Arizona State House, District 29
Arizona Daily Star
Oct. 19, 2008


Tucson, Arizona | Published:

Why are you running?

Heinz: To serve the needs of Southern Arizona families, especially to assure access to quality health care and to strengthen education. As a healer, I feel that it is my obligation to do whatever is necessary to enhance the health and wellness of my community. Given the state of our medical system, the best place for me to advocate for real solutions is in the Legislature.

Patterson: Because I've been in the district a long time working to help people, and because I love Tucson and Arizona. Our future depends on new progressive leadership at the state Capitol, and I'm running to solve problems, help people and build bridges for positive change.

Ciscomani: When my wife, Laura, and I found out we were expecting our first child, Zoë (who is due on Election Day), we began to research … we discovered that Arizona ranked last in education nationwide and that some of the South Side schools have a 50 percent dropout rate. That is unacceptable. … What is more, the South Side of Tucson (west part of 29) has dozens of small businesses suffering the consequences of bad legislation.

Kilburn: To fix the economy and the budget and help stop the infighting between the two parties.

Are tax cuts a good way to grow the economy during the economic downturn, or would you prefer to raise them or keep them the same to avoid cutting government programs?

Kilburn: We need to try to cut taxes or we are going to lose more companies, which will seek states that tax less.

Ciscomani: We must reduce unnecessary spending. … Prioritize spending for infrastructure, public safety and education. Agencies that receive tax dollars must undergo an audit. … Initiatives should be given a 10-year time frame (and) at the end … evaluate effectiveness. … Stimulate the job-machine — small businesses.

Patterson: We should keep taxes about the same for working people, with more focus on economic justice where corporations and the wealthy pay more of their fair share.

Heinz:Given the severe underfunding of essential programs in Arizona, there is little remaining to be cut. … I favor freezing implementation of previously approved tax cuts with targeted increases for sectors that are relatively under-assessed compared to other states (and) making sure that the state most efficiently uses tax dollars.

What policies would you support to improve the standing of schools?

Patterson: I will work for stronger investment in public schools to attract and retain more quality teachers, and cut class sizes.

Heinz: We must increase funding to public schools and bond for construction of new infrastructure where needed. We must also expand vocational-training options for our students with the collaboration of the business community.

Ciscomani: We need to increase competition by promoting school choice; raise the standards for our students, specifically in math, science and English; keep school districts accountable by focusing on child-centered funding.

Kilburn: I would like to see the AIMS test restructured, administration size reduced, more distance learning, better use of tax dollars, higher teacher salary, more power given to the principals.

The state's budget shortfall next year may be in the neighborhood of $2 billion. It must be balanced. How do you do that? Raise taxes/which ones? Cut programs/which ones?

Ciscomani: Stimulate the economy in order to generate revenue for the general fund. … Anything other than education, infrastructure and public safety should be on the table to determine whether we're going to cut or reduce them.

Kilburn: All programs must be cut by at least 10 percent. Each program would have to be justified or it would be reduced or eliminated.

Heinz: I am committed to a bipartisan discussion incorporating the ideas and opinions of all parties during which all options will remain on the table. Over the long term, Arizona's economy will shift to incorporate substantial solar and wind energy generation, which will bring in many more skilled, living-wage jobs. The Legislature must facilitate this process.

Patterson: Cut wasteful spending while protecting essential public-interest programs. End the cut of the education equalization property assessment, as scheduled and earlier agreed. … Find safe and smart ways to cut the bloated and expensive prison budget.

Should the state expand government services to help those who lack health care?

Heinz: Yes. Bring back premium sharing associated with AHCCCS … (which) allowed low-middle-income families to obtain health benefits on a sliding scale. … Arizona's children should be assured coverage. … Spreading risk across a large pool of individuals is key to making coverage affordable. (Cover) preventive measures.

Patterson: Yes. ... We should use a mix of public and private insurance programs to cut the costs of health care so everyone can afford it.

Ciscomani: We need to reduce the kind of regulation on insurance companies that causes the cost to rise for the consumer. ... We need ... transparency by having doctors and pharmacies report what they charge for procedures and prescriptions ... to make the health-care system competitive. (We also need) tort reform.

Kilburn: Invest in wellness programs, push for more physical education and reduce obesity in our children, not keep adding on more mandates so the average small employer cannot afford the premiums.

Do you support the constitutional amendment on the ballot defining marriage as between one man and one woman?

Kilburn: This will be decided at the ballot box.

Ciscomani: The traditional family is the building block of society. When the definition of marriage is changed to include relationships which cannot, by definition, serve to reproduce and replenish the population, it is the signal of the end of the society.

Patterson: No.

Heinz: "Marriage" represents a religious bond that should not be sanctioned in any way by government. ... People that choose to commit themselves to one another should enter into a civil union from the government's point of view (and choose themselves whether) to have their union recognized in a religious context. ... Any couple of legal age should be eligible for civil union, same-sex or otherwise.

What should the state's role be in controlling/mitigating immigration?

Patterson: Push Congress and the feds for an overhaul of our failed federal immigration system. ... Bill the feds for uncovered costs to Arizona from the failed federal system. The state must also watch to ensure we do not have an exploited immigrant-labor underclass.

Heinz: The U.S. must compensate Arizona for the millions of dollars our taxpayers have spent as a result. ... (Until there is a comprehensive federal solution) Arizona should not attempt to target the business community with severe fines and license revocation. ... Avoid deputizing state, local officials to enforce immigration law.

Ciscomani: Federal laws should be modified ... The state plays a significant role when it comes to the prosecution of human smugglers. Recent legislation has allowed the state to prosecute over 1,000 smugglers. This is an example of how the state can increase security.

Kilburn: The federal government should secure the border and the state should use the National Guard to assist until there are enough Border Patrol agents. We should have E-Verify and push for a sustainable guest-worker program.

Matt Heinz (D)

Age: 31

Occupation: physician, (TMC)/IPC Hospitalists of Arizona Inc.

Residence: Tucson

Education: residency/internship, internal medicine, University of Arizona; doctor of medicine, Wayne State University; B.A., chemistry, Albion College

Public offices held: none

The biggest issue facing my constituents is: continued rapid growth in the context of faltering health-care and education systems with limited water resources ... complicated by the present economic uncertainties.

Daniel Patterson (D)

Age: 37

Occupation: ecologist and southwest director, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Residence: Santa Rita Park Neighborhood, Tucson.

Education: Michigan State University, 2 B.S. degrees: natural resources & agriculture policy and law; environmental communications

Public offices held: none

The biggest issue facing my constituents is: Economic justice and improving our weak economy.

Juan CiscoMani (R)

Age: 26

Occupation: senior program development specialist/University of Arizona

Residence: Tucson's South Side

Education: bachelor's degree, UA

Public offices held: none

The biggest issue facing my constituents is: the economy.

Pat Kilburn (R)

Age: 61

Occupation: retired federal agent/own my own DVD production business.

Residence: Rolling Hills, Tucson

Education: B.A. in economics and political science, University of Montana

Public offices held: none

The biggest issue facing my constituents is: budget crisis.