Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 28, 2007


Host: Ted Simons

Native American Economic Development


  • We’ll examine the economic development taking place in Indian Country.
Guests:
  • Jon Kyl - Arizona Senator


View Transcript
>>Ted Simons:
Tonight on "Horizon", he's looking to move up the ranks of leadership in the Senate. We'll talk with Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. And we'll take a look at economic development in Indian country. Those stories are next on "Horizon."

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Good evening. I'm Ted Simons, welcome to "Horizon". After a two week break, Congress goes back to work next week. In the Senate, Republicans will be making some changes in leadership. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, already third in command, is looking to move up to number two. He's a candidate to replace Senator Trent Lott as Republican Whip after Lott's recent announcement that he will resign by the end of the year. Joining me now to talk about that and other issues is Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. Senator, good to see you again.

>>Jon Kyl:
Thanks Ted. You look good in that chair.

>>Ted Simons:
Well, thank you sir, I appreciate that. Well, thank you very much, and it sounds like congratulations are in order for you, because the Minority Whip position is open, but you certainly have the inside track.

>>Jon Kyl:
It appears so. I'll be -- the election will be next Thursday, and hopefully I will be able to fill that position.

>>Ted Simons:
Filling Trent Lott's position, was his resignation a surprise to you?

>>Jon Kyl:
No, it was not. Actually, Trent has served now for 20-some years in the House and Senate, he was ready to move on to something else. His family could use a little more financial assistance than the Senate provides, and he ran last time for re-election really only because of the Katrina hurricane devastation on Mississippi, his state. And the need for a person with his skill and longevity in the Senate to bring the assistance to Mississippi that was required. I don't think he wanted to bail out on his constituents, but I knew that after having accomplished what he needed to accomplish there, he was pretty anxious to move on.

>>Ted Simons:
You're third in command here, as Conference Chairman, yet, Trent Lott was a Minority Whip. Did you want to run for the position before he took over?

>>Jon Kyl:
No, in fact, Trent had been Whip in the House and Senate before he was Majority Leader in the Senate. He was the first team. he's the best Whip that I have ever seen in Congress in my over 20 years. A tremendous leader, and his skills are going to be sorely missed.

>>Ted Simons:
Talk about those skills. what can you learn from Senator Lott, what will you take from Senator Lott's legacy and experience as you apparently take over the position?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well first, the description. What is the Whip? It's actually the Assistant Leader is what it is called, so my first obligation is to assist Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, and to represent the members of the Senate Republican Conference. Secondly, to try to help work the Legislative agenda so that we can be as successful as possible. Now, people think the Whip is the person who rounds up the votes, and that's true to some extent. But, you get votes by making sure that you've crafted the legislation in such a way that you can maximize your opportunities, and you try to work with your colleagues, not to twist their arm, but persuade them why they should do this or that. And understand their unique needs, their circumstances, their states, which are greatly different. And so, you apply those personal skills to try to represent them in a way that will permit them to support the Republican agenda to the maximum extent possible. That's what the job is all about. So, I guess a little bit of psychology, and a lot of hard work.

>>Ted Simons:
I was gonna say, and again, Senator Lott, obviously from where you sit, did a very good job. What can you take from that, and how would you differ from Senator Lott?

>>Jon Kyl:
First of all, his longtime experience, his experience in the House, his familiarity with all of the people, really ensured a high degree of success. Where I might differ a little bit is in my penchant for really digging down into the legislation and understanding it as firmly as I can, and being able to explain it to my colleagues when they have questions, answer those questions, point them in the direction, so that when they finally make their decision, they'll make it based upon solid information. I'll try to bring that to the job.

>>Ted Simons:
I read some quotes from Senator Lott, and it sounds, from a distance, as if frustration was among the reasons for resigning. Minority position, that's tough and different for him, and it will be different for you to come at it from that position. How are you going to handle that frustration that might be involved?

>>Jon Kyl:
I was in the House of Representatives eight years, a member of the Minority the whole time, and have served in the Minority now 1 year in the Senate. The reality is his frustration was more, I think, a factor of the high degree of partisanship that has corroded into the system in Washington. It's taken a lot of years to reach the level it is today, but it's very high. He didn't resign because he was frustrated. Let me make that clear. But he's also noted, as he said, it's not fun anymore, and I understand what me means by that because it is so partisan, that instead of working together to solve problems, you end up always in this kind of a situation with the people on the other side of the aisle, and it is not as much fun as it should be.

>>Ted Simons:
Is that why we're seeing so many veteran GOP senators- Domenici, Warner and such, and now, Trent Lott resigning. Is it not the way it used to be?

>>Jon Kyl:
No. Each resignation is based on unique circumstances. Wayne Allard said he would serve two terms, he served two terms. John Warner and Pete Domenici are up in years, their health is not good, they recognize that. They just don't think they could go through another six years, or that it would be fair to their constituency. So there are different reasons for people deciding to leave.

>>Ted Simons:
At an election cycle, your position, should you be accepted there, as minority whip, what do you do, as far as the GOP is concerned, to help the party in what's coming up to be a very big year?

>>Jon Kyl:
My particular job is to try to make sure we do the best we can with our legislative agenda. Now, you think in the Minority, our job is to stop things we think are bad coming from the Majority, and there will be some of that. There are some things that we think are quite bad, like tax increases. But we also have things we want to get done. The President has now, it has been over 300 days, since he's asked for funding for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. They're running out of what they need to carry out their mission. We need to pass legislation that funds their activities. That's just one example of something that we actually need to get done before the end of the year.

>>Ted Simons:
And I want to get back to that in a second here. But as far as Arizona is concerned, with you in this position, does that help the State?

>>Jon Kyl:
Perhaps in an indirect and longer term way, but I want to make it clear that I am not going to use this position to advantage my own State to the disadvantage of others. That's not what it's for. However, I think that being where I am, making decisions in a fairly small group of people, knowing what I know, I will be able to put Arizona's interests in the best possible position for success when it's warranted.

>>Ted Simons:
And I am assuming that you will be replacing Senator Lott in the "Singing Senators" group?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, actually, that group fell apart, and probably it is a good thing, given my talents, as opposed to some of his.

>>Ted Simons:
Let's get to war funding, as you referred to earlier. And you talked about compromise, and how difficult and partisan things are right now, and we're seeing it in action with war funding. where do we stand, and can compromise be reached?

>>Jon Kyl:
Compromise clearly can be reached. Where we stand is the request has been out there for now, as I said, not quite a year, 300 days. The money is now needed. For the last three or four months, the Defense Department has been able to shuffle money around into different accounts that they have. That now, as of the middle part of December, no longer exists, and the Secretary of Defense has said that he has got to begin sending out furlough notices to people in the civilian components of the Defense Department that will begin taking effect in the latter part of December because they simply don't have the money to run the Department of Defense. You've got these new fighting vehicles, the ones that can withstand the IED explosions. Congress was all excited to get them produced, so that they could protect our troops. They're sitting on the dock in Charleston, South Carolina. They've been built, but the money isn't there to get them into Theater. So clearly, in order for the mission to continue to succeed, as it is today, we have to get the funding to conduct the military operations passed. It should have been done long before now. It needs to be done before the end of the year.

>>Ted Simons:
Democrats are saying they're trying to work a compromise from their side, saying: let's split the difference, as far as concerns on domestic spending, and that will open the door, as far as they see it, for war funding. Is that wrong?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, one thing that they've done is propose funding that is about $23 billion above the President's Budget. And if you run that on out, that's about $300 billion over the entire length of the Budget. That's a lot of money, and the President has said the time for wasteful Washington spending is over. Now, Republicans were criticized in the last election for being too willing to spend taxpayer dollars, and frankly ,the Republicans were too good at that. not as good as the Democrats, but they spent too much. Finally, the President is saying that's enough, we're going to stick with the Budget. it's the Democrats who are saying no, we want to spend more than that, and until you, Mr. President, are willing to do that, we're not going to funds the troops. If you are willing to spend more money, we will fund the troops. it is a very bad bargain, and it's playing politics with something they shouldn't be playing politics with.

>>Ted Simons:
And the Democrats would say that they don't want to give the President funding with no strings attached. They want some sort of limits as far as troop withdrawals is concerned. Again, why is that wrong?

>>Jon Kyl:
That's their argument. they say, look, Congress holds the purse strings, we want to end the war, the only way we can do that is to deny money to the troops. That's the worst possible way to effect policy. The troops are there, we've given them a mission. You don't pull the rug out from under them in the middle of a mission, especially at a time when it is succeeding, and General Petraeus has made it crystal clear that it is. John McCain, my colleague, just got back from being there this Thanksgiving, and he said it is succeeding. Now is not the time to pull the funding out. Final point, the President has made clear, as long as we continue to make progress, we can bring the troops home. There are some coming home next month, for example. And therefore, if we continue to fund their progress, the troops can continue to come home. That to me seems like a win-win for both sides.

>>Ted Simons:
How much has the GOP been hurt by not going forward with a troop withdrawal deadline from a national perspective?

>>Jon Kyl:
We have done surveys on this, and it's interesting. Americans believe two things. Some people think it is contradictory, I am not sure it is. They would like to get out of Iraq, and they'd like to do it as soon as possible. I understand that. They also don't want America to lose. Now, the reality is we can achieve both of those goals. We can succeed in Iraq, maybe not to the extent we originally hoped. And bring the troops home, perhaps not quite as quickly as some would like, but we can achieve both of those goals if we do it in a sensible way, in the way General Petraeus has laid out. And so, what he has said we have withdrawn some troops. by the next couple of months, we will have gotten back down to where we were before The Surge started, and as long as we continue to have success, we can draw down even more. It seems to me that that is a sensible policy.

>>Ted Simons:
I read that Senators [Lindsey] Graham and [Saxby] Chambliss, I believe, are talking about perhaps withholding moving war funding to someone else if the [Nouri al-]Maliki Government doesn't come around, and show it has the right stuff, especially if those tropps do start coming home at a later date, and the Maliki government proves it can't sustain what has been achieved. How do you feel about that?

>>Jon Kyl:
What they are talking about are the Nonmilitary Funds, in other words, the funds that the government there is using for reconstruction and development of their economy and the like, and they're saying this is a government that doesn't seem to have the ability to do very much, and therefore, instead of giving the money directly to the Maliki Government, we should give it to other entities and political groups within the country of Iraq. Perhaps not a bad idea, because in truth, the Maliki Government has not proved very effective, and the reality is, a lot of political reform and reconstruction is coming from the bottom up. May be better to spread the money among those political subdivisions rather than the central government. It's an intriguing idea.

>>Ted Simons:
Are you confident there are people in place over there, whether the Maliki government or whomever, that will be able to sustain what has been achieved by troop surges, or whatever that we're doing over there? I mean, can these people handle this if we decide to pull back a little bit?

>>Jon Kyl:
I believe they can, especially if our withdrawal is orderly. I think they can. they're very competent people there. They want to succeed. You know, we sow the seeds of the problem very early on, when we set up an election system that looks more like the European parliamentary system than the American system, for example -- not that ours is always the best, but the people in the Iraqi Parliament don't represent geographical areas, like they do here in the United States. They represent political parties, the so-called Party List Elections. And what that has resulted in is a bunch of politicians in Baghdad squabbling over their different parties, not representing the people in the country, and that's part of the reason why the Central Government has not succeeded in all of these political endeavors. Nobody knows the real answer to your question. We have tried to put a lot of pressure on the Iraqi Government itself to get its act together. Remember, it took our government about seven years after our revolution, and we declared our own independence and won it. And we're asking them to do so under very difficult circumstances. Nonetheless, Senators like Graham and Chambliss, as you noted, are trying to think of innovative ways to make sure that whatever money we spend there is spent wisely, and gets results.

>>Ted Simons:
Let's shift gears and talk about immigration. Your thoughts on the State Employers Law, the Employer Sanctions Law that's set to take effect here in Arizona at the start of year. First of all, how do you feel about it, and secondly, is it a model, perhaps, for federal ideas?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, first of all, one can easily understand the frustration of the people of the state when the Federal Government did not act. The bill that I helped to write had a very good Employer Sanction provision and a requirement to verify employee eligibility for hiring. I think it is better than what the State Legislature passed, but they can't create a Federal Law. They did the best they could within the Arizona context. One thing I've done is to try to get funding at the Federal level to get a system that the State will rely upon is a very good informational system. In other words, there is a Federal database that has to be accessed by State employers. I want to make sure that database is very accurate and very good, so that if the State Law is upheld, that it can be workable. And the final point I would make is that if it is upheld by the judge, the State officials who are charged with its enforcement need to be, I think, very careful about how they enforce it, because the concern is that innocent employers could be caught up in a bad situation, and to the extent that that is true, I think we have to be careful to see that that is avoided.

>>Ted Simons:
You refer to your Immigration bill. You took a lot of heat for that from a variety of angles. Looking back from a distance now, was it a mistake to cosponsor that bill?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, you can say that because it failed, and it didn't have enough approval by the American people, that it was a mistake. It was not a mistake to try. We maybe didn't get it right, but we had a problem then, and we still have a problem, and we're going to have a problem two years from now, because there is not the political will to tackle it again. So, maybe we should have done a better job of putting it together. We clearly should have done a better job of explaining it, and maybe it wasn't quite right. Maybe it didn't emphasize the enforcement enough, although it was just full of enforcement and border protection, more agents, more fencing all of that. However, now that that's over, we're moving forward with all of those elements, the building of the fence, the hiring of the agents, the detention spaces and all of that, and perhaps by demonstrating a real commitment to enforcing the law first and securing the border, people will be more open minded to a broader solution in the future. That's our hope.

>>Ted Simons:
But you took - it seems like you were taking personal hits here, especially from those in your own Party. Again, was it worth it to go through that?

>>Jon Kyl:
Yes, my personal popularity is not important. Doing the right thing is what is important. Now, I listen to my constituents. In the campaign, they had two big messages: do something about immigration, and can't you guys get together and work together in a bipartisan way get things done in Washington? OK, I tried to combine the two things, didn't work out. But I tried, and I will tell you this: there are some worse things that could have happened if we didn't try, and I'm concerned in the future, maybe the law that does gets passed eventually won't be as good as the one we put together, but we'll see. I have no regrets about trying to do what I thought was right, and I have no argument with those who disagreed with me. Now we have to try to work together as best we can to deal with the problem that still exists.

>>Ted Simons:
I can't let you go without something that, of course, from this profession, we look at. Regarding the Reporter Shield Law, obviously you're concerned with leaks. Does that law -- as proposed, as written, as presented, does it deal enough with leaks? It seems like it might, but you still have problems with it.

>>Jon Kyl:
I just spoke to the Attorney General today. One of the things he was asking at the Confirmation Hearing is when you look at that bill, and which protects reporters when they have a -- for example, suppose somebody in the CIA leaks Classified Information to you, a reporter, you print it in your newspaper. The bill would have protected you from having to disclose your source. What the Attorney General told me today was: this will not work. It will be impossible to investigate and to prosecute leaks of the most sensitive kind that come out of our Government. We have to find a better way to deal with the problem, for reporters to be able to have good sources, to report the stories and so on, but not protect the people who deliberately violate our law in the most serious way. Secrets and things that ought to be secret. So, we have a lot of work to do to try to get that legislation right before it is passed.

>>Ted Simons:
Alright, Senator, we have to stop right there. Thank you so much for joining us.

>>Jon Kyl:
Thank you, Ted.

>>Ted Simons:
Casinos have provided many of Arizona's Native American communities with an economic shot in the arm. But, economic development in Indian Country is much more than casinos, as we learn in the following segment produced by Generation Seven Strategic Partners and Ivan Makil, former President of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

>>Jefferson Keel:
Well, economic development has become the lifeblood of our communities. It has become very important, in order for us to teach our children about our culture, to provide an education for our children for our children and our young adults. All of those things require money. Economic development is not an answer, but it is a means to an end.

>>Mary Rose Wilox:
Economic development is very important to today's economy. Basically, it is the engine that brings jobs to The Valley, and when we deal with our Native American brothers and sisters, the Tribes that surround Maricopa County, we must make sure that we're on the same page. Economic development to a Tribe may mean the long term future of their sovereign nation. To us, it may mean providing jobs for an economy that is fueled by jobs. Bot not necessarily to the long term view, and that's a cultural nuance that we must look at.

>>Tom Daschle:
It's almost a universal definition of quality of life. It's having a sense of security, and having a sense of fulfillment, and having an ability to live in a community where the services that allow for a good quality of life are there. Good teachers, good schools, good law enforcement, good streets, good utilities, good housing, good jobs, all of those things are factors in the quality of life that have to be attained in order for that quality of life to be truly what it should be. But as you say, every community deals with them, and they come back down to two things: demographics and economics.

>>Michael H. Scully:
So some of the opportunities that we have here at Gila River Telecommunications are a result of really both residential and commercial development, really drawn all around us. And right now, we're a very important piece of property right in the middle of this massive development that is going on between Tucson and Phoenix, and I believe we're going to be a very strategic part of how the State grows over the next few years.

>>Derek E. White:
My dad and I, we share, and we talked about the history of the Gila River Indian Community and its people. And we talk about the Hohokam, the people, those who have gone, and all of the canals that they built and taking water to different communities in our community itself, And you know, we're known as farmers, agriculturalists. So, my dad and I would tease, and in today's age, I'm a digital farmer, so to speak. We plow our cable through the ground, and we take it to the communities and we provide that service, but not so much are we growing crops, but growing communities now.

>>Tom Dashle:
Recently, Rosebud Reservation and the Intertribal Council for Utility Policy came together to submit a proposal to the international organization that evaluates good ideas, and they won the World Energy Award for Wind. I think it says a lot about the ingenuity and about the potential there is in Indian Country. If we can be winning worldwide awards already, I believe that there is tremendous opportunities in the future.

>>Jefferson Keel:
We actually have a chocolate factory in Oklahoma. It's the only chocolate factory in Oklahoma. It's called Bedré Chocolate, owned by the Chickasaw Nation. That, obviously, produces some jobs. It produces some revenue, which allows us, in turn, to get into other types of businesses. We own a metal fabrication plant in southern Oklahoma. Again, it is not gaming related, but it is a source of jobs and revenue for our people.

>>Michael H. Scully:
Well, it is very important for Gila River Telecommunications, or probably any other Indian community to diversify their portfolios, so they can compete in the world economy. The world is a very -- it's a changing world, and communications is a very important part of that.

>>Tex Hall:
With the call on Indian Country to diversify its economies with the thread on gaming, the thread on the Native "AA" Program with the Small Business Administration, and the Corporate America wanted to diversify, wanting to reach out to Indian Country, I think that's a calling for us to come together as Native people. There is a doorway that is opening here, and that doorway is begging for a call for action.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The State Board of Education will be holding another public hearing Friday to get testimony on increasing Math and Science requirements for a High School Diploma. Learn more about the proposal changes and gear from Egil "Bud" Krogh, President Nixon's head "plumber" in the Watergate Scandal. That's Thursday at 7:00, on "Horizon."

>>Ted Simons:
And that's it for now. Thanks for joining us. I'm Ted Simons, you have a great evening.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon," please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon". "Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. thank you.

senator Jon Kyl


  • The senator will discuss issues affecting Arizona, such as immigration and the presidential race.
Guests:
  • Jon Kyl - Arizona Senator


View Transcript
>>Ted Simons:
Tonight on "Horizon", he's looking to move up the ranks of leadership in the Senate. We'll talk with Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. And we'll take a look at economic development in Indian country. Those stories are next on "Horizon."

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Good evening. I'm Ted Simons, welcome to "Horizon". After a two week break, Congress goes back to work next week. In the Senate, Republicans will be making some changes in leadership. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, already third in command, is looking to move up to number two. He's a candidate to replace Senator Trent Lott as Republican Whip after Lott's recent announcement that he will resign by the end of the year. Joining me now to talk about that and other issues is Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. Senator, good to see you again.

>>Jon Kyl:
Thanks Ted. You look good in that chair.

>>Ted Simons:
Well, thank you sir, I appreciate that. Well, thank you very much, and it sounds like congratulations are in order for you, because the Minority Whip position is open, but you certainly have the inside track.

>>Jon Kyl:
It appears so. I'll be -- the election will be next Thursday, and hopefully I will be able to fill that position.

>>Ted Simons:
Filling Trent Lott's position, was his resignation a surprise to you?

>>Jon Kyl:
No, it was not. Actually, Trent has served now for 20-some years in the House and Senate, he was ready to move on to something else. His family could use a little more financial assistance than the Senate provides, and he ran last time for re-election really only because of the Katrina hurricane devastation on Mississippi, his state. And the need for a person with his skill and longevity in the Senate to bring the assistance to Mississippi that was required. I don't think he wanted to bail out on his constituents, but I knew that after having accomplished what he needed to accomplish there, he was pretty anxious to move on.

>>Ted Simons:
You're third in command here, as Conference Chairman, yet, Trent Lott was a Minority Whip. Did you want to run for the position before he took over?

>>Jon Kyl:
No, in fact, Trent had been Whip in the House and Senate before he was Majority Leader in the Senate. He was the first team. he's the best Whip that I have ever seen in Congress in my over 20 years. A tremendous leader, and his skills are going to be sorely missed.

>>Ted Simons:
Talk about those skills. what can you learn from Senator Lott, what will you take from Senator Lott's legacy and experience as you apparently take over the position?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well first, the description. What is the Whip? It's actually the Assistant Leader is what it is called, so my first obligation is to assist Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, and to represent the members of the Senate Republican Conference. Secondly, to try to help work the Legislative agenda so that we can be as successful as possible. Now, people think the Whip is the person who rounds up the votes, and that's true to some extent. But, you get votes by making sure that you've crafted the legislation in such a way that you can maximize your opportunities, and you try to work with your colleagues, not to twist their arm, but persuade them why they should do this or that. And understand their unique needs, their circumstances, their states, which are greatly different. And so, you apply those personal skills to try to represent them in a way that will permit them to support the Republican agenda to the maximum extent possible. That's what the job is all about. So, I guess a little bit of psychology, and a lot of hard work.

>>Ted Simons:
I was gonna say, and again, Senator Lott, obviously from where you sit, did a very good job. What can you take from that, and how would you differ from Senator Lott?

>>Jon Kyl:
First of all, his longtime experience, his experience in the House, his familiarity with all of the people, really ensured a high degree of success. Where I might differ a little bit is in my penchant for really digging down into the legislation and understanding it as firmly as I can, and being able to explain it to my colleagues when they have questions, answer those questions, point them in the direction, so that when they finally make their decision, they'll make it based upon solid information. I'll try to bring that to the job.

>>Ted Simons:
I read some quotes from Senator Lott, and it sounds, from a distance, as if frustration was among the reasons for resigning. Minority position, that's tough and different for him, and it will be different for you to come at it from that position. How are you going to handle that frustration that might be involved?

>>Jon Kyl:
I was in the House of Representatives eight years, a member of the Minority the whole time, and have served in the Minority now 1 year in the Senate. The reality is his frustration was more, I think, a factor of the high degree of partisanship that has corroded into the system in Washington. It's taken a lot of years to reach the level it is today, but it's very high. He didn't resign because he was frustrated. Let me make that clear. But he's also noted, as he said, it's not fun anymore, and I understand what me means by that because it is so partisan, that instead of working together to solve problems, you end up always in this kind of a situation with the people on the other side of the aisle, and it is not as much fun as it should be.

>>Ted Simons:
Is that why we're seeing so many veteran GOP senators- Domenici, Warner and such, and now, Trent Lott resigning. Is it not the way it used to be?

>>Jon Kyl:
No. Each resignation is based on unique circumstances. Wayne Allard said he would serve two terms, he served two terms. John Warner and Pete Domenici are up in years, their health is not good, they recognize that. They just don't think they could go through another six years, or that it would be fair to their constituency. So there are different reasons for people deciding to leave.

>>Ted Simons:
At an election cycle, your position, should you be accepted there, as minority whip, what do you do, as far as the GOP is concerned, to help the party in what's coming up to be a very big year?

>>Jon Kyl:
My particular job is to try to make sure we do the best we can with our legislative agenda. Now, you think in the Minority, our job is to stop things we think are bad coming from the Majority, and there will be some of that. There are some things that we think are quite bad, like tax increases. But we also have things we want to get done. The President has now, it has been over 300 days, since he's asked for funding for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. They're running out of what they need to carry out their mission. We need to pass legislation that funds their activities. That's just one example of something that we actually need to get done before the end of the year.

>>Ted Simons:
And I want to get back to that in a second here. But as far as Arizona is concerned, with you in this position, does that help the State?

>>Jon Kyl:
Perhaps in an indirect and longer term way, but I want to make it clear that I am not going to use this position to advantage my own State to the disadvantage of others. That's not what it's for. However, I think that being where I am, making decisions in a fairly small group of people, knowing what I know, I will be able to put Arizona's interests in the best possible position for success when it's warranted.

>>Ted Simons:
And I am assuming that you will be replacing Senator Lott in the "Singing Senators" group?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, actually, that group fell apart, and probably it is a good thing, given my talents, as opposed to some of his.

>>Ted Simons:
Let's get to war funding, as you referred to earlier. And you talked about compromise, and how difficult and partisan things are right now, and we're seeing it in action with war funding. where do we stand, and can compromise be reached?

>>Jon Kyl:
Compromise clearly can be reached. Where we stand is the request has been out there for now, as I said, not quite a year, 300 days. The money is now needed. For the last three or four months, the Defense Department has been able to shuffle money around into different accounts that they have. That now, as of the middle part of December, no longer exists, and the Secretary of Defense has said that he has got to begin sending out furlough notices to people in the civilian components of the Defense Department that will begin taking effect in the latter part of December because they simply don't have the money to run the Department of Defense. You've got these new fighting vehicles, the ones that can withstand the IED explosions. Congress was all excited to get them produced, so that they could protect our troops. They're sitting on the dock in Charleston, South Carolina. They've been built, but the money isn't there to get them into Theater. So clearly, in order for the mission to continue to succeed, as it is today, we have to get the funding to conduct the military operations passed. It should have been done long before now. It needs to be done before the end of the year.

>>Ted Simons:
Democrats are saying they're trying to work a compromise from their side, saying: let's split the difference, as far as concerns on domestic spending, and that will open the door, as far as they see it, for war funding. Is that wrong?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, one thing that they've done is propose funding that is about $23 billion above the President's Budget. And if you run that on out, that's about $300 billion over the entire length of the Budget. That's a lot of money, and the President has said the time for wasteful Washington spending is over. Now, Republicans were criticized in the last election for being too willing to spend taxpayer dollars, and frankly ,the Republicans were too good at that. not as good as the Democrats, but they spent too much. Finally, the President is saying that's enough, we're going to stick with the Budget. it's the Democrats who are saying no, we want to spend more than that, and until you, Mr. President, are willing to do that, we're not going to funds the troops. If you are willing to spend more money, we will fund the troops. it is a very bad bargain, and it's playing politics with something they shouldn't be playing politics with.

>>Ted Simons:
And the Democrats would say that they don't want to give the President funding with no strings attached. They want some sort of limits as far as troop withdrawals is concerned. Again, why is that wrong?

>>Jon Kyl:
That's their argument. they say, look, Congress holds the purse strings, we want to end the war, the only way we can do that is to deny money to the troops. That's the worst possible way to effect policy. The troops are there, we've given them a mission. You don't pull the rug out from under them in the middle of a mission, especially at a time when it is succeeding, and General Petraeus has made it crystal clear that it is. John McCain, my colleague, just got back from being there this Thanksgiving, and he said it is succeeding. Now is not the time to pull the funding out. Final point, the President has made clear, as long as we continue to make progress, we can bring the troops home. There are some coming home next month, for example. And therefore, if we continue to fund their progress, the troops can continue to come home. That to me seems like a win-win for both sides.

>>Ted Simons:
How much has the GOP been hurt by not going forward with a troop withdrawal deadline from a national perspective?

>>Jon Kyl:
We have done surveys on this, and it's interesting. Americans believe two things. Some people think it is contradictory, I am not sure it is. They would like to get out of Iraq, and they'd like to do it as soon as possible. I understand that. They also don't want America to lose. Now, the reality is we can achieve both of those goals. We can succeed in Iraq, maybe not to the extent we originally hoped. And bring the troops home, perhaps not quite as quickly as some would like, but we can achieve both of those goals if we do it in a sensible way, in the way General Petraeus has laid out. And so, what he has said we have withdrawn some troops. by the next couple of months, we will have gotten back down to where we were before The Surge started, and as long as we continue to have success, we can draw down even more. It seems to me that that is a sensible policy.

>>Ted Simons:
I read that Senators [Lindsey] Graham and [Saxby] Chambliss, I believe, are talking about perhaps withholding moving war funding to someone else if the [Nouri al-]Maliki Government doesn't come around, and show it has the right stuff, especially if those tropps do start coming home at a later date, and the Maliki government proves it can't sustain what has been achieved. How do you feel about that?

>>Jon Kyl:
What they are talking about are the Nonmilitary Funds, in other words, the funds that the government there is using for reconstruction and development of their economy and the like, and they're saying this is a government that doesn't seem to have the ability to do very much, and therefore, instead of giving the money directly to the Maliki Government, we should give it to other entities and political groups within the country of Iraq. Perhaps not a bad idea, because in truth, the Maliki Government has not proved very effective, and the reality is, a lot of political reform and reconstruction is coming from the bottom up. May be better to spread the money among those political subdivisions rather than the central government. It's an intriguing idea.

>>Ted Simons:
Are you confident there are people in place over there, whether the Maliki government or whomever, that will be able to sustain what has been achieved by troop surges, or whatever that we're doing over there? I mean, can these people handle this if we decide to pull back a little bit?

>>Jon Kyl:
I believe they can, especially if our withdrawal is orderly. I think they can. they're very competent people there. They want to succeed. You know, we sow the seeds of the problem very early on, when we set up an election system that looks more like the European parliamentary system than the American system, for example -- not that ours is always the best, but the people in the Iraqi Parliament don't represent geographical areas, like they do here in the United States. They represent political parties, the so-called Party List Elections. And what that has resulted in is a bunch of politicians in Baghdad squabbling over their different parties, not representing the people in the country, and that's part of the reason why the Central Government has not succeeded in all of these political endeavors. Nobody knows the real answer to your question. We have tried to put a lot of pressure on the Iraqi Government itself to get its act together. Remember, it took our government about seven years after our revolution, and we declared our own independence and won it. And we're asking them to do so under very difficult circumstances. Nonetheless, Senators like Graham and Chambliss, as you noted, are trying to think of innovative ways to make sure that whatever money we spend there is spent wisely, and gets results.

>>Ted Simons:
Let's shift gears and talk about immigration. Your thoughts on the State Employers Law, the Employer Sanctions Law that's set to take effect here in Arizona at the start of year. First of all, how do you feel about it, and secondly, is it a model, perhaps, for federal ideas?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, first of all, one can easily understand the frustration of the people of the state when the Federal Government did not act. The bill that I helped to write had a very good Employer Sanction provision and a requirement to verify employee eligibility for hiring. I think it is better than what the State Legislature passed, but they can't create a Federal Law. They did the best they could within the Arizona context. One thing I've done is to try to get funding at the Federal level to get a system that the State will rely upon is a very good informational system. In other words, there is a Federal database that has to be accessed by State employers. I want to make sure that database is very accurate and very good, so that if the State Law is upheld, that it can be workable. And the final point I would make is that if it is upheld by the judge, the State officials who are charged with its enforcement need to be, I think, very careful about how they enforce it, because the concern is that innocent employers could be caught up in a bad situation, and to the extent that that is true, I think we have to be careful to see that that is avoided.

>>Ted Simons:
You refer to your Immigration bill. You took a lot of heat for that from a variety of angles. Looking back from a distance now, was it a mistake to cosponsor that bill?

>>Jon Kyl:
Well, you can say that because it failed, and it didn't have enough approval by the American people, that it was a mistake. It was not a mistake to try. We maybe didn't get it right, but we had a problem then, and we still have a problem, and we're going to have a problem two years from now, because there is not the political will to tackle it again. So, maybe we should have done a better job of putting it together. We clearly should have done a better job of explaining it, and maybe it wasn't quite right. Maybe it didn't emphasize the enforcement enough, although it was just full of enforcement and border protection, more agents, more fencing all of that. However, now that that's over, we're moving forward with all of those elements, the building of the fence, the hiring of the agents, the detention spaces and all of that, and perhaps by demonstrating a real commitment to enforcing the law first and securing the border, people will be more open minded to a broader solution in the future. That's our hope.

>>Ted Simons:
But you took - it seems like you were taking personal hits here, especially from those in your own Party. Again, was it worth it to go through that?

>>Jon Kyl:
Yes, my personal popularity is not important. Doing the right thing is what is important. Now, I listen to my constituents. In the campaign, they had two big messages: do something about immigration, and can't you guys get together and work together in a bipartisan way get things done in Washington? OK, I tried to combine the two things, didn't work out. But I tried, and I will tell you this: there are some worse things that could have happened if we didn't try, and I'm concerned in the future, maybe the law that does gets passed eventually won't be as good as the one we put together, but we'll see. I have no regrets about trying to do what I thought was right, and I have no argument with those who disagreed with me. Now we have to try to work together as best we can to deal with the problem that still exists.

>>Ted Simons:
I can't let you go without something that, of course, from this profession, we look at. Regarding the Reporter Shield Law, obviously you're concerned with leaks. Does that law -- as proposed, as written, as presented, does it deal enough with leaks? It seems like it might, but you still have problems with it.

>>Jon Kyl:
I just spoke to the Attorney General today. One of the things he was asking at the Confirmation Hearing is when you look at that bill, and which protects reporters when they have a -- for example, suppose somebody in the CIA leaks Classified Information to you, a reporter, you print it in your newspaper. The bill would have protected you from having to disclose your source. What the Attorney General told me today was: this will not work. It will be impossible to investigate and to prosecute leaks of the most sensitive kind that come out of our Government. We have to find a better way to deal with the problem, for reporters to be able to have good sources, to report the stories and so on, but not protect the people who deliberately violate our law in the most serious way. Secrets and things that ought to be secret. So, we have a lot of work to do to try to get that legislation right before it is passed.

>>Ted Simons:
Alright, Senator, we have to stop right there. Thank you so much for joining us.

>>Jon Kyl:
Thank you, Ted.

>>Ted Simons:
Casinos have provided many of Arizona's Native American communities with an economic shot in the arm. But, economic development in Indian Country is much more than casinos, as we learn in the following segment produced by Generation Seven Strategic Partners and Ivan Makil, former President of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

>>Jefferson Keel:
Well, economic development has become the lifeblood of our communities. It has become very important, in order for us to teach our children about our culture, to provide an education for our children for our children and our young adults. All of those things require money. Economic development is not an answer, but it is a means to an end.

>>Mary Rose Wilox:
Economic development is very important to today's economy. Basically, it is the engine that brings jobs to The Valley, and when we deal with our Native American brothers and sisters, the Tribes that surround Maricopa County, we must make sure that we're on the same page. Economic development to a Tribe may mean the long term future of their sovereign nation. To us, it may mean providing jobs for an economy that is fueled by jobs. Bot not necessarily to the long term view, and that's a cultural nuance that we must look at.

>>Tom Daschle:
It's almost a universal definition of quality of life. It's having a sense of security, and having a sense of fulfillment, and having an ability to live in a community where the services that allow for a good quality of life are there. Good teachers, good schools, good law enforcement, good streets, good utilities, good housing, good jobs, all of those things are factors in the quality of life that have to be attained in order for that quality of life to be truly what it should be. But as you say, every community deals with them, and they come back down to two things: demographics and economics.

>>Michael H. Scully:
So some of the opportunities that we have here at Gila River Telecommunications are a result of really both residential and commercial development, really drawn all around us. And right now, we're a very important piece of property right in the middle of this massive development that is going on between Tucson and Phoenix, and I believe we're going to be a very strategic part of how the State grows over the next few years.

>>Derek E. White:
My dad and I, we share, and we talked about the history of the Gila River Indian Community and its people. And we talk about the Hohokam, the people, those who have gone, and all of the canals that they built and taking water to different communities in our community itself, And you know, we're known as farmers, agriculturalists. So, my dad and I would tease, and in today's age, I'm a digital farmer, so to speak. We plow our cable through the ground, and we take it to the communities and we provide that service, but not so much are we growing crops, but growing communities now.

>>Tom Dashle:
Recently, Rosebud Reservation and the Intertribal Council for Utility Policy came together to submit a proposal to the international organization that evaluates good ideas, and they won the World Energy Award for Wind. I think it says a lot about the ingenuity and about the potential there is in Indian Country. If we can be winning worldwide awards already, I believe that there is tremendous opportunities in the future.

>>Jefferson Keel:
We actually have a chocolate factory in Oklahoma. It's the only chocolate factory in Oklahoma. It's called Bedré Chocolate, owned by the Chickasaw Nation. That, obviously, produces some jobs. It produces some revenue, which allows us, in turn, to get into other types of businesses. We own a metal fabrication plant in southern Oklahoma. Again, it is not gaming related, but it is a source of jobs and revenue for our people.

>>Michael H. Scully:
Well, it is very important for Gila River Telecommunications, or probably any other Indian community to diversify their portfolios, so they can compete in the world economy. The world is a very -- it's a changing world, and communications is a very important part of that.

>>Tex Hall:
With the call on Indian Country to diversify its economies with the thread on gaming, the thread on the Native "AA" Program with the Small Business Administration, and the Corporate America wanted to diversify, wanting to reach out to Indian Country, I think that's a calling for us to come together as Native people. There is a doorway that is opening here, and that doorway is begging for a call for action.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The State Board of Education will be holding another public hearing Friday to get testimony on increasing Math and Science requirements for a High School Diploma. Learn more about the proposal changes and gear from Egil "Bud" Krogh, President Nixon's head "plumber" in the Watergate Scandal. That's Thursday at 7:00, on "Horizon."

>>Ted Simons:
And that's it for now. Thanks for joining us. I'm Ted Simons, you have a great evening.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon," please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon". "Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. thank you.

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