legislation that allows workers to keep the secret ballot. That's fundamental and organized labor has thought that for a long time this. Is a new thing that's come about. We're looking at many member organizations across the country. We're looking at decreasing membership, and in our opinion this is an attempt to legislate a membership drive. And by the way, I think it's a phenomenal idea. I wish we could do it at the chamber but unfortunately we can't.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, I think at the chamber is a whole different ballgame. But let's get back to this. This allows the worker the right to form and join a union if they choose. It's a fundamental right. Long, long time of employer abuse and misuse of these practices.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
and organized labor also.

>>Rebekah Friend:
and it is --

>> Jessica Pacheco:
abuses take place on both sides of the aisle.

>>Rebekah Friend:
supported across the board by most of congress, it's supported by everybody except the president of the United States, faith groups, advocacy groups.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
70\% of folks that belong to a union agree with the secret ballot process. But enough of that, because we're back to Arizona.

>>Rebekah Friend:
one point --

>>Rebekah Friend:
and 77\% of the general population believes that an employee's right to freely choose to form and join a union now go back.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
ok. We can stay there all day. But now back to Arizona and the right to work. Obviously we believe in the concept of right to work, because we believe in employee choice. An employee should have the choice whether or not to join a union. And let me be very clear, we don't advocate whether you should or shouldn't join a union. We advocate on choice the. You have have that choice. Arizona is a big tenet in we want works that do and don't belong to unions, we want everybody. So I have a hard time understanding what's wrong with Right to work.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, right to work is misnamed. It's not the right to work. It's the right to free load. One of the basic concepts about it is that you have a right to choose to join a union or not. If a union and no business would put up with this, by the way. If I owned a business and a customer came in and they came in and say it was a candy business and they went around and ate all of the candy then started to go out the door without paying and said oh, the customer before me paid for it, businesses would be up in arms. This is the same thing that happens with right to work. You can go to work at a company where there is a collective bargaining agreement and not pay the dues.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
if I understand you rectally, then should every business in Arizona be a member of the chamber?

>>Rebekah Friend:
I have no idea. Is the chamber effective?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
very.

>>Rebekah Friend:
well, I guess that's your selling point, just like what we sell is quality labor.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
exactly. If you're effective people will join up.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they are.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
give them the choice.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they do have the choice.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
they don't.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we're a right to work state and we should keep that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
right to work states across the board have lower healthcare, lower wages, it's a misnamed.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
you know, i've looked at some of those statistics and quite frankly if you take one data Point out of the entire picture it doesn't give you a good sense of what's going on. Michigan is a great example of that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
we have different statistics and we'll always disagree with statistics.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
that's very true.

>>Rebekah Friend:
you have yours. But the reality is one of the things it does is impede unions, because we have to represent someone who's not paying dues, just the same as we represent a dues-paying member. It's a free loader.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
same thing on the chamber when I'm advocating on behalf of a healthy business climate. The point is the individual or company, whoever, has the choice, the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
I will tell you most of the large corporate citizens in Arizona have unions, they're profitable and successful, AT&T, A.P.S., quest, Fry's, Safeway.

>>Rebekah Friend:
so a union doesn't contribute to the downfall of a business.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I'm saying we should keep the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
it should go.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I don't think so.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona economic forum meets every year to discuss the state's economy and ponder possibilities that might improve it. The 28th forum was held in flagstaff and earlier I spoke with the president of the forum, alan maguire. Alan maguire, thanks for joining us.

>>Alan Maguire:
my pleasure.

>> Richard Ruelas:
tell us about the Arizona economic forum.

>>Alan Maguire:
this was our 28th year, we've been meeting in flagstaff, Arizona, every june, to talk about issues confronting our state and try to provide an opportunity for free market economic ideas to be brought forward but in a balanced perspective so we have viewpoints that differ and we allow the people who attend to form their own opinions based on facts and discussions.

>>Richard Ruelas:
flagstaff in june, smart people.

>> Alan Maguire:
lovely, absolutely.

>> Richard Ruelas:
you had a lot on the agenda, the initiative process being one of the forums. What came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire
t's a very controversial topic. People love it and hate it at the same time. We had comments from some of the panelists talking about the fact that well, you know, these initiatives guess passed with misleading campaigns. On the other hand, they are a classic and traditional form of the final refuge for voters if they're fed up with the legislature, they can use that process. I think there's some continuing conversation about the fact that we could improve the system a little bit, maybe make the topics narrower, not so broad, and but at the same time protect this important right for citizens to be able to speak out. And I think there are some lessons that have been learned from the voter protection process, you remember a number of years ago there was a medical marijuana initiative passed, legislature changed it, the people came back and said wait a Second, that was our initiative, we want it the way it was. Don't mess around with our initiatives anymore. So it was a good healthy discussion, no specific recommendations, but some serious thought about future improvements.

>> Richard Ruelas:
there was a legislator on the panel, Mr. Adams. Was there some talk of changing the voter protection act or asking the voters if they want to again take away some of those?

>> Alan Maguire: not so much the vote procedure text act in particular but maybe the signature-gathering process, to make sure they're gathered in a fair and appropriate fashion, always concerned about the fact some buy signatures and what does that mean, is that really democracy if you pay for signatures.

>> Richard Ruelas: also on the agenda, transportation, some discussion of toll roads, what came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire:
it's a perennial issue in Arizona, keeps coming back, we keep growing and needing more ways to get around. One of the things brought up was the concept of maybe having more reliance on a market based toll road structure. Might work for some places. You can't toll existing facilities but maybe new routes or routes that would save truckers time could be a toll road example. But I think there was a consensus among all the people there that it's important to think about transportation in Arizona a little bit different. We have three different needs in Arizona, urban needs, getting around metro phoenix and tucson, rural needs, getting between flagstaff and Kingman, and we also are right between the huge metropolitan areas of Dallas/fort worth, and Los Angeles, southern california, so we're also an interstate transit route and we have to think about all those needs in transportation and makes a real challenge.

>> Richard Ruelas:
was there a discussion of heavy rail or continuing light rail?

>> Alan Maguire:
continuing conversations about the potential for commuter rail as freeways fill up and there's no more room for freeways, one way to move people, light rail and heavy commuter rail so I think we're going to see good conversations coming out in the next six months to a year.

>>Richard Ruelas:
what seemed like a vigorous discussion on the issue of state spending limits.

>> Alan Maguire:
absolutely. In 1978 and 1980, the voters passed first state spending initiative and then a refinement of that. It's been in place now for over 25 years, it limits state spending to a percentage of personal income. Over time that limitation has fallen away from actual spending. There's quite a bit of room underneath it because of a number of different reasons, but I think there was a sense that having a state spending limit helps provide sort of a check, an opportunity to stop and say how are we doing, are we growing Faster than personal income, faster than the ability for people to pay taxes and support state spending or are we growing ok, but on the other hand, be careful not to limit the prerogative of the legislature or governor when you do that.

>> Richard Ruelas:
and your panel wasn't stacked, I mean, you had a democratic lawmaker as well as my colleague bob rob at the Arizona republic.

>> Alan Maguire:
it was a great panel. We had two members of the panel involved in public policy for 30 years in Arizona. And we had two that have probably been involved for less than 10 but also very knowledgeable. So we had both a mixture of philosophical perspectives and almost different generations talking about the issues. So it was a very lively panel and I think everybody enjoyed it very much.

>> Richard Ruelas:
nobody came to blows?

>> Alan Maguire:
no, no fisticuffs.

>> Richard Ruelas:
any thoughts on topics that might bubble up next year?

>> Alan Maguire:
we set our topics early in the calendar year, based on what's up there. Next year is an election year, we often have conversations about ballot initiatives, there will be a bunch of them out there, so I would suspect we'll talk about some of those.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Alan Maguire, president of the Arizona economic forum, thanks for joining us tonight.

>> Alan Maguire:
thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
that's all for this edition of horizon. I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.

One on One


  • Rebekah Friend, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO, and Jessica Pacheco, senior vice president of public affairs for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, will go head to head on issues that affect workers, the new employer sanctions law and the Right to Work law.
Guests:
  • Russell Pearce - State Representative
  • Steve Gallardo - State House minority whip
  • Jessica Pacheco - Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Category: Business/Economy

View Transcript
>>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, the employee sanctions bill is now law but won't take effect until January. Meanwhile, will the legislature need to tweak it?

>>> Richard Ruelas:
Two political types go head to head on issues that affect Arizona in our regular Monday feature, one on one.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
And a gathering in Flagstaff focuses on the state's economy. Those stories next on Horizon.

>>> Richard Ruelas:
At the beginning of next year, some of the toughest penalties for companies hiring undocumented migrants will go into effect in Arizona. A week ago Governor Janet Napolitano signed house bill 2779 into law. Employers could face the loss of a business license if caught knowingly hiring illegal immigrants but she's willing to call for a special session of the legislature to fix flaws in the law. That prompted response from the legislature.

>>Russell Pearce:
I'm concerned about what she sees as flawed, you know, there is a letter that was left out which is almost non-consequential because it's stayed in several other places. But the information I'm getting from that is they would like to weaken the bill and i'm here to tell you, that won't happen. That's why, I mean, voters will have the last say, if there's any effort to destroy or weaken it. It's a fair bill, a fair bill. And to want to call a special session before it even takes effect, you know, in January? You know, this is a little silly. Already wanting to water down the bill before we see the effects of good legislation. This is good. I worked with the honest business community who was come to me, we worked hard on this with good language. This is a good bill.

>>Steve Gallardo:
I feel that businesses across the state of Arizona would be very, very, very concerned this terms of hiring anyone who is perceived to be undocumented. I think businesses would be very reluctant on who they hire and could face possible discrimination issues on some businesses, and no fault of their own. They are now under this particular piece of legislation required to verify employees through pilot program that does not work. Anyone in this country will tell you that the basic pilot program is not 100\%, it's a failed Program and it needs to be addressed at the federal level. There are also the prosecution flaws to it. The whole issue that we can have a county attorney, a very -- county attorney can be very selective who he applies this law to. Are we going to target every business or just those businesses that are small businesses that hire folks of Hispanic or Mexican descent?

>> Richard Ruelas:
Joining me now to talk about the future of employer sanctions in Arizona, the sponsor of the original bill, representative Russell Pearce of mesa and house minority whip representative Steve Gallardo. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.

>> Russell Pearce, Steve Gallardo:
Thank you.

>> Richard Ruelas:
we start with you, representative pearce. You have introduced some version of this measure for five years now. We were trying to add up how many sessions it's been.

>>Russell Pearce:
Six years, yes.

>> Richard Ruelas:
it's now passed. Talk of a special session, the governor in her signing statement said that the session would be simply to fix flaws in the law but not to water down the intent. But how would you see a special session?

>>Russell Pearce:
the rumor has it that there's an attempt to water it down. But the point is, a special session is not necessary. The bill doesn't take effect until January 1st. Then it wilt be months before you see any effect, because investigations take time. I'm hoping employers will self-comply. That's the purpose of law. I'm hoping there's no investigations or sanctions. I'm hoping people follow the law. It's been the law since 1986. It's a felony to hire illegal immigrants.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona chamber of commerce said that if I special session is held, use of the basic pilot program should be delayed, Jake Flake, member of the house, had reservations. You see buyer's remorse from republicans? Anyhow,

>> Russell Pearce:
Maybe Jake should have come to the invite I gave limb to view the basic pilot verification program when we had a demonstration in the house. It works well ultimately within three to four days, 99.7\% of all legal workers are verified. And the point is, they said and we asked right there, if we put every single Arizona employer on it tomorrow, what would be the impact to the system, they said absolutely nothing. They're more than prepared for that advent. They're hearing it from the nation to come on board if they so choose in terms of mandatory provision. It is designed for the purpose of helping employers hire legal aliens. That's the whole purpose. It's free, easy to use. To back away at all is absolutely silly. It's there for that purpose. We have a crisis in America it's about time we start dealing with it and use the tools available to us through homeland security, you know, in order to help employers be honest and hire the right people.

>> Richard Ruelas:
representative Gallardo, you have a different point of view. What do you see as the flaws of this legislation?

>>Steve Gallardo:
you touched on one; the actual basic pilot program is one of the biggest flaws. I have to totally disagree, that's inaccurate. 97\% accuracy is not true. You ask anybody either on the federal level or locally, even business owners, they'll tell you it is not 100\% accurate, not even close to 97\%, as Mr. Pearce --

>>Russell Pearce:
this is the information right here.

>>Steve Gallardo:
-- has indicated. Even congress is wanting to talk about revamping the basic pilot program. It is a flawed -- and to hold businesses accountable to be able to use it and expect it to be valid is false. It's a wrong way of treating businesses. We need to hold businesses accountable. We do not want to kill them. We need to provide them the path and methods and tools they need to vary, it's a flawed program, the basic pilot program.

>> Richard Ruelas:
not to quote back yourself back to yourself, representative Gallardo, but you've said in October 3rd, 2006, we need to secure the border and go after employers hiring illegally, January '06, the magnet this country has in terms of jobs, getting people to come across the border. How would you propose we somehow 6 make employers check their workers without using basic pilot or without being discriminatory?

>> Steve Gallardo:
that's part of the actual debate nationally, congress is looking at. We can't forget. This is a federal issue. Congress has to step up to the plate. We need to deal with illegal immigration from a comprehensive standpoint that includes border security, employer sanctions, what do we do with the 12 million undocumented that are in the country already illegally. How do we correct the legal path to citizenship, all aspects that have to be dealt with on a federal level, not state level. The Arizona state legislature cannot solve a federal issue alone. We don't have the resources or manpower to deal with this issue. We need to rely on the federal government. We have to continue to put pressure on federal government.

>> Richard Ruelas:
what is your thought on the database?

>> Russell Pearce:
first of all, we had a demonstration with homeland security, we had them there for two hours asking tough questions. Simply the misinformation by those who don't want to enforce the law and you talk about Representative Gallardo and statements in the past, others too, and they voted against every piece of legislation to do something with it. This is called the fare and legal employment act and that's because it is a fair and legal employment act. Even the governor admitted that they'll stand with the constitution and it's fair.

>> Steve Gallardo:
it's a flawed immigration act. It's flawed.

>>Russell Pearce:
no, see --

>> Steve Gallardo:
the way.

>> Russell Pearce:
-- don't interrupt.

>>Steve Gallardo:
it's not a workable solution.

>>Russell Pearce:
misinformation -- I'm not going to put up with the misinformation. We talked to homeland security. Steve wasn't there. He was invited and didn't come down for that demonstration as many others didn't. We had them on the floor for over two hours in terms of video and teleconferencing with homeland security, and we asked every question you could possibly ask, and here's their own data. Within three to four days, 92\% initially, after that the 8\% nonverified initially, most of that employer error on data entry. Within three to four days, 99.7\% were ultimately solved within that time frame.

>> Steve Gallardo:
president bush and congress even --

>>Russell Peace:
first of all -- Steve, don't.

>>Russell Pearce:
first of all, he's right. First of all, let's deal with the facts. You're not punished for misinformation by them. First of all, understand, you're given a rebuttal for presumption. That is a presumption of innocence if you use the program. It's a good program. It's to their benefit to use it.

>> Richard Ruelas:
that is where the typo is, rebuttal of presumption, using basic --

>>Russell Pearce:
no, no, no, it's not that's not the typo. The typo is based on the reference to the federal statute u.s.c. And 24, should have been a and b. It's mentioned several other places in the bill though. It has no effect on the enforcement. But I want people to understand, it's a tool given to them. It's free, easy to use. The purpose of it is to help them. Why wouldn't you use a tool if unless you don't want to know who you're hiring, that's the only purpose for not using it. And you're rewarded for using it, not if it fails, you get a rebuttal presumption, presumption of innocence if you use it. We did everything we could to protect the good employer and go after those who knowingly and intentionally hire illegal immigrants. You won't be prosecuted for an honest mistake.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Representative Gallardo, how do you see this being enforced and what are your fears if this stays as is and goes forward?

>> Steve Gallardo:
I think the governor put it best in her letter that there are issues of discrimination that could possibly come out of this. This is one of the unintended consequences, the idea you have a very egregious county attorney, who would be selective in whom they prosecute. Is he going after the home builders, the resorts and hotels in our society or state, or are they going to be very selective, small independent Hispanic owned businesses that cater to the Hispanic community. Is he going to be selective on how he prosecutes? That's a big issue. The egregious county attorney made himself very clear on where he stands.

>> Russell Pearce:
it's based on the law. That's an outrageous assumption, steve.

>>Steve Gallardo:
no, we're not giving the attorney general the prosecuting, we're giving it to the county attorney. Let's give it to the.

>> Richard Ruelas:
ratchet down the heat.

>> Steve Gallardo:
let's give it to the --

>>Russell Pearce:
I know Steve --

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen.

>>Steve Gallardo:
you're the only one that doesn't want to talk about discrimination.

>> Richard Ruelas:
gentlemen, we'll have you back and talk solely about the prosecution and as this goes forward and if special session comes through, we'll see how that goes, but for now, we have to end it here. As things are going, you're making channel 8 viewers turn down their volume. But thanks for joining us. Every Monday evening we feature two political experts going one on one on issues that affect the state. Tonight we focus on guess what employment issues. Rebekah friend, executive director of the afl-cio debates Jessica Pacheco vice president of public affairs for the Arizona chamber of commerce.

>>Jessica Pacheco:
Rebekah, it's great to be here with you, and we wanted to briefly mention that last week the governor signed into law the toughest employer sanctions bill in the country and quite frankly we at the Arizona chamber of commerce and industry think it's a crippling blow for business, and not because a lot of people have been claiming because you don't believe in employer sanctions, that's not the case. We do. We think employer sanctions are an important piece of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. We think state by state immigration policy or piecemeal pol is are bad for Arizona and the united states. It's a crippling blow to Arizona because it really cuts into our competitive edge. Why are you going to come here when you can go to Nevada or New Mexico and not have all of this additional bureaucracy to deal with?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we are very, very concerned about the issues that this is going to cause for Arizona, and the potential discrimination that's embedded in this law. And we hope sincerely that the governor and legislative leaders are going to come together, call a special session, and address some of the very blatant issues that this law has.

>>Rebekah Friend: and I understand the chamber's concerns, and i've read some of the material you've put out. Currently the Arizona afl-cio has not taken a position on this issue because our affiliates have not reached consensus. So we will be i'm sure addressing this as we go down through the year. 11

>> Jessica Pacheco: we hope to be shoulder to shoulder with you in that fight. Come on over.

>> Rebekah Friend: understand. Understand. Understand that it usually works better if we do agree on a subject. So let's talk about the employee free choice act, which just last week we had the majority of votes in the senate but didn't reach the 60 to get it out, and why I believe that that's an important bill. That bill does three things. It allows for a majority sign-up, which means that if a majority of employees in a workplace want a union, they can sign cards and then you go to negotiating a contract. It provides for a neutral mediator in case the two parties cannot agree to mediate the first contract and it also increases penalties for employers who violate the law. We in labor collectively believe this is probably one of the most important pieces of federal legislation that we've ever faced and believe it's necessary.

>> Jessica Pacheco: I want to talk to you about that. Because on those very three points we have concerns, and right now there's a secret ballot process to establish a unionized workforce. And we very firmly believe in that secret balloting process because we feel it's a fundamental part of the America n democracy. We also believe, and to your last point, that the it eliminates potential coercion that can occur on both sides. 12 both by an employer and an employee, or an organization or union.

>>Rebekah Friend: I'm glad you brought that up because we have studies that show that 78\% of employers use some form of coercion, and the secret ballot elections are unlike any other in any other democratic party.

>> Jessica Pacheco: that's funny; we have the same studies that show the exact opposite. So to your second point on arbitration, and we think the process of arbitration is not a bad one. However, to have binding arbitration for three years we feel does not appropriately take into account market fluctuations. Both as an example, we don't want a company to be going into bankruptcy because of a potential contract, and conversely, we don't want a company that has come into a tremendous windfall and not be able to appropriately adjust to the contract with its employees. And thirdly to your point on employer coercion, I believe, and I think that you and I are on the same page here, that those bad actors should be significantly punished. However, I don't believe that that only falls on one side of the aisle. And so were that part of the legislation talking about both organized labor and employers, I think we'd have something to talk about.

>> Rebekah Friend: so let's get back to the secret ballot elections that we hear consistently from the business community as part of the democratic process. These secret ballot elections are not a democratic process. They're controlled by the employer. They have the ability to hold closed door meetings and it's not a democratic process. It is a process which favors the employer. So we believe that should be set aside. Now, clearly in the legislation, it says that if one third of those workers want a national labor relations board election, you can still have the secret ballot. So it takes the decision about forming and joining a union and puts it where it belongs in the worker's hands, not the employer's.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
back to the secret ballot process, if that is the case, you're concerned about potential closed-door meetings that stuff, let's structure legislation that allows workers to keep the secret ballot. That's fundamental and organized labor has thought that for a long time this. Is a new thing that's come about. We're looking at many member organizations across the country. We're looking at decreasing membership, and in our opinion this is an attempt to legislate a membership drive. And by the way, I think it's a phenomenal idea. I wish we could do it at the chamber but unfortunately we can't.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, I think at the chamber is a whole different ballgame. But let's get back to this. This allows the worker the right to form and join a union if they choose. It's a fundamental right. Long, long time of employer abuse and misuse of these practices.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
and organized labor also.

>>Rebekah Friend:
and it is --

>> Jessica Pacheco:
abuses take place on both sides of the aisle.

>>Rebekah Friend:
supported across the board by most of congress, it's supported by everybody except the president of the United States, faith groups, advocacy groups.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
70\% of folks that belong to a union agree with the secret ballot process. But enough of that, because we're back to Arizona.

>>Rebekah Friend:
one point --

>>Rebekah Friend:
and 77\% of the general population believes that an employee's right to freely choose to form and join a union now go back.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
ok. We can stay there all day. But now back to Arizona and the right to work. Obviously we believe in the concept of right to work, because we believe in employee choice. An employee should have the choice whether or not to join a union. And let me be very clear, we don't advocate whether you should or shouldn't join a union. We advocate on choice the. You have have that choice. Arizona is a big tenet in we want works that do and don't belong to unions, we want everybody. So I have a hard time understanding what's wrong with Right to work.

>> Rebekah Friend:
well, right to work is misnamed. It's not the right to work. It's the right to free load. One of the basic concepts about it is that you have a right to choose to join a union or not. If a union and no business would put up with this, by the way. If I owned a business and a customer came in and they came in and say it was a candy business and they went around and ate all of the candy then started to go out the door without paying and said oh, the customer before me paid for it, businesses would be up in arms. This is the same thing that happens with right to work. You can go to work at a company where there is a collective bargaining agreement and not pay the dues.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
if I understand you rectally, then should every business in Arizona be a member of the chamber?

>>Rebekah Friend:
I have no idea. Is the chamber effective?

>> Jessica Pacheco:
very.

>>Rebekah Friend:
well, I guess that's your selling point, just like what we sell is quality labor.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
exactly. If you're effective people will join up.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they are.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
give them the choice.

>>Rebekah Friend:
they do have the choice.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
they don't.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
we're a right to work state and we should keep that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
right to work states across the board have lower healthcare, lower wages, it's a misnamed.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
you know, i've looked at some of those statistics and quite frankly if you take one data Point out of the entire picture it doesn't give you a good sense of what's going on. Michigan is a great example of that.

>>Rebekah Friend:
we have different statistics and we'll always disagree with statistics.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
that's very true.

>>Rebekah Friend:
you have yours. But the reality is one of the things it does is impede unions, because we have to represent someone who's not paying dues, just the same as we represent a dues-paying member. It's a free loader.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
same thing on the chamber when I'm advocating on behalf of a healthy business climate. The point is the individual or company, whoever, has the choice, the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
I will tell you most of the large corporate citizens in Arizona have unions, they're profitable and successful, AT&T, A.P.S., quest, Fry's, Safeway.

>>Rebekah Friend:
so a union doesn't contribute to the downfall of a business.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I'm saying we should keep the right to choose.

>>Rebekah Friend:
it should go.

>> Jessica Pacheco:
I don't think so.

>> Richard Ruelas:
the Arizona economic forum meets every year to discuss the state's economy and ponder possibilities that might improve it. The 28th forum was held in flagstaff and earlier I spoke with the president of the forum, alan maguire. Alan maguire, thanks for joining us.

>>Alan Maguire:
my pleasure.

>> Richard Ruelas:
tell us about the Arizona economic forum.

>>Alan Maguire:
this was our 28th year, we've been meeting in flagstaff, Arizona, every june, to talk about issues confronting our state and try to provide an opportunity for free market economic ideas to be brought forward but in a balanced perspective so we have viewpoints that differ and we allow the people who attend to form their own opinions based on facts and discussions.

>>Richard Ruelas:
flagstaff in june, smart people.

>> Alan Maguire:
lovely, absolutely.

>> Richard Ruelas:
you had a lot on the agenda, the initiative process being one of the forums. What came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire
t's a very controversial topic. People love it and hate it at the same time. We had comments from some of the panelists talking about the fact that well, you know, these initiatives guess passed with misleading campaigns. On the other hand, they are a classic and traditional form of the final refuge for voters if they're fed up with the legislature, they can use that process. I think there's some continuing conversation about the fact that we could improve the system a little bit, maybe make the topics narrower, not so broad, and but at the same time protect this important right for citizens to be able to speak out. And I think there are some lessons that have been learned from the voter protection process, you remember a number of years ago there was a medical marijuana initiative passed, legislature changed it, the people came back and said wait a Second, that was our initiative, we want it the way it was. Don't mess around with our initiatives anymore. So it was a good healthy discussion, no specific recommendations, but some serious thought about future improvements.

>> Richard Ruelas:
there was a legislator on the panel, Mr. Adams. Was there some talk of changing the voter protection act or asking the voters if they want to again take away some of those?

>> Alan Maguire: not so much the vote procedure text act in particular but maybe the signature-gathering process, to make sure they're gathered in a fair and appropriate fashion, always concerned about the fact some buy signatures and what does that mean, is that really democracy if you pay for signatures.

>> Richard Ruelas: also on the agenda, transportation, some discussion of toll roads, what came out of that?

>> Alan Maguire:
it's a perennial issue in Arizona, keeps coming back, we keep growing and needing more ways to get around. One of the things brought up was the concept of maybe having more reliance on a market based toll road structure. Might work for some places. You can't toll existing facilities but maybe new routes or routes that would save truckers time could be a toll road example. But I think there was a consensus among all the people there that it's important to think about transportation in Arizona a little bit different. We have three different needs in Arizona, urban needs, getting around metro phoenix and tucson, rural needs, getting between flagstaff and Kingman, and we also are right between the huge metropolitan areas of Dallas/fort worth, and Los Angeles, southern california, so we're also an interstate transit route and we have to think about all those needs in transportation and makes a real challenge.

>> Richard Ruelas:
was there a discussion of heavy rail or continuing light rail?

>> Alan Maguire:
continuing conversations about the potential for commuter rail as freeways fill up and there's no more room for freeways, one way to move people, light rail and heavy commuter rail so I think we're going to see good conversations coming out in the next six months to a year.

>>Richard Ruelas:
what seemed like a vigorous discussion on the issue of state spending limits.

>> Alan Maguire:
absolutely. In 1978 and 1980, the voters passed first state spending initiative and then a refinement of that. It's been in place now for over 25 years, it limits state spending to a percentage of personal income. Over time that limitation has fallen away from actual spending. There's quite a bit of room underneath it because of a number of different reasons, but I think there was a sense that having a state spending limit helps provide sort of a check, an opportunity to stop and say how are we doing, are we growing Faster than personal income, faster than the ability for people to pay taxes and support state spending or are we growing ok, but on the other hand, be careful not to limit the prerogative of the legislature or governor when you do that.

>> Richard Ruelas:
and your panel wasn't stacked, I mean, you had a democratic lawmaker as well as my colleague bob rob at the Arizona republic.

>> Alan Maguire:
it was a great panel. We had two members of the panel involved in public policy for 30 years in Arizona. And we had two that have probably been involved for less than 10 but also very knowledgeable. So we had both a mixture of philosophical perspectives and almost different generations talking about the issues. So it was a very lively panel and I think everybody enjoyed it very much.

>> Richard Ruelas:
nobody came to blows?

>> Alan Maguire:
no, no fisticuffs.

>> Richard Ruelas:
any thoughts on topics that might bubble up next year?

>> Alan Maguire:
we set our topics early in the calendar year, based on what's up there. Next year is an election year, we often have conversations about ballot initiatives, there will be a bunch of them out there, so I would suspect we'll talk about some of those.

>> Richard Ruelas:
Alan Maguire, president of the Arizona economic forum, thanks for joining us tonight.

>> Alan Maguire:
thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
that's all for this edition of horizon. I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.


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