Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

December 18, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

2009 Journalists' Predictions


  • Local journalists predict the news of 2010 and look back at the accuracy of their predictions for 2009. Journalists include Doug MacEachern of the Arizona Republic, Steve Goldstein of KJZZ radio and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services.
Guests:
  • Doug MacEachern - Arizona Republic
  • Steve Goldstein - KJZZ radio
  • Howard Fischer - Capitol Media Services
Category: Journalists Roundtable

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good evening. I'm Ted Simons, and this is the annual Journalists' Roundtable prediction show. Joining me to preview 2010 is Doug MacEachern of "The Arizona Republic," Steve Goldstein of KJZZ radio, and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services. Before we look ahead to the coming year, let's go back and see how our panel did in predicting what would happen in 2009. Producer Steve Clawson has the recap.

Steve Clawson:
Entering 2009 there were many questions about the economy. Coming off a record year for gas prices our panel was asked to predict what the future would hold at the pumps.

Ted Simons:
Will gas prices break $5 a gallon?

Howard Fischer:
By next December, I don't see it. I don't know that it will break $3 a gallon. I would say $2.89.

Mark Flatten:
Given the way the economy is going, the demand isn't going to be there. I don't see it going over $5 a gallon. Or over $4. I think maybe $3.12.

Doug MacEachern:
I think there's an outside chance it will rise above $3 a gallon.

Steve Clawson:
Gas prices around $2.67 a gallon. Both nationally and in Arizona. So the question was would the Dow Jones industrial average see 2,000 in 2009.

Doug MacEachern:
Absolutely not. Not going to see anywhere near five figures for some time.

Howard Fischer:
I think it's going to be hard to get it above 10,000 at any point.

Mark Flatten:
I don't think it will stay above 10,000. I think it will finish around 10,000.

Steve Clawson:
After falling to about 6500, it rebounded and climbed above 10,000 in October. The big automakers.

Howard Fischer:
I assume there will be three car companies.

Doug MacEachern:
What has happened with the president's bailout effort, it will keep Chrysler going through '09. So there will be three.

Mark Flatten:
I think still three. I think one of them will be in bankruptcy. Maybe two.

Steve Clawson:
The three are still in business, but both General Motors and Chrysler were forced into bankruptcy this year. Our panel was asked if there was a story that would trump the economy in 2009.

Doug MacEachern:
I think one that's possible is if Israel feels threatened by Iran, it will happen sometime next year.

Mark Flatten:
I think everything is going to hinge on the economy.

Howard Fischer:
I think the economy remains an issue until the unemployment rate gets down below 5% again.

Steve Clawson:
Terrorism is always an issue. Our panel weighed in whether there would be an attack during the first year of the Obama administration.

Howard Fischer:
It would not surprise me, but do I see a big attack? Not in any way. Not even sure there will be small ones.

Doug MacEachern:
I'm going to be positive minded. I don't think so.

Mark Flatten:
I think there will be what in the past would have been a minor domestic incident. I don't think there will be another 9/11 or Oklahoma City.

Steve Clawson:
Another issue was the possibility of a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.

Mark Flatten:
Absent a death, I don't think there will be a resignation.

Doug MacEachern:
I think one and maybe two Supreme Court judges that will retire. At least one.

Howard Fischer:
I'm with Doug. I think they see this as their opportunity some of the liberals have been waiting for.

Steve Clawson:
Associate justice David Souter announced his retirement and was replaced with Sonia Sotomayor. In political news out panel looked ahead to the 2010 governor’s race and whether any candidates would announce their intentions to run.

Howard Fischer:
Yes and no. Here's the problem, there will be no "I am running for governor." There will be "I'm exploring."

Doug MacEachern:
I think Terry Goddard will. I think he sees it as a great opportunity. I think he'll probably form his exploratory committee.

Mark Flatten:
Expounding, I think there's not going to be a formal announcement.

Steve Clawson:
Governor Jan Brewer announced she's running. Attorney general Terry Goddard formed his exploratory committee. With Brewer taking over for the outgoing governor, Janet Napolitano, our panel was asked if she would pass any bills she had vetoed.

Howard Fischer:
Parental consent on abortion.

Doug MacEachern:
I bet there'll be two abortion related bills.

Mark Flatten:
Probably one or more of the gun bills she vetoed.

Steve Clawson:
Governor Brewer did sign abortion and gun control that had been previously vetoed. At this last time last year, the Arizona Cardinals were preparing for a playoff.

Mark Flatten:
I think they'll win in the first and then get slaughtered.

Ted Simons:
Wow. Doug?

Doug MacEachern:
I think down in the first game.

Ted Simons:
One and done?

Doug MacEachern:
One and done.

Howard Fischer:
This will be my prediction they can make it through one game.

Steve Clawson:
The cardinals had an amazing run that ended in the Super Bowl. And our panel was asked for long shot and sure thing prediction.

Howard Fischer:
There will be at least one veto by Jan Brewer. The whole cap and trade program, western climate initiative, gone.

Doug MacEachern:
We will not see a deficit in the same way we did this year before the end of 2009. Sure shot, I expect the sun devils to be back in the playoffs, in the ball picture --

Ted Simons:
The football ball picture?

Doug MacEachern:
Yes.

Mark Flatten:
The long shot, I think Napolitano is going to stand up to grilling from the Democrats largely over the employer sanctions. And the sure shot is I'm going to beat Doug.

Ted Simons:
Oh, awfully bold.

Steve Clawson:
Was he right? Out of a possible 13 points, Doug finished with six. Howie, 7.5 and mark with a score of 8.5 to win. The one thing that no one predicted was that Mark Flatten would leave for a position with the Goldwater Institute. Mark leaves as a champion.

Ted Simons:
And indeed, congratulations to our good friend Mark Flatten for winning last year's competition and now we'll welcome the newest member, Steve Goldstein. Let's get right to the predictions. Howie, let's start with you.

Howard Fischer:
Silver is as good as gold, right?

Ted Simons:
Good enough. Question: Will Governor Brewer survive a GOP primary challenge?

Howard Fischer:
No. Obviously, I know it's not supposed to put too many conditions on this. My Assumption is that Dean Martin gets in the race and wipes the floor with her in the GOP.

Ted Simons:
Interesting, Steve.

Steve Goldstein:
Yes, she survives the power of incumbency.

Doug MacEachern:
I think she survives that.

Ted Simons:
Thinks she does, huh?

Doug MacEachern:
I think she does.

Ted Simons:
With that in mind, who will win the governor's race?

Doug MacEachern:
Well, I won't beat around the bush with this. I think that Terry Goddard is going to have it locked up. If Joe Arpaio ran, it would be a different story, but with all the people out there now, I think it's finally Terry's time.

Ted Simons:
You think its Terry Goddard's to lose.

Steve Goldstein:
I'm with Doug. Tight, but I think Terry Goddard is going to be the next governor.

Ted Simons:
Howie?

Howard Fischer:
Third time around may be the charm for Terry. He's got nowhere to go today but down the polls. Got to come up with a plan to solve the budget. I think that the Republicans just beat the crap out of each other.

Ted Simons:
Back to you, Doug. You're saying if Joe Arpaio were to run for governor, you think he would win?

Doug MacEachern:
Well, the Rasmussen poll said he would dominate any candidate and I think that's probably true. He's got -- he's got the buzz.

Ted Simons:
All right. Howie, attorney general candidates, let's go. Democrat, Republican, who do you see?

Howard Fischer:
I see Felicia Rodelini she's an outsider, a background in regulation and a name that sounds like a nice meal. Republican side, that's trickier. You have people like Tom Horne running, but Andy Thomas, assuming everything that's going on in terms of the judge doesn't blow up in his face. In a Republican primary, I think he can take it. Who wins? I think Thomas is beaten ultimately.

Ted Simons:
You jumped the gun on that question. Calm down.

Howard Fischer:
I'm sorry, never do that again.

Ted Simons:
Steve, candidates, democrat and Republicans?

Steve Goldstein:
I'm going to agree with Howie in terms of finalists and I am going to pick the reverse.

Ted Simons:
You think Andrew Thomas will win?

Steve Goldstein:
I do.

Doug MacEachern:
I think there's controversy facing Andrew Thomas in the months ahead. I'm going to say Tom Horne on the Republican side. I think Tom will prove to be a better campaigner than people think. No one ever considers Pima County. I'm going to say Vince Roboggo, a former prosecutor and a real star around Tucson.

Ted Simons:
Statewide?

Doug MacEachern:
Yeah --

Howard Fischer:
He needs a name I.D. In terms of the charges against this payday loan firm, you really need a lot more and I'm not sure that Baja Arizona carries the rest of the state.

Ted Simons:
You've got Andrew Thomas who won't make it out of the primary, but Joe Arpaio winning?

Doug MacEachern:
Joe just has the campaign savvy that I think Andy Thomas lacks. I think that love him or hate him, and lots of people do both, and that Joe Arpaio on a campaign trail is a force to reckon with.

Ted Simons:
All right. Big issues on the ballot next year. What are you seeing, Howie?

Howard Fischer:
A couple of things. I think there's a couple of petitions out there that are going to make it. Save our secret ballot, aimed at the unions, I think they make it. I think that there's a good chance photo radar will make it. Although the furor of that seems to be dying down. One of the marijuana will make the ballot. Probably the medical one as opposed to the one to criminalize it. And I think the legislature will refer tort reforms to the ballot. To allow the legislature to cap damages.

Ted Simons:
I didn't hear sales tax on that list.

Howard Fischer:
Oh, I'm thinking next November. Ok. A sales tax, I think it's -- at this point, I don't know. I mean, here's the problem. We're at the point where it's almost too late to do anything for March. If not already way past that. That leaves the question of a May election or somewhere in the summer. I think it goes on the ballot at some point.

Ted Simons:
Big issues on any ballot next year.

Steve Goldstein:
I'll add something related to illegal immigration. Something related to that will be pushed. Something will come out of the legislature, but I think there's something else on the ballot because Pierce will push it.

Howard Fischer:
He can get anything he wants. He's got a governor who will sign anything. So --

Steve Goldstein:
The way he's obsessed about this issue. I wouldn't be surprised something doesn't get on there. To hammer it down our throats.

Ted Simons:
Big issue?

Doug MacEachern:
I think the sales tax will get on the ballot in the spring and I believe that some sort of voter protection removal will be passed -- or will be gotten -- will get on the ballot through the legislature.

Ted Simons:
Ok. I asked what got on the ballot. Quickly, of the things you said gets on there, what passes?

Doug MacEachern:
I think the sales tax passes.

Ted Simons:
You think it does?

Doug MacEachern:
I think it does.

Ted Simons:
What about voter protection?

Doug MacEachern:
I don't think it will pass.

Ted Simons:
Steve?

Steve Goldstein:
I agree with the voter protection issue. I don't see a sales tax passing, no way. The way the economy is.

Ted Simons:
What do you think?

Howard Fischer:
I think the sales tax passes and the other thing I hadn't mentioned will have to go on the ballot at some point is the extension of the lottery and I think that passes too.

Ted Simons:
Congressional seats, any incumbents going to lose?

Howard Fischer:
Kirtpatrick. Not a real high presence. A district that swings with conservative Republican. And I don't think she's got the same name recognition.

Ted Simons:
Any name -- who wins that race?

Howard Fischer:
Not sure. I'm not sure there's a real good consensus candidate.

Ted Simons:
Interesting. Weak to whoever gets in there beats her.

Steve Goldstein:
I think Kirkpatrick is the only one in trouble. Harry Mitchell would be in trouble. Gifford raised so much money, she's not.

Doug MacEachern:
I'm amazed that Gifford is opposed by a total of military veterans, three are Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't know what that means, but there's a lot of money and I don't know what she's done to raise the ire of the military. I think she's safe. I don't -- I think Kirkpatrick is in trouble and Rusty Bowers is thinking of running against her. He certainly is a savvy candidate and if he is serious about it, he's got the wherewithal to take that seat.

Ted Simons:
J.D. Hayworth, will he challenge John McCain?

Doug MacEachern:
I think this is fascinating and I've gone back and forth about it. I'm going to say ultimately, no. I don't think he'll pull the trigger.

Ted Simons:
You don't?

Doug MacEachern:
He's got a campaign sign on his front lawn right now, but I'm saying no, he's going to pull up the stake and -- oh, I'll stay where I'm at.

Ted Simons:
Steve, what do you think?

Steve Goldstein:
I'm going to say yes. I think he's going to go for it and lose narrowly.

Ted Simons:
Narrowly?

Steve Goldstein:
I think less than 10 points.

Ted Simons:
Ok, what do you think, Howie?

Howard Fischer:
I think he'll run. I can't go back now. In terms of how that race comes out, you know, John McCain has -- what? -- approaching $30 million in a kitty. I don't know. I think in J.D. took him off and I think he could oust him in a primary.

Doug MacEachern:
I do think that McCain will keep his seat. He's got $12 million in the bank and there's enough -- enough of J.D.'s time in congress that McCain can resurrect it.

Steve Goldstein:
One more thing about the primary. It's going to be early. Are enough people back from San Diego to help out?

Ted Simons:
Interesting. Arizona legislature, Howie, when will it adjourn next season? Next season, like a football game.

Howard Fischer:
It is we're going to see who wins that seasonal bowl. It used to be thought you have to get out by the end of June. We went past June. And the world did not end which scares the you know what out of me. Elections are coming up. Early primary. I'm predicting the 21st of June. The reason I am, my niece is getting married the following weekend and I want to go to the wedding in New Orleans.

Steve Goldstein:
I'm going to say June 30th. It's like we have a year-round legislature anyway. This is a bold prediction. It will not officially adjourn until 2013.

Ted Simons:
2013? All right. That's bold. Doug, can you be as bold?

Doug MacEachern:
I think they'll go into the middle of August, at least. It's an election year. They want to get out, but they're going to face the most hellacious budget of all time and I think they'll go to the middle of August.

Ted Simons:
All right. Will Sheriff Joe Arpaio be indicted in the year 2010?

Doug MacEachern:
He will not.

Ted Simons:
He will not?

Doug MacEachern:
No.

Ted Simons:
Will there be rumbling and rumors and innuendo? Don't question the question Howie. Will there be rumblings?

Doug MacEachern:
Yes, there will and I do not believe that the feds will ever act to indict him.

Ted Simons:
Ever?

Doug MacEachern:
No, I don't.

Ted Simons:
What do you think, Steve?

Steve Goldstein:
Jury at Taco Bell, maybe.

Ted Simons:
Howie?

Howard Fischer:
I do see perhaps a civil complaint perhaps by the Department of Justice, but nothing criminal.

Ted Simons:
Howie, jobless rate, give me a number.

Howard Fischer:
Probably where we are in the 9.3% range. I think we'll hit 10 some time next spring. But I think it will back down.

Ted Simons:
Give me a number, Steve.

Steve Goldstein:
I'm going to say 8.5%.

Ted Simons:
That's optimistic. Doug?

Doug MacEachern:
I would say we will still be in the double figures.

Ted Simons:
Just throw this out. Double dipper session, do you see it happening?

Doug MacEachern:
It's a possibility. I would -- do I see it happening? Yeah, I'm afraid I do.

Ted Simons:
Do you? Interesting. What do you think?

Steve Goldstein:
I'm going to say no, but the next wave of foreclosures worries me a lot.

Ted Simons:
It does. Howie.

Howard Fischer:
The investors will come in the valley and want to sell off their stuff. I don't see us emerging from this one really until 2014.

Ted Simons:
Ok. Let's get off politics and the economy a little bit and get to the weather. We always talk about the weather. Howie, Sky Harbor, will it reach or break 120 degrees this summer at Sky Harbor airport?

Howard Fischer:
Let's give the rest of the story. We had a big stink when it got to 122. Most don't remember they moved the thermometer to a cooler place. Because it scares the heck out of tourists.

Steve Goldstein:
The key thing to watch out for, are we going to have a summer night during monsoon season where it never gets below 100 degrees.

Ted Simons:
You think it's going to happen. Next year? What do you think, Howie?

Howard Fischer:
I think 90 is safe, but I don't see the heat island that much.

Doug MacEachern:
I say no too.

Ted Simons:
To both?

Doug MacEachern:
To both, yeah.

Ted Simons:
So no 120-degree high and no low that doesn't get under 100 degrees?

Doug MacEachern:
I don't think we'll have a 100-degree low.

Ted Simons:
You don't believe in global warming?

Doug MacEachern:
Yes, I -- no.

Ted Simons:
Doug, Cardinals, how far in the playoffs?

Doug MacEachern:
I think they'll win a game. [Laughter] I think they'll win two playoff games.

Ted Simons:
Really?

Doug MacEachern:
Yeah, I do. I'm guessing they'll run up against New Orleans in the last game and I think they'll lose that one.

Ted Simons:
All right. Cardinals.

Steve Goldstein:
I'm predicting they're going to lose in the championship game at Minnesota in the dome.

Ted Simons:
That's what we recently saw with the Viking game.

Howard Fischer:
I think one game and they're out of there.

Ted Simons:
No one learned a lesson last year?

Howard Fischer:
No.

Ted Simons:
Will ASU make a bowl game?

Howard Fischer:
No.

Ted Simons:
Zippo?

Howard Fischer:
They didn't make one this year. I'm sorry, I realize, look, even -- you almost have to -- the U of A is in the Holiday Bowl.

Ted Simons:
That's a good game.

Steve Goldstein:
They make a bowl game and go 6-6 and have a new coach.

Ted Simons:
Erickson is gone after next season.

Doug MacEachern:
I can't leave this show on a -- dissing the Sun Devils. I think they have a good season next season and make a decent bowl. I don't think that seven wins is out of the realm of possibility.

Ted Simons:
And Erickson sticks around?

Doug MacEachern:
I think he stays.

Ted Simons:
Time for the long shot and sure thing predictions. Doug, we start with you.

Doug MacEachern:
I hate this part. All right. I say that the state fails to balance the budget before -- before this show next year.

Howard Fischer:
Is that a long shot or sure shot?

Doug MacEachern:
That's a long shot. Slam dunk, that the Maricopa County supervisors appoint a replacement for Andy Thomas who is a get-along kind of guy.

Ted Simons:
That's a sure thing?

Doug MacEachern:
That's a sure thing.

Ted Simons:
Howie?

Howard Fischer:
Despite the defeat of payday loan, the legislature will find a way to keep the industry alive. My sure shot is despite all of our pleading at the capitol, senate Bob Burns is not letting us back in the press room.

Ted Simons:
Long shot and sure shot?

Steve Goldstein:
Sure thing, Cubs will leave training in Mesa and move to Florida.

Ted Simons:
Sure thing?

Steve Goldstein:
One, John Flake is going to leave to join "Survivor". The other choice is someone will leave the Supreme Court and Janet Napolitano will be the nominee.

Ted Simons:
Your boldness is refreshing. Thanks and good luck. And we'll meet again next year to tally the results. That's it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you for joining us. You have a great evening.

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