A half hour debate between the candidates for U.S. Representative in Congress – District 3. Scheduled to appear: Ben Quayle (R), Jon Hulburd (D), and Michael Shoen (L).
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to this special edition of "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Tonight's show is a debate. We'll hear from candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona's Congressional District 3. As with all of "Horizon's" debates, this is not a formal exercise. It's an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity for give and take between candidates for one of the state's most important offices. As such, interjections and even interruptions are allowed, provided that all sides get a fair shake. We'll do our best to see that happens. The candidates running for congress in yd 3 are, in alphabetical order, Democrat Jon Hulburd, an attorney and former businessman. Republican Ben Quayle, an attorney and small business owner. And Libertarian Michael Shoen, a former prosecuting attorney. Each candidate will have one minute for opening and closing statements. The earlier we drew numbers to see who goes first, and that honor goes to Jon Hulburd.
Jon Hulburd: Thank you. This debate here is as important as this election. And the reason is because this is our only televised debate. It's the only one that Ben Quayle would agree to with me. And so I thought I'd take my precious minute to ask two specific questions to Ben, and hopefully in the next 25 minutes get answers to those questions. Questions the voters have. So Ben, question number one is, can the voters trust you to go back and write our economic ship in these hard, hard economic times when you can't even calculate the federal budget? Your own ad, what you've been telling the voters, were you off by $11 trillion. Question two involves dirtyscottsdale.com. Can the voters trust your judgment to be a Congressman when you've admitted you posted comments on dirtyscottsdale.com, and you did it to drive traffic. I think people want to know why you drove traffic to that website.
Ted Simons: Thank you very much. And now Ben Quayle has one minute for an opening statement.
Ben Quayle: Thank you, Ted. And thank you to Channel 8 for providing us this opportunity, and thank you to all of you back home for watching, because it's very important to learn about the candidates in this congressional race. Because this race is extraordinarily pivotal. In fact, it could be one of the most important mid term elections that we've had in our nation's history. And that's because the Democrats in Washington have been taking our country in the wrong direction. The Democrats have been going after policies and initiatives that will weaken our country going forward, and make our future less bright. You know, our government is off course. And it's up to the American citizens to correct it. Because Washington has been bearing down on us. You have Obama Care, border chaos, and lawsuits against Arizona. Massive deficits and debt spending, and what do we have? We have an administration that doesn't get us any jobs. So that's what I want to fight for, Arizona, is to fight for a good working, hard working Americans and get people working again.
Ted Simons: All right. Thank you very much. And finally with his one-minute opening statement is, Michael Shoen.
Michael Shoen: Good evening. Over the past 60 years, Republicans and democrats have been exporting our high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas, and replacing those lost jobs with government jobs, with war, and with financial industry shell games, all these things floating in a sea of low-paying service industry jobs. Tax cuts aren't going to bring new manufacturing, high-paying jobs to this country. Over the past 60 years, manufacturing jobs as a percentage of all our jobs have decreased from 39% right down this line down to 9% today. In spite of tax cuts, in spite of tax credits and in spite of all sorts of financial gimmicks, what will make manufacturing come to this country is investment in infrastructure, investment in education, and investment in fundamental research. And I can do that. Thank you.
Ted Simons: All right. Thank you. Gentlemen, let's get it started. I want to start with a basic thing here, because especially you two, critics on both sides have been asking this. Why are you qualified to be a member of Congress? Because people haven't really heard much about either one of you before this race. Why are you qualified?
Jon Hulburd: It's a fair question. It's brand-new blood here, and it open seat, for the first time in 16 years. Honestly, I'm not sure I am. I mean, I think I am. And I'm asking the voters to check out my qualifications. But I'm not sure. We're brand-new, I've never run for office before, nor has Ben. What I tell folks is to look at three different things from me. Look at my legal experience, my business experience, and my community experience. And I also even throw in kind of my social experience. In other words, father of five for me, lived in the valley for a couple of decades. And I think -- I was a lawyer here for a number of years, a total of nine years, a partner, a small business owner, also for about a nine-year period of my life. I've also been extremely busy in the community. I currently sit on the boards over at Phoenix Children's Hospital and a great little school in Scottsdale for kids with learning differences called New Way Learning Academy. And others.
Ted Simons: OK. Ben, same question. Why are you qualified to be a member of Congress?
Ben Quayle: Well, because I'm the one who's going to go to Washington and fight to get government on the side of the people. That's what's happening right now. Power is being consolidated in Washington, DC right now. As Democrats have been able to expand government into more of our everyday lives, taking over large portions of our economy, with the health care bill that went forth. And also expanding government spending. That's what we need in Washington is somebody who is going to go there and fight to reduce government spending, to actually get some certainty back to the marketplace so that companies can start taking risks. Start hiring people, start growing the economy. I think that watching what has happened over the last year and a half is some of the best experience that anybody could see because that is actually shown where government is going if we don't put a stop to it.
Ted Simons: We'll get back to economic issues, but Mike, I'd ask you, are you fuel identified -- qualified for this?
Michael Shoen: Sure I am. I was a practicing attorney doing litigation for 20 years, I worked as corporate general counsel, I have my own successful small business that's a little bit smaller now, I worked as young man in all sorts of manufacturing and labor jobs. And I was privileged to work with the legendary entrepreneur, my father, for a long time. I believe are in private enterprise, and since 2002, I've been publicly involved in public issues. I didn't just start a year ago.
Ted Simons: OK. Similar question regarding background, but let's get back to your opening statement. You've gone after Ben Quayle regarding this website and his involvement. I want to get your response to this and how you feel about this. But why are you pressing that particular issue?
Jon Hulburd: For one thing we inherited it from the Republicans without answers. And so we've picked up where they've left off. And we still have no answers. I've given him a very specific question here, which I don't think he can move around, which is why would you drive anyone to this website? Why -- what would be the reason for that? If I was -- maybe because they're friends, or because you've got an ownership interest, or whatever, but this was three years ago, I think people need to understand the character of the candidates, McCain said it, character matters. It matters in this race, it matters in all races. So it's an open question, and it has not been answered.
Ted Simons: Please.
Ben Quayle: I have answered questions on this for two months. And I've been candid, I've been forthright, and in fact, it's been coming out now because -- that some of the reporters who initially reported on it, are now saying, yes, he has been candid and truthful the entire time. Now, I regret any association with this website. But you know, if you start bringing up the past, we can go down that route. I've been vetted thoroughly during the Republican primary. And you can talk about things that you've done in the past. You were sued for defamation and fraud. So these are the things that you need to be asked questions about, because you haven't gone through the same sort of vetting process that I have. But you keep going down, you've been negative, even before I got out of the primary, so --
Jon Hulburd: Have you given me an answer?
Ben Quayle: This is what I'm trying to get to. You've been going negative since before I even got out of the prime enrichment I've answered these questions over and over --
Jon Hulburd: Answer one word. Why? Why drive someone --
Ben Quayle: I regret any association with this website. And I want to you start to answer some of those questions. Why were you sued for defamation, why were you sued for fraud?
Jon Hulburd: I was never sued for fraud.
Ben Quayle: Business fraud, you never sued for business fraud?
Jon Hulburd: I personally was never sued -- .
Ben Quayle: You weren't named in the lawsuit for business fraud? 1999.
Jon Hulburd: My company was.
Ben Quayle: Absolutely you weren't a named plaintiff?
Jon Hulburd: I'd have to go back and look. Do you understand what happened in both of those cases? They were both dismissed with prejudice at the instant early level. And they were also in the defamation, it came up to the court of appeals and the Supreme Court of this state, and it was also dismissed with --
Ben Quayle: Why? It didn't go through the proper trial. That's the thing I'm trying to get to, Jon, you've gone negative --
Jon Hulburd: Can I jump in --
Ted Simons: Let's get your response quickly and then your response quickly, and then we'll get to issues like the economy and the war, and these sorts of things.
Jon Hulburd: The defamation lawsuit was a nuisance lawsuit, brought amongst many, many people of which I was one. It was tossed out at the trial level, affirmed at the court appeals level, tossed out also at the Supreme Court level, and that particular lawyer isn't even practicing. He's been disbarred. So it's a joke lawsuit from a number of years ago.
Ben Quayle: The statute of limitations -- it.
Jon Hulburd: It was thrown out -- dismissed with prejudice, no technicalities.
Ted Simons: Very quickly, I want to get back to this -- to the economy, but quickly, he regrets the website. Why isn't that good enough?
Jon Hulburd: I want to know why he drove people there. I want to know why would someone go no that website, why would you want someone to do that?
Ted Simons: You brought up cases against either he or his firm, why isn't it good enough to know they were dismissed?
Ben Quayle: Here's the thing. What we've had, one level of scrutiny for me and another level for other people. And so I think every candidate should be going through that level of scrutiny. That's the thing that's been happening in this race, is that Jon has been going negative since day one, even before I got out of the primary, and has been running ads that are not truthful, and it's really distasteful --
Jon Hulburd: Completely truthful.
Ben Quayle: That is a complete and utter lie. Because I can go just off the top of my head, Jon, that you're saying that I said that I was using -- claiming children in a mailer that were not mine? They're my nieces and there was never any claim in that mailer that they were my children. Actually, the mailer said that I live with my wife and my dog in Phoenix. So that was the first blatant lie in that --
Ted Simons: Very quickly, I'll let you respond. Blatant lie?
Jon Hulburd: Absolutely not. You were attacked by a number of your opponents along those same lines, because you guys played that up and you got a little cute and you got caught.
Ben Quayle: Just because somebody else says it don't make it true.
Ted Simons: I want to get to Mike, what do you make of it?
Michael Shoen: I was also sued for defamation, but I defended it myself and I won a very aggressively pursued case. Related to a --
Ted Simons: All right. I want to start with you on this one. We got seven some odd million people without jobs in this country, Arizona is hurting right now, as much as any state in the union. What do you do?
Michael Shoen: We also have 40 million people or below the poverty line that have a shrinking middle class, we also have an enriching top class, we have to get manufacturing jobs in this country. That's what pays 25, $30 an hour. You can't live on service industry jobs at $10 an hour. You got to live at home with your parents. You can't support a family. And the figures show that's what's happening. We kissed off our manufacturing jobs decades ago, and we have to Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whoever else, have to work together to get this done.
Ted Simons: Ben, get people back to work? How?
Ben Quayle: The key is to bring certainty back to the marketplace. Right now, companies, large and small, if they've been able to streamline their businesses, they're sitting on cash, but they're scared to take the risks to expand their businesses and to grow their companies. And that's because of the initiatives that are being pursued in Washington. The health care bill is going to have a negative impact on our economy, and if you look at the massive tax increases that are going to happen at this -- the end of this year, plus getting rid of the secret ballot for -- in the workplace, and also cap and trade legislation, those are things that are making the marketplace uncertain, and if we bring back certainty in the marketplace, jobs will start being created.
Ted Simons: A jittery private sector because of Obama, President Obama's policies. Your response.
Jon Hulburd: I think it's partially true. I think he inherited worse than a jittery one. I do think he could do something very quickly to right the ship. And that's to extend those bush tax cuts. At least through 2012. Make permanent the cuts on dividends and capital gains, and I think what we could also do is really emphasize green clean energy jobs out here in Arizona. I think that's a long-term path of getting those jobs back right here in Phoenix.
Ted Simons: Extending the tax -- why not a modest increase for the very top of income earners? It doesn't have to be the 250 we've heard, why not $500,000, why not 1 million? Why not get some of that revenue back in the system.
Jon Hulburd: I'm a simple guy, I think we're still in a recession. I don't care what the pros say. Anyone here in Arizona, thinks we are, don't raise tax in a recession.
Ted Simons: What do you make of that? A modest proposal above the 250 we're hearing about.
Ben Quayle: We need a tax policy that doesn't provide a disincentive for people to invest, for people to actually succeed. So actually what we are having right now is a massive tax increase. We need to have those tax -- that tax code actually made permanent so we can make the certainty come back to the marketplace and give people, small businesses especially, telling them we're not going to raise their taxes, even in two years, because that's going to increase the uncertainty going forward.
Ted Simons: But there are some who are saying firms right now, you mentioned the extra cash, they've got the extra cash, and instead of investing, what they're investing towards jobs are concerned, they're buying back shares. How do you respond to that?
Ben Quayle: The thing they're doing is they're -- they want to do something that with their money to put it to work. They don't want to actually expand their businesses, or hire new people because that's expensive and they don't know where their costs will be going forward. With the uncertainty we have with the tax increases that will happen at the end of the year, plus the threat of those other initiatives that are supported by the democrats in Congress, that's the thing that's holding our economy from having some robust recovery.
Ted Simons: Mike?
Michael Shoen: On September 16th, Alan Greenspan testified that you cannot cut taxes on borrowed money. We're already running a real good deficit, we inherited a major deficit from the previous administration, and my two opponents want to cut taxes dramatically to increase that deficit. Our country is on the chopping block, all these countries around the world are waiting for our deficit to get so bad that our financial house of cards starts to fall apart. So that's what the dollar as reserve currency is all about. We're really -- we have to cut expenditures, OK, right now, and try and get expenditures in line with taxes. Not cut taxes.
Ted Simons: OK. Jon, TARP. The bank bailout, however you want to describe it, good move?
Jon Hulburd: No. Terrible move.
Ted Simons: Why?
Jon Hulburd: Free money. Look at what happened. Greenspan -- Bush goes and tells Hank Paulson, go give these guys essentially free money. 5% preferred shares. Just a couple of weeks later, Warren Buffett cuts twice as good a deal for his own shareholders. So right there, the marketplace was skewed. All it did was bail out the big, big, big banks, and made it so they're going to be bigger. So I think it was a disaster.
Ted Simons: Was it a smarter idea to let the fire burn itself snout we're going back a couple years now to when most people in Congress were hearing pretty wild stories about how things could just fall in a moment's notice.
Jon Hulburd: I realize that. We're going to have history books tell us in 10 or 20 years a little clearer vision, but to most people I talk to, and this is me, it feels like the rich people got bailed out on the Titanic and everyone else got tossed. So Main Street got burned in this transaction. And think about those bonuses that were just announced yesterday. What do you think people think on Main Street right now?
Ted Simons: What do you think about the idea of letting the fire burn itself out, as opposed to doing something proactive?
Ben Quayle: TARP was not the right policy to go forward. What we needed, we wanted to be able to show the American people that the market was not going to collapse. TARP was not the way to go about it, because they were injecting capital into banks that actually weren't that much in trouble. What we needed to do was just have confidence from the FDIC, from as -- from one instance where we could have confidence in the marketplace so there wouldn't be the failure people were worried about. TARP was the wrong way to go, and it -- we should haven't gone down that road. The moral hazard we'll have going forward.
Ted Simons: Please.
Jon Hulburd: Can I jump in? Here's the problem. I think we're both saying the same thing on policy. I wonder who would have had the guts to do it, to say no to TARP. Remember at the time, just two years ago, everyone was begging. Ben's money is coming from Wall Street. It's coming -- his largest contributor is from the folks that brought us the executives -- the Chrysler bailout. Right after the bank bailout, we got the auto bailout, and in both cases, Ben, I think it would be very tough for you to say no to your biggest contributors. That's what they wanted.
Ben Quayle: My contributors are individuals who care about this nation, and care about the direction our country is going. I'm glad you brought that up. I'm glad you brought up the contributions, because he's been funded and endorsed by the labor unions, SCIU, the radical unions that have been boycotting our state, and he's been financially endorsed by Nancy Pelosi. So those are the things, if you want to get into the amount of contributions, I was against TARP, I'm against those bailouts and I would stand up for that if elected to Congress, because I'm my own man, it doesn't matter where contributions come from.
Ted Simons: Quickly.
Jon Hulburd: Obviously I'm on record as being Pro 1070, against the boycott. And so using your logic, if you want to give back your 80,000 plus, I'll give back the 10,000 to the union you're so worked up about. Deal?
Ben Quayle: Jon, this is what you're trying to do. You throw something at me and I throw it back at you and you don't like the back and forth. Look, the people who have contributed to my campaign are concerned about the direction of the country because we're running for a federal office. And these laws that we're going to be voting on are going to be affecting people across the spectrum, across the nation.
Ted Simons: Mike?
Michael Shoen: Thank you. What happened with the bailout was, we took financial institutions that were greedy and that were reckless and really did some things that were wrong when they separated the deed of trust from the debt. And then when they did all this misconduct, we said, hey, that's OK, we'll take care of you. And the message to them is this. For the next time around, no matter what they do, how greedy they are in the future, how reckless they are, we're going to bail them out. So we gave them a terrible message and they're going to -- they'll follow up on that.
Ted Simons: OK.
Michael Shoen: And with respect to the character and ability to stand up to these guys, I'm Ron Paul all the way, the only Congressman who's never, ever voted for a tax increase ever.
Ted Simons: We've got a couple minutes left, I want to get your ideas on immigration. We'll start with you. Immigration reform, is it needed? How do you do it?
Ben Quayle: The first thing we have to focus on is border security. That's the first step.
Ted Simons: What does that mean? I hear that a lot. What does it mean and how long it will take?
Ben Quayle: It's going to be a process. We need to have a barrier from the Pacific to the Gulf, whether it's fencing, but also increasing the number of border patrol agents. Until the agents are getting trained, we need National Guard at the border. This is a serious problem that we have that's going on with the drug cartels, and Arizona has become a funnel for drug smuggling into the United States. The drug cartels are destabilizing the Mexican government, and the amount of violence and the sophistication of their violence, is escalating at a rapid pace. So that's the first thing we need to do and we shouldn't be talking about any of the other portions of immigration reform until we secure the border, because that's the source of the problem.
Ted Simons: OK. What do you think?
Jon Hulburd: I agree with Ben on everything he said until about the last phrase at the end, and he's actually made the mistake of going beyond that. I do think we need to secure the border, I think we can have operational control over our border, but we shouldn't be out there dabbling in other pieces of the comprehensive immigration reform package until it's done, and he wants to deal with the guest worker program. He's been on record as telling folks that he wants to do that, I think that's a big mistake. I think we must hold firm as a state, as representatives of this state and say, we will not do anything else until we know for a fact that our border is secure.
Ted Simons: 30 seconds.
Ben Quayle: I'm on record for saying the guest worker program after or border is secured. That's a big difference between what Jon said and what's factual.
Jon Hulburd: Now you're in the -- for over two decades we've been held hostage on this because everyone wants their piece of the pie on this thing and you can and must take out the border security piece and get it done. And everything else needs to go away until that's done.
Ben Quayle: That's what I just said. It should be an independent bill in Congress, standalone bill on border security. Once that's happened, we can address the other issues.
Ted Simons: Each candidate will now give a one-minute closing statement, and going in reverse order of the opening statements, we start with, Michael Shoen.
Michael Shoen: Thank you. My worthy opponents both want to cut taxes substantially. And what I demonstrated here, which is from the Bureau, from a government agency, is that you can cut taxes for 60 years, and it's not going to change the outflow of the good jobs, manufacturing jobs. If we cut taxes or stimulus in this country, with our present distribution and the -- we have most of our jobs our service economy jobs, we're going to be stimulating jobs working at $10 an hour, get more people serving lattes at Starbucks. Our primary problem today is economic prosperity. If we have money, we dock a lot of things. If we don't have money, we're really hamstrung and we have to create economic prosperity.
Ted Simons: All right. Thank you very much. And next up with a one-minute closing statement is Ben Quayle.
Ben Quayle: Thank you very much. One issue that we did not address in this debate was health care reform. Now, I want to repeal and replace Obama Care with something that actually bends the cost curve down and gets access up. By Democratic opponent can't even answer if he would actually have voted for the health care bill if he was in Congress at that time. It's a huge issue, because it comes down to the fundamental beliefs of what our government should and shouldn't be doing. We need to get back to the founding principles of our country. Freedom and limited government. That health care bill is an example of government run amok. If we can actually get a Congress that will start to shrink the size of the federal government, shrink or national debt, which is over $13 trillion, we can have opportunities for the next generations and future generations that were the same, if not better than the past generations. So I thank you very much, and I hope to get your vote on Election Day. Thank you.
Ted Simons: Thank you. And finally, we hear from Jon Hulburd.
Jon Hulburd: Repealing Obama Care has been -- or the health care reform act is essentially a fairytale that he likes to tell. It will only happen if he gets a new house, and he might. But he's going to also need a new Senate, he's going to need a super majority, and a new White House. So it's a couple years off. And instead what's going to happen, whether he gets elected or I get elected, we're going to go back and act like legislators, we're going to deal with a bill that will be in place at that point for three or four years. I asked Ben whether he's going to kick those kids off the rolls, there will be millions of them by then, who because of preexisting conditions, would normally not be ability to get health care insurance. But will under this new bill. There are parts of the bill I like. That's one of them. I will fight to keep that. There are parts of the bill I do not like at all. I don't like the fact that in just a short period of time, 2013, we're going to have a 3.8% tax on under an income. I will fight that get that out. It's a fairytale, it won't happen. Elect someone who will deal with this as an adult. Thank you.
Ted Simons: All right. Thank you candidates.
In this segment:
Ben Quayle (R);Jon Hulburd (D);Michael Shoen (L);