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Up close with Don Goldwater, GOP gubernatorial candidate

Don Goldwater, a former employee of the Department of Administration and nephew of the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, has been on the campaign trail since last August, mostly on the issue of illegal immigration.
Active in the Republican Party since 1972, the 50-year-old Laveen resident, former financial consultant and son of Bob Goldwater, outpolled other Republican candidates in a national survey conducted in March. But a Zogby Internet poll released April 4 found Governor Napolitano beating Mr. Goldwater by 11 percentage points, Len Munsil by 16 points and Jan Smith Flõrez by 22 points.
Mr. Goldwater spoke by phone with Arizona Capitol Times on May 2.
What is your response to those who say you entered the race hoping your last name would carry you and that the name Goldwater is why you lead Len Munsil in certain polls≠
I’ve been involved in Arizona all my life, either through business or charitable organizations across the state, ranging from Page to Flagstaff, Tucson, Phoenix. I’ve been involved in politics since 1972. Barry Goldwater was a big name, and I respect that name and I try to live up to that name, but Don Goldwater’s running the race, not Barry Goldwater.
Then, what about your slogan: “The name you know, the name you trust≠
You know what, I earned that. People come to me throughout the state on issues, Neighborhood Watch, raising money, trying to get people elected. They know out there that when they ask Don Goldwater to do something, it gets done.
How well did you now your famous uncle and tell us some of your memories of him.
I’d say I knew him, ah, I wouldn’t say excellently. He spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C. I did a lot of work for him, not politically, but on a personal nature. We’d sit down and have some good discussions. My favorite memory of him… I was 10 years old, we were out cuttin’ wood… I was not allowed to use an ax or a chainsaw… or so I thought. I’d picked up all the wood and wandered into camp, and he asked me what I was doing, and I told him all the wood was picked up, and he told me to go chop some wood, and I said, ‘I can’t, I’m 10 years old. And he got his son Michael to take me out and teach me how to work a chainsaw under his supervision, and it taught me that if I put my mind to it, there’s nothing I can’t do.
Several weeks ago, you said you had 75 percent to 80 percent of the signatures and Clean Elections donations needed to qualify. How does that stand today and when do you expect to file≠
I don’t have an update on that. I know through the e-mail and the mail that things have picked up dramatically. I’d say probably by the end of May or in June, would be a safe bet.
Governor Napolitano and Len Munsil filed rather quickly, but the rest of the candidates are still trying to qualify. You’ve been campaigning for quite a while, so why haven’t you qualified yet≠
Well, the signatures we’ve had for a long time. The five-dollar issue isn’t well understood. I’d have to say for the governor, I don’t have a union that’s going to help me and for Len Munsil, I don’t have a CAP (Center for Arizona Policy) that’s going out an helping.
We’ve been organizing the grassroots and it’ll take a little while to explain the five-dollar donation aspect to the general public and the grassroots. But they’re catching on quite quickly now.
Mr. Munsil says his strategy is to run against the governor right out of the gate because of the short time between the primary and the general. What is your strategy to win the primary and if successful, your strategy to overcome what most polls have shown is Governor Napolitano’s high performance ratings, popularity and the likelihood she’ll be re-elected≠
We’ve been running against the governor since day one. We know that of that 70 percent approval rating, that only 43 percent of the people said they’d vote for her. We also know from national polls that she does not poll above 50 percent, and that I’m within striking distance, from four to six percent off of her. We lead the Republican primary contest at this point by a 3-1 margin over my nearest competitor.
Why have you chosen to run publicly funded≠
I have to run publicly funded because the governor’s running publicly funded. We took a lesson from Matt Salmon’s campaign and realized if we ran traditionally, we would end up financing her campaign, and I don’t wish to do that.
Do you think Clean Elections should be repealed≠
I don’t know that it should be repealed; it certainly needs a major overhaul.
What overhaul≠
Number one, we need to make the manual fit the law. Two, I would like to see the five-dollars changed to a higher figure and less numbers. People find it a little ridiculous when you have to pay five dollars and have to fill out a form. If you were to ask them to pay ten dollars, even up to twenty dollars maximum, and to fill out a form, they might find it more legitimate.
What about term limits≠
I’m not happy with term limits. I understand the reasoning behind term limits, but I think it takes expertise away from state government. You could expand term limits and make the terms longer.
Let’s discuss the top issue of the campaign — illegal immigration, which you have pounded on since you announced. First, what’s your reaction to the April 10 pro-immigration march to the Capitol and yesterday’s [May 1] ‘A day without immigrants’ work stoppage≠”
Yesterday was a joke. The people who are running these things are doing a disservice. This isn’t an issue about Hispanics. This is a law issue about whether or not we’re going to uphold the Constitution, abide by federal law.
Your emphasis has been on border security. Tell us all the steps you support in securing the border, specifically what you think the state should and can do.
The state should put the National Guard down on the border in full capacity to help immigration enforcement agencies identify illegal aliens. We need to use the Arizona Minutemen and the Arizona Patriots and the Arizona Rangers to augment the National Guard. I believe the state can build a fence and should build a fence down at the border. If the federal government is not willing to do so, the state must do so. We need to work with companies like Motorola and Raytheon to put high technology on the borders so we can peer into Mexico to see them coming miles before they hit the border.
How severe should penalties be for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants≠
It depends on the employer. If you’ve got an employer with one or two [illegals], that would be one set of circumstances, but if you have somebody who flagrantly and willfully violates the law, I could see going all the way to prosecuting the business owners.
What do you think the penalties should be≠
In extreme cases, I could see taking away the business and putting the owners in jail.
What do you say to industries that rely on immigrants for their livelihood≠
Be specific.
Agriculture, construction, hotels≠
With construction, we’re at full employment right now. Some of the construction industry has advocated they want the illegal aliens so they could have a full workforce. I’ve been down on the border and I know they type of people who are coming across and they’re not skilled workers. If the construction industry were really in dire straits and needed these illegal aliens, they ought to go down to Home Depot and the dump and other places and pick these people up. But they won’t do it because they’re not skilled workers. They can’t use them out there building houses because they don’t know how.
The agriculture industry talks about how they need illegal aliens to pick their crops. If they’d pay a little bit more, they’d probably get people to pick their crops. I’ve had some in the agriculture industry tell me they pay illegals fifteen bucks an hour to pick crops. If that’s true, don’t you think that the Circle Ks and McDonalds would be without employees because those people were down on the border to pick crops for 15 bucks an hour≠
We know from the Pew Institute that actually the money that comes into the illegals’ pockets is about three bucks an hour.
Why not a guest worker program≠
The border security issue is in two parts. It’s like a leaky hose. You have to shut off the spigot to fix the hose. We have to secure the borders first thing and we have to take steps to make sure that cities are in compliance with enforcing the law, which they’re not. We have to go after the government to make sure they’re not providing services to people who don’t qualify for the services.
Once that’s done, let’s sit down and talk about a qualified documented worker program.
Have you had any role in the proposed legislative package to deal with illegal immigration≠
Just in discussion.
What immigration policies do you think Barry Goldwater would have supported≠
He would have supported securing our border immediately.
Are human rights and religious institutions doing wrong by assisting illegal immigrants≠
Are they breaking the law≠
I think in some cases they may be. The ACLU has been mapping out the locations of law enforcement and organizations like the Minutemen, and they’re going to the desert and contacting the illegals and showing them how to get around us. I think that’s very illegal.
You’re a fiscal conservative, so do you agree with spending $100 million in state funds to stem illegal immigration≠
We need to spend that much money to do that. I know it’s costing the state between one-point-two and two-point-four billion dollars to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens, and that’s not inclusive of property damage, court costs or anything of that nature.
There are several proposals for tax relief in the Legislature, ranging from $250 million in one year to $800 million over three years. What tax relief do you support and how much≠
I don’t have a specific dollar figure, but the higher the dollar the better I’m happy with it. We have a one-point-four billion-dollar surplus right now. We need to take some of that money and repay the Highway Users Fund. We need to take some of that money and pay down the school bonding issues. We need to put some money away in the rainy day fund. The majority of the money needs to go back to the taxpayers.
Opponents of sizeable tax reductions, such as cities and towns and the governor, say they will cause reductions in municipal services and might create deficits down the road. What’s your reaction to that opposition≠
That’s old-style thinking. If you want to reduce the size of government, there’s only two ways to do it. Number one, you need to enter into a partnership with private enterprise so you can reduce the cost of government by using private services. You can take the employees that work in that particular department or part of the department and you can negotiate contracts with the private company to come in and take the employment of those employees.
The other thing is if you want to reduce the size of government, you’ve got to withhold the money out of the pockets of government. Government has money, and we all know government spends it.
What is your position on the on-going English language learning controversy≠
I think the initial lawsuit was illegal. The lawsuit stemmed from English as a second language. I believe that we’ve got an activist judge out there who’s trying to legislate by determining where money’s going into the state budget as far as education is concerned. I think the governor and the attorney general have done everything they could possibly do to make this lawsuit happen. I think it’s a horrible thing.
It seems pretty stupid to me that the Legislature, regardless of political affiliation, has to hire their own attorney. That’s the job of the attorney general.
Do you consider yourself part of the moral majority or religious right≠
I’m a religious person. I go to church. I believe in God.
Give us specifics about your position on abortion.
I’m a pro-life candidate, with two exceptions: rape or incest up until viability and life of the mother.
What’s your position on stem cell research≠
I believe in adult stem cell research. I do not support embryonic stem cell research.
I need to explain to you that a lot of these questions are the same questions we asked Mr. Munsil.
Why shouldn’t unmarried cohabitants, be they straight, gay or lesbian, receive the same employer and civil benefits that married couples receive≠
Marriage was an institution formed by God and also with country. According to my religious upbringing, marriage is between a man and a woman. The state is an entity run by the majority. When you go outside the realm of a contractual marriage and to civil unions and to cohabitating together, you run the risk of fraud. Why can’t I have my next door neighbor on my insurance policy≠
[In a 1994 interview with The Washington Post, Barry Goldwater said, “I have one grandson who’s gay. And my brother {Bob Goldwater} has a granddaughter who is gay.”] Are you of the opinion voiced by opponents of voluntary all-day kindergarten that it’s a state babysitting program — that kindergartners should have half the day at home with a parent≠
I agree with that 100 percent. I think that money can better be spent further up the chain of education. According to the experts, most of the benefits of all-day kindergarten are lost by the time they hit third-grade. We have a problem with grade school and high school. That’s where a majority of the money needs to be spent, but it needs to be spent accountably.
What’s you position on AIMS requirements≠
I’m really disappointed that we keep changing the AIMS requirements every year. We’ve got a new law out now that says we’re not spending enough money and resources on people who don’t speak English, therefore they want to dump the AIMS. The Department of Education and the Legislature and the Governor’s Office have got to take a stand on this, and if they’re not willing to stand out in the parking lot and defend AIMS, then let’s do away with the AIMS test and go back to the Stanford and the Iowa tests.
What are your overall plans for
The first thing I want to do is sit down with [Superintendent of Public Instruction] Tom Horne and the teachers and find out what the direct costs of the classroom are. We have schools out here in Laveen, for example, that don’t have the money to buy all the students books. Then worry about capital expenses after that.
I’d like to work with the Legislature on helping teachers take back the classroom. Teachers won’t discipline in the classroom because administrators won’t back ‘em ‘cause they’re scared to death of lawsuits from parents of offending children. We need to pass laws to indemnify administrators and teachers.
I will work very, very hard for parental choice in schools. And I’d like to expand the corporate tuition tax credit. The five-million dollars passed this year is extremely low.
Are endorsements important in an election≠
I think they are.
Fill in the blank: “People should vote for me because…”
I’m the one who’s going to beat Governor Napolitano. My reputation amongst the communities of Arizona is such that they know I keep my word and I will do what I say I will. And I’m not afraid to take on the hard challenges. Never been, never will be.
Thank you. We appreciate your time.
I appreciate it too. Can you send me a copy of it≠

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