KINGMAN – There are some things money can’t buy; for others, well, you have to use money.
For instance, the media. Republican U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl said during his speech Saturday evening at the 59th Annual Republican Lincoln Day Dinner and Fundraiser at Kingman Elks Lodge that he did not think he can count on the media to spread his words without paying them.
“Believe me, it’s really expensive to send your message out. You have to buy it. It’s paid media,” he said.
Right now, he spends about $1 million a month to send out mail and do radio and TV advertising. He said the money is from his friends and supporters.
But even so, in such a tough election year, he still encourages Republican colleagues to try their best to make their voices heard.
“This will be an election of contrast,” Kyl said. “We know as Republicans what we believe in. We believe in a stronger national defense, security for Americans, spreading liberties around the globe, strong protection at the border, providing good protection of our property rights, ensuring we are electing the kind of judges who will protect those rights, and trying to have as limited a government and the lowest tax rate possible.”
Seeking his third term in the Senate this fall, Kyl is sure to face a strong challenge from Democratic candidates in the election. But he said such a strong contrast between he and his opponents would definitely make it easier for voters to make up their minds.
“My opponents say the first thing they will do is to raise your taxes, while I want to keep taxes as low as possible,” Kyl said. “Why they want to raise your taxes? Because they want to spend more money. Why they want to spend more money? Because they want to get some votes.
“I think we should have to be as frugal with taxpayers’ money as possible because … it takes somebody to work really hard to make that money in the first place.”
That comment drew applause from the audience, mostly Republicans from Kingman and Mohave County. To his supporters, he urged them to reach out to their friends and asked them to cast their votes.
“Talk about those things, make sure folks are registered, make sure they get out to vote, call radio talk shows, write a letter to newspaper editors ... there is an unlimited amount of things you can do,” Kyl said.
In an interview after the dinner, Kyl said he appreciated local people’s support for him and he has been trying to do something that is going to benefit the long-term development of the area.
“For example, I was responsible for getting some funding to get the Hoover Dam bridge done, and when that is completed, it’s not only going to be a huge relief on traffic, making it easier for folks in this area to travel, it’s also going to be quite a monument and it’s going to be a sight to behold, I can assure you,” he said.
“We are also working on some issues relating to the water to this community, which is growing rapidly. We want to make sure that plenty of water is available as well.”
As for regional issues, he said he is still working on some projects that could reduce the risk of wildfires in the state’s forest. “We are sure trying to get more funding to fight wildfires. Actually, we are also trying to get more funding to manage our forests before they get to the point they start to burn. If we can do thinning and management projects, then thin out the underbrush and small diameter trees, then when the fire comes it won’t burn with the intensity and therefore will be much easier to put down, and the forest will be much more healthy.”
Asked if he is interested in running for president in 2008, Kyl said his focus would always be on the job he is doing now, and running for president is out of his consideration.
“I have been so honored to represent the people of Arizona in the U.S. Senate, it’s the best job somebody like me can have. I will be very happy to continue in that position,” he said.
Jon Kyl was elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona in 1994 and re-elected in 2000, after having served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kyl serves on the Senate’s Finance Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, and on the Judiciary Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security. As chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, he is one of six members of the Senate Republican Leadership.