Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 22, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Journalists Roundtable


  • Don't miss HORIZON's weekly roundtable where local reporters get a chance to review the week's top stories.
Guests:
  • Dennis Welch - East Valley Tribune
  • Steve Goldstein - KJZZ radio
  • Paul Giblin - East Valley Tribune
Category: Journalists Roundtable

View Transcript
Ted Simons
>>> Hello, welcome to Horizon. I’m Ted Simons. Joining me tonight Dennis Welch of the East Valley Tribune, Steve Goldstein of KJZZ radio and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune. The Democratic National Convention kicks off in the Mile High City next week. Governor Napolitano will speak Tuesday.

Paul Giblin
>> Right, she'll be talking about economic issues. She might have hoped for a different more prominent role a couple months ago when there was some buzz about her being the V.P. But doesn't look like that's going to happen. But it could be an audition of sorts anyway. There's still buzz she might be on the administration at one point.

Ted Simons
>> How strong is that buzz? I ask that knowing that John Edwards, with a guy like that and his star falling I would think all other ships are rising, to mix a metaphor there.

Paul Giblins
>> The position that a lot of people talked about is attorney general for her, would be in her law enforcement background. It's plausible.

Ted Simons
>> Is this the kind of appearance you think the governor has to make a good speech in order to keep this kind of buzz going?

Steve Goldstein
>> She has to have good material in the speech, Ted. I don't know that she's someone who is a great speaker. She's gotten better since the appearance in '04 where she made a pre-primetime appearance. But agreeing with Paul her qualifications seem so obvious for attorney general, I’ve also heard homeland security as well.

Dennis Welch
>> As long as she doesn't screw it up she's going to get what she's going to get. She does have some great qualifications, she's worked with the attorney general's office before, experience with that, executive experience, named one of the top five governors in the country by time magazine, I mean, what more would you want in some sort of a pick like that.

Paul Giblins
>> It also plays into what Obama has said before that his cabinet is going to look like America.
Janet Napolitano being a woman looks like a good portion of America so that helps her as well.

Steve Goldstein
>> If John McCain had not won the nomination, Arizona would be more in play now and hurt her chances for a high profile spot.

Ted Simons
>> You mentioned homeland security as a possibility. Just in pure career moves, homeland security, U.S. Senate. Governor of Arizona, to finish out the term. Or even, you know, a possibility for attorney general later on. Homeland security?

Steve Goldstein
>> I’m wondering if in the pack back of her mind I’m sure this is not the case, governor please don't call, but maybe she might want John McCain to win so she has an open line on the senate seat in 2010.

Ted Simons
>> I don't think she'll admit to that. Speaking of John McCain, we have a Zogby national poll that shows McCain now ahead by five. The same poll that showed McCain down by seven just a month ago. What's going on her?

Dennis Welch
>> Well, obviously, I mean, it's another national poll and they don't mean a whole lot right now. But it does show there's something going on. There's something going on with McCain. There's momentum that he's closing that gap on Obama and before my colleague over here Paul Giblin would disagree with me, he'd say these polls are meaningless because they're national, I do think there's something out there.

Paul Giblin
>> I will agree with you agreeing with me. Those polls are worthless. National poll means absolutely nothing in the presidential election because presidential elections aren't structured as one big contest. They're structured as 50 separate contests, so whether he's winning a national poll doesn't mean much, it's each individual states and you add them up and you have a president.

Dennis Welch
>> But I think you can translate that. McCain campaign has been really going after Obama trying to portray him as some sort of elitist, big celebrity and I think the polls show that maybe that's working, starting to work. People are looking at Obama in a different light now. And they're dragging him down and having him talk about the minutia.

Paul Giblins
>> We could consult with Al Gore about the importance of winning a national election. I mean, he got more votes than his opponent and what's he doing now? He's talking about global warming, that sort of thing.

Dennis Welch
>> I agree, but for a guy down in the polls so long to have some sort of news that a poll comes out and says you're ahead, great news for the campaign.

Ted Simons
>> Paul, wouldn't it not so much that he's leading by x amount of points but the fact is that he was trailing and is now leading. Yes, it's a national poll and you have to look state by state, but that does show momentum, does it not?

Paul Giblins
>> It does, true, but other things this has been a terrible week for him, when he decided to be rich you have to earn $5 million a year, the week where someone asked him how many houses he had and he'd have to get to his peeps to tell him because he didn't know himself. It's been a bad week for John McCain.

Dennis Welch
>> In some sense, yeah, it's been a bad week because he has kind of fumbled all that stuff. On the other issue is there's been some, you know, international crisis, particularly with Russia invading Georgia and whatnot, and every time that happens I think people are going to look at Obama and question his experience, and they're going to look at John McCain and maybe think, well this is the guy, it's still a really dangerous world out there. We need somebody who's been around.

Ted Simons
>> That brings up the idea of who the candidates are going to pick for vice president, running mates. Steve, we'll start with McCain since we're talking about McCain. You look at something like Georgia and you look at something like what has to be a factor in these numbers, and international crises and these sorts of things. Who does McCain look for? What's the buzz out there?

Steve Goldstein
>> We keep hearing names from Joe Lieberman, which seems odd because he was on the democratic ticket in 2000. Pawlenty, Portman, former U.S. Trade representative, no one has heard of. I talked to Mary Matalin, republican strategist in town, she's sick and tired of hearing people like Bobby Jindal governor of Louisiana because she says McCain should accentuate his experience, not sheep herders.

Paul Giblins
>> I talked to Jon Kyl as well on that this week and he said McCain has all the international experience, has all the things actually that Obama lacks and Obama might be looking to fill out his ticket. So he said McCain has all that and probably will want someone who will work well with him, in the limelight as much, good governance to give McCain a good position to be in, he doesn't have to get another star on the ticket.

Steve Goldstein
>> Any chance McCain's going to say I'll serve four years and the vice president becomes that much more important?

Ted Simons
>> But he has been kind of hinting that he would be perhaps a one-term president. You never hear a presidential candidate saying something like that. But he has been saying these things.

Dennis Welch
>> I think that's why the V.P. Pick for McCain I believe is a lot more important than for Obama, for a number of factors, he has hinted it's only four years, and his age and health are concerns as well. Whoever he's got to pick has got to be ready to govern for any number of reasons. The name I’m really fascinated about is Mitt Romney's name keeps getting floated out there as V.P. And to me that's Amazing. he's had problems with the christian conservatives already and they're going to put Mitt Romney who's turned that base off because he's a Mormon.

Paul Giblin
>> I don't see that at all. I don't see John McCain going with Mitt Romney. I think John McCain since the day he got the nomination he's been happy to say he's not going to play to that end of the party anymore and he's going to bring the party behind hill. I don't see him going with Mitt Romney. I see him taking some of the characters you mentioned earlier, some of the more not, you know, what's the word I’m looking for, more plain republicans, someone who's qualified to be president in four years but someone more plain, run of the mill.

Steve Goldstein
>> One quick thing, I would say it would be a shock if he picked someone from the evangelical group, I know Mike Huckabee performed well in the primaries, heard his name a bit but he won't get independents with a Huckabee.

Ted Simons
>>> Let's get to Obama, by later tonight maybe even now people are getting texted as to who Obama is going to choose --

Paul Giblin
>> Just before I left the office I saw online some bumper stickers talking about Obama Bayh under it, so if those are legitimate, it would be Evan Bayh from Indiana, a strange pick, Obama from Illinois and Bayh from Indiana, usually they like to go a little further apart. But that could be a good candidate for him.

Ted Simons
>> What you think as well? Obama Bayh is the ticket?

Dennis Welch
>> Some of the conventional wisdom out there is that here you get Bayh, put Indiana in play, you get somebody who can appeal to those working class folks that Obama's had problems appealing to, but I’ve always had a problem with domino theories, it didn't work in southeast Asia, hasn't worked anywhere else and people say well, I know, if you get Indiana it's next to Ohio and that's next to Pennsylvania, so I don't buy into all that.

Ted Simons
>> No pun intended. Joe Biden was a name floated around a lot. Interesting person, but Steve, Joe Biden talks an awful lot.

Steve Goldstein
>> I don't know if this would come up either, Ted, but in 1988 when he ran for president, the whole group for Dukakis, accusations of plagiarism from his past, he's in his mid 60s, foreign policy experience, why aren't we hearing about Bill Richardson? He seems eminently qualified.

Paul Giblin
>> He could have gone with Richardson, Hillary McCain -- well, Hillary Clinton, who is a woman. He could have reached out there, but he didn't. He went with this kind of middle of the road approach again, and he could have gone with Joe Biden who brings experience to the ticket but the guy at the top of the ticket doesn't have that experience.

Setev Goldstein
>> For the democrats, Birch lost a race to Dan Quayle so senate democrats might be nervous about that.


Ted Simons
>> The convention coming up last week, what do you see, a big bounce for Obama after the convention? Big.

Paul Giblins
>> Absolutely. Conventions also produce a bounce for their candidates and we have the Olympics now, everyone's been hunkered down. I think you'll see Obama's numbers go up after the convention and McCain's numbers go up after his convention and from there even out and a fight to the end.

Ted Simons
>> Cronkite Eight poll in town, McCain a steadily lead, 28% still undecided. That's pretty high.

Dennis Welch
>> That was pretty surprising because this late in the game the Arizona sun, you think he would have had it locked up right now. There's still a lot of room left out there. And if McCain's got to spend extra money in the state that's an advantage for Obama.

Paul Giblin
>> I don't buy that at all. I think McCain has had this state from the day he announced he's running for president. I don't think he's going to spend money here or come here except or retreats to one of the six or seven houses he owns and I don't think we're going to see Obama come here either. I think both have given up the state.

Ted Simons
>> You think Obama is going to give up on Arizona?

Paul Giblin
>> Sure, if he wants to do any work he should go next door to New Mexico where it's still up in the air, rather than here where he's not going to win.

Ted Simons
>> What about down ticket candidates?

Paul Giblin
>> No, he's worried about himself. He has a tight race to worry about.

Ted Simons
>>> Folks are worrying about the initiative process in Arizona, seems like they're getting swatted back daily. We got the statewide transit tax, state trust land measure, affirmative action ban, all of these had enough signatures then didn't have enough signatures, trying challenge them. The judges saying you're not doing this in time. What has happened to the idea of the citizen initiative?

Dennis Welch
>> This really depends on who you ask on this. Now the people who are trying to get the initiatives on the ballot right now will tell you there's all sorts of problems with the registration within the county and all this other stuff, secretary of state shouldn't have been throwing this stuff out and Maricopa county hasn't been registering people the way they should and all this other stuff, but conversely, if you look at the people, look at the people also trying to get that on, there's been a series of blunders I think out there where it caused them to waste time, to start pretty late in getting the signature process going, and I think some of that stuff, like filing after the deadline, you have 10 days, that's statute. You should know that. You should be filing your protest before that 10-day period is up, no matter what the consequences are.

Ted Simons
>> Will we see something along the lines of better or just more regulation of these petition gatherers? Are we going to see something that says no more paying for signatures?

Steve Goldstein
>> There's going to have to be. You think about the situation with the governor being as into a couple of these as she is, state trust land and time coalition, she's so upset about it, she guaranteed they'd be on the ballot even after Jan Brewer threw them out.

Paul Giblin
>> It infringes on our right to free speech, if you're telling me whom I can get to sign my petitions it's infringing on those civil liberties and I don't see that getting much ground, distraction.

Dennis Welch
>> I found this whole thing really fascinating. You said the governor's really playing into the state trust land stuff and time initiative stuff. I think she was looking at this as a legacy issue for her. These were huge items with huge impacts for the state and most people think of Napolitano at this point they think solid governor, solid executive, what's her big ticket item she brought to Arizona other than voluntary all day kindergarten?

Steve Goldstein
>> She says despite the budget problems this is not something we can wait until the economy clears up so this might go the other way.

Dennis Welch
>> Why play around with this? You think they'd have been on this from the beginning, getting out there early, instead of waiting for someone to start the process.

Ted Simons
>> We had the governor on the program this week and I asked her what is plan b if this thing doesn't survive a court challenge and it winds up getting swatted back as it is now, what's the next -- what do we have as far as transportation planning and her response was not much. And that seems to be the idea out there that they're going to go back to the legislature and it sounds like you're going to try once again for all sorts of different kind of mechanisms, not this one.

Dennis Welch
>> But how much, you know, how much juice is she going to have left? She's after these elections, I mean, she's entering maybe that lame duck status where people are going to start lining up to run for governor and all this other stuff, and who knows if she's going to be here? We were talking about maybe a cabinet pick.

Ted Simons
>> Last question on this, do we know why like over 40% of these signatures are being just being called invalid? 40%, that's huge. What's going on out there?



Dennis Welch
>> You know, again it depends who you talk to, some people are saying they're just not doing their paperwork, due diligence right, they're not crossing their t’s, dotting their is and doing the right stuff. Other people would say listen, there's screw ups and miscalculations at the county recorder's office.

Ted Simons
>> Paul, Mayor Gordon goes to Washington and gives a pretty strong speech.

Paul Giblin
>> Yes, he gave a speech to a police group in Washington as you mentioned. It was an interesting speech in that he took on immigration, but he took a different tack than he has lately. The first portion of his speech was focused on the cost of illegal immigration to the city. He talked about $10 million to hire 100 new police officers, just for crimes associated with illegal immigration. And he talked about $2 million to house illegal immigrants on a variety of crimes then he talked about some social costs, and that he said he spoke about Joe Arpaio there and his roundup activities and how that's dividing the community and people are suspicious of the police and that sort of thing. And then he wrapped up his speech two ways, he called for investigative reporters from around the country to come here and look at those roundups that Arpaio's doing, and secondly he really chastised Congress for being inactive, for not doing anything on immigration, anything meaningful, and he said smack Congress upside their head or something along those lines.

Ted Simons
>> I think it was knock congress upside down on its partisan head and fix the damn problem.

Paul Giblins
>> That was the quote I was trying to think of.

Ted Simons
>> That's the one.

Steve Goldstein
>> Haven't we been through this before? President Bush was supporting comprehensive immigration reform, democrats in control recently and still nothing got passed so Phil Gordon sounds like he's shouting in the wind.

Ted Simons
>> The question becomes what does this do to Gordon's legacy and political profile?

Dennis Welch
>> Here's a guy facing a potential recall and whatnot, so why not go down and bash congress a little bit, get a little political play out of that.

Paul Giblin
>> I think it makes the guy more dynamic, harder to put into a mold as an open borders supporter, something like that. His opponents have been trying to say. He brings a complex thought to it. He's talking about the social cost and monetary cost which is an argument that the anti-illegal immigrant crowd talks about a lot. He's making himself harder to cage.



Ted Simons
>> Again the challenge to the national media to come out as you mentioned and monitor sheriff Arpaio. Are we seeing the national media out here?

Paul Giblin
>> I am not aware of the national, well --

Dennis Welch
>> Do they have uniforms?

Ted Simons
>> Special badges.

Paul Giblin
>> Depends how you define national media, terms of the big-time newspapers, big-time newspapers come out and do the pink underwear tour and they look at the vacancy sign above the jail and those sort of things, but no big-time newspapers have actually taken a close look.

Ted Simons
>> By big-time networks?

Paul Giblin
>> I have reason to believe threat PBS is working on a documentary, half hour documentary.

Dennis Welch
>> Really? In all seriousness, you might see some more national media attention to this issue out here, as Paul said, they used to come out here for the pink underwear tour, for the lady chain gangs and all this other stuff he likes to do. But they were picking the national press, they were picking up the stories, from the wire, about all these crackdowns and there's definitely an interest from other papers across the country on these stories.

Paul Giblin
>> And Gordon asked for the national media to come out once before, he thinks that's key for congress to get involved. That's why he's doing it. But he's made the call before and it hasn't happen the. There's been local media coverage that looks at just those sorts of things, but nothing on the national scene just yet.

Ted Simons
>> Paul, you were also at a community forum as well as a county supervisors meeting in which Arpaio was issue one. First of all, talk about the forum. Lively?

Paul Giblin
>>Ooh, it was very lively. That was North High School which by the way has a really outstanding auditorium, quite beautiful. They packed a good crowd in there. I tried counting and to my guesstimates, about 1,200 people there, they had a lot of different facets, people stand up and they were explaining what civil rights violations were to the crowd, they brought up a couple people who said they had their civil rights violated and spoke at length about what happened. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the it though was the Saturday Night Live type of skit they put on in which a woman who maybe was in her 20s pretending to be an elderly woman with a purse was walking across the stage and bad guy came out and snatched the purse and then sheriff's deputy came on to the scene, told the woman to pipe down, and then arrested the corn vendor.
Ted Simons
>> How did it go over with the audience?

Paul Giblin
>> They loved it. It was fun. It was a funny skit.

Ted Simons
>> Do skits get the message across to those who may not have been there? Is this the way to get that message across? Or again is this issue so entrenched on either side?

Steve Goldstein
>> It's such an emotional issue. Back to the Prewitt's furniture store. Skits may be fun, Paul enjoyed it, I don't think it makes a difference.

Paul Giblin
>> I'll disagree with you, because all the demonstrations you get two sides and the typical spokesman for both sides shouting in each other's faces and it's nothing positive, nothing really below the surface, just the same bumper sticker lines and they go away and they each claim victory. But this one they're taking a sophisticated approach, explaining what civil rights violations are. They're talking about where the sheriff's department is lacking in other areas of law enforcement, because they're putting all their attention on illegal immigration. Trying to move the debate forward and trying to bring some intelligence to it. And I think that's catching on. As you mentioned the county board of supervisors meeting was the next day and those were the topics they were talking about and the skit illustrated that.

Steve Goldstein
>> But in order to change, who's winning in November? As long as Sheriff Joe?

Paul Giblin
>> Sheriff Joe says he's not going to change but march forward. But what you see now is you see people like Trent Franks, congressman who represents the western portion of the state, including surprise, saying that he's sort of uncomfortable about it. You have Don Stapley, one of the board of supervisors, he called for a couple hearings with the sheriff's department. So you see a little bit of movement from people who normally would have gave sheriff Joe Arpaio a wide berth.

Ted Simons
>> Are you seeing any sort of movement as far as the sheriff's race is concerned though with Sabin picking up any of this discontent?

Dennis Welch
>> I don't see that yet. Sabin's shot of winning this race in the generals is pretty long, we're not seeing any real -- he's not making any gains in fundraising to the sheriff who's just by far out raised him by hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point. You know, Sabin, you know, it's going to have a real uphill battle, you're talking about a guy with 16 years experience, He's a household name, and he knows politics, so.

Ted Simons
>> Last topic here. Luke Air Force Base encroachment. State suing Maricopa County, Steve, saying basically knock it off.


Steve Goldstein
>> In 2004 the state passed a law that put limits on the kind of building that could be around Luke Air Force Base, we needed to protect Luke as far as an economic engine and the case of safety, which the governor says public safety's going to trump everything. County supervisors did not quite go along with that and kept allowing building permits to be issued, about 96 Goddard had to say, lieutenant general. Now we were having cross lawsuits where the state is saying you need to stop issuing permits and county saying we don't want to be on the hook for money and homeowners sue us for this. Supervisors have put a temporary hold but dueling lawsuits.

Ted Simons
>> It gets to private property rights, gets to basically an unfunded mandate from the state that you need to do there and the county goes ok, give us the money for it.

Dennis Welch
>> I find it real interesting how many developers do we have on the county board of supervisors and they are approving home building. I don't know if there's any conflict of interest at all.

Steve Goldstein
>> One of the supervisors, Max Wilson, who represents the area around Luke, worked as a civilian at Luke, loves Luke Air Force Base. It's a weird one. I can tell you, I covered this a few years ago and on the dais together, Janet Napolitano, senator Jon Kyl and senator John McCain, have you ever seen them agree on an issue together, talking about protecting Luke and the economic impact. Whether the supervisors are right or not, doesn't seem like a great move to go against every other politician in the state.

Ted Simons
>> We'll see which lawsuit holds out. We have time for one more, Steven, way. Ed to get to you on money Honeywell was fined, most going to the general fund. But $1 million goes to the governor's western climate initiative. And there's at least one Arizona corporation commissioner not too pleased.

Steve Goldstein
>> Commissioner Gary Pierce brought up the question of why is this going toward that, the fund money shouldn't be, he's calling for an investigation into this. Sounds like the ADEQ director thinks everything's clear on this but we'll have to wait and see.

Ted Simons
>> Another example of some folks thinking the governor's acting unilaterally.

Steve Goldstein
>> That's what it sounds like.

Ted Simons
>> We'll keep on eye on the convention next week and see if your bumper sticker holds true.

Paul Giblin
>> Well, it's not my bumper sticker.



Ted Simons
>> Goodness, well, you were doing well until then. Paul, thank you so much, Dennis, Steve, thank you as well.

What's on?
  About KAET Contact Support Legal Follow Us  
  About Eight
Mission/Impact
History
Site Map
Pressroom
Contact Us
Sign up for e-news
Pledge to Eight
Donate Monthly
Volunteer
Other ways to support
FCC Public Files
Privacy Policy
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Pinterest
 

Need help accessing? Contact disabilityaccess@asu.edu

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University    Copyright Arizona Board of Regents