Arizona State Treasurer Debate
Oct. 3, 2022
Kimberly Yee (R) and Martin Quezada (D) participated in a half-hour debate for the position of Arizona State Treasurer.
Incumbent Republican Yee is the State Treasurer of Arizona and oversees the cash management of Arizona’s state budget. She was the first Asian American candidate to win statewide office in Arizona when she was elected in 2018. She was previously a state senator, representing District 20 in the West Valley.
Quezada is a Phoenix lawyer and has served in the Arizona Legislature for the past decade. He is running for statewide office for the first time.
Part of the Arizona State Treasurer Office duties and responsibilities involves investing the collected tax funds for state agencies, school districts and local governments. Yee believes that during her leadership years in this position, these funds have been spent wisely. However, Quezada believes that this money has been clearly politicized. “My philosophy is safety before liquidity before yield,” Yee said in response to Quezada.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG)
Yee adopted a strategy that excludes ESG from being involved in the decision making of how tax payer funds are invested. Quezada said that this decision can take the spendings in the wrong direction, as well as politicize the money. He also mentioned that the way Yee interprets ESG’s role is not correct.
“It is not a direction on what to invest in or not invest in. It is an analysis of risk and we need to analyze the risk of every investment that we make,” said Quezada.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
A couple of weeks ago, Martin Quezada screened the “Boycott” documentary that the State Capitol. The film explores anti-BDS laws promoted by some state governments in the country. The BDS movement encourages countries to avoid doing business with Israel. Kimberly Yee mentioned that her office has a strong bond with Israel and believes the BDS movement promotes antisemitism and discrimination against people in Israel. Therefore, Quezada’s action of screening this film promoted said hate actions.
“This was a film that examined the constitutionality of a bill that was just passed by the state legislature. As lawmakers we need to understand the impact of the laws we pass. We need to understand that may come before us or proposals that might become enforced in the future that mirror those laws,” said Quezada in response.