Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

June 10, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

sen. Jake Flake


  • Arizonans mourn the passing of state Senator Jake Flake who died Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack at his home near Snowflake. He was 72. Representative Bill Konopnicki, (R) Safford, joins Horizon to remember Flake and talk about the impact of his work in Arizona.
Guests:
  • Bill Konopnicki - State Representative
Category: Legislature

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
good evening. Welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons.

Ted Simons:
longtime state senator Jake Flake died on Sunday after a massive heart attack, following a fall at his home near snowFlake, Arizona. The 72-year old lawmaker had been a frequent guest on Horizon over the years. The state legislature remembered him this week. David majure takes a look at senator Flake's career and passing.

Jake Flake:
folks, welcome to the house of representatives.

David Majure:
Arizona state senator Jake Flake was speaker of the house from 2003-2004.

Jake Flake:
thank you and welcome to the house.

David Majure:
he began his legislative career in the house in 1997 and moved to the senate in 2005. Senator Flake was a cattle rancher born and raised in snowFlake a rural Arizona town named after his grandfather. He calls his family the proudest achievement. He and his wife, mary louise had 15 kids and 13 grandkids. A moment of silence honored him and members of the house and senate shared their memories of senator Flake.

Law Maker:
he was a very fair person. There will be a hole down here hard to fill.

Law Maker:
no matter which side of the aisles you were on or your status, he was very kind and affectionate and I definitely will miss him.

Law Maker:
you want to close the chapter on Jake, think of the guy on big horse with a big hat riding off in the sunset. That's the way I want to think about him. Thank you.

Law Maker:
members, I would like to add my own thoughts that senator Flake was a great mentor with me and I will miss him very much. I served with him when he was speaker of the house. He showed tremendous leadership and ability to bring people together and work across the aisles. Rural Arizona particularly lost a friend in Jake. Jake was always a champion for rural Arizona and looked at the state as a whole and moved us forward on very important issues. When people look back, they will say great things happened when he was a speaker of the house and served as a member of the senate.

Ted Simons:
here now to share his memories of senator Jake Flake is representative Bill Konopnicki. Thank you for being here.

Bill Konopnicki:
it's good to be here and talk about Jake Flake.

Ted Simons:
always on the program seemed it be gentleman and friendly and never had the pettiness that we see in some who rise to his level in law.


Bill Konopnicki:
I think that's a very analogy of Jake Flake and rose to the occasion.

Ted Simons:
sometimes you have to be a certain way to get stuff done. Talk about the style of Jake Flake.

Bill Konopnicki:
what Jake brought a very interesting style with him. Of course his ranching background give him a lot of things to draw from. He talked about hurting cows or cats and putting people on perspective. That's the way we worked with people. Take your time and move along and go with the flow and direct them where you want them to have them. It was a very good leadership style. He accomplished many things because of relaxed concerning way of dealing with people.

Ted Simons:
if there's not enough kind of way of dealing with people at the capitol.

Bill Konopnicki:
I don't think so. Unfortunately it's the norm to do the other way than interests of heart. Jake accomplished more than people who have the force-it kind of method.

Ted Simons:
rural Arizona, does this mark a passing for lawmakers that are that entrenched and born in those backgrounds in those era's. Will we see that happen again?

Bill Konopnicki:
I don't think so. The only other is this is a terms of where legislatures and way we work and come from.

Ted Simons:
Arizona chamber commerce quoted that senator Flake's passing makes any bill that's complicated more difficult, do you agree?

Bill Konopnicki:
absolutely. Owe worked to solve the problems. That was his trademark piece and that will be missed. I know he was a co-sponsor of a bill that you are interested and involved in as well. That's the temporary worker bill for Arizona. How does his passing effect that particular piece of legislation?

Ted Simons:
well, Jake was a champion of the bill and he will be miss. Does the slow? What happens here?

Bill Konopnicki:
I think the bill will move forward. We counted on Jake and Jake had a co-sponsor that would have helped to move the bill and we will miss his effort. In his honor we may be able to move the bill forward better than we would have before.

Ted Simons:
in his honor, do you think things like the budget which seems to be moving so slowly and a lot of partisan bickering on both sides. Could there be cooperation coming out of this?

Bill Konopnicki:
I think the passing of our great friend and senator Jake Flake is making us see yes, and try to do the things that Jake would have done.

Ted Simons:
what happens in terms of logistics? Regards to his senate seat?

Bill Konopnicki:
one fill his vacancy for his return and they will recommend three names not board of supervisors. Then the board of supervisors will recommend somebody that would fill his position. That person will fill that spot.

Ted Simons:
likely be a family member, do you think?

Bill Konopnicki:
possibly a family member. There are a few people interested and one person running for the house Sylvia Allen would be a good candidate. It seems a fitting way to wind up Jake's career have his oldest son fill out his term.

Ted Simons:
as far as succeeding in terms, you'll be running for that right?

Bill Konopnicki:
I am. They will select someone and take Jake's place on the ballot.

Ted Simons:
on the ballot for the house?

Bill Konopnicki:
I am. I would have to give up that position in order to accept a position to follow in Jake's place on the senate ballot.

Ted Simons:
and are you ready to do that?

Bill Konopnicki:
I am.

Ted Simons:
last question. What can lawmakers learn from Jake Flake?

Bill Konopnicki:
as you started out from, he was always kind and interested in people and far more than policy. He never took his eye off good policy and looked forwards solving the problem and doing the best for Arizona.

Ted Simons:
thank you for joining us. We appreciate your time and memories.

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