You can disagree in the comments, but Farley was clearly the candidate who can beat Doug Ducey:
- He had specific answers about funding education and where to get the money. Garcia gave general answers and anecdotes.
- Farley has actually been elected to office 6 times over the last 11 years.
- Garcia lost in the 2014 race for Superintendent of Public Instruction to Diane Douglas, who did not campaign publicly.
- Farley is a sitting state senator and Garcia is an ASU professor.
Hundreds of precinct committeemen and officers attended the event, which was live-cast on the party’s Facebook page and moderated by Brahm Resnik of NBC channel 12 news.
.6% Education Sales Tax
Farley: opposed, because it’s a regressive tax that hurts the poor. “The Arizona chamber of commerce says every year that we need to fund education and we need more corporate tax breaks, guess which one the legislature has listened to. These business leaders are calling for a 1% increase in your sales tax, but they should start calling for a tax increase on themselves. If they are sincere about improving our education system, they should share some of the burdens and not just let middle-class people take it again.”
Garcia: in favor, with an increase to 1% or 2%, but with additional dollars coming from closing tax loopholes.
Funding K-12 Education
Farley: “44% of teachers leave within two years in Arizona. This is a crisis,” he said. “We have the money to fund our public school system, and we need to start with teacher raises. The way to do that is to go after corporate tax loopholes. We now give away $13.7 billion corporate sales tax loopholes a year, our entire general fund is only $9.5 billion.”
Garcia: “We need to treat teachers as professionals that we respect in society. We treat teachers like missionaries. That means paying them so they can raise families and build a career in education.” To fund schools, “We need to use every tool we have available, and that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and finding new ways to raise revenue.”
Tax-Funded Vouchers for Private Schools
Farley: opposed. “The only people empowered by these accounts are the rich people who can already afford to pay for the school in full. These are private school vouchers whose entire aim is to privatize the public schools by people in the legislature and our governor, who called public schools “government schools” because they want to get rid of them.”
Garcia: opposed. “Getting rid of school vouchers at top of my list. 95% of our parents are in traditional public school districts, yet the governor pushes a bill for the remaining 5%. At the same time, we continue to cut education in Arizona and we remain near the bottom. My first priority is to fund public school system so that we can have the best system in the country.”
Farley: Single-payer health system.
Garcia: A state-sponsored Medicare for all health insurance option might be a good idea.
Protecting Undocumented Immigrants
Farley: “I voted against SB 1070 and everything Russell Pierce did before or after that. I’m grateful to all of you to get him out of office. We need to focus on embracing all of those who are a successful part of Arizona. There’s no better example than the DACA students. When you talk to these kids, their drive is amazing and it is incredibly inspiring to see where they’ve come from. We should focus federal money on stopping criminals at the border, and don’t focus on law-abiding citizens who just don’t happen to be documented.”
Garcia: “We should create a relationship between law enforcement and local communities in such a way so that we don’t have people living in the shadows. Second, the governor should be at the national level to create solutions for immigration, and Arizona should be leading the way in creating a policy about the border.”
Trump Rally on August 22
Farley: President Trump is not the president of United States, he is a cheerleader for white supremacists. I would not greet him at the airport. In this country, the kind of support he has given to reprehensible evil people, means I don’t want him stirring up that kind of person he should stay away.”
Garcia: As governor, I wouldn’t meet him on the tarmac. It’s a security issue, and we have a powder keg in the nation after Charlottesville. The president is walking into state and putting us into a dangerous situation. You let know he is not welcome and that the white supremacists behind him are not welcome to Arizona.”
Farley: “These confederate monuments need to go now. They are not monuments to history. They are monuments to a moment in our history celebrating the accomplishments of racists. We need an emergency meeting of Legislative Mall Commission to direct Ducey appointees to take down the monuments.”
Garcia: “We need to remember our history, even the ugly parts of it, but that doesn’t mean we need to revere it. It is important for me that my daughter to know that her grandfather, when he was young, had to swim at the Gilbert pool on Wednesdays along with the other Mexican kids, because Thursday is when they cleaned the pool. It is important to know that we segregated Latino kids because of their language ability, and we still do that today. We have to remember those parts of history or else we are going to repeat them. We’re talking to people who brought symbols of oppression and hate and planted them here in our state. That’s where we draw the line. Arizona should not be a welcoming place for racists or those who are bringing their symbols of oppression and hatred here.