KINGMAN Don Goldwater, an announced Republican candidate for governor, addressed the Mohave Republican Forum Tuesday night regarding his position on the issues.
Goldwater opened his speech by saying the 2006 election is a referendum on all of Arizona. He said Arizona has a governor who welcomes illegal immigrants that cost citizens $1.2 to $3.6 billion every year and a governor who feels that education is best left to the federal government.
The first thing Goldwater said he would do if elected would be to declare a state of emergency and put the National Guard on the U.S./Mexican border. Current Gov. Janet Napolitano confirmed, he said, that a fence is needed. He said she recently made the statement that fences are not effective and then turned around to say that the reason so many are coming into Arizona is because California put a fence up. He said one of his main goals for his term would be to put a fence and the latest technology on the border.
He also said that the biggest problems in fighting illegal immigration are ordinances preventing law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws which the Supreme Court dictated that they could. Arizona needs to remind the cities and towns that they can and must enforce these laws, Goldwater said. He also said that the state government should withhold tax dollars from those cities and towns not enforcing these laws and allowing businesses to operate with illegal immigrants as employees.
Illegal immigration is also causing an increase in illegal activity in Arizona, Goldwater said. He quoted a statistic that said 70 percent of all drugs in Arizona come across the border.
Arizona also needs, he said, to put an end to the human slave trade where boys are traded into gangs and girls for sex slaves.
Goldwater said he wants to arrest the illegal immigrants and send them back down to the border to help build the border fences.
Education is another concern Goldwater has with the current administration. He said that the problems are in the classrooms, with students not learning the basic skills needed to survive in the real world. He said Arizona needs to adequately fund classrooms and interview teachers to find out what they need to run their classrooms.
Of the $9 billion in the state budget, Goldwater said about $700,000 is surplus. Some needs to go to fund schools, he said, however, the majority of the surplus needs to be returned to the citizens of Arizona.
Richard Basinger, vice president of the Mohave Republican Forum, asked if Goldwater supported using some of the surplus to at least begin paying back the Highway User Revenue Funds that were raided after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Goldwater responded that he does not believe it is ever okay for departments to steal from other departments. The governor needs to say "no" to moving funds from one department to another. He also said that budgets need to have proof backing them up, especially concerning schools. He said once in office he would look into the feasibility of paying the HURF funds back.
Concern was voiced from outgoing Mohave Republican Forum President Laurie Barthlow about offshoring and the effect on Arizona. Goldwater said that companies transferring business offshore affects everyone. He insinuated that a lot of companies leave the U.S. because of stiff regulations put on pollution. He said Arizona needs to work on getting businesses to stay in Arizona and to tell government agencies to back off on the regulations. He also said that lowering business property taxes would help in keeping businesses here.
Goldwater said that he would support a legal secure worker program once the border is controlled. However, he said he has a problem with concessions being made for immigrants who do not assimilate. The official language of Arizona should be English, he said, and he sees no point in having second languages available for documents such as tests for a driver's license.
America was founded by legal immigrants, he said, and that is how it should always be.
Goldwater is currently in the qualifying period of the election. He has announced that he intends to run and is working toward getting enough signatures to get his name on the ballot. He said he will run a "clean" election. A clean election is a state-sponsored election.
Arizona state statute title 16, chapter 6, article 2 says, "The people of Arizona declare our intent to create a clean elections system that will improve the integrity of Arizona state government by diminishing the influence of special-interest money, will encourage citizen participation in the political process, and will promote freedom of speech under the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions. Campaigns will become more issue-oriented and less negative because there will be no need to challenge the sources of campaign money."
Qualifying candidates, according to statutes, are given an amount equal to the original primary election spending limit. If a candidate running a clean election has an opponent receiving private campaign donations, they are entitled to a limited amount of matching funds, keeping the playing field level.