Journalists’ Roundtable: Saudi water deal, Kari Lake, Andy Biggs and Eli Crane

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Journalists’ Roundtable. To discuss the week’s top stories, we were joined by Bob Christie with Capitol Media Services, Mary Jo Pitzl with The Arizona Republic and Camryn Sanchez with Arizona Capitol Times.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Katie Hobbs cancelling Saudi water deal
  • Kari Lake files papers for Senate run
  • Andy Biggs/Eli Crane vote to oust Speaker McCarthy
  • Attorney General aide paid for not working
  • Super Bowl spending to woo businesses

Governor Katie Hobbs cancels water deal with Saudi Arabia

Bob Christie: “There was no real monitoring of the water at all, it’s far too late. They revoked 1 of 4 permits they have for this groundwater aquifer. There has been some reporting saying if they lose their lease, the state has to compensate them for their improvements, the governor decided it was cheaper to cancel it and save the water.”

Camryn Sanchez: “There’s open questions on what’s going to be done with the land and is the next person going to come in and use the same amount of water. Did we really solve anything if that’s the case?”

Mary Jo Pitzl: “The Saudis were leasing this land at a really bargained price, they could draw as much groundwater as needed for their alfalfa crops. They’re basically exporting our water. When all of that came to light, it became a campaign issue in 2023. It took a while for the governor to get through all of the p’s and q’s of the contract and found that she had the legal basis to revoke it.”

Bob Christie, Capitol Media Services; Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com; and Camryn Sanchez, Arizona Capitol Times

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