Play the video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Politics for Friday, Aug. 23, with guests U.S. Rep. Ron Barber; Jeff Rogers, former chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party; Trent Humphries, Tucson Tea Party founder; and Lea Marquez-Peterson, president of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
IMMIGRATION REFORM IN HOUSE: Barber said he wanted more security for his constituents along the border and said a path to citizenship for undocumented people now in the country was not a necessary component for him to support comprehensive immigration reform. He also said that he wanted an investigation into why the Department of Homeland Security spent $15 million to build 21 homes and purchase 20 mobile homes after an Arizona Republic story revealed the high cost of the housing project.
ROSEMONT MINE: Barber said he wanted more public input into the Rosemont Mine project and said he was particularly concerned about the impact on the water table for his constituents in Green Valley.
Panel Discussion with Rogers, Humphries and Marquez-Peterson topics included:
IMMIGRATION REFORM: Marquez-Peterson said that Sen. John McCain had been meeting with business groups to get their support for the Gang of Eight’s immigration-reform package and that McCain could be right when he said that Republicans would alienate Latino voters if they continued to oppose immigration reform. Humphries said that lawmakers shouldn’t pander to interest groups when passing laws such as immigration reform but should instead do what was best for the country and criticized the Gang of Eight’s plan for being too complex and filled with kickbacks and unreleated legislation. Rogers said that the Gang of Eight’s plan would probably pass the House if Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote on it and said that Republicans would alienate Latinos if they blocked passage of the plan.
ROSEMONT MINE: Marquez-Peterson said the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supported the proposed Rosemont Mine because it would create jobs and improve the economy, but Rogers said it was a potential environmental disaster for the community. Humphries said the process has dragged on long enough and it was time for a decision on the project.
2014 GUBERNATORIAL RACE: Marquez-Peterson said she was part of a group advising Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey’s gubernatorial run and Humphries said he believed Ducey was the front-runner in a crowded GOP field for governor. Rogers said he was disturbed to see that Ducey was surrounding himself with Tea Party conservatives as he built his policy team.
AZ Illustrated Politics is produced by Jim Nintzel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.