The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

57° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Education key in debate

    Libertarian candidate Barry Hess, left, argues his point during the gubernatorial debate last night with Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and Republican candidate Len Munsil in the Student Union Memorial Center. The hour-long debate focused on childrens issues, families and education.
    Libertarian candidate Barry Hess, left, argues his point during the gubernatorial debate last night with Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and Republican candidate Len Munsil in the Student Union Memorial Center. The hour-long debate focused on children’s issues, families and education.

    The three Arizona gubernatorial candidates clashed on the issue of rising tuition last night at a debate in front of more than 1,000 people in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Democratic candidate, said the tuition of Arizona universities is in the lowest third of the nation. She also advocated increased student aid.

    Republican candidate Len Munsil accused Napolitano of not attending the Arizona Board of Regents meetings when they decided on university tuition.

    “”I will fight to prevent future tuition increases,”” Munsil said.

    Libertarian Barry Hess, after listening to the response of both candidates, was not convinced. “”We need a leader who will tell you the truth,”” Hess said. “”Tuition will increase, and there is nothing the governor can do about it.””

    During the only gubernatorial debate in Southern Arizona this election season, the

    Each candidate came in with what they wanted to say, but real issues weren’t really tapped. It seemed like each time a candidate felt threatened they resorted back to the same issue. For example, Len Munsil kept resorting back to the border.

    – Jeremy Norden-Paul,
    political science and
    Spanish senior

    candidates used the hour to discuss their respective positions on children’s issues, families and education.

    On Arizona’s education system, Munsil spoke in support of providing more money for private schools and charter schools in an effort to give parents more choices in steering their children’s education.

    “”A one-size-fits-all philosophy does not work here,”” Munsil said.

    Napolitano defended the work she has done for education in the past four years, reiterating the importance of children’s education and referencing an all-day kindergarten program that she helped foster.

    As on many other issues, Hess voiced a different view on education.

    “”Like an alcoholic, we’ve got to acknowledge the problem before we can get to it,”” Hess said. “”I would like to take learning to the people, rather than bringing the people to the learning.””

    As the debate continued, Munsil repeatedly spoke of “”reinforcing Arizona’s borders,”” even as questions were directed elsewhere.

    In response to a question involving health care, Munsil spoke urgently of the need to keep the border secure.

    “”The lack of borders has placed Arizona among the longest in wait times at hospitals,”” Munsil said.

    As the direction of conversation shifted to health care, Napolitano once again referenced children in her debate. “”As governor, I have fought to continue health care insurance for children,”” she said. “”We have great amount of kids without health care now.””

    Hess, who provided comic relief by making the audience laugh at every opportunity, further advocated the need to take government out of the lives of the public as he expressed his views on health care.

    “”Many people self-insure, and don’t want, don’t need … help from the government,”” Hess said.

    Munsil agreed. “”We have more uninsured today than we did four years ago,”” Munsil said. “”More government is not always the solution.””

    As the debate came to a close, the candidates were asked to sum up the election in one word.

    “”Votes,”” Hess said, and the crowd laughed.

    “”More votes than Len,”” Napolitano said.

    “”Border,”” Munsil announced last, as cheers and boos filled the auditorium.

    Students who attended the debate said they had mixed reactions.

    “”Each candidate came in with what they wanted to say, but real issues weren’t really tapped,”” said Jeremy Norden-Paul, a senior majoring in political science and Spanish. “”It seemed like each time a candidate felt threatened, they resorted back to the same issue. For example, Len Munsil kept resorting back to the border.””

    For Napolitano, that issue was education, and for Hess, it was keeping the government out of the public’s life, Norden-Paul said.

    Norden-Paul said after the debate that he is in support of Napolitano.

    Holland Cortright, a business administration freshman, said she felt Munsil was well-spoken in the debate.

    “”He made some good points,”” Cortright said.

    Jefferson Huggins, an international relations freshman, said he disagreed.

    “”Munsil’s logic was ridiculous,”” Huggins said. “”He wants to cut taxes and at the same time keep tuition down, which is impossible.””

    Huggins said he felt that Hess discussed strong points but mostly provided comic relief.

    “”Hess had good points regarding that government has no place in our personal lives,”” Huggins said. “”But I think that his idea of eliminating the government would debilitate the state.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search