Meet the candidates: Arizona's gubernatorial election, part II
In our five-week series, The State Press will highlight the candidates and their platforms. The primary election will be held Aug. 24, and early voting begins July 29. This is part II. View part I here.
Current State Treasurer Dean Martin announced Friday that he will no longer be running for governor.
He released this information a day after an interview with The State Press.
According to a press release, he suspended his campaign in order to avoid distractions and help with the current budget situation, economy and a lawsuit from the federal government regarding the new immigration law.
The statement said that after his term ends in December, he will focus on his charity.
As an elected official, The State Press staff still felt it necessary to publish Martin’s views and beliefs on the following issues.
Name: Dean Martin
Current city: Phoenix
Number of years in Arizona: 31
Reason for running:
“I couldn’t sit idly by and watch the state finances continue to be left in disarray,” Martin said.
He added that he disagrees with raising property and sales taxes. Martin warned the current governor, Jan Brewer, that a recession was coming, and certain cuts could have been avoided, but his advice was ignored.
Martin said he thinks people will vote for him because he will balance the budget and secure the border.
He was elected in 2006 as the Arizona state treasurer and currently holds that position.
He also served as an Arizona senator from 2001 to 2006.
In the past, he founded the Center for Responsible Budgeting, a nonprofit educational organization that focused on financial literacy.
Martin said the organization was closed when he became treasurer, because he currently promotes the same goals as treasurer.
However, www.martincharities.org is still running and raises money for water safety and financial literacy.
Martin was the first student at ASU to graduate with a focus in entrepreneurship as part of his small business management degree in 1996.
“You can’t not have an entrepreneurship program at ASU,” Martin said. “Now, it’s a major part of the University. Back then, it wasn’t a focus at all.”
He said he helped start the program at ASU.
“I’ve never been one for doing things the way you’re supposed to,” Martin said. “I’ve kind of always blazed my own path and done it a little bit different.”
Stance on education:
“We need to start realizing that the state and the University need to be making the same commitment the student has made,” Martin said.
The goal is for students to graduate with degrees, he said, but that’s difficult when their tuition is “doubling in four years.”
“That’s just driving people out of getting a degree, not toward,” Martin said.
There needs to be a system where each class of students is guaranteed certain fixed costs for four years so they can prepare, if they keep their end of the agreement, he said.
“The state needs to start planning long-term as well and start doing a four-year budget for the universities,” Martin said, instead of changing the budget every year for returning students.
It will provide stability to students, parents, the University and state, he added.
“The ultimate goal needs to be graduating students, not seeing how much we can milk the students for more money because our Legislature’s too short-sighted to plan that far ahead,” Martin said.
Stance on immigration:
Radar camera equipment, a physical fence and more troops would help border security, Martin said.
The federal government has no intention of helping secure the border, even with the Secure Fence Act and other Southwest border security initiatives.
“I think they set it up in such a way to make sure it would fail,” Martin said.
The project is simple enough, he said, and it hasn’t been completed because the government doesn’t want it to happen.
Six years ago, Martin sponsored legislation to finish building the fence, add National Guard troops and radar cameras to the border and end in-state subsidies for illegal immigrants, which was vetoed by former Gov. Janet Napolitano.
He managed putting the in-state subsidies legislation on the ballot in 2006 as Proposition 300, he said, which passed and prevents illegal immigrants from getting child care, adult and family education assistance, as well as in-state tuition financial assistance.
Illegal immigrants were paying a smaller price than U.S. students from other states.
Martin said the whole reasoning behind in-state tuition prices are to encourage students who graduate to stay in Arizona and contribute to the economy and taxes.
“The purpose of the subsidy breaks down when you’re dealing with somebody who’s here illegally,” Martin said, because an illegal immigrant can’t use the degree legally. “You’re not going to be able to pay the state of Arizona back for the subsidy that you got.”
The new immigration law is exactly the same as federal law, except it has a ban on racial profiling.
It is ironic that the federal government is suing Arizona for copying its law, he said, because the Arizona law isn’t in conflict with the federal law, except for the racial profiling ban.
“It’s not an extensive plan to secure our borders or stop illegal immigration,” Martin said. “What I think you have is the extremes of both sides of this issue using [SB] 1070 as kind of the lightning rod around the entire immigration debate.”
Stance on economy:
He said the solution to the budget is to not spend more than is allowed, and spending should be at the levels of 2005, though student and population growth has to be considered.
Another option is to freeze spending and fix the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
“Everybody’s got free coverage,” Martin said. “Why would anybody on AHCCCS go for a generic drug when brand names are free?”
He said the system is used unwisely and needs to be changed.
Some people will “literally call for an ambulance…for an ingrown toenail,” Martin said. “You would never do that on your own health insurance.”
He suggests setting up some premiums and co-pay costs.
Martin was against Proposition 100 because it made item purchases more expensive during a recession, which is a “slowdown in the number of transactions.”
“That will slow down any recovery,” he said.
Name: Ronald “Ron” Cavanaugh
Current city: Springerville
Number of years in Arizona: 18 years total, but he first moved to the state 31 years ago.
Reason for running:
“I didn’t see anybody better,” Cavanaugh said.
Taxation, education, security and protection are just some of the key issues important to the 61-year-old.
“The taxation of the public in order to pay back or pay down…a debt that the government caused I think is wrong,” Cavanaugh said.
The state government caused the debt by taking too long to decide on the budget, when “budgets aren’t that difficult,” he said.
Cavanaugh believes many Republicans and Democrats will not be reelected because of partisan problems.
“People have finally reached a point that they understand that the status quo doesn’t work, and it hasn’t for a long, long time,” Cavanaugh said. “Our constitutional rights have been stepped on left and right, and they’ve been chipped away to a point where finally people are no longer complacent.”
These rights include people being able to live the way they want without too much government involvement, unless they are harming others.
Cavanaugh was a cross-country truck driver for 23 years.
“You learn a lot when you’re out in the public like that, and you’re talking with people from different walks of life and different cultures,” he said.
Cavanaugh is now retired and spent one year as a member of the Springerville municipal airport advisory committee. He has been part of the planning and zoning commission for five years and has been chairman for a year.
Stance on education:
Cavanaugh was against Proposition 100, though he is in support of higher education.
“I believe in lowering taxes across the board,” Cavanaugh said. “There needs to be a reform done in the tax system of America, period.”
He doesn’t want there to be taxes on necessary items, like food and property.
Higher education can receive private funding instead of funding through Arizona and federal government, he said.
“As long as the federal government is involved in something, they always put their nose in where it doesn’t belong, and we end up getting a lesser quality than what they would have got if it was in a private sector,” Cavanaugh said.
“I believe that it is only because the universities get help from the government that they set their tuition costs higher,” he added in an e-mail. “If that funding weren't available, it would force them to lower their tuitions and it would be more affordable to those who want to attend.”
Curricula should be up to teachers and educators, not legislation and Arizona, he said.
“Teachers are not educating the students,” Cavanaugh said. “They are teaching them to the test, so that they can pass the test, which means they are learning nothing.”
For example, there’s a problem when people don’t know how to make simple calculations without using a calculator, he said.
Stance on immigration:
Gov. Jan Brewer should have vetoed the original form of SB 1070, he said, because it wasn’t properly written and gave people the opportunity to sue the police and other enforcement agencies.
“I am for immigration law,” Cavanaugh said. “I’m for protecting the border. I think that illegals, the minute they step across the line, are automatic felons.”
Billions of dollars are spent on illegal immigrants, he said. The government pays for their medical care, housing and education, when some U.S. citizens can’t get these benefits.
When illegal immigrants cross the border, they are checked for their medical condition and are not billed for that, he said.
“Who’s going to pay the hospital bill?” Cavanaugh said. “They’re not. We are.”
He supports Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his involvement in the illegal immigration issue, but “he walks a real fine line on constitutionality,” he added.
The new immigration law doesn’t promote racial profiling, he said.
“It just appears that way because the majority are Mexicans,” Cavanaugh said. “I think that you better have a reason that you’re stopping somebody, and it better not be made up.”
He doesn’t support amnesty and believes illegal immigrants need to enter the country the correct way.
Stance on economy:
Cavanaugh is against taxes, even if it’s “only a penny a dollar.”
“The people are tired of being taxed for everything that the government has done, and the government expects us through our taxes to pay it off,” Cavanaugh said.
The people shouldn’t be responsible for the bill, he said, since they didn’t create the problem.
“Can I send you my credit card bill and you pay it for me?” Cavanaugh said, adding that the government wouldn’t pay for his bill, because he was the one who bought the items.
The state government should make more internal cuts, he said, instead of cutting funding for schools and programs like the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
“I know that there is twice as much money in the government that Brewer could’ve cut out than what she has and what she claims that she has,” Cavanaugh said.