2010 Libertarian Primary – Governor Candidate Comparison

If you’re a registered Libertarian in Arizona you may have noticed that, in most districts, you don’t have many candidate options. In my district, the only real choice was for state governor. You can quickly make that decision in about 45 minutes by reviewing the following material.

All have variances in opinion and political approach. If you’re voting on the candidate most likely able to compete against the democratic and republican candidates I’d recommend either Barry Hess, who tends to come across as a somewhat robotic career politician, or Bruce Olsen, who is less charismatic but is definitely decent with words and speaking on camera. Hess is the more politically experienced of the two… but again, the robot thing.

If you’re voting primarily on core principles, note that Alvin Ray Yount seems to be playing up the God/Christian card fairly heavily, based on his website and opening remarks on the PBS debate. Whether this is bad/good is of course a matter of perspective. ūüôā ¬†Personally I find it odd for a Libertarian candidate to be pushing this, and it has pissed me off to the point of dismissing him as a candidate. Cavanaugh… well, to be honest, doesn’t seem to be firmly on top of things in terms of both his knowledge and campaigning ability. So that only left Barry Hess and Bruce Olsen.

My biggest deciding factor for picking the next Arizona Governor is approach on fiscal solvency, most notably in balancing the state budget. (Both have various details worth reviewing on their respective websites.) Their approaches to border security are also considerably different. Olsen wants to build a fence; Hess is more interested in tech-based borders.

Hope these brief notes have helped! If you were lame and didn’t register for the primaries in time, you can still register for the November 2nd, 2010 general election before the October 4th, 2010 deadline.

The Financial State of Arizona

moneyThe Arizona Joint Legistlative Budget Committee (JLBC) released two documents yesterday quantifying the effects of U.S. economic fear, uncertainty and doubt as it applies to Arizona’s 2009 budget, and proposals for 2010. The big question on U.S. minds is, “How will all this affect my business?” By most accounts the answer is not positive.

The JLBC’s February 12, 2009 budget update puts “January revenues 21.5%…below [fiscal year] 2008”, for a cumulative 2-year decline of 35.9%.¬†“January results [are] significantly worse than expected”, says slide 4 of the report. These numbers directly translate to additional lump-sum budget cuts for state-funded programs, including the Arizona University System.

Layoffs in the private sector worsen the situation via a direct reduction in state sales and employment taxes. In a 2010 appropriations hearing presentation also released yesterday, the committee discussed specific cuts to a page-long list of Arizona institutions. A 2010 option for reducing the Arizona University System budget calls for a $160.6 million lump-sum reduction. “ABOR and university system received a combined¬†$141.5 million lump sum reduction [in 2009].”¬†Such changes would affect Arizona’s Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University despite higher projected enrollment numbers and tuition increases across the board. Arizona State leads in projected enrollment increases at 4% in 2010, with 15% at the East campus. Arizona University System tuition prices have increase an average of 8.5% annually since 2004.

The effect? All employees and families of the state of Arizona are nervous to find out, as “[c]urrent forecasts can indicate the direction of the¬†economy, not its precise landing point”, to quote the 2009 update report. The nightly news will likely continue to cover layoffs, salary cuts and sob stories for Arizona not-for-profits for the foreseeable future, and it seems unlikely that a “quick fix” will restore budgets to previous levels as existing layoffs and budget decisions cannot be quickly recovered.

Please tell me I’m wrong.