Journalists’ Roundtable



COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE. THE GOVERNMENT CALLS TO END OF LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY. AND A NEW CHALLENGE TO AN EFFORT TO TAX THE WEALTHY TO HELP FUND EDUCATION. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE.
{ARIZONA MAGAZINE AND APS}
GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' I'M TED SIMONS. TONIGHT WE HEAR FROM WRITERS AND COLUMNIST FROM THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC. WE WELCOME: DIGITAL OPINIONS EDITOR, JOANNA ALLHANDS. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, PHIL BOAS. AND NEWS COLUMNIST, EJ MONTINI. GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY WANTS LAW MAKERS TO PUT AN END LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY, WHICH PROTECTS LAW MAKERS FROM CERTAIN OFFENSES DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. BASICALLY, HE WANTS THE LAWMAKERS TO TAKE THIS TO VOTERS, CORRECT?

Joanna Allhands: HOPEFULLY. MAYBE. WE'LL SEE. YOU CAN SAY SOMETHING ONCE AND GET INTO THE SESSION, MAYBE NOT. MAYBE.

Ted Simons: HE VOWS IT WILL BE HIS FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS. HE'S JUMPING ON TO THIS ISSUE.

Joanna Allhands: MAYBE. HE ALSO MADE OTHER PRIORITIES LIKE WATER. HE’S MAKING THAT A HUGE PRIORITY FOR THE SESSION. SO WE'LL SEE.

Ted Simons: [INDISCERNIBLE]THIS IS IF HE’S RE-ELECTED, THIS WILL BE HIS FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS. WHERE WAS HE IN THE PAST ON THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE?

Phil Boas: I'M NOT SURE WHERE HE WAS IN THE PAST. THE DEMOCRATS WERE REMINDING THEY FIVE TIMES TRIED TO REPEAL THIS THING. IT'S BEEN A PROBLEM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AS WE SEE IT REPEATEDLY OVER THE LAST DECADE, THREE, FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES WHEN LEGISLATORS TRIED TO CLAIM LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY. AND THE PROBLEM WITH IT IS THAT IT'S CORROSIVE. IT REALLY HARMS THE IMAGE OF THE LEGISLATURE, THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR LAWS, WHEN THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO LIVE BY THE SAME LAWS THAT THEY CREATE. IT'S BAD FOR THE IMAGE. WHICH ISNT GOOD TO BEGIN WITH.

Ted Simons: ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE STOPPED FIVE OR SIX TIMES AND GOT A WARNING EACH TIME AS THIS REPRESENTATIVE PAUL MOSLEY.

Ej Montini: AND BRAG ABOUT IT TO THE TROOPER THAT STOPS YOU. LOVE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT OURSELVES. I WISH THEY WOULD REMOVE THE LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY FOR BAD LAWS. WE COULD PROSECUTE PEOPLE FOR ACTUALLY MOST OF THINGS. THAT WOULD BE A GOOD THING FOR ME BUT THIS IS JUST RIDICULOUS. IT'S LIKE AS IF THEY HAVE A GREAT REPUTATION TO BEGIN WITH AND NOW ESSENTIALLY YOU ARE SAYING WE DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE LAWS THAT YOU DO BECAUSE WE ARE IN SESSION RIGHT NOW. AS IF THAT'S SOME SPECIAL THING. WHO CARES.

Ted Simons: THIS IDEA WAS THAT WHEN YOU’RE SESSION, YOU DON'T WANT LAW ENFORCEMENT TO BE HARASSING YOU, KEEPING YOU FROM GETTING HOME FOR DINNER IN TIME?

Joanna Allhands: I CAN SEE POTENTIALLY WHERE YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY. AN OPPONENT MAYBE FILED A PRIVALOUS LAW OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I DON'T THINK THAT'S EVER HAPPENED. ALL THE INSTANCES WHERE PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TO USE THIS, LIKE I GOT A DUI.

Ej Montini: THEY ACT LIKE WE LIVE IN SMOKY AND THE BANDIT. THEY WILL GET THE LOCAL SHERIFF TO PULL OVER THESE LEGISLATURES SO HE CAN'T VOTE. “WE NEED THREE VOTES FOR THAT THING. LET'S PULL OVER, THROW HIM IN JAIL.” NO, THIS ISN'T THE WAY IT WORKS. THEY ARE TRYING TO USE IT TO GET OUT OF SPEEDING TICKETS.

Ted Simons: YOU MENTIONED THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET SOMETHING THIS. HAS IT STALLED OUT BECAUSE OF REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION? WILL WE SEE THE SAME KIND OF PROPOSTITION.

Phil Boas: YOU ARE BEGINNING TO SEE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION ALREADY. THEY ARE COLD TO THE GOVERNOR'S CALL TO REPEAL THIS. THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE. IT'S AN ARTIFACT OF LAW. LIKE YOU SAID, IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU WILL EVER SEE. YOU DON'T SEE SOME SHERIFF COME ALONG OR POLICE CHIEF COME ALONG AND THROW SOMEBODY IN JAIL SO THEY DON'T VOTE ON A BILL. THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN BUT WHAT DOES HAPPEN, WE CONTINUALLY SEE LAWMAKERS TRY TO CLAIM LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY AFTER THEY COMMITTED SOME KIND OF CRIME.

Ej Montini: IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE, IF YOU ARE DRIVING 120 MILES AN HOUR ON THE FREEWAY, YOU ARE PUTTING A TREMENDOUS NUMBER OF ARIZONA RESIDENTS AS RISK BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING AN IDIOT. HOW IS THAT NOT A PROBLEM? HOW DO YOU GET AWAY WITH THAT? THERE'S A REAL PHYSICAL DANGER THERE THAT YOU ARE PRESENTING TO THE PUBLIC BY DOING THIS. HOW ARE YOU IMMUNE FROM THAT?

Phil Boas: I AGREE. 140 IS DANGEROUS AS DUI. THAT IS REALLY RECKLESS.

Ted Simons: WHEN HE WAS STOPPED, HE WAS GOING OVER 40 MILES AN HOUR ABOVE THE SPEED LIMIT IN A 55, EVEN IN A 55, IF I'M GOING 55 OR 60 AND SOME DUDE IS GOING 97, THAT'S A DANGEROUS DUDE.

Joanna Allhands: YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL. IF IT'S ANYONE ELSE, LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL FOR THAT. I THINK THAT JUST SHOWS THE RIDICULOUS DISCONNECT THERE IS BETWEEN NORMAL PEOPLE LIKE US, WHY DO THEY HAVE LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY. THAT MAKES NO SENSE. AND PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE LEGISLATURE THAT SAY WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS.

Ted Simons: YOU MEAN THERE IS NO JOURNALIST IMMUNITY?

Joanna Allhands: SORRY. MAYBE FOR ED.

Ted Simons: THAT WILL BE THE PROBLEM NEXT WEEK. WE HAVE A NEW LAWSUIT GOING UP AGAINST THE EDUCATION TAX MEASURE. THIS IS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. NOT GOING TO LET GO OF THIS ISSUE, ARE THEY.

Phil Boas: NO. AND THEY ARE GOING TO CHALLENGE TO INVEST IN IT, VALID MEASURE. THEY ARE LOOKING AT TAX BRACKETS, AND THEY ARE ARGUING THAT THE BALLOT LANGUAGE OR LANGUAGE THAT WAS USED ON PETITIONS IS MISLEADING, THAT IT IS NOT CORRECTLY TELLING THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN WHAT TAXPAYERS WOULD HAVE TO PAY IF THIS GOES THROUGH.

Ted Simons: AGAIN, I DON'T WANT TO GET TOO NUMBER CRUNCHY HERE, BUT THE IDEA IS FOR INDIVIDUALS OVER $250,000, YOUR TAX GOES UP A CERTAIN PERCENT.

Phil Boas: AFTER THAT NUMBER.

Ted Simons: AFTER 500,000, THEN IT GOES UP ANOTHER NUMBER. WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IS IT'S NOT THE NUMBER THAT IT GOES UP, IT'S HOW MUCH MORE YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY AND THEY ARE NOT USING THOSE NUMBERS AND, THUS, IT'S, WHAT, NOT TRUE, IT'S FRAUDULENT?

Ej Montini: IT'S ANOTHER WAY FOR PEOPLE, FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS, THIS HAPPENS WITH A LOT WITH INITIATIVES THAT PEOPLE TRY TO PUT ON THE BALLOT. IT'S AS IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL INTERESTS TRYING TO TELL REGULAR PEOPLE WE DON'T THINK YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE THIS OUT. OR WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ACTUALLY THINK. ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT ARIZONA IS HAVING THIS PROCESS TO BEGIN WITH. ALLOWING DIRECT VOTER INPUT INTO DECISIONS THAT ARE IMPORTANT IN THE STATE. WHICH IS ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS ABOUT OUR STATE. WE HAVE PEOPLE MAKING CHALLENGES TO ALMOST EACH ONE OF THESE THINGS THAT COME UP, INCLUDING FROM THE LEGISLATURE ITSELF. THE LEGISLATURE ITSELF HATES THESE KIND OF THINGS. WE WANT YOU TO VOTE FOR US, BUT DON'T VOTE ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF US.

Ted Simons: ONE OF THE REASONS THEY HATE IT, THEY CAN'T MESS WITH IT. SOMETIMES, IF IT'S NOT ALL THAT GOOD, YOU WANT SOMEONE TO MESS WITH IT, DON'T YOU?

Ej Montini: YEAH. YOU COULD DO THE SAME THING THAT THE VOTERS DID. YOU CAN MESS WITH IT BY THE SAME WAY THE VOTERS GOT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. WITH THE LEGISLATURE, THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO OUT AND COLLECT SIGNATURES, THEY CAN THROW IT ON THE BALLOT. THEY CAN CHANGE THINGS MUCH MORE DIRECTLY THAN WE CAN.

Ted Simons: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Joanna Allhands: FULL DISCLOSURE, I AM NOT A FAN OF THE INVEST IN ED PROPOSAL. WITH THAT BEING SAID, LOOKING AT WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO SUE OVER, I'M SCRATCHING MY HEAD. THEY ARE MAKING THIS DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERCENT AND PERCENTAGE POINT. I GET IT. THEY ARE SAYING THIS IS A DISTINCTION. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT THE AVERAGE VOTER IS GOING TO SAY YOU TOTALLY MISLED ME. AND SOME OF THE OTHER POINTS THEY HAD ABOUT SAYING LIKE IT'S GOING TO INCREASE THE ATTACKS ON EVERYONE, NOT JUST THE RICH, WHAT THE TALKING POINT HAS BEEN. AND THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT SHOULD THROW IT OFF THE BALLOT. WELL, THAT'S AN ARGUMENT YOU MAKE IN THE CAMPAIGN, YOU KNOW. I DON'T KNOW THAT NECESSARILY THAT HAS TO THROW IT OFF THE BALLOT. AND AGAIN I DON'T LIKE THIS MEASURE.

Ted Simons: BUT THAT'S A GOOD POINT. IF YOU THINK THAT THE NUMBERS ARE MISLEADING SOME WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, DON'T YOU DO THAT ON THE DEBATE AS OPPOSED TO WORKING TO KEEP, TAKING THE PETITIONS OUT?

Phil Boas: I'M NOT SURE THIS IS A LEGAL TACTIC OR POLITICAL TACTIC. IT'S GOING TO MAKE NEWS WHEN YOU DO THIS. IT MAY BE A WAY OF EMPHASIZING THAT TAXES ARE GOING UP IN ARIZONA, ANOTHER WAY TO PUT IT OUT THERE AND SAY T THEY MAY BELIEVE THEY HAVE A CASE. I HAVEN'T DIVED INTO IT OR TALKED TO LEGAL PEOPLE ABOUT IT, I DON'T HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF WHETHER IT WILL WORK OR NOT. THE SUPPORTERS FOR THE PROPOSITION SAY THEY HAVE SEEN THESE KIND OF LAWSUITS BEFORE HAD WORKED

Ted Simons: THE ONE IN 2008 WAS THROWN OUT BY A JUDGE WITH SIMILAR ARGUMENTS.

Ej Montini: AND EVERY TIME, SAME THING WITH THE DIRTY MONEY LAWSUIT. IT'S FUNNY, LIKE YOU HAVE A DIRTY MONEY TRYING TO ERASE THE DIRTY MONEY INITIATIVE. IF IT GETS ON THE BALLOT, THE DIRTY MONEY PEOPLE WILL TRY TO CONVINCE YOU NOT TO VOTE FOR IT ANYWAY. IT'S SOMETHING WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO. IT'S ONE OF THE WORST TACTICS. I'M VERY MUCH IN FAVOR OF HAVING THE STATE BE ABLE, ALL OF US TOGETHER, TRY TO FIGURE SOMETHING OUT.

Ted Simons: BEFORE WE LEAVE THIS, YOU ARE OPINIONMEISTERS. YOU DON'T LIKE THIS PARTICULAR PLAN. WHY NOT?

Joanna Allhands: BECAUSE, FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. ONE, IT'S NOT ENOUGH. IT'S NOT GOING TO FIX THE PROBLEM. WHEN YOU GO TO VOTERS AND YOU SAY PLEASE GIVE US MORE MONEY, YOU GOT ONE SHOT AT THAT. AND IF YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH TO REALLY SERIOUSLY FIX THE PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S GOING TO BE GIVING THE MONEY TO NOT JUST TEACHERS, BUT LOTS OF ON THE PEOPLE, IT'S NOT REALLY GOING TO CHANGE WHAT PEOPLE THINK IS GOING TO CHANGE. I THINK THAT JUST IS GOING TO THROW IT OFF FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. YOU GOT THAT ONE CHANCE, WHY SCREW IT UP. WHY NOT MAKE IT ENOUGH.

Ted Simons: DO YOU THINK THERE MIGHT BE EDUCATION FUNDING FATIGUE AMONG VOTERS? SEEMS LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN VOTING ON MAKING DECISIONS FOR EDUCATION FUNDING FOR YEARS.

Phil Boas: THIS INITIATIVE WAS CRAFTED TO GET VOTES AND GET VOTES FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEY WON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS BOOST IN EDUCATION FUNDING. I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH THIS. I THINK IT'S CONFISCATING THE WEALTH OF JOB CREATORS IN THIS STATE AND GOING AFTER THAT. ED WILL DISAGREE.

Ej Montini: I WILL JUST SAY THAT BALONEY. FIRST OF ALL, I THINK THE ARGUMENT ABOUT THE JOB CREATORS, WE HEAR THAT ALL THE TIME, DON'T TAX THE RICH, THEY ARE JOB CREATORS. WHAT DO THEY DO WITH THE MONEY THEY GET? THEY DON'T. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE TRUMP PLAN. WERE THESE JOB CREATIONS OR A WAY TO MAKE SHAREHOLDERS RICHER. WHICH I THINK IS WHAT HAPPENED I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT. IF IT'S NOT THAT FIRST $500,000 YOU MADE, IT'S THE MONEY AFTER THAT THAT COUNTS. I THINK IF YOU ARE MAKING THAT KIND OF DOUGH, YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY. IT’S NOT GONNA HURT YOU THAT BAD.

Phil Boas: THIS PROPOSITION WAS CALIBRATED TO WIN VOTES. IT'S NOT ABOUT TAX FAIRNESS. THEY WANTED TO PUT OUT A PROPOSITION THAT THEY KNEW PEOPLE WOULD VOTE FOR BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY A THING ON IT.

Ej Montini: I THINK YOU CAN HAVE BOTH OF IT. THE NOTION THAT IT'S UNFAIR TAX LAW, I DISAGREE WITH. YES, YOU ARE RIGHT. THE NOTION IS YOU ARE GOING TO BE TOUCHING WEALTHY PEOPLE. BUT IS IT UNFAIR TO TAX THEM AT THE LEVEL YOU ARE PROPOSING NOW? NO, I DON'T THINK SO. I DON'T THINK YOU ARE HURTING THEM THAT BADLY.

Ted Simons: FOR THOSE THAT SAY A SALES TAX IS REGRESSIVE AND HURTS LOWER INCOME PEOPLE MORE THAN THE FOLKS IMPACTED BY THIS, YOU WOULD SAY?

Phil Boas: I WOULD SAY IT'S CIRCULAR. LET'S LOOK AT FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. RICH PEOPLE PAY A LOT MORE THAN LOWER INCOME PEOPLE. WEALTHY PEOPLE, THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE MANAGED ECONOMY, THESE PEOPLE CREATE JOBS AND THOSE MATTER IN A SOCIETY. THEY ARE IMPORTANT. THEY CREATE THE PLATFORM FOR US TO BRING OUR SKILLS TO. FOR US TO MAKE MONEY, TO PUT BREAD ON OUR TABLE. IF YOU START PUNISHING THE INITIATIVE, YOU START DOING THAT, YOU WILL CHASE IT AWAY.

Ej Montini: THAT'S THE ARGUMENT WE HAVE HEARD FOR GENERATIONS, AND WHAT GOOD HAS IT DONE? NONE. THE ARGUMENT DOESN'T HOLD UP. I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROVE THAT HOLDS UP. WHEN PEOPLE ARE GIVEN A CHANCE TO REINVEST THEIR MONEY THAT THEY ARE GETTING, THEY DON'T DO IT. IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN. YOU RARELY SEE THE NOTION OF WE HAVE GOT THESE TREMENDOUS TAX BREAKS AND WE ARE GOING TO REINVEST IT INTO THE ECONOMY AND WORKERS. IT'S RARE THAT OCCURS. USUALLY THEY REINVEST IT INTO THEMSELVES AND STOCKHOLDERS. NO, I DISAGREE WITH THAT NOTION. PLUS, I DON'T THINK YOU ARE HITTING THEM UNTIL THEY ARE ALREADY WELL OFF. THEY’RE GONNA BE FINE.

Ted Simons: IT DOESN'T RAISE ENOUGH MONEY?

Joanna Allhands: IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE TAXING THE RICH, GETS WHERE THEY ARE NOT GOING TO PUT THIS MONEY IN THE STATE? THEY HAVE THE ACCOUNTANTS, LET'S PUT IT OVER HERE, OVER HERE. I WOULD BE SHOCKED IF IT RAISES THE 690 MILLION THAT THEY THINK.

Ted Simons: WE HAVE TO MOVE ON HERE. KELLEY WARD'S HUSBAND CAN SEE THE DEMISE HERE. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS CAMPAIGN HERE?

Joanna Allhands: HONESTLY, I'M NOT EVEN SHOCKED. BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN SO MANY THINGS THAT EITHER KELLEY WARD HAS SAID OR HER HUSBAND IN THIS CASE. YOU KNOW WHAT? PROGNOSTICATING ON WHO IS GOING TO DIE, IT DOESN'T EVEN GET TO THE POINT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TERM LIMITS.

Ted Simons: THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT TERM LIMITINGS AND HOW KELLEY WARD SAID SHE WOULD BE FOR A CERTAIN NUMBER OF TERMS AND MARTHA McSALLY SAYS THAT. WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HIM BECAUSE GOD WILL WEIGH IN.

Joanna Allhands: IT DOESN'T SHOCK ME BECAUSE THIS IS -- SHE SAYS THINGS LIKE THIS BEFORE. TO ME IT'S JUST BLUSTER AND MEH

Ted Simons: WHO IS CHARMED BY THIS KIND OF TALK?

Ej Montini: KELLEY WARD IS HYSTERICAL. SHE SO DESPERATELY WANTS TO BE ALIGNED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP, EVEN HE DOESN'T WANT HER. YOU CAN'T USE, I'M GOING TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOU, YOU CAN'T USE IT. I'M GOING TO USE IT ANYWAY. SHE’S DESPERATE AND GRANTED, IT'S A COOKIE RACE IN THE SENSE OF MARTHA McSALLY IS TRYING TO PRETEND THAT SHE IS ALIGNED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP, WHICH IS ALSO A JOKE. THE UNFORTUNATE THING, KELLEY WARD IS ACTUALLY IS PROBABLY MORE PHILOSOPHICALLY ALIGNED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP. BUT SHE’S SO WACKY THERE’S SO MANY CONCERNS. HERE'S MARTHA McSALLY WHO IS MUCH MORE A MIDDLE OF THE ROAD PERSON GENERALLY THAN YOU WOULD THINK, NOW THESE PRETENDING TO BE A WHACKY TRUMP PERSON SO SHE CAN WIN THE PRIMARY. AND THEN SHE’LL COMPLETELY CHANGE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.

Ted Simons: LET'S GO BACK TO MR. WARD’S INITIAL COMMENT. IS AGE GOING TO PLAY A FACTOR IN THIS RACE?

Joanna Allhands: IT MAY. HONESTLY, I DON'T EVEN THINK THAT SHERIFF JOE IS GOING TO BE A FACTOR. OTHER THAN HE MAY BE THE SPOILER SOMEHOW. BUT I MEAN HE HAS NOT CAUGHT FIRE LIKE HE HAS IN THE PAST.

Ted Simons: WELL, HE'S NOT TRYING TO CATCH TOO MUCH FIRE.

Ej Montini: THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE'S CLOSE ENOUGH TO KELLEY WARD. HE'S THE WORST ENEMY IN THE SENSE OF HE'S TAKING AWAY HER VOTES. OR HE WOULD ARGUE THAT SHE’S TAKING AWAY HIS VOTES. BUT THE ONLY ONE WHO IS HAPPY ABOUT THAT SITUATION IS MARTHA McSALLY, I’M SURE SHE'S ELATED THEY ARE BOTH IN THE RACE. IF ONE OF THEM WASN'T, SHE MIGHT BE IN TROUBLE.

Joanna Allhands: WHICH MAKES NO SENSE WHY SHE'S MOVING TO THE RIGHT. SHE HAS LESS GROUND TO FLIP ONCE SHE GETS IT.

Ej Montini: SHE'S SORT OF ADOPTED THE TRUMP NOTION THAT YOU CAN FLIP AND PEOPLE WILL SAY THAT'S OKAY. YOU CAN SAY ONE THING ONE DAY, ONE THING THE NEXT DAY AND PRETEND YOU DIDN'T SAY FIRST THING.

Joanna Allhands: McCAIN BUILDS THE DANG FENCE.

Ej Montini: OH ABSOLUTELY THAT'S THE ENTIRE PROCESS.

Ted Simons: LET'S KEEP CREATIVE POLITICS FORWARD HERE. REPRESENTATIVE PAUL GOSAR HAS LOBBIED, DID LOBBY IN DECEMBER FOR JOHN McCAIN'S SEAT. ARE WE SURPRISED BY THIS?

Phil Boas: NOT AT ALL SURPRISED. AND HE WAITED LESS THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE HE STARTED LOBBYING THE GOVERNOR AFTER IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT McCAIN WAS HEADED TO THE HOSPITAL TO DEAL WITH COMPLICATIONS FROM AN AGGRESSIVE FORM OF CANCER HE'S SUFFERING HIM. GOSAR’S CHIEF OF STAFF TEXTED THE GOVERNOR'S PEOPLE AND SAID HIS BOSS WOULD LIKE A MEETING WITH THEIR BOSS. THE MEETING NEVER HAPPENED. IF GOVERNOR DUCEY EVER APPOINTED PAUL GOSAR TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE, IT WOULD BE TO HIS UTTER DAMNATION BECAUSE PAUL GOSAR OCCUPIES THE FEVER SWAMPS OF THE FAR RIGHT, THAT'S WHERE HE LIVES AND BREATHES. HE JUST IS NOT THE MATERIAL FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE.

Ej Montini: I’M SURPRISED THAT GOSAR EVEN NEEDED A MEETING. HE HAS A SPECIAL DENTAL ESP HE PROBABLY COULD HAVE MIND MELDED WITH THE GOVERNOR.

Ted Simons: SEE THE BODY LANGUAGE FIRST.

Ej Montini: APPARENTLY SO. BUT PHIL IS RIGHT ABOUT WHERE HE STANDS.

Ted Simons: AGAIN, DOES HE HAVE A POINT? THE SEAT HAS ESSENTIALLY, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, REALISTICALLY, IT'S BEEN VACATED FOR EIGHT SOME ODD MONTHS, IF NOT LONGER.

Joanna Allhands: BUT CAN'T HE HAVE THE DECORUM TO WAIT? I MEAN FOR GOD SAKES, THERE IS A MAN STILL IN THE SEAT, HE'S STILL ALIVE. WHY WOULD YOU BE VULTUREY?

Ej Montini: ABSOLUTELY. AND FRANKLY, I THINK SENATOR McCAIN IS PLAYING A GREAT ROLE RIGHT NOW. THERE'S VERY FEW LIDIGATING VOICES AGAINST DONALD TRUMP OR AT LEAST TRY TO BRING RATIONALE THOUGHT TO THE NOTION. THANK GOODNESS FOR HIM BEING AROUND, THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE ANY UNTIL AFTER THE MIDTERMS, MAYBE THERE WILL BE A FEW MORE PEOPLE SPEAKING OUT. BEFORE THAT, HE AND FLAKE ARE PERFORMING A VALUABLE ROLE RIGHT NOW.

Ted Simons: SO IF HE'S NOT THERE TO VOTE, HE STILL HAS AN IMPACT?

Ej Montini: TREMENDOUS IMPACT.

Ted Simons: AND GOSAR DOESN'T SEE THAT AT ALL?

Phil Boas: WELL, HE MAY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REST OF US UNDERSTAND, HE WILL NEVER BE ELECTED TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THIS MIGHT BE THE ONLY WAY. BUT THIS ISN'T GOING TO EVER HAPPEN.

Ted Simons: WHEN HE SAYS THE McCAIN FAMILY HAS BEEN PLANNING A FUNERAL?

Phil Boas: IT’S UNSEEMLY. IT'S BENEATH CONTEMPT. AND HE SHOULDN’T DO IT.

Ted Simons: THE GOVERNOR SAID IT'S DISGRACEFUL. I MEAN WHY?

Joanna Allhands: IT'S A MOOT POINT. HE'S NOT GOING TO.

Ted Simons: DOES THIS HURT GOSAR’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS?

Joanna Allhands: HE HAS POLITICAL AMBITIONS?

Ted Simons: I DON'T KNOW. SEEMS LIKE HE WANTS TO BE IN THE U.S. SENATE.

Ej Montini: THERE IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT DOESN'T WANT TO BE IN THE U.S. SENATE IN SOME FORM OR ANOTHER. THEY ARE PRETTY GOOD JOBS. THE SENATE JOBS ARE GOOD. YOU ARE NOT ONE OF 435, YOU ARE ONE OF A HUNDRED. IT'S PRETTY COOL. I THINK THEY WOULD LIKE THOSE JOBS, UNLESS YOU ARE THE SPEAKER, AN IMPORTANT JOB THAT WAY.

Ted Simons: LET'S TAKE JOANNA'S QUESTION, DO YOU THINK HE HAS POLITICAL AMBITIONS?

Phil Boas: WELL I DON’T THINK IT MATTER BECAUSE GOSAR HAS SPENT HIS ENTIRE CONGRESSIONAL CAREER DISMANTLING ANY POSSIBLE FUTURE. I JUST DON'T SEE IT. I DON'T THINK HE CAN WIN A STATE-WIDE ELECTION. TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE ON TO HIM.

Ted Simons: BEFORE WE GO, A COUPLE OF OTHER REPRESENTATIVES, WELL, ANDY BIGGS, ON THE FREEDOM CAUCUS, VERY CONSERVATIVE FOLKS THERE IN THE HOUSE. AND THEY WANT TO IMPEACH DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN.

Ej Montini: THAT'S A JOKE. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. YOU HAVE 11 GUYS SIGNING ON, THAT'S NOT GOING TO GET YOU VERY FAR IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO HELP THE PRESIDENT, THAT'S ALL. I MEAN, THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET UNDER THE SKIN, TRYING TO SPREAD THE WORD THAT SOMEHOW THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS ON THE WITCH HUNT AND THEY ARE STILL BRINGING THE BILL THAT HILLARY CLINTON IS THE EVIL PERSON, PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, LET'S DO THIS HILLARY CLINTON THING ALL OVER AGAIN. IT’S RIDICULOUS.

Ted Simons: DOES THIS HELP PRESIDENT TRUMP? DOES THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY, PARTISAN WITCH HUNT, I'M STARTING TO GET DIZZY FIGURING OUT WHICH IS WHICH. DOES THIS HELP THE PRESIDENT?

Joanna Allhands: HONESTLY, I WANT THIS TO BE OVER. GET THE INVESTIGATION DONE, COME UP WITH YOUR CONCLUSIONS. WE ALREADY KNOW FROM EVERYBODY IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THAT THERE WAS SOME SORT OF RUSSIAN INFLUENCE. WHATEVER IN THE ELECTION. WE KNOW. OKAY. LET'S JUST GET IT DONE AND OVER WITH. ALL OF THE SHENANIGANS AND BACK SEAT DEALINGS AND CLAIMS OF THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER, IT DOESN'T MATTER. IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE OR MY LIFE. EVERY TIME I HEAR ABOUT IT, LET'S MOVE ON.

Ted Simons: DO YOU THINK MUCH OF AMERICA IS THE SAME WAY?

Phil Boas: WE SPOKE OF FATIGUE EARLIER. I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF FATIGUE WITH THIS. TALK TO US WHEN YOU ARE READY TO INDICT.

Ej Montini: BUT THEY HAVE INDICTED. YOU HAVE 24 PEOPLE. YOU WORK YOUR WAY DOWN THERE. I THINK THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. YOU ARE STARTING TO SEE PEOPLE GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER. YOU HAVE COHEN NOW BECOMING A MUCH MORE FRIENDLY WITNESS. YOU PROBABLY HAVE MANAFORT BECOMING A FRIENDLY WITNESS. IT BECOMES A QUESTION OF LET'S SAY YOU GET ALL THE WAY DOWN THERE, IS THERE STILL ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO THE PRESIDENT NO MATTER WHAT YOU FIND OUT ABOUT HIM? THAT'S GOING TO BE INTERESTING.

Joanna Allhands: A FEW WEEKS LEFT OF HIS TERM, LET'S IMPEACH HIM.

Ted Simons: REAL QUICKLY, REPRESENTATIVE BIGGS ENDORSING THE SPEAKER. IS BIGGS BECOMING, IS HE STEPPING INTO GOSAR?

Phil Boas: HE'S SMARTER THAN THAT. HE HAS SOME JOBS. BUT IT IS SURPRISING. THE HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS IS THE TEA PARTY GROUP THAT IS DOING THIS. IT'S SORT OF A BAROMETER TO SEE JUST HOW CONSERVATIVE, HOW FAR RIGHT ARE YOUR CONGRESS PEOPLE. IT ISN'T A SURPRISE THAT BIGGS IS THERE. HE'S CONSERVATIVE. BIGGS HAS MORE SUBSTANCE THAN GOSAR.

Ted Simons: DO YOU AGREE?

Ej Montini: NO, I DON'T. THEY STRIKE ME AS JUST GO ALONG TO GET ALONG GUYS. WE ARE GOING TO PROTECT THIS GUY NO MATTER WHAT. BIGGS, FROM WHAT I’VE SEEN, DURING HIS TIME, HAS DONE NOTHING BUT THAT. THIS GUY SENT OUT A PRESS RELEASE, PRESIDENT TRUMP SNEEZES. IT’S NOT GREAT FOR AMERICA. DUDE, YOU WORK FOR ARIZONA. I’D LIKE TO THIS GUY HAVE SOME INTEREST IN HIS OWN STATE.

Joanna Allhands: HE DEFINITELY HASN'T GOTTEN MUCH ACCOMPLISHED SINCE HE'S BEEN IN OFFICE.

Ted Simons: ALRIGHT, WE HAVE TO STOP IT THERE. GREAT HAVING YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. MONDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON, THE NEW STUDY ON RACIAL DISPARITY IN POLICE SHOOTINGS. AND NOT ALL ARE PLEASED WITH THE STATE'S ATTEMPTS TO TAKE OVER THE FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT ON ARIZONA HORIZON. TUESDAY, GDP GROWTH AT 4.1%. WEDNESDAY REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE KEN BENNETT TALKS ABOUT HIS CANDIDACY. THURSDAY JOIN US FOR A DEBATE SPONSORED BY CLEAN ELECTIONS. AND THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE MOVES ASIDE FOR A DEBATE FOR CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 8. THAT'S ALL NEXT WEEK. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Journalists discuss the week’s news.

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Joanna Allhands, Opinions Editors at The Arizona Republic
Editorial Director Phil Boas, The Arizona Republic
News Columnist EJ Montini, The Arizona Republic

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'Frontline' examines controversial newsmakers

Investigate news and newsmakers Tuesday nights on Arizona PBS. Tonight: See how the state governments and Wall Street led America’s public pensions into a $4 trillion hole.

Animals take flight in 'Supernature - Wild Flyers'

The sky is one of the world’s most challenging places to thrive, but across the planet an extraordinary and unexpected range of animals does something we can only dream of – taking flight.

'Nova' delivers stories from the front lines of science

"Nova" explores new discoveries and how we have come this far on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS.