The key takeaway from this interview, as I see it, is that DuVal has a demonstratively better grasp on the complex issues facing our state today and absolutely IS the best candidate to address those issues as the chief executive of Arizona State Government.
For example, when answering questions (at 4:18 - 5:50 in the video) about higher education -- including the attack ad from the Republican Governor's Association -- Fred addressed the brain drain from so many of our new university graduates leaving the state because of the ongoing decimation of our economy. Regarding the ad, he said that our state universities endured $400 million dollars of cuts by the legislature in just one year. But rather than close the doors of any of the schools, "we survived the crisis and made long-term change to assure more pathways of access at lower cost for more students."
This is an excellent interview with a solid candidate that far out classes GOP nominee Doug Ducey.
The need for more visceral messaging will be ongoing throughout the next two months but I am confident Fred, his campaign team and a growing cadre of citizen journalists and activists can carry the day and win the election. In addition to David Pearsall's excellent letter (linked in the previous sentence), Phil Loper's letter in Saturday's Republic hits the same issue from the perspective of parents encouraging their children to excel in high school to enhance their ability to get an affordable college education.
Speaking of that confidence, I spoke with Fred a couple of days ago. We heard each other and both of us take seriously what the other had to say. His response and approach raises my confidence in him tremendously. He's not afraid of legitimate criticism (unlike some other candidates). And his interview with Ms. Rivera (video at the top of this post) is both confident and quite coherent on the key issues facing our state.
In today's Arizona Republic, long-time civic leader Roc Arnett (currently president of the East Valley Partnership) sets forth a call to action for both candidates and both Parties.
As a general rule, states that have high economic activity and lower unemployment have chief executives who focus on attracting business. New York recently established a "Green Bank" with a billion dollars to boost solar, wind and smart-grid technology, all driven by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governors of both Texas and Utah are often mentioned in the media as being key influencers in attracting and retaining companies. Arizona needs to learn from those around us and support our new governor in his role as our economic developer in chief.There is no doubt in my mind that Ducey's vision for economic development revolves SOLELY around tax giveaways. But there is too much recent history in the US that demonstrates the hazards of that approach. Heck, Ducey wants to completely eliminate the state income tax. Few proposals have been as grossly insane as that.
DuVal, on the other hand, understands the importance of keeping tax rates competitive while not giving away the bank. And cutting higher education is the LAST thing that could possibly contribute to improved and sustained economic development and growth.
So, I recognize the Republic's publication of Arnett's op-ed as an invitation for proponents of both candidates to spell out -- in terms that communicate sound arguments in meaningful ways -- how each will carry out Arnett's charge.
On this, I believe Ducey will overwhelmingly fail. And when his sycophants expound the virtues of Grover Norquist's vision for shrinking government, we will shoot holes in those claims faster than the Rifleman.