Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 13, 2006


Host: Michael Grant

Primary Election Re-cap


  • A re-cap of primary election winners with analysis of the results.
Guests:
  • Jay Thorne - Political analyst
  • Chuck Coughlin - Political analyst
Category: Elections

View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon the results are in. The primary elections in Arizona are over and the ballots are just about set for November's election. We'll talk about the winners and what to expect in the next couple of months when two political analysts join us to talk about last night's results. Then we'll take a look at a proposition created to fund a childhood development and health program. Is Proposition 203 reasonable for taxpayers and smokers? A proponent and opponent will help us understand the measure and examine its pros and con. That's all next on Horizon.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. It was not the most exciting primary election night, but the races for the general election are now set. We'll take a look at the primary and the upcoming general. But first Mike Sauceda gives us a recap.

Voice:
Please join me in welcoming the next governor of the state of Arizona.

Mike Sauceda:
It was a big excitement of primary night in Arizona. Len Munsil beating Don Goldwater 49 to 41\% for the republican nomination for governor.

Len Munsil:
We had half a million dollars to overcome a 1 million-dollar name and because of you we did it. Thank you.

Glenn Hamer:
Len is a very gifted leader. People are naturally attracted to him. I sometimes say he has a Richie Cunningham goodness about him. If you meet Len you immediately like Len. And I also believe he had a very strong Reagan conservative message that appealed to the primary voters.

Mike Sauceda:
Early on in the race Don Goldwater was still hanging on to hope but came close to offering a concession.

Don Goldwater:
Tomorrow when we wake up there will be a new republican candidate for governor. Perhaps it will be Len Munsil, perhaps it won't. But at this point in time, regardless of who it is, we as a party must band together because a house divided cannot stand.

Mike Sauceda:
Together the two other republican candidates for governor, Mike Harris and Gary Tupper, garnered about 10\% of the support.

Gary Tupper:
I've already told the press and the party I would not support Len Munsil. When the ultraconservatives start to realize they need the moderates to win general elections the Republican Party will start winning general elections again.

Mike Sauceda:
Tupper was a moderate candidate in the race and analyzed why he only got about 4\% of the vote.

Gary Tupper:
Well, I think that there's a lot of factors here. That there's a huge chasm in the Republican Party between the conservatives and moderates. Not to see the moderates come out for a moderate candidate is surprising not to see the gay community come out in stronger force for a person who supported gay rights not to see the Hispanic community come out full force for somebody who supported their cause along with other minorities. It's kind of surprising to see the numbers so low actually.

Mike Sauceda:
Now that the primary dust up is over Munsil faces the formidable task of trying to unseat the democrat incumbent Governor Janet Napolitano.

Len Munsil:
Tonight we start the next days of our campaign to provide a different vision and a different direction for the people of Arizona. You see I believe that Reagan conservative message still mates with the people of the state of Arizona.

Glenn Hamer:
Well the governor certainly has high name identification and her favorability numbers are high. But at the end of the day when you take a look at the issues Arizonans are most concerned about such as securing the border, Len Munsil matches up with the governor very, very well.

David Waid:
Well, in the general election we're looking forward more than anything to just talking about leadership and what it takes to be a leader. I mean basically we look at things like the fact that Governor Napolitano did more on the issue of immigration in her four years in office than Jon Kyl has done in 20-years as a career politician back in Washington, D.C. That's a huge leadership deficit and we need to do something about that. We're looking to four more years of governor Napolitano. I think that the voters in Arizona want more of her leadership. So we think it's going to be a spirited race on all fronts. We think it's going to be strong. We have nothing to fear because we've got good issues, good candidates, and a good record in terms of the governor.

Mike Sauceda:
Republican primary for governor [indiscernible] teacher Jason Williams beat ex-lawmaker and ex-represent Slade Mead 55\% to 45\%

Slade Mead:
Somewhat surprised but I'm happy for Mr. Williams. He ran a great campaign. He's a terrific guy and I will do everything I can to help him in the general election. We've done a lot of campaign appearances around the state together. And it's a very nice situation because the more I've gotten to know him the more I respect him and admire what he's doing. So I look forward to working for him up to November 7 and having him elected as the next superintendent of public education for Arizona.

Mike Sauceda:
In the hotly-contested it race in Tucson's congressional district 8 to replace the outgoing Jim Colby state lawmaker Gabby Giffords beat her closest competitor TV newscaster Patty White 54 to 31 percent.

David Waid:
I think we're extraordinarily fortunate in that district. We have -- all the candidates were strong candidates. That's why it's such a competitive race. But I would say if Gabby Giffords gets what turns out to be our nominee she's -- nominee she's going to be strong.

Mike Sauceda:
In a five way race on the republican side of that rate ex-lawmaker randy grant outdistanced his closest competitor current lawmaker Steve Huffman 43 to 37\%. Grant and Huffman were still neck and neck last night.

Glenn Hamer:
Whether it's Randy Graff or Steve Huffman the republicans have held that seat for 22 years and I'm very confident we will continue to hold it. It looks like Gabby Giffords's had a very decisive win. But she certainly does a very good job, has done a good job thus far of presenting herself one way. But when people of that district closely scrutinize her record there are a number of votes we feel are extreme and out of the mainstream.

Mike Sauceda:
In the legislature republicans hope to gain enough seats and hopes of overriding vetoes issued by Governor Napolitano if she is re-elected.

Glenn Hamer:
I could tell you in the state senate Cheryl Chase will be the next senator from legislative district 23 which covers Pinal County. And Russ Jones will wipe the floor with Amanda Gearay in legislative district 24. That's how we get to 20. In the house it will be more difficult but I expect that you could take a look at Pinal County and Yuma as being very good districts for republican.

Michael Grant:
Joining us tonight to break down interesting, even fascinating facts about last night's election results are Jay Thorne and Chuck Coughlin, two preeminent Arizona political analysts. Chuck, are you surprised at all by the point spread on Munsil over Goldwater?

Chuck Coughlin:
I thought Len would run the typical grassroots race we saw him run. My belief is the polls always typically undercount conservative voters. There's more of them per household, and then you get a turnover mechanism, then you get a church turnout mechanism which Len was -- that's his base voter. The polls typically undercount those folks. So I wasn't surprised. But it was interesting. It would have been more interesting had Don gotten his clean elections money earlier but having it four days before the election, it is very difficult to execute a campaign.

Michael Grant:
Jay, any doubt that Munsil is probably more formidable for the governor in November?

Jay Thorne:
Well, he's a smart, sharp guy. And now for the first time he'll get to actually use the name Goldwater as an icon for the Republican Party. He had to avoid doing that all the way through the primary. Talking about Reagan conservatives. Usually in Arizona it's Goldwater conservatives. He's going to make the governor have to work. He's going to be somebody who forces her to put on her game face and go out and campaign and I think he's a more formidable candidate than Goldwater would have been. However, she's popular and she's popular across the state and for good reason. She's got law enforcement background credentials and experience in government. She's going to be tough to beat.

Michael Grant:
Yeah, I think you may be somewhat charitable but I'll let Chuck weigh in on that. But a follow-up question. Is she vulnerable on the immigration issue?

Jay Thorne:
I think anybody running for office this year as an incumbent is vulnerable on the immigration issue because the public is tired of it. They want answers. They want action. So anybody who's an incumbent has a little bit of an Achilles heel in that. Having said that she's made some very forceful steps. It was a democratic piece of legislation on employer sanctions that failed that was supported by -- or opposed by a lot of the republicans in the legislature. I think anybody who's running for office this year who's been in office is going to have to work on it but she's in good shape.

Michael Grant:
Can Munsil maximize that? For example a couple of the ballot props that are on the ballot in November she vetoed. I mean is that going to be a theme in the Munsil campaign?

Chuck Coughlin:
I think so. I think you can count on him carrying that as a theme. I think you can talk about him framing the -- attempting to frame the debate about leadership and about getting things done at the state capitol and referring to those things which she consistently vetoed that a republican legislature gave her that are probably now going to be on the ballot. So I think he'll attempt to frame it on leadership. I think Jays right, she'll do her best to frame his candidacy from the position of where he comes from, being more of a social conservative on social issues, which tend to be out of touch with the majority of voters. It's a very vocal base in Arizona but it doesn't constitute a majority of the electorate.

Michael Grant:
C.D. 8 very impressive win by Gabby Gifford's. 55\% in a 6 way primary with one of her opponents a person who's been on television down there for what, better than a quarter of a century.

Jay Thorne:
Yeah. So you really shouldn't run for office. [laughter]

Jay Thorne:
Anytime you pull 55\% in a 6 way primary, you're showing strength. But I also think that that's a district that when Jim McNulty and Representative Colby first hit it off that was a democratic district. It has become republican over the years. It's had a republican representing it for a long, long time. And I think those Cochise County voters, those border voters for whom immigration isn't an academic issue a real day life, that's gonna be, issue nobody should give her that seat yet.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. Because the conventional wisdom is, Randy Graff wins and the D automatically takes. You buy that?

Jay Thorne:
Over simplification. I think randy graph wins better shot for the democrat. And I think she shows incredible strength in the primary so there's a reason for optimism if you're a democrat but you shouldn't be putting that in the democratic column yet.

Michael Grant:
If I recall correctly the primary results from a couple of years ago he pulled 45\% against Jim Colby and maybe 44. Pretty strong showing against an incumbent but still more than half the republicans didn't like the guy. 9 I mean can he survive?

Chuck Coughlin:
Yeah, I think he can. I think he can. He survived a fairly intense primary this time with representative Colby endorsing his opponent. He survived a national republican committee endorsement of his opponent. And I think as we've talked about here -- big money. And also funny to mention the Democratic Party here in Arizona itself spent money to defeat Graff in the primary by -- or to support Graff by virtue of supporting Huffman. They were dumping negative information on Huffman down there.

Michael Grant:
Right. Yeah.

Chuck Coughlin:
So the interesting scenario will be with rural democrats outside of pima county in Santa Cruz and in Cochise county and maintaining the base that he's got in pima county, that being Graff and seeing if he can take democrats palpable on the immigration issue angst, probable angst and whether gabby can come far enough to the center maybe even right to grab some of those people back. I don't believe the conventional wisdom. That's going to be a dog fight down there.

Jay Thorne:
What you're doing to see democrats do is talk about employer sanctions. They are not going to be soft on the immigration issue and they're going to go right at what is the traditional republican base, business community and they're going to say, listen. This is your problem. This is something you need to deal with. And so we're going to see how that plays with voters.

Michael Grant:
I got to touch on that Superintendent of Public Instruction race. Slade Mead generally regarded as why are we even holding a primary election. And Jason Williams beats. It what did I miss on that?

Jay Thorne:
Jason Williams has teacher credentials and I think that plays pretty strongly in democratic primaries. There was a superintendent of public instruction a couple of decades back Diane Bishop who was a teacher, ran on that theme. So I think that place pretty strongly. And I think 18\% turnout in the primary. You're talking about voters who really are core party believers. This is a guy who was a republican up until recently and the republican who's in office right now used to be a democrat. So enough of the party chaos. I think people just wanted somebody they felt was a real democrat.

Michael Grant:
Let me drop to the legislative level because we're almost out of time. Republicans have this dream of a veto-proof senate. Are they going to realize it, Chuck?

Chuck Coughlin:
They have a chance. They have a chance in districts -- in Yuma, a pickup there, bob canto has retired there's a competitive seat open seat there. And they have a chance in Pinal County with Rebecca Rios and a fairly talented incumbent Cheryl Chase. All articulate people. There'll be a big fight. Republicans have a 18-vote -- votes in the senate now. 20 is the number that they are looking to get. It's not beyond the realm of possibility.

Michael Grant:
All right. Chuck Coughlin, thank you very much for joining us. Jay Thorne, keep us posted over the next couple of months.

Jay Thorne:
Thanks for having me.

Michael Grant:
The measure on the November ballot would pave the way for a state tax increase for smokers, create funding for a new children's program. Tonight we talk about proposition 203. Before we begin Nadine Arroyo introduces us to the measure.

Nadine Arroyo:
Proposition 203, a measure that would increase funding to finance programs for early childhood development. Prop 203 calls for the increase of state taxes on tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco items. Taxes would increase by 80 cents, raising the tax of a 20-cigarette box from one dollar and 18 cents to one dollar and 98 cents.

Nadine Arroyo:
The measure was created by the group "First Things First for Arizona's Children." The intent behind the measure is to establish an early childhood development and health fund. According to the group, the proposition allocates funds to programs and services provided to children prior to kindergarten and their families. These programs can be anything from family support, child care and preschool to health screening and access to preventative health services. If the measure passes experts say an estimated $100 to $188 million dollars in new revenue will be generated to fund programs for its first full year. Of that amount, 90\% or about $170 million would go toward program costs and about 10\% or nearly $19 million would pay for administrative costs. Currently there are three tobacco taxes on the books. And the rates vary. In 2005, tobacco taxes generated nearly $300 million in revenue, of which went toward health programs, state prisons and the state general fund. With proposition 203, a new fund would be created to subsidize early childhood development.

Michael Grant:
Here tonight to talk about the pros and cons of proposition 203 is Wes Gullett of the public relations firm Hamilton, Gullett, Davis and Roman. He is in favor of Proposition 203. Also joining us is Kevin McCarthy President of the Arizona Tax Research Association and opponent of the proposition. Gentlemen, welcome to you both. Wes, why a cigarette tax increase? Looks like an easy target and to a certain of extent kind of inappropriate for the actual thrust of the ballot measure.

Wes Gullett:
The Arizona constitution requires that you have a separate, unique funding source for all -- any kind of new program that you bring to the ballot. So it can't come out of the general fund and it has to be a new tax. We have -- we looked at a lot of different taxes. We looked at a variety rise of different combinations of taxes. We thought that this one was the one that could raise the most money and be the cleanest and simplest to explain to the voters and also have the residual benefit of if it does reduce smoking that's a good thing especially for the people. It might reduce smoking for. But it does raise us enough money to accomplish the objectives that we're looking for with the programs and so it was the best available taxing source that we had.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, don't you get maybe two bangs for the buck here? You discourage smoking and put a chunk of change in early childhood development programs.

Kevin McCarthy:
Well, Mike, the bang for the buck is going to be the actual effect of this. And that is they will raise new revenue on what is really an old, tired mule, the tobacco tax, for their programs. The effect of the tax increase as Wes suggested is going to probably continue to decrease smoking which is occurring all over the country and in Arizona in particular this will be the third large tax increase that's occurred in Arizona since 1994. The effect of which people either stop smoking or turn to tax-free sales. In this instance they failed to hold harmless the current recipients of tobacco tax funding, healthcare programs, correctional spending, tobacco new research and education, the state general fund. They will see dead losses in money. The joint legislative budget committee has estimated in the first year alone the reduction of 23 million in funding for those programs. So there's only so much you're going to get out of this tired old mule with the tobacco tax that we continue to increase taxes on.

Michael Grant:
Wes, why is this concept a big one? Let's get away from the funding source and let's talk about the concept.

Wes Gullett:
Right. The program itself.

Michael Grant:
Why in your opinion is it a good idea?

Wes Gullett:
Right now the state doesn't have any organized programs for early childhood education. What we know from science is that a child's brain has developed about 90\% in the first three years. What we're finding from current science is that there are all kinds of interesting things that go on in child development in the very early years and we don't spend any of our tax resources in that -- or very few of our tax resources in that period of time in a child's life. What this program does is gives us at least $150 million for the next 10 to 20-years to be able to increase quality in programs that work with young children, help with health screening and do -- and allow people who are from lower incomes to have access to quality programs. And that in itself in North Carolina was significantly successful program.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, why is it a bad idea? A strong argument can be mustered that if you spend the bucks early there's savings at the back end. >>

Kevin McCarthy:
I think there's an interesting contrast, Michael, between the confidence they have in the recentist for that idea -- receptivity idea and their failure to lobby at the state -- not to sidestep the budget process. Use the initiative process. And further to actually fund it with somebody that they've admitted they're only doing because it polled well. This isn't a broad-braced tax that every Arizonan that should participate in this fund something going to. They're isolating on a minority of Arizonans with the hope that people don't really look at the specifics of where the money is going to go, which to that end doesn't -- legislature's not going to spend this money. It's going to be spent by a board of political appointees, nine individuals appointed by the Governor to dole out north of 150 million a year.

Michael Grant:
Wes, I have heard that criticism. There is a vagueness associated with the proposition. Both in terms of precisely where the money will go, it could be healthcare, it could be early education programs, could be a variety of things, as well as the way that the dollars actually are parceled out. Does it suffer from vagueness?

Wes Gullett:
No, it doesn't. The initiative is very specific about how the money shall be spent. It has auditing provisions to make sure the money is spent the way the voters intended it to be spent. Only 90\% has to go to programs. Only 10\% can go to administration. But the vagueness that you're alluding to and the criticism of that was intentionally built in to allow local communities to decide what was best for their community and how to spend the money. Because what we do know is -- and I've heard a lot of very conservative republicans talk about local control -- when we let people decide on the local level what best way to serve their community, programs that worked best. So we built in not vagueness but flexibility that allows for the money to be spent on a local and voluntary basis.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, you're a veteran of the state capitol. Don't you feel a little better maybe on Prescott for example making decisions about Prescott needs?

Kevin McCarthy:
What I'd feel better about, Michael, is people who are elected who are accountable for the people that put them there spending taxpayer money. This is a vague initiative. It doesn't go a lot further than saying early childhood programs however you or I might define that, Wes, we could all define that differently. Bottom line is, once the initiative passes and these nine folks are appointed, there isn't the opportunity for you or I or any other taxpayer in the state to influence what we think might be an inappropriate use of funds. If the state legislature or any other elected body -- you can go and lobby and oppose people and try to defeat them at the ballot if you think they've done something inappropriate. You don't do that with an appointed board.

Michael Grant:
All right. Kevin McCarthy, thank you very much. Wes Gullett good to see you again. We'll see what the voters think about proposition 203.

Michael Grant:
If you'd like a transcript of tonight's show or would like to find information on future topics you can do that by logging on to the website and you'll find it at azpbs.org. Click on the word "Horizon." now a look at what's on tomorrow.

Mike Sauceda:
Would you be more likely to vote if you would have the chance at winning $1 million? That's the intent of proposition 200 which we will vote on during the November election. However there are those who say the measure should not pass because it is a civic duty to vote. Hear the pros and cons of prop 200 Thursday at 7 on horizon.

Michael Grant:
All of that probably more tomorrow on Horizon. Thank you very much for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Proposition 203


  • A look at a proposition created to fund a childhood development and health program. Is Proposition 203 reasonable for taxpayers and smokers? A proponent and opponent will help us understand the measure and examine its pros and con.
Guests:
  • Jay Thorne - Political analyst
  • Chuck Coughlin - Political analyst
Category: Elections

View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon the results are in. The primary elections in Arizona are over and the ballots are just about set for November's election. We'll talk about the winners and what to expect in the next couple of months when two political analysts join us to talk about last night's results. Then we'll take a look at a proposition created to fund a childhood development and health program. Is Proposition 203 reasonable for taxpayers and smokers? A proponent and opponent will help us understand the measure and examine its pros and con. That's all next on Horizon.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. It was not the most exciting primary election night, but the races for the general election are now set. We'll take a look at the primary and the upcoming general. But first Mike Sauceda gives us a recap.

Voice:
Please join me in welcoming the next governor of the state of Arizona.

Mike Sauceda:
It was a big excitement of primary night in Arizona. Len Munsil beating Don Goldwater 49 to 41\% for the republican nomination for governor.

Len Munsil:
We had half a million dollars to overcome a 1 million-dollar name and because of you we did it. Thank you.

Glenn Hamer:
Len is a very gifted leader. People are naturally attracted to him. I sometimes say he has a Richie Cunningham goodness about him. If you meet Len you immediately like Len. And I also believe he had a very strong Reagan conservative message that appealed to the primary voters.

Mike Sauceda:
Early on in the race Don Goldwater was still hanging on to hope but came close to offering a concession.

Don Goldwater:
Tomorrow when we wake up there will be a new republican candidate for governor. Perhaps it will be Len Munsil, perhaps it won't. But at this point in time, regardless of who it is, we as a party must band together because a house divided cannot stand.

Mike Sauceda:
Together the two other republican candidates for governor, Mike Harris and Gary Tupper, garnered about 10\% of the support.

Gary Tupper:
I've already told the press and the party I would not support Len Munsil. When the ultraconservatives start to realize they need the moderates to win general elections the Republican Party will start winning general elections again.

Mike Sauceda:
Tupper was a moderate candidate in the race and analyzed why he only got about 4\% of the vote.

Gary Tupper:
Well, I think that there's a lot of factors here. That there's a huge chasm in the Republican Party between the conservatives and moderates. Not to see the moderates come out for a moderate candidate is surprising not to see the gay community come out in stronger force for a person who supported gay rights not to see the Hispanic community come out full force for somebody who supported their cause along with other minorities. It's kind of surprising to see the numbers so low actually.

Mike Sauceda:
Now that the primary dust up is over Munsil faces the formidable task of trying to unseat the democrat incumbent Governor Janet Napolitano.

Len Munsil:
Tonight we start the next days of our campaign to provide a different vision and a different direction for the people of Arizona. You see I believe that Reagan conservative message still mates with the people of the state of Arizona.

Glenn Hamer:
Well the governor certainly has high name identification and her favorability numbers are high. But at the end of the day when you take a look at the issues Arizonans are most concerned about such as securing the border, Len Munsil matches up with the governor very, very well.

David Waid:
Well, in the general election we're looking forward more than anything to just talking about leadership and what it takes to be a leader. I mean basically we look at things like the fact that Governor Napolitano did more on the issue of immigration in her four years in office than Jon Kyl has done in 20-years as a career politician back in Washington, D.C. That's a huge leadership deficit and we need to do something about that. We're looking to four more years of governor Napolitano. I think that the voters in Arizona want more of her leadership. So we think it's going to be a spirited race on all fronts. We think it's going to be strong. We have nothing to fear because we've got good issues, good candidates, and a good record in terms of the governor.

Mike Sauceda:
Republican primary for governor [indiscernible] teacher Jason Williams beat ex-lawmaker and ex-represent Slade Mead 55\% to 45\%

Slade Mead:
Somewhat surprised but I'm happy for Mr. Williams. He ran a great campaign. He's a terrific guy and I will do everything I can to help him in the general election. We've done a lot of campaign appearances around the state together. And it's a very nice situation because the more I've gotten to know him the more I respect him and admire what he's doing. So I look forward to working for him up to November 7 and having him elected as the next superintendent of public education for Arizona.

Mike Sauceda:
In the hotly-contested it race in Tucson's congressional district 8 to replace the outgoing Jim Colby state lawmaker Gabby Giffords beat her closest competitor TV newscaster Patty White 54 to 31 percent.

David Waid:
I think we're extraordinarily fortunate in that district. We have -- all the candidates were strong candidates. That's why it's such a competitive race. But I would say if Gabby Giffords gets what turns out to be our nominee she's -- nominee she's going to be strong.

Mike Sauceda:
In a five way race on the republican side of that rate ex-lawmaker randy grant outdistanced his closest competitor current lawmaker Steve Huffman 43 to 37\%. Grant and Huffman were still neck and neck last night.

Glenn Hamer:
Whether it's Randy Graff or Steve Huffman the republicans have held that seat for 22 years and I'm very confident we will continue to hold it. It looks like Gabby Giffords's had a very decisive win. But she certainly does a very good job, has done a good job thus far of presenting herself one way. But when people of that district closely scrutinize her record there are a number of votes we feel are extreme and out of the mainstream.

Mike Sauceda:
In the legislature republicans hope to gain enough seats and hopes of overriding vetoes issued by Governor Napolitano if she is re-elected.

Glenn Hamer:
I could tell you in the state senate Cheryl Chase will be the next senator from legislative district 23 which covers Pinal County. And Russ Jones will wipe the floor with Amanda Gearay in legislative district 24. That's how we get to 20. In the house it will be more difficult but I expect that you could take a look at Pinal County and Yuma as being very good districts for republican.

Michael Grant:
Joining us tonight to break down interesting, even fascinating facts about last night's election results are Jay Thorne and Chuck Coughlin, two preeminent Arizona political analysts. Chuck, are you surprised at all by the point spread on Munsil over Goldwater?

Chuck Coughlin:
I thought Len would run the typical grassroots race we saw him run. My belief is the polls always typically undercount conservative voters. There's more of them per household, and then you get a turnover mechanism, then you get a church turnout mechanism which Len was -- that's his base voter. The polls typically undercount those folks. So I wasn't surprised. But it was interesting. It would have been more interesting had Don gotten his clean elections money earlier but having it four days before the election, it is very difficult to execute a campaign.

Michael Grant:
Jay, any doubt that Munsil is probably more formidable for the governor in November?

Jay Thorne:
Well, he's a smart, sharp guy. And now for the first time he'll get to actually use the name Goldwater as an icon for the Republican Party. He had to avoid doing that all the way through the primary. Talking about Reagan conservatives. Usually in Arizona it's Goldwater conservatives. He's going to make the governor have to work. He's going to be somebody who forces her to put on her game face and go out and campaign and I think he's a more formidable candidate than Goldwater would have been. However, she's popular and she's popular across the state and for good reason. She's got law enforcement background credentials and experience in government. She's going to be tough to beat.

Michael Grant:
Yeah, I think you may be somewhat charitable but I'll let Chuck weigh in on that. But a follow-up question. Is she vulnerable on the immigration issue?

Jay Thorne:
I think anybody running for office this year as an incumbent is vulnerable on the immigration issue because the public is tired of it. They want answers. They want action. So anybody who's an incumbent has a little bit of an Achilles heel in that. Having said that she's made some very forceful steps. It was a democratic piece of legislation on employer sanctions that failed that was supported by -- or opposed by a lot of the republicans in the legislature. I think anybody who's running for office this year who's been in office is going to have to work on it but she's in good shape.

Michael Grant:
Can Munsil maximize that? For example a couple of the ballot props that are on the ballot in November she vetoed. I mean is that going to be a theme in the Munsil campaign?

Chuck Coughlin:
I think so. I think you can count on him carrying that as a theme. I think you can talk about him framing the -- attempting to frame the debate about leadership and about getting things done at the state capitol and referring to those things which she consistently vetoed that a republican legislature gave her that are probably now going to be on the ballot. So I think he'll attempt to frame it on leadership. I think Jays right, she'll do her best to frame his candidacy from the position of where he comes from, being more of a social conservative on social issues, which tend to be out of touch with the majority of voters. It's a very vocal base in Arizona but it doesn't constitute a majority of the electorate.

Michael Grant:
C.D. 8 very impressive win by Gabby Gifford's. 55\% in a 6 way primary with one of her opponents a person who's been on television down there for what, better than a quarter of a century.

Jay Thorne:
Yeah. So you really shouldn't run for office. [laughter]

Jay Thorne:
Anytime you pull 55\% in a 6 way primary, you're showing strength. But I also think that that's a district that when Jim McNulty and Representative Colby first hit it off that was a democratic district. It has become republican over the years. It's had a republican representing it for a long, long time. And I think those Cochise County voters, those border voters for whom immigration isn't an academic issue a real day life, that's gonna be, issue nobody should give her that seat yet.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. Because the conventional wisdom is, Randy Graff wins and the D automatically takes. You buy that?

Jay Thorne:
Over simplification. I think randy graph wins better shot for the democrat. And I think she shows incredible strength in the primary so there's a reason for optimism if you're a democrat but you shouldn't be putting that in the democratic column yet.

Michael Grant:
If I recall correctly the primary results from a couple of years ago he pulled 45\% against Jim Colby and maybe 44. Pretty strong showing against an incumbent but still more than half the republicans didn't like the guy. 9 I mean can he survive?

Chuck Coughlin:
Yeah, I think he can. I think he can. He survived a fairly intense primary this time with representative Colby endorsing his opponent. He survived a national republican committee endorsement of his opponent. And I think as we've talked about here -- big money. And also funny to mention the Democratic Party here in Arizona itself spent money to defeat Graff in the primary by -- or to support Graff by virtue of supporting Huffman. They were dumping negative information on Huffman down there.

Michael Grant:
Right. Yeah.

Chuck Coughlin:
So the interesting scenario will be with rural democrats outside of pima county in Santa Cruz and in Cochise county and maintaining the base that he's got in pima county, that being Graff and seeing if he can take democrats palpable on the immigration issue angst, probable angst and whether gabby can come far enough to the center maybe even right to grab some of those people back. I don't believe the conventional wisdom. That's going to be a dog fight down there.

Jay Thorne:
What you're doing to see democrats do is talk about employer sanctions. They are not going to be soft on the immigration issue and they're going to go right at what is the traditional republican base, business community and they're going to say, listen. This is your problem. This is something you need to deal with. And so we're going to see how that plays with voters.

Michael Grant:
I got to touch on that Superintendent of Public Instruction race. Slade Mead generally regarded as why are we even holding a primary election. And Jason Williams beats. It what did I miss on that?

Jay Thorne:
Jason Williams has teacher credentials and I think that plays pretty strongly in democratic primaries. There was a superintendent of public instruction a couple of decades back Diane Bishop who was a teacher, ran on that theme. So I think that place pretty strongly. And I think 18\% turnout in the primary. You're talking about voters who really are core party believers. This is a guy who was a republican up until recently and the republican who's in office right now used to be a democrat. So enough of the party chaos. I think people just wanted somebody they felt was a real democrat.

Michael Grant:
Let me drop to the legislative level because we're almost out of time. Republicans have this dream of a veto-proof senate. Are they going to realize it, Chuck?

Chuck Coughlin:
They have a chance. They have a chance in districts -- in Yuma, a pickup there, bob canto has retired there's a competitive seat open seat there. And they have a chance in Pinal County with Rebecca Rios and a fairly talented incumbent Cheryl Chase. All articulate people. There'll be a big fight. Republicans have a 18-vote -- votes in the senate now. 20 is the number that they are looking to get. It's not beyond the realm of possibility.

Michael Grant:
All right. Chuck Coughlin, thank you very much for joining us. Jay Thorne, keep us posted over the next couple of months.

Jay Thorne:
Thanks for having me.

Michael Grant:
The measure on the November ballot would pave the way for a state tax increase for smokers, create funding for a new children's program. Tonight we talk about proposition 203. Before we begin Nadine Arroyo introduces us to the measure.

Nadine Arroyo:
Proposition 203, a measure that would increase funding to finance programs for early childhood development. Prop 203 calls for the increase of state taxes on tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco items. Taxes would increase by 80 cents, raising the tax of a 20-cigarette box from one dollar and 18 cents to one dollar and 98 cents.

Nadine Arroyo:
The measure was created by the group "First Things First for Arizona's Children." The intent behind the measure is to establish an early childhood development and health fund. According to the group, the proposition allocates funds to programs and services provided to children prior to kindergarten and their families. These programs can be anything from family support, child care and preschool to health screening and access to preventative health services. If the measure passes experts say an estimated $100 to $188 million dollars in new revenue will be generated to fund programs for its first full year. Of that amount, 90\% or about $170 million would go toward program costs and about 10\% or nearly $19 million would pay for administrative costs. Currently there are three tobacco taxes on the books. And the rates vary. In 2005, tobacco taxes generated nearly $300 million in revenue, of which went toward health programs, state prisons and the state general fund. With proposition 203, a new fund would be created to subsidize early childhood development.

Michael Grant:
Here tonight to talk about the pros and cons of proposition 203 is Wes Gullett of the public relations firm Hamilton, Gullett, Davis and Roman. He is in favor of Proposition 203. Also joining us is Kevin McCarthy President of the Arizona Tax Research Association and opponent of the proposition. Gentlemen, welcome to you both. Wes, why a cigarette tax increase? Looks like an easy target and to a certain of extent kind of inappropriate for the actual thrust of the ballot measure.

Wes Gullett:
The Arizona constitution requires that you have a separate, unique funding source for all -- any kind of new program that you bring to the ballot. So it can't come out of the general fund and it has to be a new tax. We have -- we looked at a lot of different taxes. We looked at a variety rise of different combinations of taxes. We thought that this one was the one that could raise the most money and be the cleanest and simplest to explain to the voters and also have the residual benefit of if it does reduce smoking that's a good thing especially for the people. It might reduce smoking for. But it does raise us enough money to accomplish the objectives that we're looking for with the programs and so it was the best available taxing source that we had.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, don't you get maybe two bangs for the buck here? You discourage smoking and put a chunk of change in early childhood development programs.

Kevin McCarthy:
Well, Mike, the bang for the buck is going to be the actual effect of this. And that is they will raise new revenue on what is really an old, tired mule, the tobacco tax, for their programs. The effect of the tax increase as Wes suggested is going to probably continue to decrease smoking which is occurring all over the country and in Arizona in particular this will be the third large tax increase that's occurred in Arizona since 1994. The effect of which people either stop smoking or turn to tax-free sales. In this instance they failed to hold harmless the current recipients of tobacco tax funding, healthcare programs, correctional spending, tobacco new research and education, the state general fund. They will see dead losses in money. The joint legislative budget committee has estimated in the first year alone the reduction of 23 million in funding for those programs. So there's only so much you're going to get out of this tired old mule with the tobacco tax that we continue to increase taxes on.

Michael Grant:
Wes, why is this concept a big one? Let's get away from the funding source and let's talk about the concept.

Wes Gullett:
Right. The program itself.

Michael Grant:
Why in your opinion is it a good idea?

Wes Gullett:
Right now the state doesn't have any organized programs for early childhood education. What we know from science is that a child's brain has developed about 90\% in the first three years. What we're finding from current science is that there are all kinds of interesting things that go on in child development in the very early years and we don't spend any of our tax resources in that -- or very few of our tax resources in that period of time in a child's life. What this program does is gives us at least $150 million for the next 10 to 20-years to be able to increase quality in programs that work with young children, help with health screening and do -- and allow people who are from lower incomes to have access to quality programs. And that in itself in North Carolina was significantly successful program.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, why is it a bad idea? A strong argument can be mustered that if you spend the bucks early there's savings at the back end. >>

Kevin McCarthy:
I think there's an interesting contrast, Michael, between the confidence they have in the recentist for that idea -- receptivity idea and their failure to lobby at the state -- not to sidestep the budget process. Use the initiative process. And further to actually fund it with somebody that they've admitted they're only doing because it polled well. This isn't a broad-braced tax that every Arizonan that should participate in this fund something going to. They're isolating on a minority of Arizonans with the hope that people don't really look at the specifics of where the money is going to go, which to that end doesn't -- legislature's not going to spend this money. It's going to be spent by a board of political appointees, nine individuals appointed by the Governor to dole out north of 150 million a year.

Michael Grant:
Wes, I have heard that criticism. There is a vagueness associated with the proposition. Both in terms of precisely where the money will go, it could be healthcare, it could be early education programs, could be a variety of things, as well as the way that the dollars actually are parceled out. Does it suffer from vagueness?

Wes Gullett:
No, it doesn't. The initiative is very specific about how the money shall be spent. It has auditing provisions to make sure the money is spent the way the voters intended it to be spent. Only 90\% has to go to programs. Only 10\% can go to administration. But the vagueness that you're alluding to and the criticism of that was intentionally built in to allow local communities to decide what was best for their community and how to spend the money. Because what we do know is -- and I've heard a lot of very conservative republicans talk about local control -- when we let people decide on the local level what best way to serve their community, programs that worked best. So we built in not vagueness but flexibility that allows for the money to be spent on a local and voluntary basis.

Michael Grant:
Kevin, you're a veteran of the state capitol. Don't you feel a little better maybe on Prescott for example making decisions about Prescott needs?

Kevin McCarthy:
What I'd feel better about, Michael, is people who are elected who are accountable for the people that put them there spending taxpayer money. This is a vague initiative. It doesn't go a lot further than saying early childhood programs however you or I might define that, Wes, we could all define that differently. Bottom line is, once the initiative passes and these nine folks are appointed, there isn't the opportunity for you or I or any other taxpayer in the state to influence what we think might be an inappropriate use of funds. If the state legislature or any other elected body -- you can go and lobby and oppose people and try to defeat them at the ballot if you think they've done something inappropriate. You don't do that with an appointed board.

Michael Grant:
All right. Kevin McCarthy, thank you very much. Wes Gullett good to see you again. We'll see what the voters think about proposition 203.

Michael Grant:
If you'd like a transcript of tonight's show or would like to find information on future topics you can do that by logging on to the website and you'll find it at azpbs.org. Click on the word "Horizon." now a look at what's on tomorrow.

Mike Sauceda:
Would you be more likely to vote if you would have the chance at winning $1 million? That's the intent of proposition 200 which we will vote on during the November election. However there are those who say the measure should not pass because it is a civic duty to vote. Hear the pros and cons of prop 200 Thursday at 7 on horizon.

Michael Grant:
All of that probably more tomorrow on Horizon. Thank you very much for joining us on this Wednesday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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