Journalists’ Roundtable: Kari Lake, DreamWorks, Hamas Attacks and more

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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 Jeremy Duda with Axios Phoenix, Ron Hansen with The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, and Mary Jo Pitzl with The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Kari Lake kicking off her Senate campaign
  • DreamWorks funding Pro-Democrat PAC
  • Budget shortfall forecast
  • Questionable ESA spending
  • Arizona politicians and the Hamas attack

Kari Lake kicking off her Senate campaign

Ron Hansen: “Her presentation, her message seems to be this quasi, populist sort of rhetoric, and for her to be at a magazine that really caters to the very-well-to-do, it created this sort of congruence about it. Ultimately, I think it’s mostly something that reporters and others will be looking at longer term to see if it is indicative of a bigger problem, but it was an odd thing to see.”

Jeremy Duda: “I’m not sure why she chose that, it seems like a very interesting backdrop for an announcement where you’re going to try to appeal to to folks on the economy. Folks are not happy with how it’s going, inflation is pretty rampant, people can’t afford stuff! They can’t afford to buy the things they want or need. This is going to be a staple, I presume, of her campaign like any other republican senate campaign or congressional campaign.”

DreamWorks funding Pro-Democrat PAC

Jeremy Duda: “He’s [Jeffrey Katzenberg] been a democratic mega-donor for many years, always gives a lot of money to party campaigns. This last year, he kind of got more directly involved than he had been, he created an entity called Communities United to play in the Los Angeles mayors’ race. Now, his organization, I don’t know how much involvement he’ll have directly himself, I don’t think that much, but his organization that he created is joining forces with Governor Hobbs with her former campaign manager who now runs her outside political operations to create Arizona Communities United with the goal of playing in legislative and congressional races, but I couldn’t get a good sense of how much goes to one side and how much goes to the other, but this is a state PAC. You can’t spend on congressional races and if Katie Hobbs’ former campaign manager is running the show, Hobbs cares a lot more about who is controlling the legislature right now.”

Mary Jo Pitzl: “She [Katie Hobbs] already has her own PAC that’s raising money to try and flip the legislature and she’s out there with the fundraising pitches. Just to remind viewers, right now in the legislature, the Republicans have a one-vote majority in both the House and the Senate. It would take two democratic wins in each chamber to turn control over to the Democrats. If they pick up one seat in each chamber, you have a divided government, a really divided government.”

Ron Hansen: “We will have to see what really looks viable. We saw in the last cycle, for example, was Democrats really didn’t invest in Kirsten Engel’s race against Juan Ciscomani, they literally left money on the table on that one, and they would like to have that one back. I think that there is a huge appetite among Democrats to take out David Schweikert this campaign cycle, they think that they can do that. The congressional table is set.”

Jeremy Duda, Axios Phoenix; Ron Hansen, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, and Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

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