Campaign Finance & Election

Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.

<p>Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.</p>

"I'm 6'5" and weigh 225 pounds," KPHO-TV (Channel 5) news anchor Jon Du Pre cautioned the audience gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Phoenix for the final gubernatorial candidate forum Wednesday, "but my crew director is in even better shape, and we'll evict any hecklers."

Had liquor been served, the swanky hotel could have been the scene of a riot, as loyalties and passions ran high.

Less than a month away from the September primary, election year 2002 is already in full swing.

And the race for governor is no exception: with four democrats, three republicans, two libertarians and an independent looking to succeed Jane Hull as Arizona's next governor.

Is questioning politicians an art, a science or an exercise in futility? Answer: all of the above.

It also can be enlightening, revealing and just plain fun. It was all of those during a gubernatorial candidates' debate Tuesday evening in Tucson. The debate was sponsored by the Goldwater Institute and the Tucson Citizen, and all 10 candidates for governor took part.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Phoenix is a bad word to some candidates for governor, especially when they're on a podium in Arizona's second largest city.

Candidates took more shots at Arizona's most populous city than each other during a Tuesday evening candidate forum sponsored by the Tucson Citizen and the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank in Phoenix.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alfredo Gutierrez said he would abolish the state schools facilities board and take a hammer to tax loopholes and giveaways.

Gutierrrez spoke at a debate last night at the Marriott University Park hotel sponsored by the Tucson Citizen and the Goldwater Institute that featured all 10 candidates for governor.

Our Opinion

It is ironic that Arizona's Clean Elections law has been responsible - directly and indirectly - for a good deal of dirt slung in the primary election campaign.

When voters approved the law four years ago, Clean Elections was touted as a revolutionary idea that would remove the power that large-money donors supposedly held over those elected to state offices.

U.S. Reps. John Shadegg and Jeff Flake, stalwart conservative Republicans from separate areas of the Valley, filed Monday for re-election.

Unless GOP opposition materializes before the filing deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the two will be unopposed in the Sept. 10 primary. Dusko Jovicic, who announced he would run against Shadegg, is now aiming for the seat being vacated by the GOP's Bob Stump.

John O'Donnell taught high school for 28 years and became more and more disenchanted with Arizona's beleaguered educational system.

The Cottonwood resident wanted to get into state politics to help revamp public schools, but he didn't feel comfortable asking people for lots of money to bankroll his campaign. So O'Donnell, like hundreds of incumbents and political newcomers, is using the state's new program of publicly funding candidates.

Citizen Staff Report

All 10 candidates for Arizona governor will participate in a forum here Aug. 20 co-sponsored by the Goldwater Institute of Phoenix and the Tucson Citizen.

The forum is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Marriott University Park hotel, 880 E. Second St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Four Democrats, three Republicans and two Libertarians and an independent are running to succeed Gov. Jane Hull.

Now that the Iowa caucuses are over, can we finally have a sensible discussion about the federal governments obsession with ethanol?