Yesterday’s Candidate Forum was informative—even if most of the people in the room had already mailed in their early ballot.
Despite that probability, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association packed a banquet room at the Phoenix Wyndham Hotel. Perhaps in a state where arts funding has been cut so severely, people are hungry for the only theater still yielding long runs—political theater.
The event was moderated by former Maricopa County Presiding Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell.
Also speaking was Democratic candidate for Governor Terry Goddard. Appearing for the Republican ticket was, well, no one.
That fact didn’t trouble Goddard, who opened with what must be a practiced line by now: “I’m happy to wait a few more minutes for the Governor to appear.” Today, he reminded the audience, would be the 15th public event (by his count) that Gov. Jan Brewer had declined to attend to wrestle with issues in the company of her adversary.
“No problem,” said Goddard with a smile. “I’ll be happy to take both sides.”
He said that job-creation had to be “Job One.” In addition, “We will never recover our economy as long as our schools are dead last in the nation.”
“We have to put all the crazy political games aside,” he continued. “We must get more result-oriented and less interested in what Fox News cares about.”
He poked fun at the Governor’s billboard ads, in which her face is superimposed over that of Rosie the Riveter, rolling up her sleeves.
“Never has Rosie been so maligned. She was getting the job done, while Jan Brewer was borrowing $200 million every month.”
His largest laugh? When he said, “I promise this: To keep Arizona off Comedy Central for at least four years.”
Perhaps because the AG portion of the luncheon enjoyed the attendance of both opponents, the conversation had more law and less rhetoric.
Rotellini and Horne each detailed their goals for the office. Number 1 on both of their lists? Border security.
I’ll leave you with:
- Tom Horne’s best line today: “When I appeared at the Ninth Circuit for the oral argument of Horne v. Flores, I introduced myself as schools superintendent—and as the shadow Attorney General, because our elected AG would not pursue the case.”
- Felecia Rotellini’s best line today: “Voters don’t want the office used as a battering ram for political ideology. They want results. I am the only candidate who has prosecuted a criminal in Arizona.”
Here are a few photos from the event.