Journalists’ Roundtable: Tucson Unified School District, Ballot Harvesting, Diamondbacks

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Local journalists discuss a decision by the Tucson Unified School District’s Superintendent regarding the money designated for teachers, ballot harvesting and the new coming to terms between Maricopa County and the Diamondbacks.

No 9% pay hike for Tucson teachers

The superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District, the largest school district in the state, said that nine percent isn’t going to happen for teachers because the money is going to be spread around.

“The superintendent’s budget… reflects that the money will be spread out to support staff as well,” Jeremy Duda with the Arizona Capitol Times says.

The Associated Press’ Bob Christie points out that each school district won’t be receiving the same amount of funding. Districts that pay their teachers higher than the state average will receive less money, and districts below average will receive more money.

Ballot harvesting upheld

Ballot harvesting has been an effective tool for Democrats in the state, Duda says. Arizona has an early voting system, and activist groups understand how to take advantage of that. Their strategy is to encourage voters to sign up for the permanent early voting ballot, then offer to drop off the ballots for them, which helped get more votes in.

“The judge said we give the legislatures broad ability to manage their elections…,” Christie says. “A few people might lose their ability to vote, but there’s no bad intent. It’s constitutional, it’s not racially motivated, so it’s legal. This is going to the 9th Circuit. This is going to the Supreme Court. This is not over.”

Mike Sunnucks with Phoenix Business Journal says the problem is that Republicans can’t prove ballot fraud, and the Democrats can’t prove the anti-ballot fraud is hurting them.

Maricopa County vs. Diamondbacks

“The Dbacks take over management of Chase Field, they get to handle all the booking, all the repairs that they wanted,” Sunnucks says. “The deal also gives them the ability to start looking for a new ballpark in Maricopa County with no penalty.”

Christie says that this is the worst PR move the Diamondbacks could’ve made, as Chase Field is still relatively new.

Where the funding for a theoretical new stadium would come from is an interesting question, Duda says. “People really went out on a limb in the ’90s for what was then Bank One Ballpark… I think the appetite, not just here but nationwide, is moving away from publicly-funded stadiums, especially when teams make these threats.”

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE, A MAJOR SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS ITS TEACHERS WILL NOT BE GETTING A 9% RAISE AS PROMOTED BY THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE, AND THE LONG-RUNNING LEGAL FIGHT BETWEEN MARICOPA COUNTY AND THE DIAMONDBACKS IS OVER. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON THE "JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE."

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TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON'S" JOURNALIST'S ROUND TABLE." I'M TED SIMONS. JOINING US TONIGHT, JEREMY DUDA OF THE "ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES," BOB CHRISTIE OF THE "ASSOCIATED PRESS," AND MIKE SUNNUCKS OF THE "PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL." GOVERNER DOUG DUCEY'S PLEDGE TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY BY 9% THIS YEAR AND 20% BY 20-20, HITS A SNAG IN TUCSON. THAT'S BECAUSE -- THE DISTRICT SAYS WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO IT.

JEREMY DUDA: GOVERNOR DUCEY SAID 20% BY 2020, BUT ALL THROUGH THE DEBATE WE KEPT HEARING IT'S NOT THE LEGISLATURE THAT SETS THE SALARIES. IT'S THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. THIS WEEK WE GOT A LESSON IN THAT WHEN THE LARGEST DISTRICT SAID, 9% FOR TEACHERS, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. IT'S GOING TO BE SPREAD AROUND. BUS DRIVERS, SUPPORT STAFF, COUNSELORS, EVERYONE, A LOT OF FOLKS ARE NOT GETTING RAISES UNDER THE PLAN. SUPERINTENDENT TRUJILLO BELIEVES THEY SHOULD. THEY'LL SPREAD THE MONEY OUT, $11 MILLION FOR FY-19. THEY'LL SPREAD IT OUT SO EVERYONE GETS RAISES.

TED SIMONS: CALLS THEM ALL EDUCATORS.

BOB CHRISTIE: AND THERE IS AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE FOR THAT. ONE OF THEIR FIVE DEMANDS, COMPETITIVE TEACHER PAY, AND SUPPORT STAFF RAISES. NO NEW TAXES UNTIL WE ARE AT THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. ALL THEY GOT WAS THE GOVERNOR'S PAY RAISE PLAN FOR TEACHERS. IT'S NOT UNEXPECTED THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT WOULD SAY THIS IS WHAT OUR TEACHERS WANT. WE HAVE NOT HAD BLOW BECK YET. WE'LL WATCH CAREFULLY. THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES AS WELL. IT IS BASED ON THE AVERAGE TEACHER PAY IN THE STATE, $49,000 ACCORDING TO THE AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT WHICH GOT A LAUGH FROM THE TEACHERS IN THE GALLERY. THEY BELIEVE THE NUMBER IS INFLATED. SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH A HIGHER AVERAGE, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GET THAT MONEY. THEY'LL GET A LOWER PERCENTAGE. THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO GIVE THEIR TEACHERS 9%. TEACHERS LIKE YUMA, THEY ARE LOW. THEY'LL GET A LARGER PERCENT, BASED ON FUNDING, THEY'LL GIVE 13% OR 14% TO TEACHERS.

TED SIMONS: IS THIS WHAT THEY HAD IN MIND TO INCLUDE JANITORS AND SECRETARIES AND TEACHERS DON'T GET THE 9% RAISE?

I THINK IT WAS FOCUSED ON TEACHERS. WHO DO THEY -- RED FOR ED PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THIS, WHO DO THEY LAY THE BLAME ON? THE LEGISLATOR AND DUCEY ARE AN EAGER TARGET. FOLKS CAN DO A GOOD JOB OF NOT SUPPORTING THEM FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING. CAN THEY BE EFFECTIVE IF THEY ARE MAD AT SCHOOL DISTRICTS BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY DIVVY THIS UP? THAT'S CHALLENGING, GALVANIZING SUPPORT FOR THE FOLKS AT THE CAPITOL.

TED SIMONS: WE HEARD FROM LAWMAKERS THROUGHOUT THE SESSION, REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS SAYING, WE CAN'T GUARANTEE TEACHERS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY. AS YOU MENTIONED, MONEY HAS TO GO THROUGH THE DISTRICT IN THE FIRST PLACE. WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT PAYMENT PLANS FOR STATE TEACHERS THAT THE LEGISLATURE CONTROLLED? I WOULDN'T THEY WERE HAPPY WITH THAT EITHER.

JEREMY DUDA: IT USED TO BE THAT WAY DECADES AGO. I THINK IT WAS 1980 THAT THEY STARTED GETTING THE BASE FUNDING FORMULA THAT WE HAVE NOW WHERE THE DISTRICTS GOT LATITUDE. I DON'T THINK THEY WANT TO BE MICROMANAGING. WE HEARD IT THROUGHOUT THE SESSION, STRIKING TEACHERS AT THE CAPITOL, REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS SAYING WE SHOULDN'T BE DECIDING TEACHER PAY. IT'S NOT OUR PLACE. I THINK THERE IS I TOLD YOU SO NOW.

TED SIMONS: DOES THIS FRACTURE THE MOVEMENT SOME PAYING MORE THAN OTHERS?

BOB CHRISTIE: I WOULDN'T THINK SO. THE PEOPLE SEEM SOLID. THERE WILL BE MOMENTS OF CONCERN. YOU WILL SEE SCHOOL BOARDS -- THERE WILL BE PRESSURE TO GIVE US MUCH AS THEY CAN TO TEACHERS. IT'S CLEAR THAT THE SCHOOLS HAVE A LOT OF OTHER NEEDS TOO. EVEN THE HUNDRED MEDICALS THE GOVERNOR GAVE IN ASSISTANCE, THAT'S NOT ENOUGH. THERE IS LEEWAY, BUT WE HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THE CHALLENGE FOR THE RED FOR ED FOLKS, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE YOUNG ONES? THEY GET PAID LITTLE. THEY LEAVE THE PROFESSION OR THE STATE. THEY DON'T WANT THE LEGISLATURE TELLING THEM WHAT TO TEACH, BANNING ETHNIC STUDIES, COLLEAGUES, SCIENCE. DO THEY WANT THEM TELLING PEOPLE HOW MUCH THEY GET PAID? POLITICALLY, THEY ARE TOGETHER, BOB MENTIONED THE DISTRICTS OUT THERE, DISTRICTS THAT FOLKS GET PAID LITTLE COMPARED TO THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN PHOENIX, TUCSON. HOW ARE THEY MADE WHOLE OUT OF THIS.

TED SIMONS: LAST QUESTION ON THIS POINT, THE OPTICS OF THE SITUATION, HOW DOES THAT IMPACT THE INITIATIVE NOW UNDER WAY TO INCREASE THE INCOME TAX ON HIGH WAGE EARNERS FOR EDUCATION?

JEREMY DUDA: WHAT IS PAINFULLY CLEAR, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO GO AROUND. A BILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING, THE INITIATIVE WOULDN'T PROVIDE, $650 MILLION, $700 MILLION, SOMETHING LIKE THAT. THEY CAN POINT AND SAY THE NEEDS ARE SO MUCH GREATER THAN GOVERNOR DUCEY IS PROVIDING FOR. IF YOU TAKE CARE OF OTHER NEEDS, THERE'S NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH MONEY FOR THAT. WE NEED TO RAISE TAXES ON THE RICH.

TED SIMONS: I WONDER HOW MUCH THE POPULOUS CAN HEAR, WE NEED TO SPEND MORE ON EDUCATION. YOU HAVE THIS BUDGET AND THE PROMISED 20%. HOW FAR DOES IT GO?

BOB CHRISTIE: I THINK IT'S CHEER THAT THE PUBLIC UNDERSTANDS, AND CLEAR FROM THE GOVERNOR'S ACTIONS. WHEN A GOVERNOR TAKES ACTION LIKE THAT, THERE IS A POLL OR SOMETHING. THE SCHOOL BUSSES ARE BROKEN DOWN. THE TEACHERS ARE LEAVING THE STATE. THE AIR CONDITIONERS ARE BROKEN. THERE ARE A LOT MORE NEEDS FOR EDUCATION.

TED SIMONS: YOU AGREE?

JEREMY DUDA: THE GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICANS, I THINK THAT'S THE DRUM BEAT THEY'LL HIT, LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE DO THAT, RAISES, PROP 1-2-3 RENEWED. HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH. WHAT THEY'LL ALWAYS SAY, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SPEND, IT'S NEVER ENOUGH FOR SOME PEOPLE, BUT WHAT WILL IT CARRY THIS YEAR.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: 1-2-3 BARELY PASSED. ALL OF THE BOND MEASURES HAVE DONE WELL, CYCLES WHERE THEY HAVEN'T. THERE IS A LOT OF ENERGY BEHIND IT. THE ARGUMENT IS, HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? ARE YOU COMING BACK TO US WITH MORE TAX INCREASES? WE TALK ABOUT IF THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY BEHIND THESE THINGS, IT'S A GOOD CHANCE. IF THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY BEHIND IT, IT MAKES IT TOUGHER. VOTERS APPROVED THE MINIMUM WAGE. THAT WASN'T JUST PROGRESSIVES. VOTERS COULD BE POPULOUS. PEOPLE ARE MAKING MONEY. YOU CAN PAY MORE TAXES AND IT WILL GO TO SCHOOL NEEDS OR THEY MAY SAY, THAT'S ENOUGH FOR NOW. WE HAVE HAD TAX INCREASES. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER ONE?

BOB CHRISTIE: WE HAVE HAD TAX CUT AFTER TAX CUT. THE BENEFICIARY HAS BEEN THE CORPORATIONS, THE ULTRARICH WITH CAPITOL GAINS CUTS. YOU AND I MIGHT GET A HUNDRED DOLLARS TAX CUT. PEOPLE KNOW THAT AND UNDERSTAND THAT.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: 123 BARELY PASSED. THE BUSINESS FOLKS BEHIND IT, GOVERNOR FOLKS BEHIND IT, TEACHERS BEHIND IT. IT BARELY PASSED. I THINK THE FOCUS IS TEACHER PAY, NOT JUST HERE BUT NATIONALLY AND WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO AT THE CAPITOL, AGAINST THE ODDS OF THE GOVERNOR THERE. I THINK IT HAS A BETTER CHANCE. WE HAVE FATIGUE, SOMETIMES, WITH TAX INCREASES AND FOLKS FROM INTEREST GROUPS COMING BACK AND ASKING FOR BIGGER CHECKS.

TED SIMONS: IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, SALES TAX OR INCOME TAX, INCREASE IS AN INCREASE. THEY DON'T NECESSARILY DELINEATE. WHAT IS BALLOT HARVESTING? WHY DID DEMOCRATS WANT THIS LAW OVERTURNED AND A FEDERAL JUDGE SAID NOT NOW?

JEREMY DUDA: FOR A FEW YEARS, IT WAS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR DEMOCRATS IN ELECTIONS. WE HAVE AN EARLY VOTING SYSTEM WHERE WE SEASONED YOU AN EARLY BALLOT. A LOT OF DEMOCRATIC GROUPS WERE, AFTER S-B- 10-70, 2010 WHEN THEY STARTED ORGANIZING, THEY SIGNED PEOPLE UP, WAIT UNTIL THE BALLOT GOT SENT TO THEM, PICKED THEM UP. WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO PICK THAT UP FOR YOU. THERE WERE CITY COUNCIL RACES THAT SWUNG ON THE ABILITY TO COLLECT ENOUGH BALLOTS, SO THE REPUBLICANS AND LEGISLATURE, NOT A BIG FAN OF THIS. THEY PASSED A LAW LAST YEAR THAT BANS THE PRACTICE. THEY SUED TO -- DEMOCRATS SUED TO OVERTURN THE LAW BUT THE FEDERAL JUDGE SAID IT COULD STAND.

TED SIMONS: HE SAID THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF DISCRIMINATORY HARDSHIP FOR MINORITY VOTERS.

BOB CHRISTIE: THAT'S CORRECT. WE GIVE THE LEGISLATORS BROAD AUTHORITY TO MANAGE THEIR ELECTIONS. THERE MAY BE FALLOUT WHERE A FEW PEOPLE MIGHT LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO VOTE, BUT THERE IS NO BAD INTENT. IT'S CONSTITUTIONAL. IT'S NOT RACIALLY MOTIVATED, SO IT'S LEGAL. THIS IS GOING TO THE NINTH CIRCUIT. THIS IS GOING TO THE SUPREME COURT. THIS IS NOT OVER, BUT BOTH PARTIES USE THIS. AT REPUBLICAN GATHERINGS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO YOU WOULD WALK IN AND THERE WAS A BOX YOU COULD DROP OFF THE BALLOT. THIS IS OLD FASHIONED GET OUT THE VOTE STUFF. IN THE SOUTH, IN THE POOR NEIGHBORHOODS, THEY WOULD SAY LET'S GO TO THE POLLS. THIS IS THE SAME THING. THEY TARGETED THIS. THE DEMOCRATS THINK IT'S A VOTING RIGHT ISSUE.

TED SIMONS: NO EVIDENCE OF HARDSHIP THE JUDGE SAID. UNTIL SOMEONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH THIS, WE CAN'T DO MUCH.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THE REPUBLICANS WITH ALL OF THE VOTER FRAUD, THEY CAN'T PROVE IT. NOW THE DEMOCRATS SAY THIS BALLOT THING, AND THEY CAN'T PROVE IT EITHER. REPUBLICANS DO IT, BUT THE RICH WHITE FOLKS THAT GET ALL OF THE TAX CUTS AREN'T AS ORGANIZED AS LABOR UNIONS AND DEMOCRATIC UNIONS ARE. THEY CAN'T PROVE BALLOT FRAUD AND DEMOCRATS CAN'T PROVE IT AFFECTS THEM.

JEREMY DUDA: THIS IS AIMED AT LATINOS. THAT'S WHAT THIS HUNG ON. THE JUDGE IN THE CASE SAID IT WAS AIMED AT DEMOCRATS, WHICH LEGALLY IS OKAY. WHATEVER ARGUMENTS ABOUT FRAUD, THIS WAS AIMED AT DEMOCRATS. IF IT HAPPENS TO BE A LOT OF THE FOLKS THAT IT HURTS ARE LATINOS, AS LONG AS THAT WAS NOT THE INTENT, THAT'S FINE. HARDSHIP, DEMONSTRATING THAT, YOU CAN'T GO TO SOMEONE'S DOOR TO COLLECT A BALLOT. THEY HAVE A MAILBOX. THEY CAN PUT IN THE MAILBOX THEMSELVES. A LOT OF FOLKS MIGHT NOT VOTE IF SOMEONE DOESN'T SHOW UP AT THEIR DOOR TO SAY, MIND IF I TAKE YOUR BALLOT OFF OF YOUR HANDS.

TED SIMONS: A DIFFERENT RULER, A STATE LAW BEING CHALLENGED AND THE STATE LAW SAYING, WE HAVEN'T SEEN INDICATION OF A PROBLEM SO FAR.

BOB CHRISTIE: THIS HAS STRICT COMPLIANCE INITIATIVES WHERE THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA CAN SIGN UP AND GET THEIR OWN LAW ON THE BALLOT. THE SUPREME COURT CONSIDERED IF THERE ARE MINOR ERRORS, ABBREVIATED THEIR NAME, THAT'S OKAY. LEGISLATOR SAID NOPE. PERIODSHAVE TO BE IN THE RIGHT SPOT OR IT'S GONE. THEY CHALLENGED THIS AND IN THE APPEAL'S COURT, NOBODY'S BEEN HURT YET, SO COME BACK WHEN SOMEONE'S HURT. COME BACK TO ME WHEN THERE'S TROUBLE.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: YEAH, THE LEGISLATORS, LOBBYISTS, VOTERS DO THINGS LIKE RAISE MINIMUM WAGE AND MARIJUANA AND ELECT DONALD TRUMP. THE LEGAL IMMIGRATION, THINGS THE ESTABLISHMENT DOESN'T LIKE ALL THE TIME. THEY FIND WAYS TO KEEP THE PESKY VOTERS AND THEIR IDEAS OFF THE BALLOTS. YOU SEE COURTS SAY YOU DON'T HAVE STANDING, OR NO ONE HAS BEEN HURT YET. OTHER TIMES WHERE THEY CAN'T WAIT TO RULE AGAINST THESE THINGS BEFORE BEING IMPLEMENTED.

TED SIMONS: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

JEREMY DUDA: IT WILL BE APPEALED. WHAT THEY MIGHT END HAVING TO DO IS, WE HAVE NOT HAD THE SUBMISSION DEADLINES. THAT WILL COME UP IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS. WE HAVE FOLKS COLLECTING DARK MONEY TO RAISE EDUCATION FUNDING. IF ONE OF THESE MISSES THE BALLOT AND THEY CAN SAY THE STRICT COMPLIANCE LAW IS NOT WHAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS INTENDED. THEY HAVE A STRONGER CASE TO GO BACK. WE SAW THIS IN TAKING IN THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.

TED SIMONS: IF ONE OF THE EFFORTS WERE KNOCKED OFF BECAUSE OF THIS KIND OF THING, AGAIN, LET'S GO BACK TO OPTICS, WHAT KIND OF FALLOUT WOULD HAPPEN THERE?

BOB CHRISTIE: FIRST UP, THE VAST MAJORITY OF PUBLIC ISN'T AS ENGAGED AS WE ARE AROUND THE TABLE. IT WOULDN'T HAVE A HUGE DEAL UNLESS IT WAS THE MINIMUM WAGE.

TED SIMONS: LET'S GO WITH DARK MONEY AND INCOME TAX HIKE.

BOB CHRISTIE: THAT'S KNOCKED OFF BECAUSE OF THIS, IT COULD ENERGIZE THE VOTERS IN NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER. THE PROBLEM IS HOW DO YOU FIX IT. YOU VOTE OUT PEOPLE OR RUN ANOTHER INITIATIVE WHICH THEY HAVEN'T DONE. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. HOW DOES THE AVERAGE PERSON FIX THE PROBLEM ONCE THEY ARE AGGRIEVED.

TED SIMONS: LET'S MOVE ON HERE. SPORTS GUY AS WELL. THE DIAMOND BACK HAS HAD YOU ON REGARDING THE ISSUE. MARICOPA COUNTY AND THE DIAMOND BACKS FIGHTING $187,000 IN REPAIRS. NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN IT'S KUM BA YA.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THEY REACHED AN ACCORD. THEY DO THE BOOKING, HANDLE THE REPAIRS. THE DEAL GIVES THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK FOR ANOTHER BALL MARK IF THEY WANT. THE ONLY CAVEAT, THEY VOTE AGAINST IT ON THE COUNTY BOARD, CHASE FIELD BUILT IN 1998 IS IN SUCH BAD SHAPE

TED SIMONS: THE D-BACKS COULD LEAVE THE STATE. IF THEY FOUND A SPOT TOMORROW -- THEY GOT A GOOD DEAL.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: ABSOLUTELY. THIS WAS FOR THE D-BACKS. THE COUNTY IS OFF THE HOOK FOR REPAIRS, WHAT THEY COULD HAVE LOST IN LEGISLATION. D-BACKS ARE P-R CONSCIOUS. PEOPLE WANT THEM DOWN HERE. THEY WANT A NEW BALLPARK. CHASE FIELD IS TOO BIG. IT'S NOT AS MODERN WITH AMENITIES A LOT OF THE BALLPARKS HAVE. THEY WANT TO LOOK AROUND. THEY ARE NOT IN A BRIGHT SPOT. THIS IS SENSITIVE AREA.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, IF IT'S SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN WHERE THEY ARE, IT LIKELY WON'T BE A LONG LIGHT RAIL, LIKELY WON'T BE IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. WHAT DOES THE CITY OF PHOENIX THINK ABOUT THIS?

JEREMY DUDA: NORTH SCOTTSDALE, TOWNS IN NRL LOCATIONS. IF IT WAS UP TO NORTH SCOTTSDALE TO TRIBAL LAND, ARE PEOPLE REALLY GOING TO DRIVE OUT THERE ON A WEEKNIGHT AFTER WORK TO GO TO A BALLGAME? AFTER WORK ARE YOU DRIVING HALF WAY ACROSS TOWN TO GO TO THE BASEBALL GAME?

TED SIMONS: DIAMOND BACKS WON, DIDN'T THEY?

BOB CHRISTIE: I DISAGREE WITH MIKE ON THIS, THIS IS NOT P-R SAVVY. SOMEONE BUYS YOU A NEW STADIUM AND YOU INFURIATE THE ENTIRE COUNTY. IT'S A P-R NIGHTMARE FOR THEM. THE MODERN THING OF BUILD ME A NEW STADIUM, I THINK IT'S A MISTAKE. WHO IS GOING TO DRIVE TO SCOTTSDALE ON A WEEKNIGHT?

MIKE SUNNUCKS: WHERE THEY ARE LOOKING AT, 101-202.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: WHERE THE SOCCER STADIUM IS. THEY LIKE THAT GOING ON OUT THERE. A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE THAT, MORE OF THE CENTER OF THE VALLEY. ALL OF THE GROWTH IN CHANDLER AND TEMPE. ALL OF THE MONEY IN SCOTTSDALE. THE HEART OF THE VALLEY IS DOWNTOWN. THEY LOOK AT FAN BASES, PEOPLE THAT SPEND MONEY THERE, THE BUSINESSES. THEY DON'T SEE THAT AS A DISADVANTAGE. IT WON'T APPEAL TO FOLKS THAT ARE DOWNTOWN ADVOCATES LIKE SEEING BALLPARKS IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT.

TED SIMONS: OR THOSE THAT DRIVE RIGHT NOW. TIMES CHANGE, BUT 6:40 IS USUALLY THE TOO START TIME FOR DIAMOND BACK GAMES. THE 101 AT 6:40 IS NO PICNIC NOW.

JEREMY DUDA: IT'S TOUGHER TO GET THERE, RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC ON A WEEKNIGHT THAN UNIVERSITY STADIUM ON A SUNDAY. BIG QUESTION ABOUT THIS, WHO IS GOING TO FUND THE STADIUM? AS I SAW SOMEONE POINT OUT, PEOPLE WENT OUT ON A LIMB IN THE '90S FOR THE BALLPARK. THEY LOST A CONGRESSIONAL RACE, ONE GOT SHOT OVER THE ISSUE. THE APPETITE, NOT ONLY HERE, BUT IS AWAY FROM FUNDING WHEN PEOPLE MAKE THREATS.

TED SIMONS: THE DIAMOND BACKS COULD STAY AT THE FIELD. WE'LL SEE. THEY COULD BE THERE A LONG TIME. IT COULD BE A DIFFERENT BUILDING.

BOB CHRISTIE: THEY COULD DO A LOT WITH THE STADIUM. I THINK THE COUNTY TECHNICALLY STILL OWNS IT, RIGHT? THE DIAMOND BACKS, IT'S A GREAT LOCATION. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL BALLPARK. I GO THERE AND GO, HOLY COW. I'M USED TO DODGER STADIUM 50 OR 60 YEARS NOW. THAT'S PRETTY WARN OUT. THEY HAVE NO TALK OF LEAVING DODGER STADIUM. THEY HAVE A GOOD THING GOING.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THE TEAM THINKS IT'S TOO BIG. THE UPPER DECK IS HARD TO FILL. SPORTS TEAMS SEEM SHINY NEW OBJECTS OUT THERE. IT WOULD BE GREAT IF IT COULD STAY DOWN HERE FOR DOWNTOWN. DOWNTOWN IS DIFFERENT FROM '98 OR WHEN THE SUNS MOVE DOWN HERE. THERE'S A LOT MORE ACTIVITY. IT WOULDN'T TAKE THE HIT. I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE ABOUT THIS. THEY COMPILED LAND FOR THE CARDINAL STADIUM. IT'S WHERE THEY ARE. PEOPLE SAY, WE DID GOOD. THEY WANTED TO MOVE THE COYOTES TO THE MALL. SOMETIMES THERE IS BETTER THINGS THAN A SPORTS VENUE AT SOME OF THESE LOCATIONS. I THINK THE D-BACKS COULD LOOK AT RENOVATING IT. IT'S A TOUGH GO, EASIER TO BUILD FROM SCRATCH. THERE'S NOT A LOT OF STUFF DOWN HERE NOW.

TED SIMONS: WE HAVE ONLY A MINUTE LEFT. THIS COULD BE A DEEP STORY ON A FUTURE DATE, BUT THE CORPORATION BRIBERY CASE, GARY PEARCE, THE WIVES ARE INVOLVED AND THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, COULD THIS BE A HUGE CASE THIS SUMMER? THE WITNESS RELEASE WAS HUGE.

JEREMY DUDA: ANYONE WHO IS ANYONE IS ON THE LIST. FORMER COMMISSIONERS, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, CONGRESSMAN MATT SALMON, CURRENT CONGRESSMAN ANDY BIGGS. YOU HAVE KEN BENNETT RUNNING AGAINST DOUG DUCEY. DON SHOOTER, HE IS ON THE WITNESS LIST. IT'S QUITE AN EXTENSIVE LIST.

TED SIMONS: IT'S A BRIBERY CASE, COMMISSIONER, BY WAY OF MONEY. COULD THIS EXPLODE IN AN OTHERWISE QUIET SUMMER?

BOB CHRISTIE: ABSOLUTELY, IT COULD. THIS IS A BY-PRODUCT OF A BIGGER INVESTIGATION. WE COULD GET BOMBSHELL STUFF OUT OF THE TESTIMONY, OR IT COULD BE TAME. YOU REALLY NEVER KNOW.

TED SIMONS: WE'LL STOP IT THERE AND KEEP AN AYE ON THAT ONE. COMING UP MONDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON, THE UNINSURED RATE AMONG WORKING-AGE AMERICAN ADULTS IS ON THE INCREASE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS IMPLEMENTED. AND HOW THE WEST HELPED SHAPE THE LIFE AND POLITICS OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT. THAT'S MONDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Jeremy Duda: Arizona Capitol Times
Bob Christie: The Associated Press
Mike Sunnucks: Phoenix Business Journal

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