Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 4, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Vote 2008: Election Night Special

  |   Video
  • special 10 p.m. broadcast. NewsHour's election night coverage begins at 7 p.m. At 10 p.m., join Ted Simons for a one-hour live HORIZON special that examines the latest numbers on the races and analyzes the results with political consultants Chuck Coughlin and Sam Coppersmith.
Guests:
  • Chuck Coughlin - Highground, a political consulting firm
  • Sam Coppersmith - former legislator


View Transcript
Ted Simons
>> A Horizon special, a full hour of live, up to the minute local election coverage. Arizona Senator John McCain has lost his bid for the presidency. We'll have full analysis and we'll take a look forward to an Obama administration. Plus we'll take a look at other election results in the state and the county. That's next on Horizon.

Announcer
>> Horizon is made possible by contributions of the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Ted Simons
>> Good evening and welcome to this special hour-long edition of Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. And thank you for joining us as we analyze the presidential race and other election results. Barry Goldwater, Mo Udall, Bruce Babbitt and now John McCain to the list of men from Arizona who ran for the White House but failed. For McCain this was his second attempt and --earlier McCain conceded the race in a speech from the Arizona Biltmore.

John McCain
>> My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him -- please. [audience boos] -- to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love. In a contest as long and difficult and this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance.

Ted Simons
>> Here with us during this next hour with their expert analysis on the election, Chuck Coughlin of Highground, a political consulting firm and former legislator Sam Coppersmith. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us on this, Sam, historic evening here?

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think you can say that.

Ted Simons
>> Give us some thoughts about what's happened so far.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Well, historic. I think if you had asked the three of us four years ago if America would elect an African-American president, somebody with an Arabic -- Muslim-sounding name, I don't think that would have happened. I mean, the theme of the campaign was change, but I think it really, if you stop and look back, it's going to catch a lot of people by surprise how much the country has indeed changed.

Ted Simons
>> And there were people weeping. There are people looking back to their parents, grandparents, times past and putting this all in perspective. Chuck, what do you see regarding this? It's almost as if he was such a favorite. He's won by so much. A lot of people feel like they've gone past that historic aspect of it, it's time to get to work already.



Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah. The expectations on this administration from the get-go are going to be enormous. As they always are with success. Success breeds hopefully more success, in this instance it will breed tremendous expectations on the part of the country. And as we all know, as we all sit here today, the country's economy is at an all-time low in my lifetime. The challenges that beset the country, both domestically and internationally are enormous. And the challenge that will befall him, I think the honeymoon will be there, as Sam says, I think there will be great enthusiasm. I saw Senator McCain's very gracious speech tonight, called him "my President." You don't often hear that from the nominee. He quieted the crowd down. It was very eloquent, very gracious. There will be an opportunity to govern here. But the challenges that confront the country are enormous.

Sam Coppersmith
>> I just have to jump in. I mean, I was with a bunch of people two days ago, Democrats just kind of holding our breath. And one person in the crowd -- group we were talking to was more nervous than most. I mean, Democrats were congenitally incapable of not being nervous. Was particularly nervous. Part of it was she had spent the day canvassing or talking to a number of African-American friends who had kept hope in check because they had been so disappointed so many times that they didn't want to let their -- their hopes get ahead of themselves. And I know I was just a wreck until they called Ohio and then finally like this long relief.

Ted Simons
>> I guess among those winning tonight were the pollsters because a lot of people were saying you can't trust a poll. There's a wilder effect, a Bradley effect. You don't know about the kids or the Hispanic vote. Who knows what's going to happen. Pollsters got this pretty close.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah, they got it. And I think it was pretty clear, despite the -- as Sam says, some of the biographical sketch of Barack being very different from whatever we've elected before, the notion that he was -- he ran a very good campaign, a very scripted campaign. He had a narrative through his entire campaign. He ran his campaign. While the Republicans struggled mightily throughout this thing, I think everybody thought this was a Democratic cycle to begin with. The campaign was going to be very difficult for McCain to be able to succeed in. Almost have to throw the proverbial no-hitter in order to succeed because of --

Sam Coppersmith
>> The brand damage that had been done. -- either throw a no-hitter or somehow throw bush overboard. I mean, that was really a huge effort.

Chuck Coughlin
>> And that came out of Minnesota with a lead. He came out of the convention with a lead. I thought the Palin thing was working at that point. And I think two things beset the campaign at that point: one was the boxing up of Palin. They put her in a box and they let the media define her. We didn't talk about the Sarah Palin who ran against an incumbent governor in Alaska and beat the incumbent governor -- Republican governor, a very difficult thing to do. We never talked about the governor of Alaska who resigned from the Alaska oil commission because of corruption and pointed a finger at big oil in Alaska. We didn't get to talk about her because they failed on that front. The other thing that I think beset the campaign was the trouble they had in articulating a different economic point of view at a point in time where Paulsen in this administration was pointing at bailouts on Wall Street. That is not a Republican -- that's not a Republican platform from any book they ever saw. They went along with that. I think at that point in time, the ability to differentiate and create a different story with Obama was lost.

Ted Simons
>> I want to get back to Palin especially. But real quickly, did Obama win or did McCain lose?

Chuck Coughlin
>> Well, I think unquestionably in my book Obama won this elections by executing a near flawless campaign. Most campaigns -- from my life. Most campaigns are lost because of mistakes people make. I don't recall a mistake they made in this campaign.

Ted Simons
>> Was it the perfect campaign that Obama ran?

Sam Coppersmith
>> I'm going to can disagree on Palin. I don't think you ever say that anything is perfect. But the one thing this campaign did is they never lost sight of their kind of overall strategy. Whether it was the primary or whether it was the general. I don't know how many times people said, they've got to be doing something. They're panicking. They need to jump at the daily news cycle, which seemed to be what the McCain campaign was doing, which was basically if we just rack up -- they thought it was like a baseball season. If we just win enough daily news cycles, then at the end of the season we'll make the playoffs and they won't. And Obama campaign said, this campaign is about change, everything we do is about change, it's about hope, it's about changing our directions. And everything they did made sense and stayed to that. They didn't get thrown off their game by losing a daily news cycle.

Chuck Coughlin
>> He stuck to his message. And if you go back to his campaign speech, his opening speech in Springfield when he went out and got on stage and talked about why he was running and then you go to that Lincoln day speech he gave in Iowa which catapulted him.

Sam Coppersmith
>> The Iowa speech was Jefferson --

Sam Coppersmith
>> Sorry. I realize you want to give it to Lincoln. He's so liberal for you now.

Chuck Coughlin
>> I forgot. Jefferson. Their imitation of our effort. But that speech that he gave catapulted him to the forefront. And he never let go of that. He kept on message, as Sam says, about hope and opportunity when they kept trying to drill him down on details he'd get even bigger and more, you know, and was very eloquent. He's a very eloquent guy. He's a very smart guy. I mean, Andy Thomas went to -- our county attorney here went to law school with him at Harvard. And has said that very smart guy. And so that came through in the course of this campaign.




Sam Coppersmith
>> And I just have to hope that this is the last election -- I realize that like America is stuck listening to boomer music until we all die. But I just hope this is the last election that's basically refighting the Vietnam War.

Ted Simons
>> And actually, many are saying it is a generational election. It is a seismic shift in terms of elections. I want to get to that in a second, too. I want to get back to the Sarah Palin thing, though. Because I've got a feeling that obviously books are going to be written about her effect on this election. Are you saying -- this is the impression that I got just in terms of people we've had on the show.

Sam Coppersmith
>> I want my book autographed by Tina Fey.

Ted Simons
>> Do you really? Okay. Well, that says a lot. It says a lot.

Ted Simons
>> But was America ready for, a, a woman who in her major -- first major speech winked at the camera and dropped the gees and was so folksy, just plain folks kind of. Was this the time for that? Because you say let her loose, we would have had even more of that.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Had that worked, I don't know. It would have been a better shot than what they did. They allowed her to be framed. America has a tradition of populism. We have a great tradition of sending populists to Washington to clean up that mess. She fit that mold. They didn't allow her to live up to that expectation. Instead they took her off the stage, wouldn't let her -- part of the problem was that she got selected late in the game. And they did not give her an opportunity to grow into that role. I mean, it was stage, spotlight, talk. And so it was a very difficult thing to do. It was a home run, you know, it was swinging for the fence in terms of her. It would have been safer gubernatorial candidates to pick than her. Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota, when people talked about him, you know, Lieberman would have been the easy pick, you know. But I don't think that would have worked. And what McCain was trying to do I think in his heart of hearts was capture that spirit in America that always reinvigorates itself. And she does represent a lot of that. The accent hurts her a lot. But that's what you got to work with.

Ted Simons
>> Was this the time for that persona? Was this the time for that populist candidate from Alaska?

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think that's the best possible spin you could put on it. But I think ultimately it hurt the McCain campaign. I think CBS did a poll where basically, you know, 15% of the people voting for Obama had considered voting for McCain but saw Palin as a reason to switch over to Obama or to stay with Obama. And I think that you could say she's a populist, but the speech that she -- I mean, her high moments, the speech that she gave was not one that was warm and fuzzy for either Democrats or Independents. I think what happened is -- we were talking about this before. John McCain's attraction as a politician was the fact that he seemed to transcend party, that he could be very attractive to independents and to a lot of Democrats. The biggest things he did during the campaign, though, I mean kind of the symbolic movement, picking Sarah Palin and this whole Joe the Plumber stick were going and suspending -- we're basically grabbing for the base. And they were things that really spoke to die-hard Republicans and they voted for him. But I don't think it got anybody --

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think I'm -- on the Joe the Plumber angle would have been a card to play earlier in the race. Admittedly the economy has never been his strong suit, articulating a view of how to create jobs and economic opportunity. John would be the first to admit, our senator has not served in public sector -- in the private sector, rather. So he doesn't have a good grasp of that situation. And that showed in the course of this campaign. It particularly showed when they went back to Washington during the bail out. And the ability to talk -- he was trying to grab an iconic example of what that tax policy means. And I as a Republican, do I not believe that we tax our way to prosperity. Government is not a place that creates jobs and creates economic opportunity. When you're in a down cycle as we are right now, you don't hit the tax button on anybody. We've gone through this enormous economic expansion in this country. I mean, the wealth that's been created as a result of the internet and international trade has created this enormous amount of wealth. It's created divisions in our country that are there today. The market will take care of that over a period of time as well.

Sam Coppersmith
>> That's in your real estate --

Chuck Coughlin
>> Right.

Ted Simons
>> I want to ask you, you know, the concept of tax. Did Obama's message, if you make less than $250,000 a year you ain't going to get taxed, was that hammered home to the point where it doesn't matter what Republicans say, folks said, I get it, I'll go with it?

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think if you look, Obama was able to neutralize a number of things that Republicans just sort of felt we should be able to wave a couple of words or visual images and this should work. And I think you also saw that in kind of the reaction to the debates where the pundits would -- McCain would do this kind of rhetorical jab about this is socialism or -- everybody would say, god, that's a great move. That really worked in 1988. And it just didn't speak to people. Now, they'd been through eight years of basically that kind of ideological framework. And they saw it in ruins. September 24th, I mean, when everything fell out and you had the Bush administration basically saying, you know, John McCain can talk about a tax policy that favorers the middle class over the rich is socialism, but we just bought all the banks.

Ted Simons
>> Yeah, that argument -- take a look at some of the numbers here. We're going to start with the race of president here in Arizona. And again there was much talk that Arizona was going to be somehow in place. And right now it looks like it's not all that much in play. But Chuck, we've still got Pima County which is always the lag guard here, that's still not enough to make up this deficit.



Chuck Coughlin
>> No, it's not. When you run a statewide race in Arizona, a Republican has to win Maricopa County by a sizable margin. There's Maricopa County, Pima County and rest of Arizona. John won well in greater Arizona and won well in Maricopa County. The Democrats needed to run over by I think 100,000 votes here in Maricopa that he won in greater margin. That's not going to be made up with those votes in Pima County.

Sam Coppersmith
>> What it just does is the margin will be in the single digits but it will be in the high single digits. So would it have been in play? I think that actually was the Obama campaign basically it was a very inexpensive way for them to show that all sorts of states were in play. On the other hand, you never thought Indiana would still be competitive and here we're waiting for Indiana, North Carolina, there's still a shot at Missouri although McCain is ahead. Ohio.

Chuck Coughlin
>> In any election, you knew this was going badly early about three weeks ago when you saw the battleground states forming up and where the numbers were and where they were going and where they were trending. And we ended up fighting for a Republican to win, you never want to end up fighting the fight on your turf. You want to fight on their turf. And the Democrats the same. And in this instance, they brought the fight to us. States like Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, place that is do not go Democrat went Democrat this time. I credit that --

Sam Coppersmith
>> In fact, they went Democratic.

Ted Simons
>> There you go. The verbiage. Before we get into that let's take a look at some of the local races or at least a race closer to home. We'll start with Congressional District one. This is the seat that was Renzi's. It is now looking to be Ann Kirkpatrick. This is not really a surprise, is it?

Chuck Coughlin
>> Not a surprise, Sydney was a very conservative Republican candidate. There was a lot of sparring early on trying to get a more moderate candidate positioned in that race, didn't transpire. Ann did a great job, you know, I heard several different times throughout the campaign she was doing a great job reaching out to people. She had a fairly competitive Democratic primary. She succeeded that well.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Came through the primary very well without hard feelings, built a pretty good organization. Well, if you nominate someone like Sydney Hay, and it's true that she'll have a target on her back. But she certainly has a good base to work with and somebody who was able to come through that primary and build that kind of organization for the general will know, you know, sitting here two years ago and people said it's a great thing that Harry Mitchell was able to do. But he's just got a target on his back. But Harry looks like --

Ted Simons
>> Indeed targets on the back, I know the Democrats were very much looking at C.D. 3 and very much thinking that John Shadegg was vulnerable. And I know a ton of money was pumped into C.D. 3. Sound like Shadegg made it already. If you take a look at that panel you can see the numbers. It looks like he is well on his way.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah. The Democrats -- that ended up by virtue of the fact that there weren't the other races in Arizona did not become competitive, that the race, the one we just talked about --

Sam Coppersmith
>> Gabrielle Gifford race.

Chuck Coughlin
>> That wasn't in trouble. So all the Democratic money coalesced at one point and made Lord the game. I never believed in my heart of hearts that that was a real vulnerability there but they made a run at it.

Ted Simons
>> Did Bob Lord run a bad campaign? Is there something he could have done?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Hard for me to see with Bob. I mean, Bob basically gave a shot. I think it's basically the sign of the district that you have -- if McCain had not been the nominee and you had some of the same sort of things going on here, like going on in Colorado, then maybe that could have been a more competitive race. So if like Mitt Romney had been the nominee or Mike Huckabee, somebody who's not from Arizona. But the problem is Bob Lord did everything right outside of the fact there was nothing he could do, outside of the fact the Republican nominee is from Arizona.

Ted Simons
>> And is it a similar narrative in C.D. 5 with Schweikert against Mitchell? Harry is an icon.

Chuck Coughlin
>>The man has a statue of himself in front of Tempe City Hall.

Sam Coppersmith
>> But it's a very abstract statue. Very abstract.

Chuck Coughlin
>> He's done a good job, in my view, of moderating his votes in congress. He's walked from Democratic leadership on a number of votes. He protected himself on a downside vulnerability question. There was a very contentious Republican primary. Many many candidates taking a shot at it.

Ted Simons
>> What factor was that?

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think a lot. When the party bleeds itself and a Republican primary, can't get behind one candidate, Schweikert did the best job that he could of making an effort there. But again, I think given -- that's a district that I think demographically it is with Tempe and south Scottsdale, it's going to be a district that's in play for sometimes and somewhat more safer for Democrats to hold.


Sam Coppersmith
>> But I think there is a Harry Mitchell effect. They never had to run a negative ad. Now, that's something that's easier said because there were so many party committees and independent expenditures although fewer 527s this time that negative messages get out without anything. The Republican primary I think may not have put up the best possible candidate for that district. I mean, the Republican voters in that district may have done Harry a favor. Harry has done a good job as congressman. I do have to -- I'm a proud father. I think people underestimate that campaign, brilliant young woman named Sarah Copper Smith did a fabulous job.

Ted Simons
>> Will she be employed in two years? And will there be another Republican?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Somebody --

Ted Simons
>> Will there be another Republican stampede against they are in two years?

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think a narrower field. I think given the cycle we're in and the economy and some of the choices that we face, it will be a competitive race in two years.

Ted Simons
>> Let's get down to Tucson, southern Arizona at least and Congressional District 8. This is Gabrielle Giffords against Senate President Tim Bee. And I don't know. Were people expecting this much of a win for Giffords? Were they thinking it might be a little closer than this?

Sam Coppersmith
>> I would have not been surprised if it had only been a 10 point win. But I don't think she was really ever challenged. I mean, I think this is not a district that's as inhospitable to the party out of power as the Shadegg-Lord race. But this was a race with candidates they think the way the race played out, part of it is that state legislative leaders are truly a legend in their own mind. I mean, extraordinarily powerful people in a very small circle. Once you get out of that small circle it doesn't carry over.

Chuck Coughlin
>> You know, Gabby has worked that district really hard. She has done a extraordinarily good job of grassroots communication in that district. She comes back all the time. She spends a great deal of time reaching out, working on constituent relations. She's sort of the prototype congressman that we used to see a lot of that really worked the district hard.

Sam Coppersmith
>> She's basically Jim Kolbe. She's a moderate like Jim Kolbe. Very popular down there. I mean, and for whatever reason the Republicans nominate kind of the anti-Kolbe.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Well, Tim and the Bee brothers had a long legislative career up here, both of them in the legislature, both tremendously nice guys. But not the kind of person when you walk into the room and go, hey, I want to go talk to that guy. It's not -- charisma doesn't flow.
Ted Simons
>> Drop his g's in conversation?

Chuck Coughlin
>> Not even a wink.

Ted Simons
>> Okay. Let's move on to some of the Propositions here. The ballot initiatives, we'll start with the home tax, Prop 100 if we can. Protect our homes was the title of this one. And a lot of folks said okay.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Realtors spent a great deal of money in the state preventing a real estate transfer tax from ever being put upon us. The purest argument was that we want to preserve all our options. Clearly with the economy, home prices suffering, this was a good time to go sell that.

Ted Simons
>> Surprised, Sam?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Not really. Surprised by the margin. But there wasn't much of an effective No campaign. But surprised it won by that much.

Ted Simons
>> Then let's move on, to the next Proposition, 101, Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. This was one that I know just because we did shows on this that folks were very confused by it. They weren't quite sure what this was all about. And look at that. It's 50-50.

Chuck Coughlin
>> A group of doctors got together, wanted to essentially a prophylactic measure to prevent a government-sponsored health care, require us to be compelled to join government health care. It's 50-50 right now. As we were talking earlier, Pima County, 50% of the Pima County votes are still out. Roughly as those come in, I expect that to fail -- continue to fail.

Sam Coppersmith
>> What's happened is up on the screen now. The Pima County percentages jumped from about half to a little over two-thirds and the margin increased from under 200 votes to more like 2,000 votes. So chuck is absolutely right here. He was predicting that as the Pima votes comes in the no vote would increase and it looks like that's going to carry the day there.

Ted Simons
>> Prop 102, the Gay Marriage ban, obviously a point of contention for a lot of folks. Got a lot of headlines, a lot of attention and a lot of votes. Looks like that thing is going to pass.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Took off the contentious part of last time, which was the partners benefit aspect of it, went with the constitutional aspect of marriage. I never thought it was in trouble. They raised a great deal of money. I think $7 million to go sell this. Framed it well and got it out there. And the no side never got a chance.


Ted Simons
>> Was this a stocking horse for other races? Can you tell if this did anything to anything else on the ballot?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Cannot really see that. But that's not the sort of thing you want to guess tonight while you still have thousands of votes out.

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think the early discussion was that it would help in greater Arizona, not in Pima County necessarily or Maricopa where we've had a great deal of discussion about that, but in greater Arizona that that would help draw out I think District 1 in a state senate race up there. Sylvia Allen was somebody we'll talk about a little later.

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think that's District 5.

Chuck Coughlin
>> 5 was a question whether she'd win. She won. A lot of speculation was that that measure would help draw Republican and more conservative voters in that neck of the state.

Sam Coppersmith
>> But just on marriage, I'd still like to see when the rest of Pima comes in, but it looks like Pima it was defeated by 5,000 votes which is a really pretty small margin. In Maricopa it won by over 120,000.

Ted Simons
>> Prop 105 is the majority rules Proposition in which I thought -- again, it just took a bit of explaining how the dude that doesn't vote counts.

Sam Coppersmith
>> This is public television, Ted. You can explain for hours.

Ted Simons
>> Oh, we do. We did. And we still weren't quite sure if everyone quite got it. But you know what, it looks like folks got it. It looks like folks figured out that doesn't make sense.

Chuck Coughlin
>> This is a Nathan Sprou initiative, that and the illegal immigrants both run by conservative business types failed to get a majority support. It essentially would have allowed dead people or people that don't vote to be counted in the game. I don't think people thought that was fundamentally fair.

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think when people realized what was going on with that it went down.

Ted Simons
>> The supermajority at the state house, why not get a supermajority of registered voters is that too progressive, Sam?

Sam Coppersmith
>> It doesn't make sense to folks if you don't vote you should be counted and essentially control. There really has been only one or two initiatives that would have passed this standard. There were a number in the first election when Arizona became a state in 1912. But 1912, women couldn't vote. You know, I mean, the franchise was limited to white male.

Chuck Coughlin
>> It would have been an easier discussion and maybe say, have a two-thirds vote requirement to have a tax increase, which is the law at the legislature to increase taxes you need two-thirds of the body. That pass that initiative. If you want to try to apply the same standard to the electorate and see if they went. That went beyond the pail.

Ted Simons
>> This next one was confused because folks who were pushing it were staying stop before I lend again. The Pay Day Loan Proposition, 200. And I tell you what, a lot of money was pumped into this thing. And it doesn't look like it did all that well at all.

Sam Coppersmith
>> It was a hard sell, because it was basically industry-sponsoring regulation. And in a way where basically the industry's message to voters was, you got to stop us. And it was an odd way to do it. Because really the argument for it was, look. You either want this credit to be available in this way or you don't. And they never were kind of willing to make the case straight up. Instead it was you have to protect -- stop me or the commentator gets it.

Chuck Coughlin
>>The industry needs legislative action by 2010 in order to continue to operate in Arizona in the manner that they currently do. Their belief is that they were unable to get something that was attractive to them through the legislative process, they chose this one, they failed. Now going to meet their maker down at the legislature and they will have to figure out if they can get a bill through.

Sam Coppersmith
>> That's the thing when you play Indian gaming casino. If you lose it really is double or nothing.

Chuck Coughlin
>> The interesting thing is we were talking earlier, the real estate industry is my bet will come to these guys' rescue because there are more of these locations than there are Starbucks or McDonalds.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Now that closing the Starbucks.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah. If this industry ends up going, you'll see shuttered up stores everywhere. I believe at the end of the day the legislature will enact some legislation which will keep the industry in operation but it's going to be much more draconian than their self-imposed regulatory.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Or more consumer friendly.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah, much more.



Ted Simons
>> And the argument of course on that side is, we can't stay in business if that happens. I guess we'll find out.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Some will and some won't.

Ted Simons
>> Right.

Sam Coppersmith
>> And maybe given what's happening as the impact of people taking onerous credit or credit that's based on real estate prices continuing to exceed, you know, maybe some of the things at the fringe should fall off.

Chuck Coughlin
>> If you have $14 million to spend on a campaign, there's some money to be made in the industry. Somebody will be left.

Sam Coppersmith
>> It doesn't strike me as not a profitable industry if they're willing to do that.

Ted Simons
>> Proposition 201, the Homeowner's Bill of Rights. Oh, my goodness.

Sam Coppersmith
>> We are inventing a new standard here, which is if you lose by a bigger margin than the legislative pay increase, that's the Mendoza line of Proposition. The unions, sheet metal workers had a problem with the home builders association, went out and tried to promulgate this as a threat to the home building industry. Got it on the ballot at the same time of course the real estate industry is crashing. The industry made a very good consumer friendly pitch this was going to increase the cost of homes. Consumers saw through it and I think roundly defeated it.

Ted Simons
>> Is this time kind of thing that we will see in another way, shape or form? Is it the kind of thing that comes through the pipeline in a different fashion?

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think it will end up staunching any of this discussion at the legislature.

Ted Simons
>> Really?

Chuck Coughlin
>> That that kind of discussion of oh, we need better warranty protection. We've heard -- this has been an ongoing discussion down at the legislature for some time about homeowner's bill of rights.

Sam Coppersmith
>> I think they just basically wiped that out.

Chuck Coughlin
>> The industries responded, and to their credit that's what they went out and said we've done. All the editorials from the most conservative papers in the state to the most liberal papers in the state, this initiative was a bad idea. Because the industry had responded.

Ted Simons
>> All right. Let's keep it moving here. Prop 202 is the stop illegal hiring or stop the employer sanctions law as we know it. Chuck --

Chuck Coughlin
>> Another initiative sponsored by Mack Mcgruder, others, Jason Labech who wanted to essentially eliminate the E-verify requirement of our state's employer sanctions law. It failed. I think it would have weakened the overall structure today in the employer sanctions law. I think people saw through that. They liked the bill. Although it's been a contentious bill at the legislature. Through several sessions they reformed. It Senator Pearce, now Russell Pearce modified his legislation in the last session in an attempt to head this off. They didn't take that. But the net effect is I think we have one of the lead employer sanctions law in the country right now.

Sam Coppersmith
>> What surprised me is if this was the problem that some of us had with this is that it basically went to the existing law and basically made it easier for employers and left all the draconian stuff against individuals. But the employers never kind of stepped up and made their case.

Chuck Coughlin
>> It was a narrow group of businesses. There was a lot in the business community that felt that legislature's efforts to amend this were sufficient and walked away from that discussion at that time.

Ted Simons
>> Is there more tinkering in the works for it?

Chuck Coughlin
>> I don't think on this effort. I think this bill is going to -- you'll see -- I think we've set the stage for a federal program to then be enacted. I think you'll see something out of the next congress very much like what we have here.

Ted Simons
>> Okay. Prop 300 is the Legislative Salary Increase. And this was the one, as you mentioned, Sam, that usually -- I think the conventional wisdom was this would be the one that would lose by the most. It didn't lose by the most.

Sam Coppersmith
>> No, it didn't. This is the Mendoza line for Propositions. This is your baseline yes vote. How many Googoos are out there.

Chuck Coughlin
>> I'm a Googoo. I voted yes.

Ted Simons
>> Isn't there an argument -- the argument obviously for it is, you got to pay people. You get what you pay for.

Chuck Coughlin
>> I think most of your listeners on this program, and probably Ted too.


Sam Coppersmith
>> Even without getting a tote bag.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Obviously when you ask people to go down there and commit the time and energy to do this, the last session was six months, you know, five months long -- [overlapping speakers]

Chuck Coughlin
>> You want qualified people.

Ted Simons
>> The argument, though, that if you really want qualified people and you really want a pay raise, give them a big pay raise. Get it up there. Get it to 45, 50.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Or just do a little one every time. Get it in there and you don't have to go back there and do this all the time.

>> [overlapping speakers]

Sam Coppersmith
>> Go for some sort of permanent cost of living increase or you're right, go for a big one.

Ted Simons
>> All right. I want to keep going with some of the state races here. The corporation commission is again one that I think confuse add lot of folks just because they're not quite sure what the corporation commission does. You got three people going. In the latest numbers saying, what are you guys seeing here? It looks as though it was awfully tight but Pima County coming in which means Democrats have an edge.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Awfully tight. Right now it looks like Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman are leading, two of the Democrats for the three open seats. The third seat is an under 5,000 votes difference. But Pima is now up to about 70%.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Stump is still holding the third seat.

Sam Coppersmith
>> One Republican.

Chuck Coughlin
>> When two Democrats get elected to statewide office for the first time, that was a five-member Republican commission.

Ted Simons
>> Was it Rentz-Jening on there?

Chuck Coughlin
>> On the corporation commission. Five Republicans on it. This will go to three Republicans and two Democrats. I call it the all-name team. We have the Newman and Kennedy team.


Sam Coppersmith
>> And Stump.

Sam Coppersmith
>> He's the only Paul Newman now that other guy died.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yeah. That's a big shift. That's a big pickup for the Democrats to have two new statewide officers where they had none before. That's a significant pickup.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Well, plus the governor and the attorney general.

Ted Simons
>> Was this an Obama effect here?

Sam Coppersmith
>> No. I think this is -- there's two things going on. The first is the corporation commission is probably the one statewide office where because of the consumer utility yin yang it's the one where maybe being a Democrat is actually a help here because there are more consumers than there are utility executives voting for this office. The second is the power of the name. You know, these are --

Chuck Coughlin
>> There was a significant amount of resources that came in from the Democratic party and individuals. Sam George was a privately-financed candidate that did a lot of team pieces the you'll find when they do the campaign finance report at the end the Republicans were I believe universally, publicly funded or clean elections funding. The Democrats were not. And there was a significant amount of resources spent on the half of the Democratic party on behalf of this. But solar team.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Still flabbergasting to me that lead vote getter of the six in Maricopa County was Sandra Kennedy.

Ted Simons
>> We had Kennedy, we had Newman and then we have George who seemed like he was a bit of the ring leader of the three, wasn't he?

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yes.

Ted Simons
>> What happened to him?

Chuck Coughlin
>> He doesn't have as good a name as Stump.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Kennedy, Newman and Stump. I mean, there's legendary tales in the Arizona party about name I.D. and people look down the ticket. And on the races where they know less they go, oh, Kennedy. That's a Kennedy. That happens. That actually happens.


Sam Coppersmith
>> You shouldn't laugh. I'm from Pennsylvania where we had a neighbor named Bob Casey who became the state auditor because people thought he was the other Bob Casey.

Ted Simons
>> There's a difference between employer sanctions law and how the new one, who see the difference between the pay day loan, stop me before I lend again, they can figure that out. But not the names.

Chuck Coughlin
>> There's a lot of money. The secretary of state puts out a publicity pamphlet. Everybody gets a publicity pamphlet. People can access and read. There's less so on the corporation. You rely on the candidate campaigns themselves to carry a message forth. It's not like you have a publicity pamphlet telling you what these guys are for.

Sam Coppersmith
>> There's only so many people like me who are really concerned over how long it takes to get articles of organization for limited liability companies.

Chuck Coughlin
>> This is the body that does regulate A.P.S., which is going through a very difficult time right now. They do regulate the phone company, Qwest. Qwest is going through a very difficult time. They're competing with cable companies now that aren't regulated. So there's a lot of -- and all the water companies in this state. There's an argument on this western climate initiative, on some of the things there. They regulate the railroads in the state. It is a significantly important body. And it's a big deal that we lost two of those -- that Republicans lost two of those.

Sam Coppersmith
>> It's interesting. It's one where there really does need to be more institutional expertise. I'm not sure it's there. We'll see what happens when you have a bipartisan -- now that body's split, D's and R's, whether they realize this is pretty boring blocking and tackling government or the people who are elected see this as I got elected statewide now let's go do something fun and run for something else.

Ted Simons
>> Right. Let's talk about county attorney's race. This obviously high profile here in Maricopa County. We had the liveliest of all of our debates was the one involving Andrew Thomas and Tim Nelson. It looks good for Thomas. Is this about where you saw this, Chuck? Do you think it might have been a little closer than this?

Chuck Coughlin
>> You know, we had a discussion today and this is about where we called. It I thought it would be about 53 for Thomas. Although if you had asked me a month or two ago I would have thought Tim Nelson had a really good shot at winning this race. I think when it came down to it, people are willing to forgive some of the things that the county attorney did earlier, arresting the New Times guy. Nelson's campaign tried to bring that back at the end of the game. You saw the county attorney wasn't talking about that, talking about immigration and prosecution of criminals. And so Andrew Thomas got back on his game in time to save that race.

Sam Coppersmith
>> And you may be seeing some of that. The early voting percentages I think were closer than what it ended up on the total votes. So this is one where I think disclosure -- I mean, Tim's wife Julie is one of my law partners. That I think the race was going stronger for him at the beginning and then just somehow --

Chuck Coughlin
>> Very tough for a Democrat to win in Maricopa County, countywide.

Sam Coppersmith
>> On a down ballot race.

Chuck Coughlin
>> When it's combined like this, very tough because of the voter registration advantage. The Democrats did a better job this time in early voting and made it a closer contest. And Tim ran a quality campaign. But it's tough for that.

Sam Coppersmith
>> And really I think Tim is showing that race, if you compare that race against the Sheriff's race where Dan Sabin really -- Dan's a nice guy but really just didn't do what he needed to do to fund raise and raise a credible challenge.

Ted Simons
>> Let's show those numbers now on the Sheriff's race. Did anyone expect this to be close?

Sam Coppersmith
>> No. But the point I'm trying to make, is those numbers are, you know, Tim Nelson is a quality candidate running a much better race. Narrowed the gap by four points. I mean, that just shows that you can only run uphill so fast.

Ted Simons
>> Back to the county attorney's race, does this signal Andrew Thomas as a serious statewide candidate eventually?

Chuck Coughlin
>> Time will tell. I mean, it's always been a good spot. Actually there was a lot of Republicans that were concerned about losing that seat to an articulate Democrat who could then had a state launching pad for something else. And we had those discussions. But time will tell. That's a very important job. High-profile position here. I think the county attorney is growing into the job better and maturing as he goes along. And I don't think we'll see any more of the kind of stuff that we saw in the first couple of years of that administration.

Sam Coppersmith
>> And in isolation you could say, you know, if he matures, if he doesn't, you know, if he doesn't arrest any more news media people, I could see that a second term would be smoother than the first. On the other hand, it's not in isolation and you have -- I assume you've got somebody like J.D. Hayworth who would to jump on that parade and figures he could elbow somebody like Andrew Thomas out without too much difficulty.

Ted Simons
>> A lot of flying elbows there.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Well, it depends if you're talking governor you don't have to be a lawyer.
Chuck Coughlin
>> I hear that.

Ted Simons
>> State races, state house. A lot of talk that the house would perhaps go Democrat. Does not look like that's going to happen.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Not going to happen. The Democrats spent a lot of money. The governor spent a lot of her time and energy in trying to move that body. Over $150,000 in a race in Chandler, considerable amount of money on the west side of the Valley. I think she was out in District 12 actually knocking on doors with candidates, didn't transpire. I think that the current split on that is 33 -- what is it --

Chuck Coughlin
>> 33-27.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Yes, 33-27. And I suspect that it will 26. We may actually pick up one there. And in the senate we actually made -- Republicans may actually pick up a seat there as well.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Hard to tell, though. We still have the Pima County thing.

Ted Simons
>> Surprised, though, that great Democratic kind of tsunami didn't quite wash ashore in state races?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Except it's -- I mean, it just is so strange that corporation commission if you would have asked me coming in here, I think we could pick up one but two and have a shot at the third? Probably we're going to fall short on the third. But still, why that and then in the legislature where you thought people's interests was it just didn't happen. So it's just -- it's hard to pull out a very clean -- I know you're on television and you want a clean narrative to sum it up with.

Chuck Coughlin
>> Well, I think you had McCain on the ticket. McCain on the ticket out here I think helped substantially this time in making sure Republican voters in Maricopa County turned out. And most of these legislative races are in Maricopa County. And that has a dramatic impact.

Ted Simons
>> Are we going to see obviously Republicans keep control of both the house and the senate. Are we going to see further right Republicans in control? Or are we going to see --

Sam Coppersmith
>> Well, a lot of that was set up in the primaries where a number of more moderate Republicans lost in their primaries and were replaced by more conservatives. So at a time when nationally the more hard-line, ideological -- although let me not say that. What happened nationally is a lot of moderate Republicans have gone knew. Chris Shay has lost in Connecticut. So both parties in the House are going to be more conservative.


Chuck Coughlin
>> The dynamic, though, even with this 33-34-vote margin in the house, there's enough moderate Republicans in that body that it dictates that in the House particularly, more so even now than the senate, that you will have to negotiate with the Democrats on the budget. The governor has a strong hand to play with the votes that she has. And some of the moderate Republicans that still survived in the house.

Ted Simons
>> Talk about the dynamic between the governor now and what will be the next makeup which looks a little similar to the current makeup as far as the state house is concerned. Talk about the dynamic and let's go ahead and play. Is she going to be attracted to a cabinet position should that be offered? Knowing what it means back in Arizona for Democrats, Sam.

Sam Coppersmith
>> These are cards that she is playing very close to her vest. I have absolutely no knowledge and I'm just speculating as you are looking at me with those pleading eyes to do. [laughter] And I would have to tell you that if President Obama asks her to be Attorney General of the United States, that would be something that I would be interested in doing. On the other hand, she has said she enjoys being governor. She wants to finish her term. There are things for her to do after her term is over that she might really want to stay and not let basically everything she's tried to work for over the past six years go away into --

Chuck Coughlin
>> Well, it's going away because there's not any money to support the programs. So I believe if as a former prosecutor, former attorney general, a lawyer at one of the more prestigious law firms here in phoenix, that as somebody who was on Anita Hill's defense team and had her burst in Washington politics. If the opportunity comes up and it is offered that she gets the attorney general's job. I believe she's out of here as quickly and on the first plane as possible. Because the next two years are going to be very difficult times in Arizona. It's not going to be the tax -- or the spending lobby that will be in charge. And the discussion that's going to take place down there is about borrowing and program cuts. And there will be a great deal of consternation, the governor advocating more borrowing, delaying the impact of these budget cuts and waiting for the economy to recover, and Republicans being much more conservative about that approach.

Ted Simons
>> Can she take a cabinet -- a lesser position, homeland security, for example, can she parlay that into a run for Senate in 2010?

Sam Coppersmith
>> If what you want to do, I think, is run for senate in 2010 then I think you stay and you be governor. And then you stay in the state.

Ted Simons
>> Okay. That resume' addition doesn't necessarily --

Sam Coppersmith
>> I don't know if that really helps you going to Washington and being the person who makes you take your shoes off when you stand in line at the amount.


Chuck Coughlin
>> It gives you a national security card. It gives you experience on national foreign policy affairs, border security issues. And let's not think that today that her popularity number will be the same today as it will be two years from now if she decide to stay here. It won't be. This is going to be elbows are high, heads are down, and it's going to be a tough session for the next two years while this economy attempts to restart itself.

Sam Coppersmith
>> But again, legislators who are legends in their own mind. I mean, things will be tougher at the legislature but I think --

Chuck Coughlin
>> Headlines will get written.

Sam Coppersmith
>> One thing that's been terribly frustrating for them is the governor has such a larger bully pulpit than they do. Second even if you're not in the Obama administration, I think the Obama administration is going to treat Arizona differently.

Chuck Coughlin
>> The other thing that leads you to believe she's leaving there's been an exodus. There's been a number of people on the top of her staff which didn't have a deep bench to begin with that are gone.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Chuck wants her to go, I want her to stay.

Chuck Coughlin
>> There you go.

Ted Simons
>> And I guess we'll find out soon enough. We started the program this evening with some words from John McCain, who again failed in his bid for the presidency this evening. And spoke tonight at the Biltmore in front of family, friends and supporters. Let's take another listen to some of what Senator McCain had to say.

John McCain
>> This is a historic election. And I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans. And for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices, that once stained our nation's reputation, and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound. A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now -- [cheers]

Ted Simons
>> This evening at the Arizona Biltmore. Meanwhile in Chicago, at Grant Park in front of hundreds of thousands of supporters, the president elect, Barack Obama.


Barack Obama
>> If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is the place where all things are possible, who still wonder if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. [cheers] It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches, in numbers this nation has never seen. By people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives. Because they believe that this time must be different, that their voices could be that different. It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states, we are and always will be the United States of America! [cheers]

Ted Simons
>> And we are just about out of time. I want to ask our guests here real quickly for a headline for this night. Sam?

Sam Coppersmith
>> Lots of change nationally, not so much change in Arizona.

Ted Simons
>> Chuck?

Chuck coughlin
>> Yeah, historic opportunity for having an African-American elected president. I think for the Republican Party it's a soul-searching experience. We need to go back to basics. And I think you'll see that here. I guess the thing that we've talked about all night that nobody's talked about that will get talked about a lot is that there was no -- this was done without public financing. This campaign was without public financing. We're going to have a big discussion in Washington and there'll be a discussion in Arizona about the need for continued public financing.

Ted Simons
>> Gentlemen, thank you very much. Great hour and great analysis and insight. Appreciate it.

Sam Coppersmith
>> Thank you, Ted.

Ted Simons
>> Don't miss our show tomorrow as we hear what Governor Janet Napolitano has to say about the election results. She'll also talk about the state budget. It's the governor's monthly appearance on Horizon. That's tomorrow right here on Horizon. And that is it for now. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Ted Simons. You have a great rest of the evening.

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