Candidate Munsil touts experience in public policy

KINGMAN – Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil made a round through Kingman Monday, speaking at a Kingman Republican Men’s function at the Elks Lodge.

A self-described Reagan conservative, Munsil presented his platform emphasizing immigration control at the border and cutting taxes.

“Issue after issue, the state of Arizona is not doing better today than it was four years ago,” Munsil said.

Munsil attributed the budget surplus, which he said was the one improvement in the state’s outlook, to the Republican-dominated Legislature’s denial of tax increase proposals.

His clear difference with Gov. Janet Napolitano on the budget, he said, was that she was focused on how it should be spent, whereas he said the surplus should go to taxpayers who have “overpaid taxes for the level of government that we were provided.”

Munsil said his experience and principled record of public policy separate him from the other Republican candidates.

“I have 20 years of experience in public policy, all of which has been motivated by principle,” he said, noting a conservative public policy organization he established that lobbied for several social conservative initiatives.

Munsil drafted the Protect Marriage Arizona Amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. Munsil said his organization, The Center for Arizona Policy, is the largest conservative public policy organization of its kind in the United States.

“We were the largest, we were the most effective, and that is one area that separates me from the other Republican candidates,” he said.

“Not one of them has spoken out in the policy arena that has been involved in the state over the ideas that affect the state of Arizona prior to becoming candidates for governor,” he said, adding that the governorship is “not an entry-level position” for someone with no experience in the public policy arena.

Munsil said his career in politics started as an editor for ASU’s newspaper where he defended himself “in a liberal campus environment to defend the principles and values,” he believes in.

Munsil said his next move was founding an organization while in law school at ASU called the Federalist Society, he said was committed to Libertarian and conservative economic analysis of law and “committed to judges who understand the role of judges, and do not overstep and over-reach through judicial activism.”

He went on to clerk for a Reagan-appointed judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and said he spent the last 15 to 20 years working for the National Family Legal Foundation on the national level before founding The Center for Arizona Policy.

Munsil said the current extent of border security enforcement was “unconscionable,” and preventing illegal crossings was a matter of deploying sufficient technology and manpower at the border, not agreeing with candidate Don Goldwater’s concept of tent cities for incarceration.

“My approach is to stop them before they cross, so we don’t have to build tent cities at the border and make us, the taxpayers, responsible for paying for them,” he said.