Three local journalists look back at the big news events of 2014 and make predictions for 2015 in the Arizona Horizon Journalists’ Year in Review show. Doug MacEachern of the Arizona Republic, Steve Goldstein of KJZZ and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services will look back at the news of the year.
Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon's" journalists' roundtable, we look back on the past year and predict what's to come in 2015. It's the Journalists' Roundtable year-end show next on "Arizona Horizon."
Video: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon's" year-end Journalists' Roundtable. I'm Ted Simons. This is our annual prediction show, where we look ahead with conviction, even as we glance behind in confusion. Joining me to preview 2015 are Steve Goldstein of KJZZ radio, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, and Doug MacEachern of "The Arizona Republic." Before our panel predicts what will happen in 2015, let's see how well they did with their 2014 prognostications. Producer Steve Clawson has the recap.
Steve Clawson: Heading into 2014, most predictions centered on the upcoming election, starting with the governor's race.
Ted Simons: Who will be the Republican nominee for governor?
Doug MacEachern: I believe Scott Smith will.
Howard Fischer: Ken Bennett, only because he's a safe bet for the Republicans is.
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say Doug Ducey.
Steve Clawson: Ducey easily defeated his challengers in the primary and moved on to face Fred DuVal.
Ted Simons: Who wins the general election?
Steve Goldstein: Ducey's going to win the election. Based on registration advantage entirely.
Howard Fischer: Whoever the Republican is, if it's going to be Bennett, it's that way.
Doug MacEachern: If Smith is a nominee, he'll win the general election.
Steve Clawson: Ducey defeated DuVal to become Arizona's next governor. Next up, would attorney general Tom Horne survive a Republican primary challenge?
Doug MacEachern: I think he'll win the primary.
Howard Fischer: I think Brnovich can pull it out
Steve Goldstein: I say Brnovich will win that.
Steve Clawson: Mark Brnovich defeated Tom Horne in the August primary and faced Felecia Rotellini in the general election
Steve Goldstein: I will say Felecia Rotellini will win. She will not get her match up with Horne. I think she will beat Brnovich.
Howard Fischer: I Think Felecia has got some good street cred. I think she can pull it out.
Doug MacEachern: I think she's as tough a campaigner as Horne or for any other Republican that might win the primary there and so I think she's got a good chance at winning.
Steve Clawson: Brnovic won. From there, the secretary of state's race.
Doug MacEachern: I think that Michelle Reagan might have a chance.
Howard Fischer: I'm going to say Michelle if I had to.
Steve Goldstein: Justin peters.
Steve Clawson: Michelle Reagan defeated democrat terry Goddard in the general election. Our panel turned their attention to the Arizona legislature.
Ted Simons: Republican, democratic breakdown of the Arizona house and Senate.
Howard Fischer: The house will end up 35-25 and the Senate will end up 17-13 and needless to say both remaining Republican.
Ted Simons: Give us some numbers.
Steve Goldstein: I see one seat gained by the Democrats in the house, 35-25, and then I see one seat gained by the Republicans in the Senate to make it 18-12.
Doug MacEachern: The Republicans will pick up a seat in both houses. I think you'll see 38 Republicans in the house and 18 in the Senate.
Steve Clawson: The new Arizona legislature has a 36-24 Republican advantage in the house and a 17-13 GOP majority in the Senate. After Arizona, the panel looked at what would happen with the Washington delegation.
Ted Simons: Will any congressional incumbent lose their seat?
Howard Fischer: I think Anne kirkpatrick may be history.
Doug MacEachern: Martha McSally in Southern Arizona in her third time. She has been increasing better as a candidate. I think she might full off.
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say Kirkpatrick is the only one who loses and I think she has a good chance of losing to Andy Tobin.
Steve Clawson: Kirkpatrick defeated tobin while barber lost a close race to McSally but the question was which party would be in charge after November?
Ted Simons: Democrats, will they win back the U.S. House of Representatives?
Steve Goldstein: I don't see any chance of that happening.
Howard Fischer: I don't see any way they can do it. They could end up losing three or four seats at least.
Doug MacEachern: Yeah, I think they're going to lose a few seats. They're not going to win back control.
Steve Clawson: Republicans picked up 13 seats in November to give the GOP its largest margin since 1929. The bigger question in 2014 was whether Republicans could flip the Senate.
Ted Simons: Will the Republicans win control of the United States Senate?
Doug MacEachern: I predict they come up two seats short.
Howard Fischer: I'm with Doug. I don't think there are enough good races out there for them to take over.
Steve Goldstein: I think no.
Steve Clawson: Republicans won nine seats to take control of the Senate. Even though the focus in 2014 was on the mid-term election, it didn't stop people from speculating about the 2016 presidential race.
Ted Simons: Any big-name candidate to announce for president in 2016?
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say one big name. It's a person who hasn't been in office but is out front of the immigration issue, jeb bush.
Howard Fischer: I think they all have to jump in, if you want to start raising money.
Doug MacEachern: I don't think that anybody in -- until the calendar year starts, they're going to make an official announcement.
Steve Clawson: From politics, the panel turned to sports.
Ted Simons: Will the diamondbacks win the national league west?
Doug MacEachern: Ted, as big a fan as I am, I love Kurt Gibson. I think the forces of evil in Los Angeles are just too powerful right now. They're the mordor of the national league but they'll make the playoffs.
Howard Fischer: I don't think they win nationally west. I'm not sure they get the playoffs quite frankly.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Steve?
Steve Goldstein: I say no. I think they may have to lease back the pool for the dodgers.
Steve Clawson: The diamondbacks finished with the worst record of the major leagues, 30 games behind the L.A. dodgers. Next up, how would the Phoenix suns fair?
Ted Simons: Will the suns make the playoffs?
Steve Goldstein: I've been a suns fan since I was seven years old. This is very difficult for me. At the beginning of the season I thought they were going to be terrible. I'm going to say no
Howard Fischer: they'll make the playoffs but not much further.
Doug MacEachern: I'm just going to say no
Steve Clawson: The suns finished with a record of 48-34 and failed to make the playoffs. From the NBA, the panel predicted the NCAA.
Ted Simons: Does the U. of A. make the final four?
Doug MacEachern: I think they will.
Howard Fischer: I think this may be the year that they do it, definitely sweet 16.
Steve Goldstein: I'll say final four.
Steve Clawson: The wildcats failed to make the final four, losing the regional final by one point to Wisconsin in overtime. Finally our panel is always asked for a long shot and a sure thing prediction.
Howard Fischer: My sure thing is that despite all of her rantings and ravings about what the constitutional allows, 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 thought be head of the department of economic security.
Steve Goldstein: 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. So my other one is even though I said the diamondbacks would not make the playoffs, I think Kurt Gibson, Kevin Towers survives manager and general manager, but team president derrick hall becomes major league commissioner.
Doug MacEachern: I think Clarence carter will be gone sometime before the end of next year. As for a long shot, I think Christine Jones will make she's not going to become the GOP nominee I don't believe for governor but I do think that she's got enough money and she's got enough personality that she'll make a credible player. She may come in second against the ultimate winner.
Steve Clawson: Now, it's time to reveal this year's champion. Howie Fischer after winning the last three years comes in third with 5.5 points. Doug has six points and Steve goldstein wins with 6.5 points.
Ted Simons: Congratulations, Steve on your win. Can we get some immediate comment from you?
Steve Goldstein:I want to thank all the little people. Especially Howie
Ted Simons: All right. And howie, you finished third, how does it feel?
Howard Fischer: Why do you keep asking us these questions year after year, when the winner's got 6 Â½ points.
Ted Simons: That's true. Maybe I should make them easier?
Howard Fischer: Make them much easier.
Ted Simons: Good luck on that. Shall we get started for 2015? Steve we'll start with you, Mr. Champion. Will Greg Stanton be re-elected mayor?
Steve Goldstein: I will say yes. Yes. [ Laughter ] Several years ago, I picked Wes Gullett to defeat Greg Stanton I will stick with Greg Stanton.
Ted Simons: Stanton?
Howard Fischer: I think so. I think people are generally happy with the way the city is being run and I don't see a lot of really credible challengers out there. Sal DiCiccio notwithstanding being unavoidable for comment.
Ted Simons: What do you think Doug Is greg Stanton the future mayor?
Doug MacEachern: We have been critical of greg from time to time but he would say a lot but I would say that greg has done a better job of avoiding controversy than most mayors of Phoenix. I think he's excelled at that. I think the voters will find no real reason to kick him from office.
Ted Simons: Will he face any serious opposition?
Doug MacEachern: I can't think of any. I can't really imagine anybody of stature that could beat him.
Howard Fischer: That comes down to a question of somebody like sal who does have some name I.D. I don't know that he has stature. I remember sal when he was a P.R. guy for a sheriff. It's hard to imagine him as the mayor but sal's pretty good at sticking his finger in the air and saying does this make sense?
Ted Simons: What do you think?
Steve Goldstein: I think sal's going to get in. I think that we got so many news releases from him, I think we're looking at the two people who have been in opposition to Stanton, jim waring has the better temperament. But he is not going to do it. So I'll say Sal will run.
Ted Simons: Will Hillary Clinton announce she's running for president?
Steve Goldstein: Yes, and she'll announce it on "Arizona Horizon."
Howard Fischer: If you can get that get, of course, at this point, you've got to be raising the money, you have to get in there and I don't see anybody scaring her off. Certainly not the certain senator from Massachusetts.
Doug MacEachern: Yeah, she's a veritable vacuum cleaner for democratic money and I can't imagine a more certainty, a greater certainty than Hillary would be running for president.
Ted Simons: Will any major democratic challenger go up against her?
Doug MacEachern: Well, yes. I think that Elizabeth warren is going to be drawn into it. You can tell that she loves the limelight, she's really getting some legs underneath her with the liberal base. I think she's got she'll move forward.
Howard Fischer: And one of the things Elizabeth warren has working for her is we just adopted a budget that kind of guts some of the banking regulations. This is Elizabeth's issue. There's a good populist issue in here. She may end up being an also-ran, and then we're looking down the road to 2020 but she's going to give a strong challenge.
Ted Simons: Do you think she's going to announce a challenge to Hillary Clinton?
Steve Goldstein : I do not. Only major name totally based on ego is Joe Biden has to run, even though he's not going to raise enough money, he has to run. He's going to have to try because he'll think to himself there's enough controversy around the Clintons, maybe I can pull this out.
Ted Simons: Howie, will jeb bush announce, formally and officially that he's running for president?
Howard Fischer: As we saw earlier this month, he's dipped his toe, his calf and his knee into the water already so I don't see how he can back off now and everybody's trying to psych each other out so he wants to be out there early.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Doug?
Doug MacEachern: When push comes to shove, I don't think he will. I think he'll find a reason not to. I think and I'm not sure that it would be because of the Tea Party opposition but I think that I don't think he's got the fire in him and he's got a greater sense of irony that he realizes that all these Clintons and bushes being in the presidential race is just too much.
Steve Goldstein: I agree with Doug. I think the only sort of non-extremely conservative person we're going to run is Chris Christie and I think Christie or Bush and I think Christie will muscle bush out.
Ted Simons: How many Republicans do you think will run for president?
Howard Fischer: Well, here's the problem. Are we talking about Iowa, how many are in there? I think by Iowa I think we're going to see or New Hampshire see about six serious candidates in there, and I think Christie will get in there. I don't see him going very far. The guy's temperament and his mouth will knock him out of it. I think the big fight's going to be on the conservative wing of the party but we're going to see six serious candidates.
Ted Simons: Give me a number, Steve.
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say more than six because you're going to have those candidates, former Congressmen, you are going to have the equivalent to a Michele Bachmann, I'll say seven.
Doug MacEachern: I think there's a lot of vanity opportunity there and if we're talking about Iowa at that point in the race, I'll go eight.
Ted Simons: Okay. Very good. We've got three separate numbers there.
Howard Fischer: This is like the price is right.
Ted Simons: Will there be a serious and I mean a serious challenger to John McCain's Senate seat? Announcing a challenge?
Steve Goldstein: I will say no. If we're going to say a serious challenger is someone who's as viable, I would say no.
Ted Simons: A serious challenge
Howard Fischer: That's a damning question.
Ted Simons: Serious challenger announcing a campaign?
Howard Fischer: I don't think announcing but I think there are going to be some folks out there who are testing the water and figuring out has he outlived his usefulness? And depends on which John McCain. We heard Jon Stewart, we had the old McCain and then all of a sudden, comes the torture report and hey, I remember this guy, I like this guy.
Ted Simons: Doug?
Doug MacEachern: I think our modern era, a serious candidate is really going to be defined by who gets all of the independent money backing him, whether he likes it or not, or she likes it or not, so I think there will be. I think there's enough antipathy towards the senator that there will be so I expect there will be.
Ted Simons: Governor Ducey. Will he veto any bills?
Doug MacEachern: I'm just going by the kumbaya that you're seeing now. I'm going to run with that and say no.
Howard Fischer: I'm not only going to say yes but I'm going to say that the number is going to be six. I think that there will be some folks who are trying to test the waters and for a while we're going to see, you know, him trying to figure out what's going on and he's going to have to get out of his programming mode but I think there's going to be four to six bills he'll veto.
Steve Goldstein: He can't completely look like a rubber stamp because too many people anticipate he's going to be that way and from talking to Andy biggs recently, some of us expected slightly kumbaya with the governor Brewer and there was definitely not that.
Ted Simons:Will the legislature introduce an S.B. 1062-type bill next session?
Steve Goldstein: I will once again reference Andy Biggs. That will not happen this term.
Howard Fischer: I think you're wrong on that. There will be a variant on the thing. Remember it passed two years ago and the only reason it was vetoed is the governor said don't send me a bill until you get the budget. This year, what with gays being able to married, you've got Cathi Herrod in Ducey's kitchen cabinet, you have folks out there who say there needs to be certain protections. Will it be more carefully worded? I think Steve Yarbrough will introduce a bill that is close.
Doug MacEachern: Doug?
I think there will be. And here's why. I think that in both cases, the big celebrated controversy bills that we've seen both surprised the conservatives who introduced them. They didn't expect to get that vociferous reaction. Came after the process. I think they will have social issues that they'll deal with. I think one of those, one of them will catch fire somewhere and they'll catch them once again unaware.
Ted Simons: How will the state address that court mandated $317 million school funding shortfall?
Doug MacEachern: You're looking at me aren't you?
Ted Simons: I am.
Doug MacEachern: I think obviously, there will be some sort of accommodation. They're not going to just write a check because they don't have the check. And I think that there will be time payments of some kind. I'm guessing that it will be in the range of maybe $35 million.
Howard Fischer: I think the 317 is just to reset the base to where we need. I think that the Supreme Court by this time next year will have said, yeah, it's you're going to reset the base and you're going to do it. The question of time payments comes down to billion dollars. I have a feeling that the judge is not going to give him the full billion even over five years. End up with a much smaller number I might even go out on a ledge, maybe this is one of those long shot things, that if Ducey has any smarts about him, he'll make a deal and say I'll give you the reset of the base, just make that billion dollars go away.
Steve Goldstein: I like that answer a lot. I don't think that's going to happen but I think that's a terrific prediction.
Ted Simons: All right. Quickly here, when will the Arizona legislature adjourn?
Steve Goldstein: Well, Andy biggs is saying a pretty short session. I'm going to say April the 27th.
Ted Simons: Give me a date.
Howard Fischer: I think it's going to be closer to May 15th. While he says we can do a 65-day budget, dave gowan is doing it from the bottom up, and that means a lot of hearings and a lot of buy-in.
Doug MacEachern: Biggs told us he expected 65 days will not be impossible. I'm going to say the first week of May.
Ted Simons: How many vetoes will President Obama issue?
Doug MacEachern: Well, now we're talking. With the Republican Congress, the sky's the limit. Just talking major bills, I would say that there will be five that really stand out. But I think that the number is going to be far more than that because I think they'll churn them out. I'll say total vetoes, maybe 30.
Howard Fischer: The one thing, though, that may keep that down is we still have sort of on some issues a 60 vote rule. And the Republicans don't have 60 to get certain stuff out of the Senate. I think there will be five or six. I don't think we're going to get anywhere near 30.
Steve Goldstein: I'm say around 15. I think there are going to be some major things, three major and 15 total.
Ted Simons: Will Congress make a serious attempt to impeach President Obama?
Steve Goldstein: Serious is an interesting question. I will say no because I think that will be too much of an embarrassment. It would be considered too much of a waste of time.
Howard Fischer: Not only that, he's in his lost two years of office. Do you really want to drag this through I don't see it.
Doug MacEachern: Yeah, I see the house and Senate leadership exerting more discipline than that.
Ted Simons: Will the U.S. Supreme Court, what will the U.S. Supreme Court decide regarding Obamacare?
Doug MacEachern: I think that is going to be I think that the court is going to rule against it. And I know what kind of chaos that will ensue after that, and I think that Obamacare finances is in trouble.
Howard Fischer: I think the question is if the issue that's going to get back to the court is the wording of states with or without their own particular setups, I think the court is going to say look, the intent of the legislation was clearly that everybody gets a subsidy so I think the court leaves that one alone.
Steve Goldstein: As far as the exchange is concerned I agree with Howie. I think ultimately in 2015, I don't see it being overturned.
Ted Simons: Nothing, okay. Real quickly, Supreme Court vacancy, are we going to see one?
Steve Goldstein: I will say no.
Howard Fischer: I think one because I think that perhaps some of the folks there want Obama to make the replacement. So I think we may end up with a Ruth bader Ginsburg leaving.
Doug MacEachern: I think that ruth is pumping iron in the gym right now. [ Laughter ]
Ted Simons: All right. Real quickly on sports, how far do the Cardinals go in the playoffs?
Howard Fischer: God. Uh. Let me let me put it this way. You're not going to see the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Sorry.
Doug MacEachern: I think they're going to win their first playoff game.
Steve Goldstein: They'll win one playoff game. Stanton will be back and their defense will hold enough so they'll score seven points.
Ted Simons: Will the U. of A. make the final four? Bonus points, will they win it all?
Steve Goldstein: They're not going to win it all but yes, final four.
Howard Fischer: I think they'll make the final four. We lost by a point last year. You talk about close but no cigar but I think they've got a strong base there. I don't see them taking the whole thing home.
Doug MacEachern: Come March madness, really helps to have a strong backcourt. U. of A. has the best backcourt they've had in a long time. I think they'll make the final four. I think they'll make the final two. I think they'll win it all.
Ted Simons: Listen to him. He finally gets there. Again, we've got to move fast here. Suns, do they make the playoffs?
Doug MacEachern: No.
Howard Fischer: No.
Steve Goldstein: As I said in the early part of this program, suns fan for 40 years, they will not make the playoffs.
Ted Simons: It is time now for our long shot and sure thing predictions. Mr. Champion? You go first.
Steve Goldstein: My sure thing is that we're going to see a lot more, a lot more of bill Montgomery around the capitol because of his relationship with Doug Ducey. My long shot, I have two. One is increasing the rivalry between asu and grand canyon. Dan Marjerle will be the next head coach. My other long shot, as of developments earlier in the month of December, next U.S. ambassador to cuba is Jeff flake.
Ted Simons: I like that.
Howard Fischer: The boldness is amazing.
Howard Fischer: My sure shot is we hinted we're not getting out of here in 60 days, married what Andy Biggs has been smoking. The recall against Diane Douglas will fail. My really long shot is that when the driver's license issue goes back starting next year before the courts, all over again on the equal protection, we will get a court to say that the equal protection argument that they won the preliminary injunction on is faulty, and Arizona will be able to deny licenses ultimately to DACA and dreamers.
Ted Simons: Equally bold. Doug, you've got a lot to live up to here.
Doug MacEachern: I think I can match that. Sure thing, I really do believe that Elizabeth warren will form an exploratory committee. See the hunger in her eyes. And she's getting financial backing already. So there's a good chance that she'll make Hillary's life miserable for most of next year. I think that my long shot is an economic thing. I think that the stock market you will see the stock market below where it is at the end of the year. I don't think you're going to see a dive. I'm not predicting a crash but it will go down and I think on the opposite end, I think the economy will grow at a better rate than it did this year.
Ted Simons: All right.
Howard Fischer: Almost can't help that.
Ted Simons: We've got them. Gentlemen, good luck, and we'll meet again next year. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.
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In this segment:
Doug McEachern:Journalist, Arizona Republic; Steve Goldstein:Journalist, KJZZ; Howard Fischer:Journalist, Capitol Media Services;