/ Modified may 27, 2014 7:49 a.m.

AZ Illustrated Politics: Friday, May 23, 2014

Interview with Republican gubernatorial candidate Frank Rigg; comments by congressional hopeful Gary Kiehne.


Play the video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Politics for Friday, May 23:

AZ Illustrated Politics included an interview with Republican gubernatorial candidate Frank Riggs.

Frank Riggs, a Republican candidate for governor, served three terms in Congress, representing California's First Congressional District. His top priorities are education and public safety, and he said the next governor needs to be aware that the state is not financially stable.

"The next governor is going to inherit our own version of a fiscal cliff," he said. That's because the state put off some debt payments to make it through the recession, and still has a structural budget deficit.

"I want to be cognizant of that and I want to be sure we build prudent reserves to pay down that long term debt that is the result of some pretty exraordinary measures that the governor had to implement to deal with the recession," he said.

To do that, he would like to reform the tax code by eliminating corporate welfare and special interest tax breaks, and move the state to a sales tax.

For the AZ Illustrated Politics Roundtable, host Jim Nintzel sat down with Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lea Márquez Peterson and Arizona Education Network President Ann-Eve Pedersen to talk about the political news of the week. Topics included:

CITY MANAGER RICHARD MIRANDA RETIRES: Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda announced Friday he was stepping down as of July 31. Pedersen said Tucson has a steady turnover of city managers, so it’s not unusual that Miranda last only three years. She said his departure might reignite the debate over a “strong mayor” system of government. Peterson said Miranda had been active in the community and he would be missed.

CITY LOSES LEGAL BATTLE: A Pima County judge recently sanctioned the city of Tucson for failing to turn over public records related to the collapsed deal between the city and Grand Canyon University regarding the sale of El Rio Golf Course. Pedersen said the city had a record of poor negotiations on land deals and the missing records could be revealing. Peterson said the city botched the negotiations with the private university and suffered a black eye on the public-relations front.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE’S COMMENTS: Congressional District 1 candidate Gary Kiehne got national attention this week after suggesting that 99 percent of mass shooters were Democrats. After the comments went viral, Kiehne apologized for getting his facts wrong, but one of his opponents in the Republican primary, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, called on him to get out of the race. Pedersen said that all of the Republican candidates in that race had made outrageous statements and the winner was Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democrat who now holds the seat. Peterson said Kiehne’s comments did not reflect well on him and that none of the GOP candidates had done much to reach out to the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

AZ Illustrated Politics is produced by Jim Nintzel. Contact him at jnintzel@azpm.org.

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