Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 1, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Arizona Song

  |   Video
  • Arizona has an official song that is being used to help promote tourism. Arizona Office of Tourism Director Margie Emmermann talks about the song and the tourism industry.
Guests:
  • Margie Emmermann - Director, Arizona Office of Tourism


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
The Arizona music project will strike the right note with potential tourists. It's a six-minute musical suite that will capture imagination, along with the video shown with it. It's been sent to use as municipalities see fit. The song will be performed in venues across the state. I'll talk with the director of the office of tourism, but first, here is the Arizona music project. ��

Ted Simons:
And joining us right now is the director of the Arizona office of tourism. Margie, good to have you on the program. That's a nice piece of work there.

Margie Emmermann:
thank you, Ted, it was an exciting project for us.

Ted Simons:
How did the idea come about?

Margie Emmermann:
We wanted something that really brought attention to Arizona in a different way, just to really bring diversity and some just different people to Arizona that maybe never would have thought about us.

Ted Simons:
And the composer, how did you find him?

Margie Emmermann:
He is somebody that has done scores for the Arizona office of tourism, and this is something that is a passion for him. He was a natural for us.

Ted Simons:
Were the musicians recruited? Did they come to you for this project?

Margie Emmermann:
We did it in the most popular way of doing things today. Jason found them through Myspace. He advertised and the musicians came to him. He is the composer and he managed the project for us.

Ted Simons:
You're the director of the office of tourism?

Margie Emmermann:
I am the director, but we worked through our advertising agency on this project, and Jason was the composer that works with us on this project. So it was a labor of love, a lot of people came together on this.

Ted Simons:
What do you like best about the song and the video?

Margie Emmermann:
It really exemplifies the diversity of Arizona. Music has way of touching people, bringing them together. I like the fact that it really exemplifies -- it's an original composition with four movements. We have four dimensions for the Arizona office of tourism that really encompasses the breadth and beauty of this state.

Ted Simons:
You can always find somebody with a problem, but I would imagine the response would be pretty positive.

Margie Emmermann:
700 industry leaders, also industry critics, they loved it. Governor Napolitano was in the audience, and they absolutely fell in love with it. On the website, at myspace.com, is where a lot of people have been seeing this. And on our own website, Arizonaguide.com. They have received a lot of hits and good comments.

Ted Simons:
This is the first time your office has done something like this, obviously very successful. When is the next one?

Margie Emmermann:
Not only is it the first time, just so that you know, it's the first time that any tourism office has done it. There's a lot of work and preparation, so we want to savor the success of this one for a while.

Ted Simons:
In other words, enjoy it.

Margie Emmermann:
Enjoy it, yes.

Ted Simons:
I've got to ask you, since we've got you here, there are a lot of budget concerns around the state. The office of tourism I'm sure has concerns, as well. Talk about in this climate what you're most concerned about and where you see the office of tourism going from here.

Margie Emmermann:
You know, the office has had some wonderful successes. This is a very solid industry. We just finished a spectacular year, 2007 was very solid for us. We are um,-- we're just looking ahead to 2008. We've seen a little bit of a dip, no doubt about it. The industry is going to rebound from that little dip, and we just see a lot of good things for tourism in the state.

Ted Simons:
What are you seeing so far, regarding the Super Bowl?

Margie Emmermann:
The numbers aren't in yet. The super bowl was a very, very solid super bowl. It was the most-watched super bowl of any in its history. It wasn't just the super bowl, though, it was the F.B.R. open, the rock and roll marathon, all the things that come to the state of Arizona. Our destination is very desirable, and I think we're seeing that. We've been able to weather some of the downturn other states have seen, and I think the fact that our industry hasn't panicked, we haven't sacrificed rates or done a lot of things that other destinations have done, we're going to sustain through this little bit of a downturn.

Ted Simons:
you certainly did a wonderful job with the Arizona music project. Wonderful video, wonderful song, congratulations.

Margie Emmermann:
Thanks.

Employer Sanctions

  |   Video
  • We�ll hear the pros and cons of changes being proposed to Arizona�s Employer Sanctions Law, which cracks down on employers that knowingly hire illegal aliens.
Guests:
  • Kyrsten Sinema - State representative
  • John Kavanagh - State representative
Category: Immigration

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. Today members of the House of Representatives passed bill to tweak Arizona's employer sanctions law. The package of changes appears to be on the fast track through the legislature. House bill 2745 makes several changes. One extends state penalties to independent contractors and employers who pay in cash. The law applies to employees hired after January 1st. Joining us, representative Kyrsten Sinema and Representative John Kavanagh.

Ted Simons:
Thanks for joining us.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Thanks for having us.

Ted Simons:
Are you happy with the changes made to the law?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I think some of the changes made today are important. Unfortunately, the changes don't represent the changes we need to have happen in Arizona. In addition, we have an entire task force really working on this issue that made a number of recommendations, and only a portion of those are in this bill. There are still some really significant problems with the legislation. This is a first step, but it certainly doesn't solve the problems.

Ted Simons:
John, happy with the changes?

John Kavanagh:
Generally happy. Some of the gray areas are straightened out which are going to make businesses more comfortable with the bill. There was a slight retreat in the prosecution area, but you've got to compromise to get something which can get through.

Ted Simons:
Does the law still place too much of a burden on businesses?

John Kavanagh:
I don't think so. I think that it's everybody's responsibility to help stop illegal immigration. Businesses have other responsibilities, paying taxes, not discriminating, this is just one more thing that needs to be done.

Ted Simons:
What do you think, still too much of a burden on businesses?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I don't think it's so much that it's a burden on businesses. There are some real general gaps that haven't been addressed that can create opportunities for unfair enforcement or capricious prosecution. One portion of the law that wasn't fixed was a portion that allows anonymous complaints to come in. A person with a vendetta could still file a complaint and it could be prosecuted and pushed through. It causes real concern for legitimate employers doing their best.

Ted Simons:
If you've got a disgruntled worker or a competitor, that's got to be a concern.

John Kavanagh:
It is, and certainly a frivolous false complaint is against the law. This bill has a penalty for it. If you don't have anonymous complaints, you're taking away a great tool for enforcement. The people most likely to have inside information about a business are current legal employees. If their name is exposed, they will lose their job. You can call anonymous 9-1-1 calls, health complaints at a restaurant, it's not right to single out this one enforcement area and ban them. They're good if law enforcement uses the techniques they've always used to weed out the ones that are suspicious or frivolous.

Kyrsten Sinema:
There's a really easy way around this, when a person calls in a complaint, you can gather the information and keep it confidential and not share it with the public. That way you can still protect the confidentiality and the real fear that some people have about making reports.

John Kavanagh:
That's not true. In a court proceeding, that evidence can in fact be brought forward, and it would have a chilling effect on people who are going to turn in employers that are hiring illegals. You will encourage people to attack or in some cases racially profile other businesses.

Ted Simons:
You mentioned the task force and how some of the recommendations aren't in here. Give us some examples.

Kyrsten Sinema:
I would have liked to have seen expanding the prohibition on profiling to include local law enforcement. Right now we do have a state protection for county attorneys and for the attorney general's office not to engage in any kind of profiling based on race, national origin, or other factors. That was not expanded to include local law enforcement agencies. That's concerning, because those agencies can still engage in profiling without any kind of penalty attached to that.

Ted Simons:
Why wasn't that in there?

John Kavanagh:
Is in there. The law clearly states that they shall not investigate complaints based solely on race, color or national origin. There are a host of laws that make racial profiling illegal, even a law suit against a police officer who deprived someone of a right because of color.

Kyrsten Sinema:
It covers the county attorney general's office, but there's no clarification that it covers local law enforcement or police officers in the way they investigate the cases.

Ted Simons:
No licenses or permits if you can't prove you are here illegally.

Kyrsten Sinema:
I think that's appropriate.

John Kavanagh:
Good for the goose, good for the gander.

Ted Simons:
Was that an appropriate move that would not have even gotten done without the law being passed in the first place?

Kyrsten Sinema:
There would have been no opposition, and it would have moved through the process.

John Kavanagh:
Last year it was a stand-alone and didn't make it. That was one of Russell Pearce's bills.

Kyrsten Sinema:
That might be the reason right there.

Ted Simons:
Sanctions apply only to the site where the hiring happened. Again, sound fair to you?

Kyrsten Sinema:
Absolutely. This is one of the concerns the governor raised when she signed the legislation last year and one I think many of us shared. If one store manager or employer is violating the law, other individuals who operate other similar best buys or whatever the store is, McDonald's or whatever, shouldn't be penalized for one employer's inappropriate action.

Ted Simons:
That change make sense to you?

John Kavanagh:
Yeah, a whole chain shouldn't go down because of a rogue site manager hiring a friend.

Ted Simons:
What about the payments in cash? I know this was an initial concern, almost across the board. And with all of these questions I'm asking now and addressing, seems like there's bipartisan support on a lot of these things, why weren't these things in the original bill.

John Kavanagh:
The original bill had a lot of moving parts to begin with. The more parts you put in the bill, the more some members find cause to not vote for your bill. We try to keep the bills down to a minimum number of separate entities to stop people from basically objecting and voting against it.

Ted Simons:
This make sense to you?

Kyrsten Sinema:
There are a group of us last year who voiced this specific issue, that the cash economy would go completely undetected and really unmonitored. So this is a change I think everyone agreed with, last year there was a really difficult time finding a compromise on this legislation. In fact, many entities, both legislators and advocates, had problems with the legislation. There was some real difficulty in negotiating and finding a compromise. This year after some time, isn't it last session, and frankly after people had started noticing problems and could document them, it made it easier for people to come back to the table and negotiate.

Ted Simons:
Is this bill still flawed?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I do think there are major flaws. However, I think what we see with this piece of legislation, we are moving towards a better direction. I have a fundamental problem with the way that this legislation was crafted and moved through the process in the first place. I'm not going to say that Arizonans don't support employer sanctions because they do. But what they're looking for are employer sanctions that are fair, reasonable and tough. The first round of legislation was not that. The second round gets us closer, but not there.

Ted Simons:
Still flawed?

John Kavanagh:
The first bill was fair but firm, and this bill is fairer but firmer.

Kyrsten Sinema:
I'm waiting for fairest and firmest.

Ted Simons:
What about the folks with the ballot measures out there? Lawmakers are always keeping them in their sights and trying to figure out if it's good enough to keep them off the ballot. Good enough.

John Kavanagh:
I would hope that it would be. When everybody realizes you put it through a ballot measure, it can't be changed. You never know how a judge or somebody's going to misinterpret the law, and we need the ability to change. I'm hoping both sides give us a chance with this new bill.

Ted Simons:
Think so?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I have to agree. I was opposed to both initiatives sponsored. I think both of those should go away. The appropriate place to deal with this frankly is congress. But if we're going to deal with it in the state, it should happen in the legislature. I agree we need to have the ability to go back and change it. As the law becomes implemented over time, we need to be able to adjust, fix the problems that occur.

Ted Simons:
Enough votes for the emergency clause to kick in?

John Kavanagh:
It did.

Ted Simons:
There we go. Real quickly, the Arizona temporary workers program, why is the idea right now? And do you like the idea?

John Kavanagh:
I heard it was stalled, it's being resurrected. I like the idea in concept, but the two changes I need to have put in the bill is first, to prevent so many people from being brought in that we wind up depressing U.S. wages and taking away jobs. The second is we have to stop these individuals from creating a path to citizenship or from having children born that become citizens. If it's a true guest worker program, I can live with it.

Ted Simons:
What do you think?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I'm not sure how you could legislate weather or not someone can have babies so that would be a concern for me. I heard it was dropped yesterday and being fast tracked. Nothing's being fast tracked in the Arizona state legislature these days. I think there are legitimate concerns about whether we're bringing people over just to use for forced labor or servitude. I do understand the motivation, and we have to do something about the workforce problems here in Arizona.

Ted Simons:
Should it be limited to agricultural workers?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I have trouble believing Mr. Pearce would support it if it was. If you are bringing workers into Arizona, we should fill all the areas that we have shortages in.

John Kavanagh:
We begin with agriculture because we can get a handle on how many jobs we need. That'll prevent the abuse problems, or flooding the market with hotel workers or other such service employees.

Ted Simons:
We've got to stop there. Thank you so much for joining us.

John Kavanagh:
Thank you.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Thank you.

No Child Left Behind

  |   Video
  • State Representative Mark Anderson talks about his opposition to a bill to opt out of the federal No Child Left Behind program.
Guests:
  • Mark Anderson - State representative
Category: Education

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
No child left behind is a federal program that enacts standards-based education. Last week we had Representative David Schapira on Horizon to talk about his bill to opt out of no child left behind. That bill passed in the house today. Representative Mark Anderson opposes opting out. He supports the federal a-plus legislation congress is considering. Representative Anderson, good to have you back on the program. Should the state opt out of no child left behind?

Mark Anderson:
I don't think so. The main reason is simply this; $760 million that goes primarily to our poorest schools in the state for special programs that help these kids. To put that at risk in order to send a message to the federal government, to me, is not a good idea.

Ted Simons:
Last I heard it was $600 million, and you're saying $760 million, what happened?

Mark Anderson:
We're adding the Special Ed with that.

Ted Simons:
Taking in affect in 2010, does that give the state enough time?

Mark Anderson:
Well unfortunately, we have a $3 million deficit over the years 2008 and 2009. It could cost the state over $600 million, and means it's not really going anywhere this session.

Ted Simons:
What do you think is going to happen in the senate?

Mark Anderson:
It could be very interesting because Senator Johnson is opting out, regardless of the money factor. You could see some teeth come back into the bill, if you will. However, ultimately at the end of the day, I believe that leadership will prevail and cooler heads, and it will not pass.

Ted Simons:
If teeth wind up in the bill and it's passed, where is the money coming from?

Mark Anderson:
That's just it, Ted. We have this deficit that is really the worst that I've seen in 14 years in the legislature. And how we're going to resolve that is still up for consideration. To add another 700 million or so, even in 2010, is just not going to happen.

Ted Simons:
Do we know how much money Arizona would save if no child left behind were not factored into the equation?

Mark Anderson:
That's what the Schapira bill attempts to get at. It says we will do the study to find out. That's not a bad idea. However, I can tell you it would not be anywhere near the $700 million we're talking about. It could be 10 or 20 million, in that range.

Ted Simons:
You see a lot of these types of bills, and no one seems to be in favor of no child left behind. I can't find anyone that seems to like this thing. Opt-out bills have been proposed in the past. Why is this one moving along quickly?

Mark Anderson:
I don't know that it's moving along that quickly. I am surprised it's gotten as far as it has, because people are aware that we have this deficit. I think your point is that a lot of people are unhappy with no child left behind, and that's true. That's why I have a bill that is a memorial to congress to process the federal a-plus act, a form of opting out, in a sense. It's saying, we would like to continue to have the federal dollars, and we like the idea of accountability and standards, but we want to design those on the state level. We don't want to have to be micro-managed from Washington, D.C., in education policy.

Ted Simons:
What are you hearing as far as our congressional delegation is concerned, but just in general, out of Washington?

Mark Anderson:
Well, Senator Kyl is one of the sponsors of the bill, and I believe they have about 60 sponsors. I think it's on the radar screen. But as you know, we have a congress that right now Senator Kennedy is the education chairman in the senate. So he has a different idea of how to fix no child left behind. His idea is more money.

Ted Simons:
No child left behind, as we've talked about, seems to have, except for folks in different parts of the country, very few supporters. What is the major problem with this program?

Mark Anderson:
No child left behind started out as a very good concept. The concept is that everybody should be included in educational excellence, and that in order to achieve that, you need to have standards and accountability. It was actually a very good idea. The problem is you're trying to manage something from Washington, D.C. in 50 different states with 50 different education systems. That's where the kind of breakdown occurs where people don't feel they had a say in developing those systems. It results in outcomes that aren't as good. What people don't remember, there was a reason he got no child left behind in the first place, because the schools were graduating people who couldn't even read their own diploma. And there was a consensus in our country that said, enough is enough, we have to do something to have some accountability in education. We're not going to be competitive in the world anymore.

Ted Simons:
Does that mean that no child left behind is a success, fit woke up some states around the country?

Mark Anderson:
I think in that sense it has. And frankly, in terms of just pure academic outcomes, I think we've seen some gains through no child left behind. We have become more aware of where the gaps and problems are that need to be filled.

Ted Simons:
In terms of the law going on to the senate, the Schapira bill, it basically states that you lose the federal money if you can't make up the federal money, then we are not going to opt out.

Mark Anderson:
Correct.

Ted Simons:
What does this mean in real terms? It sounds to me like it's more of a message bill than anything else.

Mark Anderson:
It's become more of a message bill, because of the amendment that was adopted. We'll see if that changes in the senate. But ultimately, whether Arizona wants to send that message that we are opting out, regardless of the fact that we may not, to me that's probably not the right message.

Ted Simons:
All right, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Mark Anderson:
Happy to.

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