Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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>>>Coming up next on “Arizona Horizon,” the speaker of the Arizona house day of the Gowan is asking to be investigated. Also tonight, what do yesterday’s presidential primary results mean for Arizona’s upcoming vote?>>>And we’ll look at how Arizona high school sports facilities were named. Those stories next on “Arizona Horizon.”>>>”Arizona Horizon” is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.>>>Good evening. Welcome to “Arizona Horizon.” I’m Ted Simons. Phoenix city councilman Michael Nowakowski is drawing criticism after a video showing him objecting to same-sex marriage and transgender rights. The Arizona Republic reports he made the comments last month while speaking to a group of Christian pastors. Nowakowski is a Democrat who previously supported gay and transgender rights but in the video he reportedly refers to those rights and says, I never thought that I would see the day that men and women would be married or where people would be able to go into the same bathroom as my daughter. This world is changing and it’s time for us to take the leadership and change it back to the way it should be. Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton released a statement condemning the councilman’s remarks No. Comment as yet from Nowakowski.>>>Speaker of the Arizona house David Gowan is asking his travel expenses be investigated by the state Attorney General. Here is Luige Del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times who broke the story. Good to see you.>>Thank you for having me.>>Let’s start with that. Speaker says to the A.G., come investigate. Why is he doing this?>>So it really had been a surprise that caught many off guard. The speculation is that David Gowan probably anticipated they would investigate him anyway. Tom Ryan, Chandler attorney, had told a reporter several times that he will file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office, and the speculation is that to get ahead of the news cycle, if you will, why not just ask the Attorney General to investigate yourself and in this case he did that. I think it’s a very smart public relations move.>>This again deals with travel expenses. Does it also deal with the days he supposedly worked but didn’t work?>>Yes. He’s asking Attorney General’s office to investigate not just his use of state owned cars in going to trips that included trips to CD1, where he’s running as a candidate for Congress. But also the fact that in an internal review that he has ordered his house staff to do, they found out that he had overbilled the state for per Diem as well as travel expenses and in short he has gotten money from the state for days that he wasn’t working so he’s asked the Attorney General to investigate those as well. I would add that when David Gowan asked the Attorney General to investigate him he didn’t include investigating other members of the house that had also used state-owned vehicles to go on trips.>>Why did he do that?>>That’s a good question. I think he believes that the trips that he had made could be explained and the fact of the meeter he has repaid the state I think he’s repaid $12,000 for those travel expenses and those per diem expenses he had overbilled the state. He’s saying where there worry questions I had repaid the state. I have taken the appropriate move of doing that.>>So basically, he says Attorney General, please investigate all these things that I repaid to the state. Attorney General’s office says what?>>So the Attorney General’s office is not already investigating David Gowan. I think this letter prompts them to investigate him and Tom Ryan as I mentioned is going to file his complaint. Add that and I think you will see an investigation.>>Interesting. He announces this the same day that Carlisle announces he’s running for congressional district 1, the same district David Gowan is. Any coincidence?>>At this point when you have who a whole bunch of people running in CD1 you have to look at every single story somewhat connected in a way. You can’t really separate the fact that as you mentioned he announced yesterday he’s running for CD1 at the same time David Gowan has been dealing with his troubles, if you will, the fact that he also yesterday asked the Attorney General’s office to do this investigation. I think he’s campaign is very wise. He has some very good people working for him. I think just my speculation, there has to be some thought put to this announcement or this letter of request to the Attorney General.>>Get out in front of it as quick as you can.>>Right.>>Speaking of running for Congress, Justin Olson is going to run against Senate president Andy Biggs for this office. Surprise announcement there?>>We heard he’s going to run against Andy Biggs. In fact other members of the house have told us privately that he has asked for their endorsement so this came as no surprise to us. So Justin Olson is chairman of of the house appropriations committee, influential member of the house from Mesa, very conservative. We’re waiting for or anticipating that someone like maybe Scott Smith also entering the race. If not we will have two very conservative very ideologically positioned legislators going for that position.>>I know that Justin Olson said he got into one of the reasons he got in was he felt he was almost ordained, everyone was thinking it was set in stone that Andy Biggs would succeed Matt salmon and he didn’t like that. I think a lot of voters are questioning that.>>When Matt Salmon announced he was retiring, by the way I’m supporting Andy Biggs, and within the last couple days we have seen endorsement after endorsement. I can’t keep up with the endorsements that Andy Biggs is getting. There is some sense that Matt salmon has sort of orchestrated this to ensure that it’s going to be Andy Biggs, everybody is boxed out including for example governor Ducey’s chief of staff Kirk Adams who ran against salmon a couple of years ago. It would be nice to see some competition. I think Andy Biggs would welcome that as well. It’s always good to see some debate and from the point of view of reporters it’s nice to have debate.>>I think he would welcome one competing person but if a Scott Smith got in there, more moderately conservative, and you have Olson and Biggs fighting it out one side, clear path for Smith on the other you may have yourself a horse race.>>In fact a poll was done by a new firm just a couple — late last month, early this month. The poll essentially said if there’s a head to head match-up between Andy Biggs and Scott Smith, that Scott Smith is ahead by about seven points. I think that’s more a function of a name I.D. buy it shows he would be a formidable opponent to Andy Biggs if he were to run.>>Especially if it were a three-person race.>>there’s some speculation that both Biggs and Olson might be getting support from the same pool of voters and therefore somebody like Scott Smith or Bob Orr already said he wasn’t running but a Republican in that mode could get lucky.>>Good stuff. Thanks for being here. We appreciate it.>>Thank you.>>>Get the inside scoop on what’s happening at Arizona PBS. Become an insider. You’ll receive weekly updates on the most anticipated programs and events. Get the insider delivered to your email inbox. Visit AZPBS.org to signed up today.>>>GOP frontrunner Donald Trump solidified his lead last night winning five of six state primaries and caucuses as Bernie Sanders pulled off a surprising win among Democrats in Michigan. Was it all mean and what could it mean for Arizona’s primary on March 22? We asked pollster Mike O’Neil, owner of O’Neil & Associates. Good to see you again.>>Been a while.>>Good to have you. The Sanders win over Clinton, big surprise or just a surprise?>>Astounding surprise.>>How come?>>No poll had it anywhere near close. The closest poll showed Hillary Clinton up by 20 points.>>What happened?>>We don’t know. We absolutely don’t know. Now, I will say a couple of things about the polling. One is something I have been saying is bound to happen one of these days. Doing good polling is increasingly expensive and nobody is willing to pay for it. So you tend to get robo calls and a lot of other things. There were only four or five polls post New Hampshire. Anything prior to New Hampshire Bernie Sanders was down so much that it’s not at all relevant. They were not done typically by the most — highest ranked firms but still it was five out of five they all got it wrong. Notwithstanding that it was shocking.>>I heard some people saying maybe blue-collar whites may have voted for Democrats instead of for a Hillary Clinton either voted for Bernie Sanders or voted for trump.>>That’s all speculation at this point. I mean, nobody has done a serious analysis of this. I could throw out four, five theories.>>Is it possible?>>Oh, yeah. Indeed it is. There is this interesting confluence, one thing Sanders and Trump people don’t have a lot to do with one another politically but they tend to be the most upset people. To the extent that you don’t differentiate in great detail on the content of the belief system, if this measure was — how upset you are, they tends to share that in common.>>With that in mind, if the general winds up as Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, the blue-collar Democrats, the whites, the males that may not be all that happy –>>used to call them Reagan Democrats.>>Blue dog Democrats. Will they go over to a Donald Trump?>>The whole election hinges that is a very, very good question. If I could honestly answer that –>>But again, it’s possible?>>Oh, indeed it’s possible. I think that — I have two scenarios for a trump-Clinton race. The most probable is a Clinton win by a very large margin. The alternative scenario involves Donald Trump sort of moderating a little bit and figuring that he’s got his base. This is the old Richard Nixon strategy. He’s got his base that’s angry down. He’s not going to lows them. He doesn’t lose his people no matter what he does. He moderates, says, well, the wall is the goal but I meant metaphorically we’re going to stop immigration. You know, have talked to the experts. Deporting — we really should deport people but 11 million is impractical. He starts to show a stream of practicality and some of the folks for him aren’t real crazy but his biggest problem right now in a general election is he scores horribly with independents.>>Interesting.>>There are decreasing pool of true independents, but they do constitute the difference between winning and losing.>>You would think independents in general are not too excited about Democrats, not too excited about the party candidates, that Donald Trump would be a God send for them.>>Except to the extent he comes across as partisan. That’s why Mitch McConnell is starting to have these meetings about how some of his Senate candidates if it’s trump at the top you might be able to distance yourself from him because Donald Trump will come across as an extremely partisan figure and you distance yourself from him and thereby we can preserve the Senate for the Republicans in the face of a democratic landslide for president.>>So Trump last night wins in Michigan, Mississippi, Hawaii. Cruz took Idaho. Kasich comes in third in Michigan. He’s still in the race not having won anything and really this third place finish was easily his best showing. He has Ohio, his home state, coming up. Does he have any chance?>>Not — certainly not to get a first ballot victory. He has a chance to win in Ohio and thereby deprive Donald Trump of one big chunk of votes. That’s winner take all as is Florida, and the same scenario for Rubio. The party to the extent there’s an establishment that’s their scenario. Rubio takes Florida, Kasich takes Ohio. We keep Donald Trump from getting past 50%.>>If they keep Donald Trump from getting past 50% is it just a hullabaloo at the Republican convention?>>Oh, yeah. He’s going to have 45% and these delegates are not prone to deal. They are Donald Trump delegates. How are you going to get them to go along with somebody else? That would be — I want to see that. We’re all going to get to see it. We could actually have an opportunity for this convention to mean something.>>Interesting for a change.>>Have some consequences.>>For decades these things have been just dog and pony shows.>>They weren’t always that. Then television came starting particularly in ’72, the Republicans choreographed it beautifully. Everybody — it was like a four-day commercial and the news media figured it out and retrenched on their coverage.>>’76 the Republicans had some pretty good drama, and of course the Democrats in ’68. With that in mind, Cruz the only real challenge left for trump do you think?>>Yeah, but he is certainly not going to get a first ballot nomination. The real issue is do you stop Trump or not? God knows what happens if you do.>>Marco Rubio, it looks like he’s all but out of T. what happened to that guy?>>You know, I guess it’s what was his constituent? He was elected as a Tea Party guy. They hung this gang of 8 business, we’ll have some compromise on immigration and right now in the Republican primary electorate, no compromise, I have never, ever been for any compromise on this issue whatsoever or you’re dead. Even though he came in as a Tea Party guy they are hanging this gang of 8 thing on him and it’s working.>>Does the Republican establishment understand why Donald Trump is so successful? Do they get it?>>I don’t think anybody really gets T. in fact I was calling around to colleagues today trying to find — has anybody done any study that gets to it? We know it’s related to anger, distrust in government. Other than that I don’t think anyone has figured this one out yet. Including Donald Trump.>>He probably doesn’t know. Mike, good to have you. Thanks.>>>We want to hear from you. Submit your questions, comments and concerns via email at [email protected]>>>Corporations pay big money to see their names on the sides of stadiums and arenas. But in high school sports the naming of a field is a much more humble and meaningful story. Producer Shana Fischer and photographer Langston Fields introduces us to a Phoenix author answering the question who is Jim.>>Yeah. There were –>>By day Scott Hanson runs a successful public relations company. But during high school football season he trades in his suits for stripes as head referee. It was at one of those games that Hanson found his newest venture.>>I have been officiating high school sports in Arizona for 30 years. Three years ago my football crew and I arrived at a high school and I looked up at the stadium and saw the name. It was M.L. Huber stadium. I asked the guy in the parking lot, who is M.L. Huber? He didn’t know. Next week, independence high school, Friday night, it says POLMACHOV stadium. I asked the guy in the parking lot, who is that? He didn’t know.>>He loves history and a challenge so he decided to do a little research. what emerged after three long years is the book who is Jim.>>What’s happened is all of these facilities in Arizona, many of them were named for people a long, long time ago and it’s become lost Arizona history.>>His request has taken him from Parker to Thatcher, from Flagstaff to Nogales. In Bisbee he found the answer to Warren Field.>>George Warren was an old prospector back in the 1800s. He discovered the copper queen mine. He passed aways before he had a chance to make any money from that mining operation but people named that ballpark Warren Ballpark. There’s a little more about George Warren. Think about the seal of the state of Arizona. There’s a prospector holding a shovel. That’s George Warren.>>Dar Field is dedicated to military personnel. McClintock High named after a member of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders member James McClintock.>>In Winslow, Arizona, they have the Jay Vargas baseball field. He was a Vietnam war hero, received a medal of honor while he was in Vietnam. That’s so important to not only Winslow but to Arizona and the United States in general. We just can’t forget some of those stories that are really a part of what makes Arizona such a great place.>>Hanson met many challenges along the way.>>Much of it had to do with the people at the schools today don’t know the history of their own schools.>>Discovered that sometimes the most obvious answer is the wrong one.>>I grew up right here in Phoenix. I always thought Greenway High School was named that because it’s on greenways road. But come to find out in my research Isabella Greenway was the first congressional representative from Arizona and her husband John was a copper executive who founded Ajo, Arizona.>>The field is named for coach Tom Hagel. Hanson played ball for the coach. In all who is Jim highlights 200 fields and gymnasiums. He says the honorees have one common thread.>>I think what I really found in doing the research is that the people who are included in the book are or were the fabric of their community. They had such an influence on the student athletes that they coached, the kids that they taught, the community at large, whichever small town or large town that they lived in they were so important to that particular area that we have memorialized them forever with the names of schools and gyms and those types of things.>>You can find copies of who is Jim at appropriately enough whoisjim.com.>>>That is it for now. I’m Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.>>”Arizona Horizon” is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.>>>Funding for the Arizona arts and culture fund is made possible by Cigna society members, Eleanor Light and Judith Hart and by — you can become a curator on Arizona PBS. For more information call —

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