Journalists’ Roundtable: Special Congressional Primary, Redistricting Overhaul, Code of Conduct

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Local journalists discuss the special congressional primary vote in the eighth district, the complaint filed against Debbie Lesko, the Republican initiative to expand the redistricting commission and the legislature’s new code of conduct on Friday’s Journalists’ Roundtable.

Special Congressional Primary Vote

Debbie Lesko won the Republican Congressional Primary for the Eighth District on Feb. 27 in a vote that will decide who will fill the seat that Trent Franks vacated. She beat opponents Steve Montenegro and Phil Lovas by double digits.

Related: Debbie Lesko wins Eighth District Congressional District Republican Primary

“I think we all expected it to be fairly close,” Jeremy Duda from Arizona Capitol Times says. “Once that first batch of ballots came out, the early ballots, it was just dominated by Lesko. She just killed it.”

Many were expecting it to be a close race between Lesko and Montenegro, but that was not the case. Montenegro slipped to third place behind Lovas following news about his alleged inappropriate relationship with a junior staffer.

The eighth district is no stranger to Lesko, and that fact was definitely in her favor. She is a favorite in the right-leaning Sun City. The journalists weren’t surprised she won, but not many were expecting her to win by so much. With such a commanding lead, Duda believe Lesko won’t have a problem winning the general election.

On the other side, Hiral Tipirneni won the primary for the Democratic party. It’s not likely she’ll win in the general election, as the district is known for its conservative stance. However, the Arizona Republic’s Ronald Hansen says she is a good candidate for the Democrats despite their odds. Duda adds that in a better district for the party, Tipirneni probably wouldn’t have any trouble winning.

Complaint Filed vs. Lesko

As people were submitting their early ballots, Lovas accused Lesko of money laundering. It turns out she was taking money from the state and putting it in a PAC that would donate the money to her congressional campaign. If this was a purposeful rearranging of money, Lesko could be in trouble. At the moment, she hasn’t been found guilty of anything.

Hansen explains that the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based group that acts as a watchdog on campaign finance matters, are trying to enforce stricter fundraising rules.

“They’ve [the Campaign Legal Center] taken note on what happened in this race,” Hansen says. “This was sort of a perfect storm. You had not only the temptation to take state money and dump it into a federal resource, but you also had such a compressed time frame for this. I would rather ask for forgiveness than permission.”

Redistricting Overhaul

In a proposal started by Senate President Steve Yarbrough and co-sponsored by House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, the redistricting commission which now consists of five members may expand to nine if this is passed.

The board today has two members from each major party and one Independent who is chosen through judicial appointments. Bob Christie from Associated Press explains that Yarbrough wants to expand the board to three people from each party. Two of the independents chosen by the legislature, and the third Yarbrough has been back-and-forth with allowing them being chosen by an appellate court.

Related: Republicans’ response to redistricting commission expansion

At the end of the day, it is the voters who will have to approve of this proposal. Duda says that it remains to be seen if the voters are willing to make this change, since they were the ones who voted on the five person commission.

Related: Democrats’ response to redistricting commission expansion

Hansen says there are too many kinks in this proposal for it to garner bipartisan support. Democrats have admitted that the current map leans in their favor, but they says the Republicans have exaggerated on how big of a lean it really is.

Details of Investigation Remain Private

A couple weeks ago saw the expulsion of former representative Don Shooter due to sexual harassment allegations. There has been some debate on how Mesnard handled the situation, and whether or not he is leaving any information out. Mesnard says he has kept some of the investigation private in order to protect the names of the victims.

“You can release this stuff and still keep some names private,” Duda says. “There are things you can redact, things you’re allowed to redact. There are a lot of gaps in those last couple of pages and they can be filled in without exposing who was making these comments.”

Related: Don Shooter expelled from House following sexual harassment allegations

Hansen says he has noticed the concerns that the investigation is being white-washed or sold short in the severity of the accusations. He says if Mesnard would release the full investigation, and simply redact the names, then it would instill confidence in the public that the situation has been successfully taken care of.

Behavioral Code of Conduct at Legislature

In response to the Shooter expulsion, the House and Senate are developing a code of conduct that will directly lay out what is and isn’t allowed.

“Something that was not really addressed in the current code of conduct is the relationships that elected law makers can have with non-elected staffers over whom they may or may not yield considerable power,” Duda says. “We’ve seen this with Shooter, Montenegro and a couple other lawmakers over the years.”

Jeff Flake for President?

Whether or not Flake running for President is a serious rumor, it’s an idea that deserves some discussion. Hansen says that it looks like Flake has been cagey and vague when asked directly about if he is considering the position.

Christie says that at the moment the senator has some national attention and he’s testing the water to see how the country would react to the idea. Flake has been invited to give a speech in New Hampshire which will definitely feed into the national attention he is getting.

“It seems likely that someone will come up on the Republican side and challenge President Trump,” Duda says. “Flake has been more vocal about his opposition than any other Republican. Whether you get any traction with that, or even win the primary in your own state, it’s hard to say.”


Ted Simons: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE, THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE SET FOR APRIL'S ELECTION TO REPLACE FORMER CONGRESSMAN TRENT FRANKS. AND WHY ARE DETAILS OF THE INVESTIGATION THAT LED TO THE EXPULSION OF A STATE LAWMAKER BEING KEPT SECRET? THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE.

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, BOB CHRISTIE OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND RON HANSEN OF THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC.

THE RESULTS ARE IN FROM TUESDAY'S SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION IN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT-8, IT WILL BE REPUBLICAN DEBBIE LESKO AGAINST DEMOCRAT HIRAL TIPERNINI IN APRIL'S GENERAL ELECTION. ANY SURPRISES AT ALL?

JEREMY DUDA- I THINK THE MARGIN OF VICTORY. WE ALL EXPECTED TO BE FAIRLY CLOSE. ONCE THAT FIRST BATCH OF BALLOTS CAME OUT, IT WAS JUST DOMINATING BY LESKO. SHE CAME OUT WITH A 12-POINT LEAD. SHE KILLED IT.


Ted Simons: WHY ISN'T THIS ANY CLOSER?

BOB CHRISTIE- DEBBIE LESKO IS THIS DISTRICT WHICH SPANS ALL OVER THE WESTERN PHOENIX SUBURBS OUT IN GLENDALE PEORIA SUN CITY. DEBBIE LESKOS DISTRICT WAS ABOUT A THIRD OF THAT WHOLE THING. THAT IS WHERE THE MOST EFFICENT VOTERS WERE, SUN CITY, WEST PEORIA. IF YOU LOOK AT MAP WHERE HER VOTES CAME FROM. SHE WAS GETTING 60 TO 70% OF THOSE VOTES. AND THAT’S WHERE SHE REPRESENTS.THAT PUT HER OVER THE TOP.


Ted Simons: WHY WASN'T THIS CLOSER?

RON HANSEN- THIS WAS DEBBIE LESKO'S TERRITORY. SHE HAS SPENT YEARS WORKING IN THE LEGISLATURE. GIVEN THE CAST OF CHARACTERS THAT WAS IN IT, STOOD SHE WOULD BE THE ONE THAT MOST FAMILIAR TO VOTERS.


Ted Simons: LET'S GO THROUGH THAT CAST OF CHARACTERS HERE. STEVE MONTENEGRO. HOWEVER DID THE STAFFER. WAS THAT A FACTOR?

JEREMY DUDA- REALLY LOOKS LIKE THERE WASN'T. THIS HAPPENED TOO LATE. NOT GOING TO MATTER FOR THE RACE. RIGHT NOT GOING TO MATTER. KIND OF FOR THE WRONG REASONS. 77, 000 VOTES CAST. 67,000 EARLY BALLOTS. 5,000 OF THOSE COULD HAVE SENT IN AFTER THE SCANDAL BROKE. THE MARGIN WAS OVER 5,000. SHE WAS RUSH CRUSHING THIS BEFORE THAT HAPPENED.


Ted Simons: WHAT HAPPENED TO MONTENEGRO? HE HAD A TED CRUZ ENDORSEMENT. THESE ARE BIG NAMES.

BOB CHRISTIE- ENDORSEMENTS DON'T LIKE MUCH AS THE CANDIDATE WOULD LIKE YOU TO THINK. ONE POINT OR --


Ted Simons: WHAT ABOUT GOVERNOR BREWER FOR DEBBIE LESKO?

BOB CHRISTIE- THAT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. MONTENEGRO ONLY REPRESENTED 7% OF CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. BEEN IN THE LEGISLATURE FOR EIGHT OR NINE YEARS. THAT DOESN'T MEAN HE'S BEEN IN THE BROAD SECTOR. JAN BREWER MIGHT HAVE HELPED HER A COUPLE OF POINTS. SHE IS WEST VALLEY'S QUEEN. SUN CITY, PEORIA. THAT'S JAN BREWERS CORE CONSTITUENCY.


Ted Simons: WHAT HAPPENED TO BOB STUMP?

RON HANSEN- HE HAD ONLY THE NAME OR HALF THE NAME. THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING HIS IDENTITY HAD BECOME A DISTRACTION TO ANY CHANCE HE HAD TO BREAK OUT AND STAY RELEVANT TO THIS MIX. WHAT HAPPENED WITH PHIL, YOU CAN MAKE THE CASE THAT HE WAS UNKNOWN TO TOO MANY AT START OF VERY SHORT RACE. I LOOKED AT BALLOT COUNTS CAME IN AFTER INITIAL DUMP. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THOSE, TOTALS WERE CLOSE. DEBBIE LESKO I THINK HAD ABOUT 1700 VOTES OFF THE VOTES MONTENEGRO SANK TO 600 VOTES. IF YOU LOOK AT PHIL, WAS FAIRLY COMPETITIVE THAT SUGGESTS THAT LONGER THE RACE WENT, BETTER HE WENT. LITTLE TOO LATE.


Ted Simons: DOES SUGGEST THAT PHIL OR MONTENEGRO OR A STUMP MIGHT GIVE DEBBIE LESKO A RUN IN THE REGULAR ELECTION IN SUMMER AND FALL?

JEREMY DUDA- BASED ON WHAT WE SAW ON TUESDAY, I REALLY WOULDN'T WANT A PIECE OF THAT RACE. COMMANDING DOUBLE-DIGIT WIN. YOU MENTION STUMP IN THE NAME. YOU LOOK AT HIS FUND-RAISER REPORTS. HE HAD NOTHING. $22,000. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN GET INTO I RAISE -- RACE IF YOU CAN'T RAISE MORE. I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE A FRONT-RUNNER BECAUSE WIFE IS A PREMIER REPUBLICAN FUND-RAISERS IN THE STATE. NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE AN ISSUE.


Ted Simons: THERE IS AN ASSOCIATION WITH TRUMP. WAS TRUMP FACTOR AT PLAY AT ALL?

BOB CHRISTIE- IT WAS, I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT PHIL WAS HANGING HAT ON ONE THING. THAT IS 747 LANDED AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE AND HAVING A RALLY. YOU WOULD SEE THE TRUMP LOVERS SEEING PHIL AND DONALD TRUMP ON A STAGE WEEK BEFORE THE ELECTION. THAT COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE. I KEPT LOOKING AT THE ONE THAT GOT 29 VOTES AGAINST TRENT FRANKS. 20% OF VOTERS WENT INTO BALLOT BOX AND VOTED FOR HIM. HE GOT 4%. THAT SURPRISED ME THAT HE DIDN'T DO BETTER.

RON HANSEN- WAS VOTE FOR HIM OR PROTEST VOTE AGAINST TRENT FRANKS? WE GOT OUR ANSWER ON THAT NOW.

BOB CHRISTIE- SURE HE WAS. THAT WAS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.


Ted Simons: LET'S TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. THAT WAS NOT REALLY MUCH OF A SURPRISE EITHER, WAS IT?

RON HANSEN- I THINK ANY SORT OF OUTSIDE LOOK, EXPECT HER TO DO WELL. SHE HAD A PRETTY TYPICAL STRUCTURE ABOUT HER. HER OPPONENT WAS UNABLE TO RACE. COMING FROM A FAIRLY LEFT WING OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY APPROACH AND IN A CONSERVATIVE DISTRICT, YOU EXPECT AGAIN THAT DOCTOR WOULD BE THE FAVORITE. DEMOCRATS HAVE NOT HAD ANY DEEP EXPERIENCE IN THAT COUNTRY IN A WHILE. JUMP TO SEE PROF OF CONCEPT. WE SAW IT.

Ted Simons: CHANCES OF DR. TIPERNINI IN THE GENERAL?

JEREMY DUDA- IN THAT DISTRICT I HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME SEEING THAT. WE SEE WHERE DEMOCRATS ARE MAKING GAINS THERE ON COUNT OF DONALD TRUMP UNPOPULARITY. IN CD-8I HAVE A HARD TIME SEEING IT.

BOB CHRISTIE- 77,000 REPUBLICAN IN THE REPORT CAST. 38,000 DEMOCRAT.


Ted Simons: ALL RIGHT.


JEREMY DUDA- THAT'S BY MOST IN AGES.


Ted Simons: WATCH FOR HIRAL TIPERNINI.

BOB CHRISTIE- ABSOLUTELY. SHE WAS A SMART CAMPAIGN.


Ted Simons: SPECIFICALLY CAMPAIGN FUNDS DIRECTED TOWARD HER STATE CAMPAIGN THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN MOVED OVER INTO I PACT FOR HER FEDERAL ELECTION. WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

BOB CHRISTIE- THEY WERE, DEBBIE LESKO HAD $50,000 IN STATE, SENATE CAMPAIGN. YOU CANNOT USE YOUR STATE FINANCING TO FUND A FEDERAL RACE. IF YOU DO, YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT BACK TO DONORS FIRST. MATTER OF MCCAIN GOLD IN 1990 --


Ted Simons: YES.

BOB CHRISTIE- LONG TIME AGO. SOLID THING. NOBODY DONE THIS BEFORE. WHAT DEBBIE LESKO DID, REPUBLICAN OPERATIVE, FORMER COMPLEA -- AGREE EMPLOYEE CREATED A SUPER PAC. SUPER PAC STARTED TO SPEND MONEY IN HERE. SHE IS OR LAWYERS SAY THIS IS COMPLETELY LEGAL. A LOT OF LAWYERS WHO THINK NOT SO MUCH.


Ted Simons: WHAT IS CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER AND WHY ARE THEY INVOLVED IN ALL THIS NOW?

RON HANSEN- THIS IS WASHINGTON-BASED GROUP THAT IS WATCHDOG ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE MATTERS. THEY WANT TO SEE STRICTER ENFORCEMENT ON RULES. THEY HAVE TAKEN NOTE OF WHAT HAPPENED MANY THIS RACE AS WELL. THEY SAID IT WAS FAIRLY NOVEL AS FAR AS THEY CAN TELL. THIS IS PERFECT STORM THAT YOU HAD NOT ONLY THE TEMPTATION TO JUMP FROM STATE MONEY AND -- FEDERAL RESOURCE. SUCH A COME PRESS TIME FRAME FOR THIS AND EXPOSER FOR SO LATE IN THE GAME, THIS BEGGED FOR SITUATION WHERE SOMEONE WOULD SAY, I WILL ASK FOR FORGIVENESS INSTEAD OF PERMISSION.


Ted Simons: HOW LIKELY WILL THIS HAPPEN?

JEREMY DUDA- F.C.C. MIGHT BE SPURRED TO ACTION. SIX PERSON BODY AND THREE DEMOCRATS AND THREE REPUBLICANS RECIPE FOR NOTHING TO GET DONE. THEY LOOK AT THIS. BASICALLY, WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS PRECEDENT TO BE SET. F.C.C. PERMITS THIS. ONLY IN $5,000 INCREMENTS. OPEN QUESTION WHETHER THEY CAN GIVE MONEY TO SUPER PAC WITH NONFEDERAL MONEY. DEBBIE LESKO CAMPAIGN, SHE DIDN'T KNOW THAT WOULD BE MEDIA. SO MANY QUESTIONS OUT HERE. POSSIBLY TELLING THING IS THIS SUPER PACK IS RUN BY TIM. DIDN'T SAY WHERE THAT MONEY CAME FROM. CONJURE IT UP IN OBSCURE LINE ITEM. LATER THAT NIGHT FILED THIS AMENDED REPORT. KEEP YOU ON THE LINE WHILE I SEE WHERE THIS MONEY CAME FROM. REASON WHY YOU DIDN'T WANT THIS TO BE SCENE. CAME FROM DEBBIE LESKO SENATE CAMPAIGN.

BOB CHRISTIE- CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER ATTORNEY WHO I TALKED TO SAID LISTEN. THIS IS FIRST TIME IN THE UNITED STATES AS FAR AS HE KNOWS THAT ANY STATE OR ANY CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE AS EVER USED THIS MANEUVER TO TAP THEIR STATE MONEY. THERE ARE SIX SEATS. TWO OF THEM ARE VACANT RIGHT NOW. THE LOGIC MAY BE FROM THEIR ATTORNEYS. DEBBIE LESKO'S ATTORNEYS SAY IT'S LEGAL. THEY MAY HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT IT AND SAY, IT'S GOING TO BE SIX MONTHS, A YEAR, IF THEY TAKE IT UP, WHAT CAN THEY DO TO ME. CAMPAIGN OBSERVERS I TALKED TO ABOUT THIS RACE, MEDIA GREAT STRIDES -- MADE GRADE STRIDES WITH $50,000. EVERYTHING REALLY HELPED.


Ted Simons: WE WILL SEE HOW THAT GOES AND HOW MUCH IN LEGS IT WAS. REPUBLICAN SENATORS APPROVED A CHANGE AS FAR AS INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING IS CONCERNED.

RON HANSEN- THEY WANT TO UNDERSCORE THE INDEPENDENT PART OF THIS. TWO DEMOCRATS, TWO REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENT IN IT. WHAT THEY HAVE CONSIDERED IS HAVING TWO INDEPENDENTS OR THREE INDEPENDENTS. SO THEY WANT TO BOLSTER THAT SEGMENT OF THIS COMMITTEE THAT WILL REDRAW THE LINES FOR CONGRESSIONAL STRICT.


Ted Simons: THEY WANT STEVE YARBER. WANTS THREE REPUBLICANS, THREE DEMOCRATS, THREE INDEPENDENTS BASICALLY SAYS THAT PROCESS NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. TRUST ME. HE SAID THE PROCESS NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. AND THE FACT IS. THIS HAS TO GO TO THE VOTERS, CORRECT?
JEREMY DUDA- THIS IS A VOTER APPROVED CHANGE FROM 20 YEARS AGO. A LOT OF FOLKS OVER THERE ON THE SIDE OF THE AISLE THAT DO THINK IT HAS TO BE CHANGED. DEMOCRATS ARE WIDELY VIEWED AS HAVING GAINED THE SYSTEM. WILL THIS CHANGE THAT? MEDIA CHANGES -- MADE CHANGES TO ORIGINAL PLAN.


Ted Simons: WE KNOW WHO PICKS THE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. WHO PICKS INDEPENDENTS?

BOB CHRISTIE- REPUBLICANS ARE PICKED BY REPUBLICAN LEADERS AND DEMOCRATS BY DEMOCRATS. COMILINGS ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS SEND AN INDEPENDENT NAME THOSE FOUR PEOPLE PICK THAT PERSON. WANTED TO ADD TWO INDEPENDENTS AND HAVE THEM BOTH CHOSEN BY LEGISLATOR.


Ted Simons: WHAT WOULD POSPLY HAPPEN THERE?

BOB CHRISTIE- HAVE TO GET A TIE. AND SECOND, THEY PICK PEOPLE THEY WANT. THREE NEW INDEPENDENTS TWO OF THEM PICKED BY LEGISLATOR LEADER. ONE INDEPENDENT WHO BECOMES A CHAIR. THIRD OR FIFTH OR NINTH PERSON AND EXPANDED CASE WOULD BE THE CHAIR. AND THAT PERSON CAN SWING EITHER WAY. THAT'S THE PROBLEM IS THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS NOTORIOUSLY POLITICAL THING ACROSS COUNTY. WHEN YOU LEAVE THE TO LEGISLATORS THESE GERRYMANDER DISTRICTS, FAIRLY CLOSELY STATE, THEY END TO OCCUPY WITH 2/3S OF CONGRESSIONAL SEATS. EXPAND IT ENOUGH WHERE PEOPLE ACTUALLY COME TO COMPROMISE. THE DEMOCRATS WHO OPPOSE THIS MOVE SAY, YOU GUYS HAVE GOT THE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE.


Ted Simons: AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE ALSO SAYING THAT, OKAY, PRESIDENT SAYS LEANED TOWARD LEFT. THE RESULTS WERE FAIR, EQUITABLE AND BALANCED TO WHICH REPUBLICANS SAY NO. DOES THIS PASS THE HOUSE? WILL THE VOTERS HAVE A CHANCE TO VOTE ON THIS?

RON HANSEN- I HAVE NOT BEEN PLUGGED IN TO LEGISLATIVE LEVEL ON THIS. THEY HAVE SO MANY KINKS TO WORK ON THIS.

BOB CHRISTIE- THIS IS MAJORITY VOTE. SEND IT TO BALLOT. SPEAKER IS ON BOARD. PRESIDENT IS ON BOARD. WHEN SPEAKER AND PRESIDENT TELL THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS TO VOTE FOR SOMETHING, NORMALLY THEY DO.

JEREMY DUDA- IT SEEMS LIKEY THATLL PASS. COSPONSORS OF THIS. HARD TIME SEEING HE SO GOES AGAINST THIS. WHETHER VOTERS UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE, IF THEY SEE A SUBSTANTIVE DIFFERENCE FIVE PERSON COMMISSION WHERE INDEPENDENT CHAIR IS -- OR NINE PERSON WHERE INDEPENDENT CHAIR IS KING MAKER. YOU REMOVE THE OVERSIGHT WHO THEY CAN PICK. YOU MOSTLY ELIMINATE THE -- COURT APPEAREN POINTS AND THE ROAD.


Ted Simons: THE DETAILS OF SHOOTER INVESTIGATION. 82 PAGE REPORT RELEASED. THERE IS MORE.

BOB CHRISTIE- AT END OF 82 PAGES, THERE TWO-PAGES THAT HAD TO DO WITH DON SHOOTER POINTS APPEAR MICHELLE AND SAYING LOOK AT WHAT SHE DID. THEY SPENT A PAGE AND A HALF LOOKING AT THAT. MICHELLE HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH HOUSE STAFFER. THEY EVENTUALLY BECAME ENGAGED. AS PART OF THIS INVESTIGATION THERE WAS DISCOVERY THAT THERE 10 MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOME -- INAPPROPRIATE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS BEING SENT AROUND. NOBODY -- REPORT DIDN'T SAY WHAT THEY WERE. IN EVERYBODY KIND OF ASSUMES THEY WERE PHOTOS, RIGHT? THOSE WITNESSES THAT WERE TALKED TO IN THAT SECTION OF THE TWO-PAGE REPORT WERE IDENTIFIED. KEPT ANONYMOUS AND BACKUP DOCUMENTS KEPT ANONYMOUS.


Ted Simons: WE HAD THEM ON THE PROGRAM THIS WEEK. HE SAID HE IS KEEPING THIS PRIVATE HE SAYS BECAUSE PROTECTING THE WITNESSES. AND THAT IS PARAMOUNT.

J.D MESNARD-PROTECT THE VICTIMS WHO CAME FORWARD. IF SOMEONE CAN SHOW ME HOW IT IS THAT I CAN RELEASE THAT INFORMATION WITHOUT HAVING A CHILLING EFFECT ON ANY OTHER VICTIMS COMING FORWARD, I'M ALL EARS.


Ted Simons: HE BASICALLY SAYS DOES NOT WANT TO BETRAY PEOPLE'S CONFIDENCES. MAKE SENSE TO YOU?

JEREMY DUDA- SOME OF IT WAS. WE SAW THE DAY OF THE DON SHOOTER EXPULSION. WE SAW JD GETTAGEGY STATED ABOUT THE ISSUE. SHOOTER WAS TRYING TO OUT OVERTHESE ALLEGATIONS. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WAS TO BE CONSIDERED.


Ted Simons: PUBLIC DESERVES THE RIGHT TO KNOW AND SPEAKER IN THE HOUSE, REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES ONES SAYING GET THIS INFORMATION OUT.

BOB CHRISTIE- THEY DO. THIS IS ANTHONY KERN FROM THE WEST VALLEY AND SEVERAL OTHER MALE AND FEMALE LAWMAKERS WHO SAY, AS LONG AS THERE IS ANY CLOUD HANGING OVER US. WE CANNOT GET OVER THIS. THERE MAY BE STUFF IN HERE THAT IS EXCULPATORY. AND THINGS THAT POINTS A FINGER AT A LAWMAKER THAT MIGHT HAVE VIOLATED A POLICY OR DID SOMETHING IMMORAL OR VIOLATING HOUSE RULES, WE NEED TO HAVE IT OUT THERE. YOU HEARD THE SPEAKERS.

JEREMY DUDA- AND IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT YOU CAN RELEASE THIS STUFF AND STILL KEEP SOME NAMES PRIVATE. THINGS YOU CAN REACT. THINGS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO REACT THAT MIGHT SHED ON LIGHT ON LAST TWO-PAGES. A LOT OF THINGS THAT WERE SLIGHTLY REFERENCED. SOME OF THAT COULD BE FILLED IN WITHOUT, I THINK, EXPOSING WHO IS MAKING THESE COMMENTS.


Ted Simons: AND THE IDEA THAT THEY CANNOT MOVE ON IF THERE ARE STILL DOUBTS AND STILL DOUBTS IF THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. DOES THAT HAVE ANY TRACTION?

RON HANSEN- I THINK IT DOES. CONCERN FROM THE START THAT THIS INVESTIGATION IS WHITE WATCHED OR SOLD SHORT IN TERMS OF THE SEVERITY OF ACCUSATIONS AND STUFF. AT THE INTEREST AT FRONT OF THIS TO SEE ONE MEMBER EXPELLED AND HAVE WHISPERS ABOUT ANOTHER MEMBER AND HOW SERIOUS THIS WAS TREATED. CONFIDENCE THAT THIS IS TIED OFF AND HANDLED FULLY AND APPROPRIATELY IS ESENTIAL THAT THEY CAN MOVE ON.


Ted Simons: SPEAKER GOING TO BUDGE ON THIS AT ALL?

BOB CHRISTIE- HE SURE DOESN'T SOUND LIKE IT? HE HAS MADE HIS DECISION. SOMEONE IS GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO COURT OR PUT A NEW SPEAKER TO CHANGE MIND, I THINK.


Ted Simons: SPEAKING OF BEHAVIOR AT LEGISLATOR, NEW CODE OF CONDUCT. THERE HAS TO BE ONE?

JEREMY DUDA- APPARENTLY. THAT SEEMS TO BE THE LESSON WE LEARNED. SOMETHING THAT ADDRESSED BY CURRENT CODE OF CONDUCT. RELATIONSHIPS THAT ELECTED -- THEY HAVE WITH STAFFERS. WE HAVE SEEN THIS WITH THE SHOOTER INVESTIGATION. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STEVE MONTENEGRO AND ALLEGATIONS OVER LAWMAKERS IN THE PAST YEARS. TIME MIGHT BE RIGHT TO PUT ANYTHING ON PAPER.


Ted Simons: ANY PUNITIVE OR DOCUMENT TO LOOK AT?

BOB CHRISTIE- THAT'S THE RUB. IF THEY COME UP WITH CODE OF CONDUCT, THEY HAVE TO VOTE TO PUT IT IN THE RULES AND THEY CAN COULD PUT THE SAME ETHICS RULES AS EVERY OTHER RULE IN THERE, YOU CAN BE EXPELLED, EXSENSUREED. THEY CAN PUT THAT IN THERE. ARE THEY GOING TO GET PUSH-BACK FROM LAWMAKERS, WAIT A MINUTE, I'M GOING TO BE A SMART ENOUGH PERSON. I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY FOOTSIE.


Ted Simons: THAT HAS HIGH SCHOOL NATURE TO IT. JEFF FLAKE MAKING NOISE ABOUT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

RON HANSEN- YEAH. GOTTEN ATTENTION WHAT HIS POLITICAL FUTURE MIGHT BE. HE'S BEING VAGUE AS TO ASPIRATIONS. IT'S ENTERTAINING IF NOTHING ELSE.


Ted Simons: ASKED ABOUT IT ON CNN.

JAKE TAPPER- IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU MIGHT RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020.

JEFF FLAKE-THAT'S NOT IN MY PLANS. I NEVER RULE ANYTHING OUT. BUT NO ITS NOT IN MY PLANS RIGHT NOW.


Ted Simons: WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

BOB CHRISTIE- SENATOR IS TESTING WATERS. HE IS GAINING A NATIONAL VOICE. HE'S GOING TO USE IT WHILE HE CAN. HE HAS BULLY PULL PET OF U.S. SENATE. I NEVER RULE ANYTHING OUT.


Ted Simons: HE DOESN'T EITHER. IS IT POSSIBLE HE COULD DO THIS THIS?

JEREMY DUDA- WE SAW A BEAUTIFUL NON-DENIAL DENIAL UP THERE. SEEMS LIKELY THAT SOMEONE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE IS GOING TO CHALLENGE DONALD TRUMP BRIEFLY. AND JEFF FLAKE IS ALMOST AS VOCAL AS ANY REPUBLICAN. CAN YOU GET ANY TRACTION IN THAT?

BOB CHRISTIE- MAY BE A MITT ROMNEY PLAN. I THINK MITT ROMNEY RUNNING FOR SENATE IN UTAH, THAT'S YOUR 2020 ELECTION.


Ted Simons: WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT.

RON HANSEN- I WOULD SAY THERE IS COMPETITION FOR ANTI TRUMP WING OR DONALD TRUMP PARTY TO THE EXTENT IT MATERIALIZES. JEFF FLAKE IS ONE OF FOLKS IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHERS WHO RAN PREVIOUSLY AGAINST HIM. WHO COULD TRY TO JUMP IN AND FILL THAT VOID? NOT SURE HOW MUCH THAT REPRESENTS WITHIN PRIMARY CIRCLES.


Ted Simons: HES BEEN SO VOCAL ABOUT IT. HE'S WRITTEN A BOOK. GOING TO DELIVER ANOTHER SPEECH IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. COUNTRY OVER PARTY SPEECH. PLAYING THIS FOR ALL IT'S WORTH.

RON HANSEN- NICE WAY TO SELL BOOKS IF NOTHING ELSE IN THE NEAR TERM THAT COULD FINANCE AMBITIONS. 2020 IS LONG WAY OFF. SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE THAT CAN JUMP IN THAT COULD END UP TRYING TO PLAY THAT ROLE.


Ted Simons: WE WILL STOP IT RIGHT THERE. THIS WILL BE FUN FOR NEXT -- HOW MANY YEARS NOW TO SEE WHAT JEFF FLAKE IS GOING TO DO.

COMING UP MONDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON, HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NEW TARIFFS ON STEEL AND ALUMINUM WILL AFFECT AMERICAN WORKERS AND CONSUMERS. AND FINANCIAL EXPERT ED SLOTT WILL SHARE HIS ADVICE ON RETIREMENT PLANNING. THAT'S MONDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON. TUESDAY, A NEW REPORT SUGGESTS THAT MANY STATE CRIMINAL STATUTES ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY. WEDNESDAY, SEE HOW SOME HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS LOBBY FOR AND THEN TRACK A BILL IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE. THURSDAY, THE STORY OF SWILLING'S DITCH AND ITS IMPACT ON PHOENIX HISTORY. AND FRIDAY, IT'S ANOTHER EDITION OF THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH MORE JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Jeremy Duda: Arizona Capitol Times
Bob Christie: Associated Press
Ronald Hansen: The Arizona Republic

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