State of Arizona Archives: on Government Reform


Richard Carmona: All earmarks are not pork

Flake attempted from the start of the race to tie Carmona to Obama particularly and Democratic policies in general. And it's a fight Flake continued at this debate, arguing that Carmona's positions, ranging from earmarks to healthcare, reflected the position of the Obama administration.

Carmona defended earmarks, arguing that "all earmarks are not pork," adding that "there are necessities that the federal government can provide"--pointing to investments in infrastructure as necessities that small businesses simply can't handle on their own. But Flake, who has been criticized for failing to bring federal funding to his district, said that Carmona's view was similar to Obama's.

"Here's this philosophy again, that all jobs have to be created by the federal government. That's why Dr. Carmona is comfortable in the Democratic Party, because that's the attitude of the Obama administration--that unless the federal government somehow creates it, it didn't exist," Flake said.

Source: The Hill on 2012 Arizona Senate debates Oct 10, 2012

Jeff Flake: Opposes Open Government initiative for non-partisan primary

Q: The Open Government initiative that we could see on the November ballot, which would put all candidates on the same primary ballot, what do you think of it?

A: Not a big fan. They did it in California. They thought that it would result in a lot more competitive general elections there. It looks as if there will be only a few, if any, that will really turn out that way. I kind of like the nominating process we already have. It seems that when we go down this road--like we did with Clean Elections--hoping for something better, it always turns out worse.

Q: Proponents of the initiative hope it would address gridlock. How can we do that?

A: Right now, when you look at the gridlock we have, what's frustrating is that we passed a budget and some people may not like it, but it's a serious budget. And everyone knows that politics is the art of compromise. You have to compromise on some issues if you want to pass something.

Source: The Sahuarita Sun on 2012 Arizona Senate debates May 29, 2012

Richard Carmona: Supports Open Government initiative for non-partisan primary

Q: What do you think of the Open Government initiative that would put everybody on the same primary ballot?

A: I like it. The more transparency and nonpartisanship that we can bring to government I think is good.

Q: It's designed, in part, to address gridlock. Will it work?

A: I hope it works because the more we return democracy to really what it should be--that is candidates getting on their soapbox, speaking their values, convincing people they're the right person--and what's more important is the values you bring and the party you belong to, and I think this type of initiative helps to move it along... What we do know now is that partisan politics is paralyzing us.

Q: You've used the term "vicious" to describe Washington politics a couple of years ago. Is it any better today?

A: I would say that it's probably worse, and it's more polar. That's not what democracy should be. Democracy really should be a spirited exchange of ideas, make your case--it's the ultimate debate club.

Source: The Sahuarita Sun on 2012 Arizona Senate debates May 29, 2012

Richard Carmona: Require financial analysts to disclose contacts in Congress

I applaud the restrictions on insider trading by members of Congress put in place by the STOCK Act. However, important anti-corruption measures were left out, requiring financial analysts disclose contact with members of Congress & staff. It's the same requirements we have for lobbying, why shouldn't we have it for the financial industry?

It is past the time we put important restrictions in place to keep career politicians--or their favored special interest friends--from profiting from their offices.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, carmonaforarizona.com Mar 15, 2012

Mitt Romney: Earmark system is broken; ban them with line-item veto

SANTORUM [to Romney]: I suspect you would have supported earmarks if you were in the Senate.

ROMNEY: I would put a ban on earmarks. I think it opens the door to excessive spending on projects that don't need to be done. You voted to the "Bridge to Nowhere." I think these earmarks, we've had it with them. The 6,000 earmarks that were put in place under Speaker Gingrich's term, for instance, were oftentimes tagged on to other bills. We've had thousands of earmarks. They are typically bundled on to other bills.

SANTORUM: You're misrepresenting the facts. What happens in the earmark process was that members of Congress would publicly request these things, put them on paper, and have them allocated, and have them voted on.

ROMNEY: And the president can't veto it?

SANTORUM: He can veto the bill.

ROMNEY: But he can't veto the earmark?

SANTORUM: Well, we tried to do that. I supported a line-item veto.

ROMNEY: That's what I support.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary Feb 22, 2012

Rick Santorum: Line-item veto needed; spending transparency until then

ROMNEY: I would put a ban on earmarks. It opens the door to excessive spending. We've had thousands of earmarks. They are typically bundled on to other bills.

SANTORUM: You're misrepresenting the facts. What happens in the earmark process was that members of Congress would publicly request these things, put them on paper, and have them allocated, and have them voted on.

ROMNEY: And the president can't veto it?

SANTORUM: He can veto the bill.

ROMNEY: But he can't veto the earmark?

SANTORUM: Well, we tried to do that. I supported a line-item veto.

ROMNEY: That's what I support.

SANTORUM: I agree with you. I support the line-item veto. I voted for a line-item veto so we could do just that. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court struck it down. I would like to go back, as president, again, and give the president the authority to line-item veto. But that's not the issue. The issue is, were they transparent? When I was in the Senate, there was transparency.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary Feb 22, 2012

Rick Santorum: Endorsed Arlen Specter to assure conservative Supreme Court

ROMNEY [to Santorum]: The reason we have ObamaCare is because the pro-choice Senator in Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed, Arlen Specter.

SANTORUM: I supported Arlen Specter because he was going to be the chairman of the Judiciary Committee when two to three Supreme Court nominees were going to be available. And maybe all three were going to be out of the conservative block. Arlen Specter asked me to support him; I said "will you support the president's nominees?" We had a 51/49 majority in the Senate. He said "I'll support the president's nominees as chairman." He saved Justice Thomas. Every nominee Arlen Specter supported, passed; Why? Because it gave Democrats cover to vote for it and it gave Republican moderates cover to vote for it. He gave the moderate Republicans and the conservative Democrats the leeway to then support that nominee. Arlen Specter defended Roberts, defended Alito. We have a 5/4 majority on the court, and I did the right thing for our country.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary Feb 22, 2012

Ron Paul: If Congress doesn't earmark, the Executive Branch decides

SANTORUM: Congressman Paul is one of the most prolific earmarkers in the Congress today. I'm not criticizing; I'm just saying that's a fact.

PAUL: Earmarking is designating how the money's spent. If the Congress doesn't say the way the money should be spent, it goes to the executive branch, and that's the bad part. You don't want to give more power to the executive branch. Even if I'm president, I don't want more power over that funding. That should be with the people and with the Congress. But the reason we get into trouble with earmarking is the irresponsibility of Congress. Take your highway funds. We're supposed to pay a user fee; we should get our fair share back. But what do they do? They take the highway funds and they spend this money overseas. And then when the highways need building, then you have to go and fight the political system and maneuver and try to get some of your money back. If you say you're against earmarking, the answer is vote against the bill. That is what I do.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary Feb 22, 2012

John McCain: Hayworth was unethical lobbyist hawking infomercials

McCain hammered Hayworth for his work as a registered lobbyist & infomercial pitchman after losing his re-election bid in 2006. Hayworth has stumbled since video surfaced of his appearance in a 2007 infomercial hawking free government money on behalf of Florida company accused of charging thousands of dollars for information that was readily available online or at a public library.

"These are the facts," McCain said. "J.D. Hayworth was a lobbyist. He was in late-night infomercials. He said he didn't d due diligence. My God man, didn't you know that this was a group that was taking people's money to say it could give them free government money."

Hayworth said, "It's really sad to see John McCain, who should be revered as a statesman, basically reduce to a political shape-shifter," he said, then turned to his opponent. "John, you've changed positions so much in this campaign maybe we'll have to set up an extra podium for you depending on which John McCain is going to answer which question."

Source: AP coverage of 2010 Arizona Senate Republican Primary Debate Jul 17, 2010

Janet Napolitano: We'll be remembered for what we did, not for how we budgeted

As I deliver the 2009 budget plan this week, I hearken back to a statement from my First Inaugural Address: "Generations to come will not remember us for how we balanced the budget, or how we expanded or contracted the size of government. Instead, they will remember how we educated our children, how we protected our seniors, how we built a new economy, and how we made this wonderful state an even better place to live."

Together, we have provided better educational opportunities for our children. We have protected our seniors and built toward a new economy. We have moved Arizona forward, and the budget I present to you will be balanced and will protect what we have achieved.

Source: Arizona 2009 State of the State Address Jan 12, 2009

Jan Brewer: Make it easier for our overseas military soldiers to vote

Brewer made it a priority to introduce and pass legislation which makes it easier for our overseas military soldiers and permanent residents to participate in our election process. This new law specifically assists those men and women serving our country abroad to vote and register to vote by internet or by fax. This most recent 2008 Election afforded hundreds of Arizona military and overseas citizens with the ability to cast ballots over the internet from over 60 countries throughout the world.
Source: Arizona Secretary of State website Dec 3, 2008

Jan Brewer: Replace punch card voting with touch-screen devices

Brewer took the lead on federal election reform by compiling the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) State Plan. Secretary Brewer's quick action placed Arizona second in the nation in accomplishing this federal mandate. Her new plan led to a successful strategy to get rid of punch card voting systems by 2004, create a centralized and uniform voter registration system which adds accuracy to the voter rolls, and have touch-screen voting devices for disabled voters in every precinct by the 2006 elections.
Source: Arizona Secretary of State website Dec 3, 2008

Kyrsten Sinema: Contribution & spending limits on political campaigns

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Limiting PAC contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Parties?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: Arizona 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

Jane Dee Hull: Pay state employees more, to ensure quality staff

Most of us agree that a small and efficient government works best. But we canít expect to keep the best and the brightest if we offer bottom-of-the-barrel compensation. State employees are now paid 13% less than the market average. This is unacceptable. We need a modern, efficient state government staffed by highly educated and properly compensated employees. I am recommending we take a major step toward closing the gap with a state employee package of $290 million, including pay and benefits.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arizona legislature Jan 8, 2001

Gabby Giffords: Supports public funding for political campaigns

Q: Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates? Individual?

A: No.

Q: PAC?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Parties?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Arizona State National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Alan Keyes: Campaign reforms: unconstitutional ďincumbency protectionĒ

HATCH [to Keyes]: I have no question in my mind that we need to change the campaign finance system that we have. But I think that the McCain-Feingold bill is unconstitutional because it bars the parties and every public interest organization to use the same money to participate. And it seems to me itís just plain wrong. What do you think about it?

KEYES. All of these approaches are wrong because theyíre based on a premise that I think is unconstitutional. If we have the right of free association, then I think we have the right to associate our money with the causes we believe in, in any amount that we think is necessary to get those causes to work.

HATCH: Amen.

KEYES: For government to step in and for these politicians to be dictating what we can do under that rubric is a total violation of our Constitutional rights. And I think we ought to abandon it. It turns out to be incumbency protection anyway. They will never devise a system that isnít in their own interest.

Source: (cross-ref. from Hatch) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Alan Keyes: Unlimited contributions, but only by people, & publicized

Letís devise [campaign finance reform] thatís in the interest of our freedom. More freedom, not less. Simple premises that we should have: No dollar vote without a ballot vote. If you canít walk into the voting booth and cast a vote, you should not be able to make a contribution. No corporate contributions. No union contributions. No contributions whatsoever from any entities that are not actual breathing voters who can go cast a vote.

Rich folks who want to give a lot of money to candidates and causes they believe in, [should do so not from] behind PACs and camouflage, but under their own names, right out into the political arena. That will itself regulate participation of money in our politics. But at the end of the day, publicity tied with our informed voting is the best way to regulate this system.

Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Gary Bauer: Large donations buy access and are ďcorruptingĒ

Large contributions from either big labor or big business to the two political parties are corrupting. Itís one thing for somebody to donate $1,000, which is the Federal limit, but when a corporation or a union can write a two million or a five million check to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party, we all know that that buys access that no average American can meet. So I will support having campaign reform that gets at the special interest in both parties. I think we need to do it.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

John McCain: Drain the big money swamp to kill lobbyist mosquitoes

FORBES [to McCain]: Passing laws against lobbyists is sort of like passing laws against mosquitoes. Washington attracts mosquitoes the way swamps attract mosquitoes. Special interests go there. Donít we need to drain the swamp first to get the mosquitoes out of the way. And donít we have to get rid of the tax code first?

McCAIN: The fact is if you want to drain the swamp, you take the big money away from the big-time K Street lobbyists and that way they lose their power and their influence. Look, anybody who wants the status quo in Washington, they donít want John McCain. Because there ainít going to be the status quo when Iím president of the United States. You take away the big money, youíre going to take away their power and youíre going to break that iron triangle of lobbyists, big money and influence over the legislative process which has so badly embarrassed so many of us and it is the gateway to draining the swamp.

Source: (cross-ref. from Forbes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Orrin Hatch: McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform is unconstitutional

HATCH [to Keyes]: I have no question in my mind that we need to change the campaign finance system that we have. But I think that the McCain-Feingold bill is unconstitutional because it bars the parties and every public interest organization to use the same money to participate. And it seems to me itís just plain wrong. What do you think about it?

KEYES. All of these approaches are wrong because theyíre based on a premise that I think is unconstitutional. If we have the right of free association, then I think we have the right to associate our money with the causes we believe in, in any amount that we think is necessary to get those causes to work.

HATCH: Amen.

KEYES: For government to step in and for these politicians to be dictating what we can do under that rubric is a total violation of our Constitutional rights. And I think we ought to abandon it. It turns out to be incumbency protection anyway. They will never devise a system that isnít in their own interest.

Source: (cross-ref. to Keyes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Steve Forbes: Drain the tax code swamp to kill lobbyist mosquitoes

FORBES [to McCain]: Passing laws against lobbyists is sort of like passing laws against mosquitoes. Washington attracts mosquitoes the way swamps attract mosquitoes. Special interests go there. Donít we need to drain the swamp first to get the mosquitoes out of the way. And donít we have to get rid of the tax code first?

McCAIN: The fact is if you want to drain the swamp, you take the big money away from the big-time K Street lobbyists and that way they lose their power and their influence. Look, anybody who wants the status quo in Washington, they donít want John McCain. Because there ainít going to be the status quo when Iím president of the United States. You take away the big money, youíre going to take away their power and youíre going to break that iron triangle of lobbyists, big money and influence over the legislative process which has so badly embarrassed so many of us and it is the gateway to draining the swamp.

Source: (cross-ref. to McCain) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Arizona Politicians: Archives.
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