I suspect not a lot of my readers watched them; or even a lot of Arizona residents for that matter; which is too bad, because they were VERY interesting.
There were three candidates presented: Incumbent governor Janet Napolitano, and challengers Republican Len Munsil, and Libertarian Barry Hess.
Now, I'm a libertarian myself (small "l". I was once a party member but I have.. issues with the party); but generally I'm not impressed with Libertarian (big "L") candidates. They unfortunately tend to be whack jobs.
If I were going solely on what I heard during this debate, there would be no question in my mind that Barry Hess would be the best possible choice among serious candidates for governor. His response to the school safety question was "we have created victim disarmament zones in our schools, and we have to change that".
That says a hell of a lot about a guy; and his philosophy on just about everything follows from there.
Only one problem, Barry Hess believes that the government is responsible for 9/11.
Actually, it seems a lot of Libertarians do. Somehow they believe that the government is totally incompetent at everything, except giant conspiracies involving thousands of people to cover up the greatest single act of undeclared war in history.
Anyway, that puts Hess right out for my support.
Obviously I'm not a fan of Napolitano; though I'll say she hasn't done a horrible job as governor, that's mostly because we have a kick ass state legislature. Really I think her whole philosophy is just wrong. Plus, I hate her complete lack of ACTUAL action on the border, crime, or immigration issue; combines with her opportunism on the subject...
Yeah there's just a bad taste there.
Now Munsil, he has a lot of generically good ideas, a few bad ones... basically your run of the mill republican.
The thing is, he didn't really talk about any real ideas. His whole appearance was pretty much "I agree with most of what the Libertarian over there says, Janet Napolitano really sucks, and I'M NOT NAPOLITANO"
Seriously, I think Munsil will be a good governor; and I think he's going to win; but could you get any more generic? I mean take a look at these:
A Conservative Reform AgendaSooo basically the republican talking points memo. Yeah, great. Another one, not quite as bad as the other one.
The First 100 Days
1. Secure Borders
1. Immediate deployment of significant National Guard resources
2. Creation of Arizona Border Patrol as a unit of DPS
3. Deployment of state of the art technology
4. Employer sanctions
2. Improve Education
1. Reward excellent teachers with excellent pay
2. Expand parental choice through tax credits and vouchers
3. Eliminate funding inequities and other barriers to expanding charter school options
4. Establishing safe schools and supporting discipline in the classroom
3. Reduce Crime
1. Enact pay raises for law enforcement officers that will attract quality applicants for unfilled positions
2. ÂOne Strike YouÂre OutÂ Â life sentence for those who sexually violate children
3. Appoint conservative judges who will protect the rights of victims
4. Increase sentences for meth distribution, repeat and violent offenders
4. Cut Taxes and Wasteful Spending
1. Phase out state income tax over 10 years with annual 10 percent rate reduction
2. Permanently eliminate state portion of property tax
3. Review all state spending for justification and efficiency
4. Eliminate property tax for low-income seniors
5. Protect Children and Families
1. Provide beds and short-term shelter for every woman and child seeking crisis intervention from domestic violence or sexual abuse
2. Separate CPS into its own department and elevate director to cabinet-level position with daily accountability for progress
3. Crack down on Internet child pornography
4. Strengthen parental consent laws for abortion on children
6. Reform Government and Stop Politics as Usual
1. Open Books Initiative -- Implement legislative oversight of non-custodial federal funds
2. Approve tort reform that will lower health care costs
3. Stop eminent domain abuse
4. Protect rights of gun owners during time of emergency
Dammit, I wish y'all had heard Hess... if only he weren't a frikken nutjob.