LIMITED GOVERNMENT * ECONOMIC FREEDOM * INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY Main ...
A new poll indicates that former state employee Don Goldwater still holds a
double-digit lead in the four-candidate field for the Republican
Goldwater's issue: Immigration
Arizona Republic, AZ - 11 hours ago
... Don Goldwater is heir to the most storied name in Arizona politics. ...
"For the record, my name is Don Goldwater. Let me repeat that:
My name is Don Goldwater.". ...
Goldwater's issue: Immigration
Will famous name help border campaign?
Matthew Benson and Amanda J. Crawford
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 9, 2006 12:00 AM
Don Goldwater is talking illegal immigration.
It has been this way almost non-stop since the Republican announced his
candidacy for governor just over a year ago. On this day, Goldwater, 51, of
Laveen, is running down his border security plan. He wants National Guard
troops. A wall. Technology that would make it possible to peer across miles
of countryside and deep into Mexico.
And he wants it now. Because, for Goldwater, there is no more time for talk
and negotiation and half-measures. The need is urgent, he says, and he
explains why by linking illegal immigration to nearly every Arizona woe
short of roof rats.
"It encompasses everything. A lot of these people coming across are entering
into the gangs. A lot of the women coming across are going into
prostitution. You've got a real problem in the medical field."
"We have problems in education. We have problems with our health-community
issues. We have problems in crime throughout our city."
This is Goldwater's immigration mantra, a message likely to resonate with a
pool of voters frustrated by border inaction. But it would be hard to argue
that this is how Arizona voters know him.
It's doubtful, in fact, that many Arizona voters know this Goldwater at all.
Don Goldwater is heir to the most storied name in Arizona politics. Former
senator and conservative icon Barry Goldwater was his uncle; Morris
Goldwater, who helped author the Arizona Constitution during the area's
territorial days, his great uncle.
Now, candidate Goldwater walks a narrow line between highlighting his
family's political past and being overshadowed by it.
"I am blessed to have a family heritage of service that is unsurpassed in
this state," Goldwater said in kicking off his campaign a year ago this
month. "For the record, my name is Don Goldwater. Let me repeat that: My
name is Don Goldwater."
But his famous name didn't clear a path to the GOP nomination. In fact,
Goldwater needed more than a year to collect and submit the roughly 4,200
contributions of $5 each that are required to qualify for public campaign
financing in Arizona.
Len Munsil, a longtime conservative activist who is considered Goldwater's
toughest foe for the Republican nomination, needed less than three months.
Even with Clean Elections money and fund-raising on a par with Munsil,
veteran campaign consultant Doug Cole said that Goldwater has his work cut
out. Although Cole conceded that Goldwater has "a million-dollar name in
this state," the top aide to former Republican Gov. Fife Symington said the
Goldwater moniker may not be what it was.
Sen. Goldwater left office nearly two decades ago and died in 1998. With the
state's growth and the transient nature of its population, Cole suggested
there likely aren't many Goldwater supporters who have actually voted for a
So, what part of the family's coattails remain for its newest candidate?
"There are threads hanging off that coat, but no strings," Cole said. "No
Despite his family's political celebrity, Goldwater generally remained a
low-level player before his gubernatorial run.
He said he became active in Republican politics in 1972 and volunteered four
years later for Sam Steiger's unsuccessful U.S. Senate run. Goldwater was a
Republican precinct committeeman in 1980 and headed President Reagan's local
campaign efforts in Coconino County that same year.
But, besides help with the presidential campaign, Goldwater acknowledged
that most of his political work has been of the unpaid, volunteer variety.
The only time his name has been on the ballot, a 1992 campaign for state
Senate, ended with a primary loss to Sen. John Huppenthal.
The prospect of defeating Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, drew Goldwater
into campaigning once more. He says it has been a race a long time in the
making: "I have had people after me to run since the late '80s, early '90s.
"They know that I am the type of person that if I tell you something, you
may not like it, but that's what I wholeheartedly believe, and that's what I
am going to go after."
But his straight talk has at times earned him flak even within his own
Goldwater's plan to house arrested border-crossers in tent-style jails and
use them to clean up the desert and build a border wall drew contempt from
some Republicans in Arizona's congressional delegation.
Sen. John McCain called the proposal "inhumane"; Rep. Jim Kolbe reportedly
termed it "obnoxious."
But Goldwater hasn't backed off. He proudly touts his membership in the
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, as well as his endorsement by its
controversial founder, Chris Simcox.
While GOP challengers Munsil and Mike Harris also are talking tough on
border issues, Goldwater supporters say he stands out. It's partly his
no-nonsense plan, state Rep. Jerry Weiers said, but also Goldwater's
consistency and passion.
They believe him.
For Weiers, R-Glendale, that trust extends beyond immigration.
Goldwater's tax platform calls for freezing the assessed value on property
for as long as an individual owns it, helping to hold the line on property
taxes. And he'd like to replace the state income tax, possibly by broadening
the sales tax.
In terms of education, he supports a voucher system from elementary school
to college that would essentially place state funding under the control of
each student. Students would have the option to attend any school - public,
private, charter - and schools would compete for their attendance and money.
Modest, make-nice plans they are not. Each calls for drastic change. For
supporters, that's part of the Goldwater appeal.
"He takes a stand," said Weiers, who has endorsed Goldwater. "I haven't seen
a point where he backs down. I think he's a man of conviction."
But make no mistake, taxes and education aren't Goldwater's bread and
butter. That would be illegal immigration.
And he is talking about it again:
"Our jobs market is being inundated by illegal immigrants. People are not
paying their taxes. Payrolls are going down. We are now getting reports of
hepatitis A and tuberculosis coming in with children in the education field.
Illegal immigration is one issue that touches everything in this state. The
only issues it doesn't touch right now that I am aware of are water issues
and forest issues."