Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 21, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

One on One


  • Andy Gordon of Coppersmith/Gordon/Schermer/Brockelman and Barrett Marson, House GOP Spokesman, debate the issues in the state Legislature, including the Budget and the Arpaio/Gordon kerfuffle.
Guests:
  • Andy Gordon - Coppersmith, Gordon, Schermer and Brockelman
  • Barrett Marson - Spokesman, State House Republicans


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Now for our regular Monday feature focusing on issues of concern to those watching the state legislature and upcoming elections. Two political types go one on one. Tonight Andy Gordon of the law firm Coppersmith, Gordon, Schermer and Brockelman goes head to head with Barrett Marson, the State House Republican spokesman.

Barrett Marson:
Good evening, good to be here with you. We'll start right off with the budget. We got the -- the legislature completed the budget last week and the governor signed it as well. It was only 69 minutes from the time that the legislature sent the bill up to when she signed it. But you know the funny thing is, it's almost exactly what she vetoed a month and a half ago, or more than a month ago. It was almost exactly. The sweeps and the state agency reductions are 95\% of the way there. So really, when the governor vetoed that a month and a half ago, it's as if she didn't move and the legislature didn't move. So two times was the charm. For her, two times is the charm.

Andy Gordon:
Actually there was movement in that bill. This was a deal basically done a while ago. The legislature seems to be more worried about fooling around with some other bills. We could talk about Senator Pierce's. The real question is what they're going to do with the next one. The 2009 budget is about $2 billion. I think we all know how it's going to come out. Mr. Boone has already said he's going to accept capital financing, that's going to happen. There will be some sweeps, there'll be some rollovers, they can have this sucker done next week, he can let all these people go home. After six years of dancing with the governor, we all know how this is going to come out. The question is, "Why does the dance have to last so long?"

Barrett Marson:
The dances last so long again sometimes because the governor doesn't accept things first time around. Didn't accept some of the tax reductions first time around. She vetoed those. Those eventually became law. Again, it's negotiating with the governor who stands firm, and then finally gives in to what the legislature wants. And again, she gets some stuff out of it, as well as, it's negotiating, it is a dance. But it is something where the governor has to attempt to assert her position. But in the end, signs exactly what she vetoed previously.

Andy Gordon:
This is an interesting twist, because after hearing the republican legislators -- and a couple of democrats, to be honest with you, Mr. Chevron -- complain ultimately the general perception is -- the budgets that come out and are approved are ultimately the ones that she's been pushing.

Barrett Marson:
She never pushed for a 10\% income tax reduction. She never pushed for the suspension or the repealed of the property tax. So that's not true. She had to be brought there. She stood firm, I will not support a permanent income tax. Yet that's what happened. The same thing is happening now. She would not support $300 million in reduction of state agencies, but that's what's happening this year.

Andy Gordon:
And there's going to be some sweeps in the big bill.

Barrett Marson:
I'm not talking sweeps, I'm talking about real reductions´┐Ż

Andy Gordon:
The real question is the change by republicans on capital financing, that they finally acknowledge that the state's going to have to do that. That I suspect is the really big difference.

Barrett Marson:
Maybe the fight will be more on how long, because you don't have to do 30-year capital financing. The governor said that is a short-term problem, our budget -- economic downturn is a short-term thing. We can do a shorter term capital financing.

Andy Gordon:
The trick is to be in a position when we come out of this economic cycle that we haven't so hindered ourselves and hurt ourselves that we've left the state in the kind of condition as when she came into office.

Barrett Marson:
Are you a Republican, because that's what we're saying. When you borrow and bond that much money, you're hurting future generations.

Andy Gordon:
Let's talk about one of my other favorite Republicans, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Mayor Gordon. I have to say, I've known Phil for many years, he's a close personal friend of mine. And I have never been as proud of a politician as I've been of Mayor Gordon and what he's taken on with Sheriff Arpaio. It reminds me of Joseph Walsh, quite frankly, taking on Senator McCarthy and showing the shamefulness of what Arpaio has been up to.

Barrett Marson:
I'm not quite sure I see it quite as heroically. The timing seems odd. Remember, for a long time he's taken a stance on, we're going to have to change the internal policy that doesn't allow the Phoenix PD to ask people about their immigration status. I'm not sure. He's been part and parcel. He hasn't done a lot, I think is the problem. Say what you want about Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tactics, the issue is he's responding to what the people of Maricopa county want. You may disagree, but poll after poll, election after election, not just poll but elections, show people want something done about illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe's doing it. The businesses, those poor businesses that have to deal with Phoenix Police in action, they're the ones who went to Sheriff Joe and said please do something, Phoenix PD won't do it.

Andy Gordon:
There's no question that we have a role in dealing with illegal immigration. Indeed, you can look at what the head of DPS, Mr. Van der Pool, is doing. He's not doing it with racist sweeps of Mexican-American neighborhoods. It was time for someone to call Sheriff Joe Arpaio on exactly what he was doing. Where are the rest of the Republicans? Where's Senator McCain, for instance, on saying I agree or I disagree with the tactics that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is up to? That is me --

Barrett Marson:
It is more -- the Democrats are passing the buck again, asking for federal action. Which we all agree, the Feds need to take the action. They haven't, so therefore people like Arpaio, people like Andy Thomas are taking the action. You may not like the actions, but they are taking strong actions and saying, we should not tolerate the illegal population running roughshod over businesses.

Andy Gordon:
Barrett, this isn't action directed towards immigration. This is classic racist conduct. That's what Mayor Gordon was objecting to. Quite frankly, the fact that no major Republican will step out and cross the sheriff, I think is shameful.

Barrett Marson:
I think it's great that the DOJ is getting an opportunity to look at this. Because I think once they do look at it, we can put it all to rest. People say it's racist when it's clearly not. Now on to some sort of breaking news today. Ken Bennett, the former Senate President, announced today that he would not be running for C.D. 1, congressional district one up north, a big rural district. And I think that's pretty much the Democrats and the state party and the "D Triple C," the national campaign, really just trying to delve into his personal matters, trying to embarrass him. They spend no time saying, we're going to attack your son. You didn't do anything wrong, but your son did, and we're going to go after that.

Andy Gordon:
I think it was more what I understood Senator Bennett had said, he wanted to stay with his oil business and wasn't able to leave that behind. It's surprising that after all of this, the Republicans frankly are not able to come forward with a significant candidate to hold the seat. My hunch is they're going to lose that seat. Kirkpatrick has gotten off to a pretty good start with fund-raising. The numbers work in that district for the Democrats. In addition to holding the seats we have, we're going to have a net gain of what?

Barrett Marson:
We'll see about that. Harry Mitchell has raised a significant amount of money, but so has Schwiegert. Schwiegert has raised a lot of money. He's clearly in the first tier in c.d. 5.

Andy Gordon:
I sort of thought this might come up. Of what Schwiegert's raised, over $200,000 is his own money. He's only raised about $400,000 or so --

Barrett Marson:
That puts him in first place among Republicans in that district.

Andy Gordon:
It does. But what's interesting is, there's a poll out today from the American Hospital Association that has Harry 50, Schweigert 24, Harry 49, Laura Canaparic 26. It shows that, despite the fact that Canaparic's way behind in the fund-raising, that Schweigert's money isn't making much difference. And they're going to spend all the money in the primary anyway.

Barrett Marson:
I don't know if they'll spend all of the money in the primary. He's going to have to spend some money clearly to get his name out there -- but you know, with the money that he has, people will focus more on him. Nothing helps you raise money like having money.

Andy Gordon:
Well, and the fact is, my point is, for instance when you look and see what they did down in Tucson, it's not very effective. But of course, Gabby's still a million dollars ahead. Should be a good year for the D's in the congress.

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