The 2014 Session Wrap edition of the Arizona Capitol Times marks the 10th year that we have afforded the four legislative caucus leaders and the governor the opportunity to discuss the issues of the recently completed legislative session in a question-and-answer format.
The goal has always been both to give readers a glimpse into the styles of the subjects and allow the prominent politicians to talk about the year’s events in their own words, free from the filter of a traditional news article. For the first time since we began doing them, a leader has refused to sit down for a Q&A interview.
As a result, we were unable to ask House Speaker Andy Tobin about his experiences this year — or get his thoughts on his nearly eight years as a legislator, six years in leadership and three years as speaker, given that he is leaving the Legislature after this year. His office refused multiple requests to sit down for an interview, and the only explanation given was that he “wanted more control” over what would be printed. Tobin’s office instead submitted a written synopsis of what he felt were legislative victories achieved in 2014.
We chose not to print it because it provides merely a white-washed summary of the Legislature’s activities and does not allow for any critical questions about why certain decisions were made. To print it in place of a Q&A interview — one which Tobin has consented to prior to and after each legislative session since 2012 — would make us little more than an extension of his taxpayer-funded press office.