Journalists’ Roundtable: Teacher walkout, Governor’s plan, Lesko’s win in CD8

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In a special edition of Journalists’ Roundtable, columnists react to the teacher walkout and Debbie Lesko’s win in Congressional District 8.

Teacher Walkout

Over 50,000 people came out to support educators on Thursday by marching from Chase Field to the capitol and holding a day-long rally. The walk out continued on Friday with a large rally in front of the capitol.

“There were red-shirted people coming from everywhere,” Laurie Roberts, metro columnist for The Arizona Republic, says. “I have never seen such an outpouring of people all aimed toward one thing. It must put an enormous amount of pressure on the legislature.”

Arizona teachers come out in the wake of walk outs in West Virginia and Oklahoma. Arizona Republic editor Phil Boas says the teachers here wouldn’t have gone out if it wasn’t for the success of teachers in West Virginia.

Governor Doug Ducey announced a three year plan to increase teacher salaries by 20 percent. There are questions surrounding the plan, including how it can be funded without an increase in taxes. Ducey claims that the funding will come from continued economic growth.

“I think they made a big mistake when they slapped back the governor when he made his proposal for 2020,” Boas says. “When you have a governor who has made that large of a move in your direction, that’s a pretty powerful ally to have in the state. No bill or no proposal is going to be perfect when it’s first announced. To slap it back, it almost made the point that the teachers wanted to solve the issue by getting a new governor.”

Legislature agrees to governor’s plan

The legislature has agreed to the governor’s plan, but details of the budget are yet to be released. Roberts says that the issue Ducey has to deal with is the lack of trust educators have in him. Even if he means what he proposes, she says, teachers don’t trust it because they have seen education funding cut to the bone under him.

Boas says trust is a two way street. The people don’t trust Ducey, and Ducey has a difficult time trusting those who are running #RedForEd. According to Boas, the governor’s mistake right now is not meeting with #RedForEd.

“There’s signals coming out from the leadership over there is that they’re supportive of his opponent,” Boas says. “I think he needed to bite the bullet and meet with them and find a common ground.”

Arizona Republic editor Abe Kwok says that ideally everyone wants the teachers to stand down by Tuesday. He says they should allow the process to take its course, see what develops then look at the options.

“Do they want to play hardball with this governor and just make it about the fall election?” Kwok says. “That’s where teachers and education supporters have a lot to lose.”

Ballot measure for funding education

A ballot measure to increase income taxes for those who make $250,000 or more has been issued and quickly shot down by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. It was asking for a near doubling in income tax for high earners.

“That is going to be tough on small business,” Roberts says. “It is going to be a rich versus poor thing. Do you really want to go down that road? You have the chance to blow it here and lose.”

 

Lesko wins congressional seat

Republican Debbie Lesko won the seat for Congressional District 8 by a surprisingly small five point lead against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni. Given the district’s usual reputation for being solidly Republican, it was expected that she would win by a larger margin.

“It points to the problem Republicans are going to have in the fall,” Boas says. “There’s a political gravity to the midterms, and the party out of power always makes gains. Add to that the least liked president in history, they’re definitely going to make gains.”

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON, THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE GETS OPININATED. COLUMNISTS FROM THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC TALK ABOUT THE TEACHER-WALKOUT, NOW IN ITS 2ND DAY. AND WE'LL DISCUSS THE RESULTS OF TUESDAY'S SPECIAL ELECTION IN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT-8. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE.

PROMO: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE SUPPORT OF ARIZONA HIGHWAYS MAGAZINE. AND BY THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF FRIENDS OF 8, MEMBERS OF YOUR ARIZONA STATION.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE. I'M TED SIMONS. TONIGHT, WE CHANGE THINGS UP A BIT AS WE HEAR FROM EDITORIAL STAFF MEMBERS AND COLUMNISTS FROM THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC. WE WELCOME, COLUMNIST LAURIE ROBERTS:, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR PHIL BOAS, AND EDITOR ABE KWOK. THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US. SHOULD BE FUN. LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS. WE'LL START WITH THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND SUPPORT STAFF FROM ACROSS ARIZONA ARE IN DAY TWO OF A WALKOUT FROM THE STATE'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS. YOUR GENERAL IMPRESSION OF WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS?

LAURIE ROBERTS: HOLY SMOKES, THERE ARE RED-SHIRTED PEOPLE COMING FROM EVERYWHERE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH AN OUT POURING OF PEOPLE AIMED TOWARD ONE THING, THE STATE CAPITOL AND WHAT OUR LEADERS ARE DOING THERE. IT HAS TO PUT AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PRESSURE ON THE LEGISLATURE. THEY DO BUSINESS, NOBODY WATCHES THEM OR PAYS ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY DO. NOW ALL EYES ARE ON THEM. HAD TO HAVE A BIG IMPACT?

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

PHIL BOAS: AGREE IT MADE AN IMPRESSION. 50,000 PEOPLE MARCHING ON THE CAPITOL IN RED. TWO DAYS AGO, A LINE OF 45-MILES BASELINE ROAD SUPPORTERS IN RED. I HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY THAT IS THE LARGEST PORTION OF THE BUDGET NOW, IT'S A LOT OF PAYCHECKS WE SIGN IN THE STATE. IT'S A HUGE ISSUE. THINK OF THIS, WE WOULDN'T BE HERE TODAY -- THE TEACHERS WOULDN'T BE HERE TODAY IF THE TEACHERS IN WEST VIRGINIA DIDN'T GO ON STRIKE AND WE DIDN'T SEE THE PRICE SIGNALS, THEY WERE ABLE TO RECEIVE A BIG RAISE. THAT GOT OUR TEACHERS GOING. IT'S BEEN INTRACTABLE FOR SO MANY YEARS.

TED SIMONS: IT DOESN'T SEEM INTRACTABLE ANYMORE, DOES IT?

ABE KWOK: NO, IT'S ALL ABOUT MAKING THE NUMBERS SEEM WORKABLE. THE CURIOUS THING IS WHAT HAS CHANGED BETWEEN THE LAST TIMES THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED A DEAL HAS BEEN STRUCK AND AN AGREEMENT REACHED, AND TODAY, THERE IS APPARENTLY AGREEMENT WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS.

LAURIE ROBERTS: DON'T YOU THINK THAT PART OF WHAT WAS FOUND IS A BALLOT INITIATIVE AND THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN AN INCOME TAX ON THE BALLOT? SEEMS THAT WAS ANNOUNCED AND BAM, A DEAL AT THE CAPITOL.

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

ABE KWOK: THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN REACTIVE, FOR SURE. WHAT STRUCK ME ABOUT THE BALLOT INITIATIVE, IT'S ABOUT INCOME TAX, TAXING THE RICH, WHICH FEEDS INTO THE NARRATIVE THAT THIS IS A PARTISAN ISSUE, THE LEFT TRYING TO BASICALLY BLOW UP DUCEY'S RE-ELECTION BID.

LAURIE ROBERTS: THEY BETTER BE CAREFUL ABOUT THAT, THOUGH BECAUSE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TWO YEARS AGO WAS CAUGHT UP SHORT WHEN THE MINIMUM WAGE THING PASSED, AND THEY WERE FURIOUS. YOU RECALL THE BUDGET BATTLE. I DON'T THINK THEY'LL BE CAUGHT A SECOND TIME. THEY'LL PULL OUT ALL THE GUNS TO OPPOSE THIS. WHERE WILL THAT LEAVE TEACHERS IF IT DOESN'T PASS.?

TED SIMONS: JUST IN GENERAL, THE STRIKE, THE WALKOUT, WAS IT A WISE MOVE?

PHIL BOAS: I DON'T THINK WE KNOW YET. IT'S TOO EARLY TO KNOW. IT GOT FOCUS ON THEIR ISSUE. I THINK THEY MADE A MISTAKE WHEN THEY SLAPPED BACK THE GOVERNOR, HIS 20-20 PAY RAISE. WHEN YOU HAVE A GOVERNOR THAT MADE THAT LARGE OF A MOVE IN YOUR DIRECTION, THAT'S A POWERFUL ALLY TO HAVE IN THIS STATE, AND WHEN HE IS A REPUBLICAN, AND THAT'S THE RULING PARTY IN THE LEGISLATURE, THAT'S POWERFUL. NO BILL OR PROPOSAL IS GOING TO BE PERFECT WHEN IT'S FIRST ANNOUNCED. YOU HAVE TO GET INTO THE LEGISLATURE AND WORK IT TO BRING IT BACK TO YOUR LIKING, BUT TO SLAP IT BACK, IT ALMOST MADE THE POINT THAT THE TEACHERS WANT TO SOLVE THE ISSUE BY GETTING A NEW GOVERNOR.

TED SIMONS: MORE NEW GOVERNOR THAN THE ACT ITSELF?

PHIL BOAS: IT LOOKS LIKE THAT. YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT MORE TIME. DUCEY HAS MADE MISTAKES AS WELL, TALKING ABOUT THEM AS A POLITICAL CIRCUS, IT MAY BE TRUE, BUT IT WAS A FOOLISH THING TO SAY BECAUSE IT HANDED THEM A SWORD. ONE OF THE REASONS WE SAW SO MUCH MOVEMENT TODAY ON THE GOVERNOR'S PART, WHEN THE LEFT IS GOING WITH THE BALLOT INITIATIVE ESSENTIALLY CLASS WARFARE, TAXING THE RICH, IT'S GOING TO CREATE THE SENSE, ESPECIALLY LARGE DONORS AND LARGE SUPPORTERS OF DUCEY, IT WILL CREATE A SENSE THAT THINGS ARE NOT IN CONTROL OR HE MAY NOT BE IN CONTROL OF EVENTS.

TED SIMONS: IT SOUNDS AS THOUGH THE LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCING THAT A DEAL HAS BEEN REACHED REGARDING HIS 20-20 PLAN. IT SOUNDS AS IF, AS LAURIE MENTIONED, THE IDEA OF A BALLOT INITIATIVE IS MOVED, RIGHT THERE, WE HAVE A DEAL. THEY ARE WORKING THROUGH THE WEEKEND WITH DETAILS. SOUNDS VAGUE, BUT THE LEGISLATURE WAS SUPPOSED TO ADJOURN UNTIL MONDAY. SOUNDS LIKE WORK WAS BEING DONE.

ABE KWOK: THAT STRIKES ME ODD THAT THE IDEA IS TO REVOLVE THINGS QUICKLY SO YOU DON'T HAVE TEACHERS STRIKING FOR FOURTH OR FIFTH OR SIXTH DAY, BUT YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IF THEY STRUCK A DEAL, THERE WOULD BE ASEMBLANCE OF A FRAMEWORK OF WHAT THE DETAILS ARE. THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET THE MESSAGING CORRECT. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.

LAURIE ROBERTS: EITHER THAT, OR IT'S THE SAME DEAL AND THEY HAVE STRONG ARMED SUPPORT TO COME ONBOARD FOR THE THING. I DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING DIFFERENT TO SUGGEST IT'S A WHOLESALE NEW PLAN OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. I THINK THE PROBLEM THEY HAVE THAT DUCEY HAS RIGHT NOW, AND IT'S NOT ALL OF HIS MAKING, IS A TRUST ISSUE. THE EDUCATORS DO NOT TRUST THAT EVEN IF HE MEANS WHAT HE SAYS, 20% BY 20-20 AND ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR OTHER FUNDING THEY NEED, WHICH I'M NOT SURE IS IN THERE, THEY DON'T TRUST IT WILL BE THERE IN A COUPLE OF YEARS. THEY HAVE SEEN EDUCATION BUDGETS CUT TO THE BONE. THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD WE ARE TOO POOR TO DO IT, BUT WE CAN TAX CUT HERE, INCREASE VOUCHERS, EVERYONE GETS A PIECE OF THE PIE BUT EDUCATION. I WAS TALKING TO A TEACHER TODAY. THE MOVEMENT, WE NEED A COUPLE OF PEOPLE TO START IT, BUT WE HAVE BEEN ANGRY FOR A LONG TIME. I THINK THAT PRECEDES DUCEY.

TED SIMONS: THERE IS A TRUST ISSUE HERE, ISNT THERE PHIL? THE 5% IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS THAT DEPENDS ON LEGISLATURES, GOVERNORS. IT'S NOT WHAT THE TEACHERS WANT WHICH IS DEDICATED FUNDING.

PHIL BOAS: AGAIN, YOU THINK ABOUT THAT. THAT IS A LARGE INCREASE, YOU KNOW? BASICALLY 19% OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE AN EASY THING TO DO. HOWEVER YOU DO IT, IT'S A CHALLENGE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. HE NEEDED TO BITE THE BULLET AND IMMEDIATE WITH THEM TO FIND COMMON GROUND. IF WE END UP WITH THE GOVERNOR'S PLAN, HE GETS THE VOTE 2020, WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS GOING TO BE? THEY'LL STILL BE ANGRY. WE'LL HAVE DISCORD AND THINGS LIKE THAT. THIS ISN'T GOING TO BE OVER.

ABE KWOK: THIS IS NOT JUST THE PART OF THE GOVERNOR, BUT RED FOR ED IN PARTICULAR, TWO LEADERS. THE OPINION PIECE THAT REPRESENTATIVE MARIA SIMS WROTE, WHICH WAS BASCIALLY AN ATTEMPTED TAKEDOWN OF CORE VALUE IS AND HARRIS AS SOCIALIST ACTIVISTS, TOO RED FOR RED FOR EDUCATION.

LAURIE ROBERTS: SOCIALISTS, BUT THEY ARE TWO PEOPLE. IF YOU WENT TO THE CROWD THE OTHER DAY, THEY ARE NOT SOCIALISTS. THEY ARE PEOPLE THAT CARE DEEPLY ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION AND KIDS SEEING THIS AS THEIR OPPORTUNITY. BOTH SIDES HAVE A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO BLOW IT AND BOTH SIDES HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE THE BALL FORWARD REMEMBERING THE 850,000 STUDENTS OUT OF SCHOOL. THE STUDENTS ARE LIKE, YIPPEE, BUT NOT SO MUCH THE PARENTS. THEY NEED TO PUT ASIDE THEIR POLITICAL RESERVATIONS, AND SEE IF WE CAN FIX THE PROP. GET THE PERSONALITIES OUT OF IT.

PHIL BOAS: IT'S HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE OF A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION. THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO COMPLICATED AND HARD TO WORK OUT. IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO SET ASIDE THE POLITICS. I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE CHARACTER OF THE PROTESTERS. I WAS SPEAKING TO SOMETHING I NOTICED TALKING TO MY COLLEAGUES. I TALKED TO SO MANY TEACHERS THAT TOLD ME THE SAME THING. THEY FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THE STRIKE, LETTING THEIR PARENTS AND STUDENTS DOWN, BUT THEY FEEL NEED TO DO THAT. THAT SPEAKS SO WELL OF THEM. WE HAD A FRIEND THAT CAME BY AND SAID THE SAME THING.

TED SIMONS: WILL THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY, AND WE ARE HEARING LIVE HERE AT 5:30, AND WE'LL PLAY IT LATER ON. WE ARE HEARING THAT THE WALKOUT CONTINUES MONDAY AND ENERGY FROM RED FOR ED WILL GO TO THE BALLOT INITIATIVE WE'LL TALK ABOUT IN A SECOND. IF THE WALK OUT WOULD CONTINUE ANOTHER WEEK OR SO, WILL PEOPLE STILL FEEL THAT WAY? RUMBLING IN THE RANKS?

PHIL BOAS: I THINK IT WILL GET STALE QUICKLY. YOU CAN'T PREDICT ANYTHING. JUST AN EXAMPLE. DOUG DUCEY HAD A PROPOSAL TO PUT A 1% RAISE IN HIS BUDGET, OVERNIGHT, AND 19% MORE. WE COULD SEE CHANGES LIKE THAT IN AN INSTANT BECAUSE OF THE HIGH-CRISIS MOMENT.

TED SIMONS: OBVIOUSLY, THE TEACHERS ARE CRITICAL OF THE GOVERNOR IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. I CAN ALSO SAY HE SAW A PROBLEM, HEARD THE CONSTITUENTS AND CHANGED. IT MAY HAVE SOUNDED ODD, BUT HE CHANGED.

ABE KWOK: THERE IS AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT THE LEFT OR ELEMENTS OF THE LEFT HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY HARD ON DUCEY, NEVER MIND THAT THE TAX CUTS PEOPLE GRIPE ABOUT WERE ENACTED BEFORE HE BECAME GOVERNOR. HE WAS THE ARCHITECT OF PROP 1-2-3 ENDING THE LAWSUIT ON INFLATION ADJUSTED FUNDING, BUT WITHOUT HIS COOPERATION AND SAY SO, THE EXTENSION OF 301 MONEY THAT TOOK PLACE JUST A MONTH AGO, WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THIS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE. THAT TOOK AWAY FROM THE FISCAL CLIFF. THE LEFT HEARING ELEMENTS OF THE LEFT, THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. IT WASN'T VOTER PROTECTED, ETC., ETC. YOU CAN ONLY HAMMER THE GUY FOR SO MUCH. HE OWNS PART OF THIS PROBLEM, BUT NOT ALL OF IT. HE'S BEEN TRYING TO SOLVE IT.

TED SIMONS: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BALLOT MEASURE ANNOUNCED TODAY FOR THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS, PARENTS AND TEACHERS AND ADVOCATES AS WELL, THIS IS AN INCREASE IN THE PERSONAL -- NOT A SALES TAX INCREASE -- WE ARE TALKING PERSONAL INCOME TAX.

LAURIE ROBERTS: INCOME TAX OF THOSE MAKING $250,000 MORE, MORE, NEARLY A DOUBLING OF THOSE MAKING $250,000 BY THE TIME YOU GET TO 400 OR $500,000, THAT IS A DOUBLING OF RATE. THAT IS GOING TO DRIVE THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CRAZY. TO BE FAIR, THAT'S TOUGH ON SMALL BUSINESS. TEACHERS NEED TO ASK THEMSELVES, THIS IS A RISK. YOU DON'T WANT A SALES TAX. YOU ARE GOING TO GO FOR AN INCOME TAX INCREASE THAT SAYS IT'S A RICH V. POOR THING AT THAT POINT. DO YOU WANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD? RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIND A DEDICATED FUNDING SOURCE. YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BLOW IT HERE AND LOSE EVERYTHING. IF YOU THINK THAT WILL PASS ON THE BALLOT, I THINK YOU ARE WRONG.

PHIL BOAS: THE ARIZONA CHAMBER HAS ALREADY CONDEMNED THIS. THEY DIDN'T WASTE TIME. THIS MIGHT BE THE LEFT AWAKENING THE SLEEPING GIANT ON THE OTHER SIDE. THIS IS CLASS WARFARE, HIGH TAXATION, AND THE STATE IS STILL RED AS IN REPUBLICAN, SO THEY ARE GOING TO GET A LESSON, I THINK.

TED SIMONS: RIGHT NOW 4.5% IF THE HOUSEHOLD MAKES $500,000, 8%. IF IT'S A MILLION DOLLARS, JUMPING TO 9%. THAT'S A HEFTY INCREASE THERE. FIRST OF ALL, DO THEY HAVE TIME TO GET THE SIGNATURES TO GET THIS ON THE BALLOT? I GUESS YOU CAN WALK DOWN TO THE NEXT RALLY AND.

ABE KWOK: SAVE OUR SCHOOLS DID AN IMPRESSIVE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT TO PUT PAY CIRCULATORS TO GET THE EMPOWERMENT MEASURE ON THE BALLOT, MAYBE NOT IN TWO MONTH'S TIME, BUT IT IS A DEMONSTRATION ESPECIALLY IN THE CONTEXT OF 50,000 EDUCATORS AND SUPPORTERS MARCHING TO THE CAPITOL. IT SUGGESTS THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO GATHER THOSE SIGNATURES QUICKLY.

TED SIMONS: BETTER BE QUICKLY. YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF MONTHS, DON'T YOU?

LAURIE ROBERTS: I WONDER IF THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO COUNTER WHAT IS TO COME. YOU KNOW THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WILL KICK IN BIG MONEY TO KILL THIS THING. THEY ARE STILL SMARTING FROM THE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES. I DON'T SEE IT HAPPENING. YOU MAY THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT POLITICALLY REALISTIC, DOABLE? IF NOT, DO WE WANT TO RISK IT ALL AND WIND UP WITH NOTHING?

TED SIMONS: IF THEY DON'T RISK IT ON THIS, THEY'LL WIND UP WITH THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL. THEY SAID THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. THE ART OF THE POLITICALLY POSSIBLE. DO THEY THINK THE RED FOR ED MOVEMENT UNDERSTANDS THAT?

PHIL BOAS: ONCE THAT PASSES, ONCE THE GOVERNOR POCKETS THAT, THE RESPONSE TO THEM IS YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO TAKE YES FOR AN ANSWER. LOOK AT THE ARIZONANS COMING OUT OF A RECESSION, HAVE SEEN THEIR OWN PAYCHECKS FROZEN, THEIR 401KS FROZEN, AND THIS 20% RAISE IS NOT ENOUGH.

LAURIE ROBERTS: I THINK THE IDEA OF PUTTING OUT TWO BUDGETS IS THE WAY TO GO. ONE BUDGET HELPS TO DO THIS WAY. PUT OUT ANOTHER ONE WITH ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS AND REFER IT TO THE BALLOT WITH A SALES TAX INCREASE. DEMOCRATS SAY THEY ARE NOT FOR THAT, BUT WHAT DEMOCRAT WILL VOTE AGAINST THAT WHEN IT MEANS A VOTE FOR TEACHERS. THESE ARE OUR KIDS, OUR SCHOOLS, DO WE WANT TO INVEST IN THEM OR NOT? THAT'S THE EASIEST PATH TO GETTING A BIG TICKET MONEY. THEY SAY THEY NEED A BILLION DOLLARS IN SCHOOLS. THEY ARE RIGHT. THE SCHOOLS ARE SHORTED A BILLION DOLLARS FROM PRE-RECESSION. THIS CORPORATE TAX RAISE RAISES $690 MILLION AND FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN. THIS IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

TED SIMONS: IF YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN, IF YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, DO YOU WANT THAT ON THE BALLOT? DO YOU WANT PEOPLE SAYING, YES, BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE HAVEN'T FUNDED EDUCATION?

LAURIE ROBERTS: HE CAN SAY I'M A LEADER. I'M ADAPTING TO DIFFERENT TIMES.

TED SIMONS: WOULD HE CAMPAIGN FOR IT?

LAURIE ROBERTS: NO, BUT MAYBE NOT AGAINST IT.

ABE KWOK: IDEALLY WHAT YOU WANT COME MONDAY OR TUESDAY, TEACHERS STAND DOWN, LET THE PROCESS TAKE ITS COURSE, SEE WHAT DEVELOPS, SEE IF IT'S A DEAL THAT APPLIES FIRST YEAR. IN THE END, THEY HAVE OPTIONS TO PLAY. THEY HAVE INFRASTRUCTURE, BACKING TO BRING ABOUT A BALLOT INITIATIVE, WHETHER THAT BE ONE ON INCOME TAXES OR A STRAIGHT ONE CENT SALES INCREASE TO BRING IT TO THE VOTERS AT ANOTHER TIME? DO THEY WANT TO PLAY HARDBALL AND MAKE THIS ABOUT THE FALL ELECTION? TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS HAVE A LOT TO LOSE.

TED SIMONS: DO REPUBLICANS TAKE AIR OUT OF THE BALLOON IF THEY REFER TO THE BALLOT?

PHIL BOAS: YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT. A REFERRAL TO THE BALLOT IS FOR BIG DOLLARS FOR EDUCATION WILL BRING OUT DEMOCRATS. I THINK REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS WILL BE AVERS TO DOING THAT. WHAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THE ISSUE, IF YOU TALK TO LIBERALS AND YOU TALK TO CONSERVATIVES, THERE IS BROAD AGREEMENT OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE STATE, THAT EDUCATION IS BADLY UNDERFUNDED, OUR TEACHERS ARE BADLY UNDERPAID, AND WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT, AND WE HAVE NOT COME UP WITH A CREATIVE WAY TO DO THAT, THAT MAKES EVERYBODY HAPPY. WHY HAVEN'T WE DONE THAT?

LAURIE ROBERTS: LET'S NOT FORGET HISTORY HERE, THE SYSTEMIC TAX CUTS THAT DRAINED THE STATE TREASURY. THE 2011 CUTS ALONE, PRE-DUCEY PHASED IN NOW, 2015 CORPORATE INCOME TAXES BROUGHT IN $506 MILLION. THIS YEAR, PROJECTED TO BRING IN $250,000 -- SORRY, MILLION. $400 MILLION DECREASE IN THAT FUND. THAT WOULD GIVE SOME GOOD RAISES.

PHIL BOAS: BUT IT'S A FOUNDATIONAL POLITICAL ARGUMENT ABOUT THE BALANCE IN TAXES. YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TAXES, YOU CREATE A DRAG ON AN ECONOMY AND AN ECONOMY COMING OUT OF A RECESSION CAN'T GET GOING.

LAURIE ROBERTS: HOW HAS THAT WORKED OUT? WE HAVE LOST $400 MILLION IN TERMS OF TAX REVENUE?

PHIL BOAS: BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN GONE THROUGH TOUGH TIMES, AND IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN DEEPER AND WORSE IF WE HADN'T LIFTED THE BURDEN OFF OF BUSINESSES. IT'S NOT A ZERO SUM GAME ON TAXATION, AND THE LEFT TREATS IT AS IT IS.

TED SIMONS: BEFORE WE GO. WE HAD A SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION THIS WEEK. DEBBIE LESKO WON DISTRICT 8 AGAINST HIRAL TIPIRNENI. THE RESULTS WERE CLOSER THEN EXPECTED. WHAT HAPPENED HERE?

ABE KWOK: HIRAL TIPIRNENI IS A GOOD CANDIDATE. SHE'S ARTICULATE. I THINK SHE HAD, AND HER MESSAGE RESONATED. THE IDEA THAT I'M GOING TO PROTECT MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FROM BEING CUT, IT PROBABLY RESONATED WITH A LOT OF -- IF NOTHING ELSE, INDEPENDENT VOTERS WHO VOTED HER TICKET IN A MAJOR WAY IN TERMS OF 17 POINT ADVANTAGE REPUBLICAN REGISTRATION ADVANTAGE TO ONLY A 5.6 LOSS.

TED SIMONS: YOU COULD SAY THIS IS A ROUGH WEEK FOR REPUBLICANS IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. A WIN IS A WIN IS A WIN, BUT IT'S A SMALL W -WIN, IS IT NOT?

PHIL BOAS: IT POINTS TO THE PROBLEM REPUBLICANS WILL HAVE IN THE FALL. THERE IS A GRAVITY IN THE MID TERMS. THE PARTY OUT OF POWER ALWAYS MAKES GAINS AND ONE OF THE LEAST LIKED PRESIDENTS IN HISTORY, MAKES IT WORSE. I WANTED TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT THE ELECTION, SOMETHING INTERESTING TO ME, YOU HAD A CANDIDATE LIKE TIPIRNENI WHO IS EAST INDIAN, IN THE VALLEY, FILLING HALLS IN SUN CITY WITH ELDERLY VOTERS OUT RAISING DEBBIE LESKO, WAS A TREMENDOUS CANDIDATE. I THINK WE OUGHT TO START ASKING ABOUT OUR CONCEPTION OF THE WEST VALLEY. DO WE SEE THE WEST VALLEY CORRECTLY? THERE IS A VIEW OF THE WEST VALLEY THAT IT'S VERY RIGHT-WING, VERY BACKWARDS, AND I THINK THAT'S MISPLACED AND HAS BEEN FOR A LONG TIME.

TED SIMONS: SEE CHANGE IN THE WEST VALLEY?

LAURIE ROBERTS: I DON'T KNOW THAT THEY ARE BACKWARD, JUST ELDERLY. THE AVERAGE VOTER IS 110. OLDER, WHITE, RETIRED, AND THEY VOTE, AND THEY VOTE, AND THEY VOTE. THIS TIME YOU SAW DIFFERENT PEOPLE COMING OUT TO VOTE ADDITIONALLY. AS ABE SAID, YOU SAW INDEPENDENTS WHO MAYBE IN THE PAST SAW REPUBLICANS LEANING THE OTHER WAY.

PHIL BOAS: THE QUESTION IS, WHEN ROUND TWO COMES ABOUT, WHAT THE NUMBERS LOOK LIKE. THE TURNOUT IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT AND THE MAKE UP OF THE TURNOUT IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT.

TED SIMONS: ALRIGHT WE HAVE TO STOP IT RIGHT THERE. GOOD STUFF. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. WE APPRECIATE IT. COMING UP MONDAY, HOUSING COSTS IN THE PHOENIX AREA, BOUNCING BACK TO PRERECESSION LEVELS, AND WE GO TO THE HERBERGER ARTIST COMPETITION. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Laurie Roberts: Metro Columnist, The Arizona Republic
Phil Boas: Editor, The Arizona Republic
Abe Kwok: Editor, The Arizona Republic

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