Join us as reporters bring us up to date on the latest news in the Journalists’ Roundtable.
Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon's" "Journalists' Roundtable," the impact of recent court decisions on gay marriage in Arizona. And why was a beheading video used in an Arizona congressional campaign? The "Journalists' Roundtable" is next on "Arizona Horizon."
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon's" "Journalists' Roundtable," I'm Ted Simons. Joining us tonight, Jeremy Duda of the "Arizona Capitol Times," Howard Fischer of "Capitol Media Services," and Alia Rau of "The Arizona Republic." A big week in the courts regarding a variety of gay marriage bans in a number of states, all of which is sure to impact a challenge to Arizona's marriage law. Jeremy, a lot to go through, go ahead.
Jeremy Duda: A whirlwind week starting with Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals out of several appellate courts that threw out gay marriage bans. Tuesday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out cases. It got stayed, the stays got lifted, and now the judge who is going to rule on the two challenges to our gay marriage bans says, well, it looks like I'm required to turn over these bans, as well. But it looks like kind of a fait accompli at this point.
Howard Fischer: Okay, you got basically until next Thursday, convince me I'm wrong that somehow the 9th Circuit precedent isn't binding and your case is significantly different. The funny thing is, it isn't. Somehow children do better with male-female parents? The 9th Circuit said there's no evidence of that. If you believe you need two parents, get rid of divorce. Or somehow, that heterosexuals will stop marrying because gays can marry.
Ted Simons: Going back on Jeremy's timeline here with the Supreme Court refusing to hear those cases, that just set the whole thing in motion, didn't it?
Alia Rau: It kind of signaled to the entire country they are going to leave it to the circuits. We're at three or four circuits now that have all ruled the same way, it's unconstitutional. If another circuit comes in -- and there are still several more to go -- they may rule it constitutional and then you've got a split. That's what everyone wants to see. Once we have a split I would think they might take it up.
Ted Simons: We would think so. Yet if they refuse to take it up now, it kind of signals there isn't enough there to earn the split.
Howard Fischer: Well, not only that, you have to remember the Monday ruling was not specifically on the merits of whether gays can marry. It was, should we keep gays from marrying while these cases make their way all the way up to us. You have what's going to become a fait accompli. People are getting married in all of these states, thousands of gay couples already married. Assuming you do have the split in the circuits, how does the Supreme Court say, now we're going to back out. I think the group of the nine of them, that believes that gays should be able to marry has purposely painted the Court into a corner on this one.
Jeremy Duda: All the states where the district courts have ruled these gay marriage bans unconstitutional, I think in one a judge has gone the other way. That has no bearing on what the appellate court is going do. The Supreme Court has laid out the blueprint for Laurence v. Texas, going to the Windsor case, and even Justice Scalia said, if you rule this way there's no way we can ultimately avoid saying that gay marriage is unconstitutional. That's pretty much what he predicted.
Ted Simons: Where is Attorney General Tom Horne doing, what is he going to do?
Alia Rau: He's got two routes. I've looked at the 9th Circuit rulings, all the arguments have been decided, I lost. Clerks go ahead and start issuing licenses in five minutes. He's not going to do that. He's given no indication he will do that. His other option is file his filings with Judge Sedgwick over the next week and then decide. If he's going to appeal that, it has to be the 9th Circuit, they were pretty obvious about what they think. Or do you drop it at that point and direct the clerk to allow same-sex marriages.
Howard Fischer: If I were betting on the theory that Alia has, sometimes next Thursday Horne with the aid of the Alliance seek to differentiate between the 9th Circuit ruling and theirs, I think somewhere within, you know, two hours to 24 hours we will get a ruling upholding the 9th Circuit as precedent here. And I think at some point, I think Tom Horne says, look, we've given it our college try, we have no reason to keep doing this. That doesn't mean Cathi Herrod is not going to come in and say, they want to come in and see somebody else standing. At a certain point you just say, we've lost this, let's just move on.
Ted Simons: At a certain point that is going to happen in Arizona? Because the fight on the other side is strong.
Jeremy Duda: I'm sure they are looking for their way. I don't know how they are going find it. Especially as you guys mentioned, in the end, if you appeal it's always going to go back to the 9th circuit which is going to say it's unconstitutional, get out of here.
Ted Simons: The only way the High Court can signal, don't come back here with this thing.
Alia Rau: And Cathy Herod has given me the impression they will fight but maybe in different ways. They never reveal their plans before they do them. But maybe there's legislation, they may introduce a bill, they are going to come out in a different direction. I think we've seen the end of the courts at this point.
Howard Fischer: The next fight's come, we have thousands of statutes that refer to marriage as a man and a woman. I'll give you a perfect example. We passed a law that says in adoption cases preference always goes to a married man and woman. Not to a married couple. I'm waiting for the next challenge on that. Are those going to be fighting these one by one. Much like abortion, abortion has been legal since 1970. Sort of like the dinosaurs in the Lost World thing --
Ted Simons: Jurassic Park.
Howard Fischer: Thank you.
Ted Simons: Sure, whatever.
Howard Fischer: The dinosaurs were testing the fence all the time.
Ted Simons: The abortion fight analogy immediately comes to mind. It's not that easy. In Arizona it's not going to be easy at all.
Alia Rau: They will be chipping away at this thing for years. Cathi has used Rowe versus wade. I have a feeling next Friday we will be discussing the same issue only in a much different way.
Ted Simons: Let's move on here. Arizona's economy is not doing all that well right now. And boy, the budget is just reflecting this. Talk about the numbers not getting better out there.
Jeremy Duda: They are getting worse day by day and much worse this week. Terrible fiscal news. We are already looking at a deficit next year, now between this court ruling on education funding, $330 million or so that we have to put in, plus lower than projected revenue because the economy is still struggling, we are now looking at a $520 million deficit for the current fiscal year. The legislature and the new governor will have to take care of that on Day 1, a billion-dollar deficit after that, and all these number are contingent on the court's not saying, you have to repay the money you shorted the schools all these years, $1.3 billion.
Howard Fischer: The real key was those tax cuts, these were enacted in 10. The government said give us a temporary sales tax hike, we won't do corporate tax cuts at the same time, but it'll stimulate the economy. It'll cause businesses to come here. They will be floating at our doors. We have a 10% cut in individual income taxes, new R&D tax credits; we are reducing business assessment ratios by 25%, all of which are kicking in. And yes the revenues, just baseline, before that were still below $9 billion. Yet we continue to do this. Nobody wants to talk about, was this a mistake.
Ted Simons: The Arizona comeback or turn-around.
Howard Fischer: It came and went.
Ted Simons: Why are we not doing as well as the rest of the country?
Alia Rau: The economists are unsure. You know, they say if you crash hard you'll come back hard. We're seeing that begin in California and Nevada, we're not seeing it in Arizona. They don't seem to quite understand why. What it's related to, if the military industry, not bringing back the home building.
Ted Simons: No one's moving here like they were in the past.
Howard Fischer: Before the recession one job out of every 10 in this state was a construction job. It's half of that now. You start with that. You go to the issue that our job losses were over 300,000, a higher percentage than any state I think except Florida. You've got that as a factor. You've got the other thing that's become an issue in the governor's race. In all that time we shorted Universities, went from funding 29% to 17%. You know what we've done with K-12, which is why we're in court. There's got to be a question in the minds of some businesses, do you we want to go to a state where we cannot be sure we'll have qualified applicants, where people are not going to be trained. I'm not trying to sound like Fred DuVal here. And I appreciate it. But if you talk to business leaders, these are the same ones who came to the capitol when they tried to kill common core and said, we are not hiring Arizona graduates.
Ted Simons: Those are the same business leaders supporting Doug Ducey for governor, who want to get rid of common core, or so he says.
Howard Fischer: I'll make you a bet that Doug Ducey is not getting rid of common core.
Ted Simons: All bets are off. Is this another one of these things where we reluctantly go to the public and say we need another penny sales tax, something along those lines?
Jeremy Duda: It's hard to see how you can do that without Jan Brewer at the top of the pyramid cramming it down their throats. They have both committed to that, they both say he will not cut education, which they can't, because of the courts. You have a rainy day fund of about $452 million, one-time money that could cover most of the year. Fred DuVal and Doug Ducey are talking about we can use this. Where do you get a billion or more for the next year?
Howard Fischer: You can do some rating there, and the question is how much more with you cut from the University. Same way a lot of lawmakers voted to send this to the ballot so it didn't increase taxes. You would have to mistake part of that getting rid of the last year or to of the corporate income cut. You cannot go to the public and say we are cutting corporate income taxes while we want you to pay a little more. Again, it would have to go to the voters. But if you went to the voters with a package like that, it would sell.
Jeremy Duda: And we're hearing just as chatter even from a Republican or two, maybe we need to rethink the tax cuts from the 2011 jobs bill. You need a simple majority to make those tax cuts. You can't even get a simple majority especially if dug Ducey is governor.
Ted Simons: You have to have people pushing for it. You can't reluctantly send it over. Like a governor Brewer who says I'm it for, I'm going to push for it.
Howard Fischer: Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry conceded the image problem we've got in Arizona. I think the chamber could be persuaded to use the tree sources if they got throw quarters of what they are getting instead of 100%.
Ted Simons: We've got polls out here regarding the Governor. I'm starting to think the winner of the race will be the winner in the long run here. What's going on out there?
Alia Rau: There are polls everywhere. There's one that shows Ducey leading by 10%. I don't know how solid that is. It was an online poll. So you get a certain Democratic with that. It wasn't a huge poll.
Ted Simons: And you have other polls out there now, Jeremy, showing perhaps different results?
Jeremy Duda: We've seen three in the last few days, the first being and I don't know cookie and vote again. They have gotten pretty good lines, a poll for American encore, the poll comes out and shows Doug Ducey up by nine, surprise, surprise, then this poll by more information, a Republican pollster Fred DuVal up by three. That is the best news Fred DuVal has gotten all election cycle pretty much, since he learned he wouldn't have a primary. I would expect to see about a thousand emails in my in box because of that. Just look at the outside spending alone in this race. DuVal is being pummeled 5 to one. Does this convince people to get in? A lot of the reasons that people think these outside groups aren't spending. People have kind of asked for other battles to fight.
Ted Simons: The Ducey camp wouldn't be spending this money if they didn't think there was a race going on there. What do you think from these notes?
Howard Fischer: If the RGA -- we're talking about the court painting itself into the corner, having spent so much the RGA can't afford, suddenly things go south, and somebody says he spend $3 million or whatever in Arizona and came up with what? They have stick to a very basic theme. Leaving aside how much Republicans hate lobbyists, they are shopping for the idea that he had a going-away party in Washington hosted by a guy who lobbied for Saddam Hussein. Not a good thing. If we're talking associations, who does Doug Ducey get to hang around with? Which the whole guilt by association thing. I can't look at the news with all these political ads.
Ted Simons: Does that not tell you the race may be tight, 9 points, 10 points.
Alia Rau: This is a national organization; they have a lot of races around it. It indicates they need to spend it here for some reason.
Jeremy Duda: The RGA is outspending Oklahoma, where they have no need to, because the Republicans have such a lock. DuVal by three points or Ducey by 10 points right now. This wasn't included in the information they sent out, but one of the people they polled happened to be Fred DuVal's campaign manager. He let us know about some of the questions they did not mention. Right before they requested, they said, would you rather vote for a successful businessman or a lobbyist, and that's probably going through the polls.
Ted Simons: You just don't know what to trust anymore. Speaking of trust, we trust that most folks think we do a nice job with debates here. Things between Terry Goddard and Michele Reagan got chippy, sometimes a little chippy in my direction. As far as the debate, SB 1062 dominated the debate. Which was interesting, I understand where the Goddard camp is coming with it, unfair bill, you can't be unfair if you're in the Secretary of State's office.
Alia Rau: I wonder if SB 1067 are become 1062. You're seeing a of talk about Kathie Heran and what is the business community going do, and what happens if 1062 comes back. That's kind of the hot chitchat topic right now.
Howard Fischer: And it also plays into what we started to talk about, gay marriage, discrimination and everything else. To the extent that if Terry Goddard can paint Michele Reagan or Fred DuVal can paint Doug Ducey as being somebody who believes in discrimination, Doug's been very well, every time I look at this, this has become a minefield a time bomb for lawmakers. They recognize to the extent they are seen as intolerant, that's a game-changer.
Jeremy Duda: Almost like Reagan didn't see it coming. Goddard has been running a TV ad on this. Both sides go into their press releases and twitter releases to see that both one. Michele Reagan seemed off balance, unconfident, and surprised/irritated that Goddard was making 1062 such an issue. The day after her people said confrontation is just not her strong suit, and it showed.
Howard Fischer: But that's the point. My understanding is, obviously I don't sit on the "Republic's" editorial board. She was supposed to appear on a debate coming up this Sunday on challenge 12, she doesn't like have you not station. But help, welcome to politics.
Ted Simons: You don't have to be confrontational when someone else is acting that way towards you.
Alia Rau: She seemed to have difficulty not only responding to confrontation, but bringing it back to an issue she wanted to talk about. Ducey's great at it. Stick to the party line and that's kind of where you shine. We didn't see that from her either, which was interesting.
Jeremy Duda: Those of us who have been interviewing Michele Reagan for years, she's usually confident, on point. Even when you press her, she could respond. That kind of confrontation apparently kind of did her in.
Ted Simons: We've got about a couple minutes left, Howie. What was the Wendy Rogers camp thinking when they put the beheading video produced by terrorists as part of a campaign.
Howard Fischer: Talk about running around leak a chicken without your head. Oh, my God, we're losing badly, what else do we have to do? Look at no matter what Barack Obama has done, he should be doing more. Wait, I thought you didn't want boots on the ground. Same thing here. All it did was remind people that some advertising goes over the line. McPherson gets criticized for using the VA scandal and she pulled that down quickly. This turns off even my own supporters.
Alia Rau: But this is so far beyond. This is a video his family asked people not to watch. To make a political point but not going on social and watching this video. She goes and puts it in on an ad. The family said, please don't watch it, and please don't remember him this way. And it's in an ad now.
Jeremy Duda: This is the only thing that's going to get that race any attention. Republicans have written off that rate a year or two. For some reason, not so much in District 9.
Guys, good to have you here, great stuff.
Ted Simons: Monday on "Arizona Horizon," the results of a study that looks at how technology impacts driving. That's Monday on "Arizona Horizon," Tuesday a debate, we'll hear from both sides of a ballot initiative protecting Arizona's sovereignty. Wednesday, another debate concerning the proposition allowing the use of non-FDA approved medications. Friday, another edition of the "Journalists' Roundtable." That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons, thank you so much for joining us. You have a great weekend.
In this segment:
Jeremy Duda:Journalist, Arizona Capitol Times; Howard Fischer:Journalist, Capitol Media Services; Alia Rau:Journalist, Arizona Republic;
STAY in touch
Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: