Journalists’ Year-in-Review

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Join Journalists Doug McEachern of the Arizona Republic, Steve Goldstein of KJZZ and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services as they recap the year’s news, look back at the accuracy of their news predictions for 2013 and make new predictions for 2014 on the big news stories for the year.

Ted Simons: Coming up next on this special edition of "Arizona Horizon"'s Journalists' Roundtable, it's our year end show. We'll look back at the big stories of the year and look ahead to the predictions for . The Journalists' Roundtable is next on "Arizona Horizon." >

Ted Simons: Good evening. Welcome to a special edition of "Arizona Horizon"'s Journalists' Roundtable. I'm Ted Simons. This is the annual Journalists' Roundtable prediction show. Joining me to preview are Doug Maceachern of the Arizona Republic, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media services and Steve Goldstein of KJZZ radio. Let's see how well they did with their 2013 predictions. Producer Steve Clawson has the recap.

Steve Clawson: A years ago this time, the nation was dealing with a tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Heading into there was momentum for lawmakers to do something.

Ted Simons: will Congress pass a gun control bill an let's make it specific, on assault weapons?

Doug MacEachern: No. I don't believe that there's going to be any kind of ban on assault weapons.
Howard Fischer: Assault weapons just like any other weapon, just looks different. I'm with Doug on That.

Steve Goldstein: Too much contentiousness in the house for Republicans to go for that.

Steve Clawson: On April 17th the Senate voted - against an assault weapons ban. One of the other big issues this year, other big issues this year, immigration reform.
Ted Simons: Will Congress pass a major immigration reform bill?
Steve Goldstein: in I will say yes although it will not have all the legs of the stool that people want.

Howard Fischer: I think some diluted form of the dream act passes.

Doug MacEachern: I think something will happen and I do think it will be some sort of offering some sort of legal status short of citizenship.

Steve Clawson: The Senate passed an immigration bill in June but it remains stalled in the house. next our panel turned their focus to the judicial branch of government.

Ted Simons: will the Supreme Court justice announce retirement in ?

Howard Fischer: I think at least one will, perhaps even two.

Steve Goldstein: Yes. One. I will go out on a limb. Ginsberg.

Ted Simons: you got a name.

Doug MacEachern: no.

Steve Clawson: Next our panel looked at the political scene in Arizona.

Ted Simons: Will any big names announce for governor?

Steve Goldstein: Depends what we think about big names. If we consider Ken Bennett to be a big name, yes.

Howard Fischer: I think Fred Duval.

Doug MacEachern: You'll see exploratory committees formed and I guess that qualifies as in a moment. Doug Ducey?

Steve Clawson: Several have announced plans to run for governor in 2014 . From the governor's race attention turned to the Arizona legislature and when it would adjourn sine die.

Steve Goldstein: Let me see. May 16.

Howard Fischer: Wait a second. I had that. You looked at my script. [laughter]

Ted Simons: Come on, Howie.

Howard Fischer: he's cheating, teacher. May 16th .

Doug MacEachern: April 7th.

Steve Clawson: the correct answer - June 14th . But would the legislature finish the year with the same members it started with?

Ted Simons: Will scandal force a member of the Arizona legislature to resign? Just one?

Doug MacEachern: You're getting into sticky territory. I would actually name that legislator. But I'm not going to of course. I'm going to say yes. But I don't see anybody actually voluntary resigning.

Steve Goldstein: I will say yes but I don't field confident about that.

Steve Clawson: two members did resign in 2013 but not because of scandal. Another question focused on the future of Attorney General Tom Horne.

Ted Simons: will Tom Horne be Attorney General at this time next year?

Howard Fischer: I don't see anything that's going to force him out.

Doug MacEachern: I think he will hang on to his office.

Steve Goldstein: I say yes. Hub reduce, thigh name is Horne.

Steve Clawson: the panelists moved to the economy and the jobless rate in December 2013 .

Howard Fischer: I think we still got a ways to go until the Fed is ready to start tightening up the money supply so id fay 7.8

Steve Goldstein: I'll say 7.6.

Doug MacEachern: I think people will continue to drop out of the job market. That will push it down to 7.2.

Steve Clawson: The official national unemployment rate stands at 7%. Next our panel played meteorologist and tried to predict the official high temperature for Phoenix during the summer.

Doug MacEachern: I'll say 117 high.

Howard Fischer: I think we'll get close to the record.

Steve Goldstein: I'll just say 119.

J Steve Clawson: une Phoenix reached 119 degrees. From weather, talk turn to sports.

Ted Simons: How far will the U of A do in the NCAA Tournament?

Steve Goldstein: Sweet 16.

Howard Fischer: that's about it

Doug MacEachern: They will win a game in the tournament and then --

Ted Simons: Just one win?

Doug MacEachern: I think so.

Steve Clawson: Arizona reached the sweet 16 where the wildcats lost to Ohio state. From basketball talk turned to football and who would win the ASU U of A game in November.

Doug MacEachern: it will be another great game.

Howard Fischer: I did some graduate work there so I have to go with the wildcats.

Steve Goldstein: ASU because U of A is a fifth year senior.

Steve Clawson: Arizona state defeated Arizona 58-21 to keep the cup in Tempe for another year. They were results were questioned about who the Arizona starting quarterback would be.

Howard Fischer: I think whoever is going to be the starting quarterback is someone not on the roster.

Ted Simons: in the NFL.

Howard Fischer: In the NFL.

Steve Goldstein: I will say Kevin Cobb.

Doug MacEachern: I'm just guessing that it will be a quarterback currently in the News .

Steve Clawson: Carson Pulver joined the them in April.

Ted Simons: Will the Diamondbacks make the playoffs?

Doug MacEachern: Yes. I think there putting together a good team. They have great pitching.

Howard Fischer: I'm going to say yes, I think they can do it this time.

Steve Goldstein: I am going to say no.

Steve Clawson: The Diamondbacks finished with a record 81-81, failing to make the playoffs. A years ago the future of the coyotes was on thin ICE.

Ted Simons: next fall are the coyotes here?

Steve Goldstein: Yes.

Doug MacEachern: Yes, they will be there.

Steve Clawson: The N.L. sold the coyotes to a new ownership group that pledged to keep the team in Glendale. Our panel is a are always asked for a long shot and sure thing prediction.

Doug MacEachern: Governor Brewer will not take any step toward running for reelection beyond continuing to suggest that she can if she wants to. My long shot is that Trevor Bauer recently traded from the Diamondbacks to the Indians will be the American league rookie of the year.

Howard Fischer: My sure shot is despite everything that's gone on we will not only have gun legislation but we will have gun legislation we'll get out of at least one chamber of the state house.

Ted Simons: the state?

Howard Fischer: Yes. My shot is a variation on Doug's. I think sometime between now and a year from now Jan Brewer will say I have thought about it and I'm not going to seek a third term.

Steve Goldstein: Neither Scott Smith nor Hugh Holman will decide to run for governor and my long shot is that because of the pathetic nature of the Suns even having a satisfaction guaranteed night they will put a bid together to buy the team.

Steve Clawson: now time for out who did the best job. Steve Goldstein finishes third with seven points. Doug has eight points and Howie Fischer wins with nine points for the third year in a row.
Ted Simons: A very brief congratulations to Howie on yet another win. Any words for us?

Howard Fischer: I have to stop wearing the same tie.

Ted Simons: yes.

Howard Fischer: This is my lucky tie.

Ted Simons: let's get to 2014 . You all set to go?

Howard Fischer: Ready to go.

Ted Simons: Big election year in Arizona. We start with the governor's race. Doug, start with you. Who will be the Republican nominee for governor?

Doug MacEachern: Well, Mark Brnovich may turn out to be a brilliant campaigner but he's an unknown entity. I think that our Attorney General --

Ted Simons: Talking governor's race.

Doug MacEachern: I believe Scott Smith will.

Ted Simons: Really?

Doug MacEachern: Be the Republican.

Ted Simons: Interesting. Howie?

Howard Fischer: The problem is we're taping a few days before the end of the year. Who knows what Scott will do. I think I'm going to say Ken Bennitt only because he's a safe bet for the Republicans. He doesn't have a lot of money because he's using public dollars but even with Doug Ducey's money, Doug annoys people. I think that Bennett could walk in there based on a long experience.

Ted Simons: Republican nominee for governor.

Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say Ducey even though he does annoy people he's out at precinct committee meetings, they like him because they think he's going to win so they want to give him money. Scott Smith I think would win a general election, not the Republican primary.

Ted Simons: let's get to the question of the general election. Who wins?

Steve Goldstein: Doug Ducey based on registration advantage entirely. I don't think Fred Duval can make what Janet Napolitano used to make.
Howard Fischer: Having put my money down on Ken Bennett, whoever the Republican is, if it's Bennett and the Republican it's that way. I don't think Fred is the kind of person who can bring in folks the way a Bruce Babbitt did or the Republican nominee has the negative side that Matt Salmon did when Janet Napolitano took it.

Doug MacEachern: It's not going do be Mark Brnovich. I do think that if Smith is the nominee that he will win the general election. I'm going to stick with that. Smith will win the race.

Ted Simons: Let's get to your favorite candidate here. Will Tom Horne survive your invasive the primary for attorney? -- Attorney General?

Doug MacEachern: He's nothing if not a at the nation campaigner. He's going to be tough in the race. I don't know Mark Brnovich is the one to beat him. I think he will win the primary.

Ted Simons: Republican primary for governor.

Howard Fischer: I don't think so. I think what's going to happen in January we have the first set of hearings on Tom Horne's problems. Whoever loses will appeal this. Will drag on almost up to the August primary. Every time we have a hearing we have the FBI following him. We have the campaign finance question, the hit-and-run. It becomes one of those things that as much money as Tom Horne could raise I think Brnovich has brought together the conservative wing of the party. The rest of the party never liked Tom, I think Brnovich can pull it out.

Steve Goldstein: I'm going to different Doug some credit. What this reminded me of is when somebody wrote a really tough editorial by J.D. Hayworth and a lot of Republicans said I'm tired of him embarrassing the party. What Horne has done is worse. I will says Brnovich.

Ted Simons: Who wins the general Attorney General?

Steve Goldstein: Felicia will beat Brnovich.

Howard Fischer: I think Felicia can do it. She came close last time around against Horne. I think Mark is get news for him he is from that right wing of the Republican party which helps in the primary. I don't think that helps in the general. Felicia has good street credit and I think she could pull it out.

Doug MacEachern: I think she's as tough a campaigner as Horne or any other Republican that might win the primary there. So I think that she's got a good chance.

Ted Simons: So let's now go to the Secretary of State race. We'll just do the general here. Avoid the primaries. Who wins?

Doug MacEachern: Honestly, I think that will Carden obviously has a lot of money. It's hard to say no to that, but I think he's got a tendency to step on his own campaign. I think that Michelle Reagan might have a chance.

Howard Fischer: I like Michelle Reagan. I think she's a very strong campaigner. She knows how to raise money. She certainly bought herself some friends within the party for her fight for higher campaign limits. Wildcard, obviously, pre-taping the show, Terry Goddard. He could make it a real race, but I'm going to say Michelle if I had to.

Steve Goldstein: Definitely against the grain here. Going with Justin pierce. I think even though Reagan did get Republicans on her side I think she will get the flip-flopper because of the weirdness of her Medicaid expansion votes.

Ted Simons: Republican break down of the Arizona House and Senate.

Howard Fischer: I think the house will end up - and the Senate will end up 35-25 and the Sennate will end up 17-13. Needless to say both remain in Republican control.

Steve Goldstein: I see, yes, one seat gained by the Democrats in the house, 35-25, one seat gained by the Republican in the Senate, 18-12.

Doug MacEachern: I think this is going to more reflect congressional races that we're -- they are going to play out nationwide. I think the Republicans will probably pick up a seat in both houses. 38 Republicans in the house, 18 in the Senate.

Ted Simons: as far as the congressional delegation is concerned, will any congressional incumbent lose their seat?

Howard Fischer: I think the most vulnerable is Ann Kirkpatrick. A lot of this depends on who the Republicans nominate. We have a long way off on. That they could end up shooting themselves in the foot, but she may be history at this point. The rest of them, even the first termers I think they are pretty well cemented in. Even Kyrsten Sinema has done a good job of buddying up to the conservatives. Ron Barber is trickier but given the tendency of Republicans in southern Arizona to pick people way off the fringe I think Ron fits could eke it out.

Doug MacEachern: I think that -- Andrew Walter will run a good race against Krysten Sinema if he sticks with it. I think this guy has guts. He sounds good anyway. But he will lose. I don't expect him to beat Kyrsten. She will have a lot of money backing her. However, Martha McSally in southern Arizona in her what is it I think third time will -- she's been increasingly better as a candidate every time she's run. I think she might pull it off.

Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say Kirkpatrick is the only one who loses, and has a pretty good chance of losing to Andy Tobin. In that district it helps to bring pork back. He showed he's willing to do. That to follow up on something Doug said, Walters, once you get past the fact he was an ASU quarterback, he needs to go back in the huddle. I don't think he has much there. Sinema has a chance to be a future democratic star. That district works for her.

that's a bold prediction you think Andrew Walter will be the Republican nominee.

Doug MacEachern: I think his reputation on the field will get him that far.

Ted Simons: Steve, Democrats, will they win back the U.S. House of Representatives?

Steve Goldstein: I don't see any chance of that, especially because of reaction to Obamacare. No chance.

Howard Fischer: oh, sure. Mid year elections, no president at the top, no, I don't see any way. They could lose three, four seats at least.

Doug MacEachern: I think they are going to lose a few seats. They are not going to win back control.

Ted Simons: Will the Republicans win control of the Senate?

Doug MacEachern: I predict they come up two seats short. I think that's -- with a capacity to blow. [laughter] I think that that has to happen. That has played out so many times before.

Howard Fischer: Are you suggesting the Republicans like blowing themselves up?

Doug MacEachern: They have -- [laughter] Demonstrated facility for it.

Howard Fischer: I'm with Doug. I don't think there are enough good races out there for them to take over. It's not like the house where everybody is up for grabs. I would say maybe a seat one way or the other.

Ted Simons: Republicans win?

Steve Goldstein: I think a no. I think the only chance they have is if we get out the dictionary and the words rape and abortion are eliminated from the dictionary. No one is supposed to win in Missouri who says something weird about that.

Ted Simons: Okay. Very bold and a bit convoluted. Any big name capped dates to announce for president in 2016?

Steve Goldstein: One. A person who has not been in office but has been out front on the immigration issue, Jeb bush.

Howard Fischer: Yeah, part of the problem becomes what's definition of a big name. They all have to jump in if you want to start raising money whether that's Ryan, whether that's Santorum, who is already making noise about it. Christy is an unknown. He feels he could make a difference. I think we may see him form an exploratory committee.

Ted Simons: any Democrats? Besides you know who?

Howard Fischer: I want to see what kind of relationship there's going to be between the former Secretary of State and the current vice president, whether he gets any more hair implants may tell you whether he runs for president.

Ted Simons: Let's get back to the big name running for president.

Doug MacEachern: I think we're in an era -- I don't think anybody until the calendar year starts they are going to make an official announcement.

Ted Simons: okay. Doug, will the Diamondbacks win the national league west?

Doug MacEachern: Ted, as big a fan as I am, I love Kirk Gibson. I just think the forces of evil in Los Angeles are just too powerful right now. They are more to our -- of the national league. I think they will make the playoffs.

Ted Simons: Oh, interesting. Okay. Nice prediction.

Howard Fischer: The more door of the national league or something like that? I like that for L.A. I'm in line with Doug. I don't think they win the national league west. I'm not sure they get to the playoffs.

Steve Goldstein: I say no. In fact they may have to lease back the pool to the Dodgers.


Ted Simons: Playoffs?

Steve Goldstein: Not talking practice.

Ted Simons: let's talk about the Suns. Will the Suns make the playoffs?

Steve Goldstein: I have been a Suns fan since I was seven years old. So this is very difficult for me. They are not terrible at this point. I'm going to say no for two possible reasons. I hope they don't trade Channing Frye, but they might. I also think they drafted this center, Alex Len. Once he recovers from his ankle injury -- I'll say no.

Howard Fischer: I think they can. Again, it comes down to the way the basketball is set up you almost have to have a totally losing season not to make the playoffs. I think they did for advertising purposes, they make the playoffs but not much further.

Doug MacEachern: gosh, Steve did a remarkable job of breaking this down. I'm a Kevin Johnson Charles Barklay kind of guy. I'm going to say no. I Don think they have the -- this two-guard configuration is nice. I don't think it will be nice in march.

Ted Simons: one last sports question. University of Arizona. Doug, does the U of A make the Final Four?

Doug MacEachern: I think they do. They have a really good team. I think that they have just won really tough game against Michigan. I think they will.

Howard Fischer: I think this may be the year that they do it. Definitely sweet 16. Pretty damn sure Final Four. I think they could end up in the finals.

Ted Simons: Steve?

Steve Goldstein: Final Four. Why not? I think the way basketball that changed, I think so.

Ted Simons: Time for our long shot and sure thing. Mr. potty mouth over here, give us a long shot, a sure thing.

Howard Fischer: Okay, my sure thing is that despite all of her rantings and ravings we will not see Jan Brewer's name on the ballot in 2014 for governor. My long shot is that when we're sitting around the table next year Clarence Carter will not be head of the department of economic security.

Ted Simons: that's a long shot?

Howard Fischer: Well, okay. What else do you want? [laughter]

Howard Fischer: You make this your sure thing? That may be.

Ted Simons: Three time title holder here wants to protect his lead with that kind of --

Steve Goldstein: Now, my sure thing is that the legislature will pass and the governor will sign some sort of Clarence Carter to move CPS away from DES, which delves into one of my long shots, will keep Clarence Carter under wraps. I don't know how long he will survive but he will not be gone early in the legislative session. It won't be under a controversial scandal. My other one is that even though I said the Diamondbacks will make the -- won't make the playoffs, they survive, manager and general manager, but hall becomes manager.

Ted Simons: Doug?

Doug MacEachern: I hit a really depressing sure thing. I'm scratching that off and going with the anti-howie. I really do think that Clarence Carter will be gone sometime before the end of next year. As for long shot, I think Christine Jones will make -- she's not going to become the GOP nominee for governor, but I do think that she's got enough money and enough personality that she will make a credible play. She may come in second against the ultimate winner, unless that person is named Scott Smith.

Ted Simons: Do you think Christine Jones becomes a player in future elections?

Doug MacEachern: I think she does.

Ted Simons: She's here to stay?

Doug MacEachern: I believe she is. She has personality and a lot of those candidates don't.

Howard Fischer: would you care to win the canned -- name the candidates who do have personality?

Doug MacEachern: They have been named tonight.

Ted Simons: tiebreaker here. Hottest temperature next summer.

Howard Fischer: 121 since I went with 119 last year I think it will get even hotter.

Steve Goldstein: Phoenix, Kingman --

Ted Simons: Sky Harbor airplane, Steve.

Steve Goldstein: 118 on July 8th.

Doug MacEachern: Doing a quick calculation of arctic sea ICE -- I am predicting 116 is heightest it gets.

Ted Simons: 116no such thing as global warming, -118- and Mr. global warming,121 .

Howard Fischer: I think it's going to be in June, not July.

Ted Simons: we'll look forward to next year as we look back at 2013. Amazing stories, some surprises. Lots of heartbreak, optimism. We'll see how you do come 2014. Can you guys just try to step it up just a little bit?

Howard Fischer: Except for the fact do we get at least one prediction out of you?

Ted Simons: Yes. We will have our prediction 2015show just about this time next year.

Howard Fischer: That's your sure shot?

Ted Simons: That's my sure shot and my long shot in some ways. Thank you for being here and thank you for joining us. I'm Ted Simons. You have a great evening.

Doug McEachern:Journalist, Arizona Republic;Steve Goldstein:Journalist, KJZZ;Howard Fischer:Journalist, Capitol Media Services;

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