The closing argument

  Glenn Hamer

  October 31st, 2016               

Many of you have ballots sitting on your kitchen table waiting to be filled out. If you’d like to mail your completed ballot, do so by tomorrow, November 1. Otherwise, you’re advised to bring your completed ballot to your polling place on Election Day. The Arizona Secretary of State’s Arizona votes website has links to every county recorder around the state where you can locate your polling place.

Regardless of how you look at the presidential race, I hope you will consider the many important races that are also on the ballot this year.

Here are our endorsements for 2016:

Federal

U.S. Senate: John McCain. Sen. McCain is the most consequential legislator on planet Earth. He has earned reelection.

When the Arizona Chamber’s board of directors looked at the field vying for election to the Senate this year, only one person had a proven record of fighting for Arizona’s job creators; of protecting and growing our state’s defense assets through his chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee; of pushing back against a runaway regulatory machine; and of guarding our tax dollars.

Whether it’s been standing up to the administration’s constant regulatory meddling, or reining in Washington’s runaway spending, Arizona couldn’t ask for a better champion on Capitol Hill.

Arizona needs a watchdog in the U.S. Senate. Now more than ever, Arizona needs John McCain.

 Congressional District 2: Martha McSally. Rep. McSally has been a model member of Congress. In fact, a recent analysis found that she is one the House’s most productive members.

Need proof? Southern Arizona can point to the continued presence of the A-10 aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as just one example of her hard work. Without Rep. McSally’s dogged determination, the A-10 could be facing retirement.

Rep. McSally has proven that she’s a member of the governing party. Congress needs more members like Martha McSally.

State

When assessing our bipartisan slate of endorsed state House and Senate candidates, you will find individuals who are committed to ensuring that Arizona solidifies its position as one of the very best states in the country to do business.

Whether it’s taxes, regulations, our education system, our legal environment or our labor environment, we have endorsed a group of incumbents and challengers who want to go to the Capitol to do the people’s business. These are all folks Gov. Ducey can work with to help Arizona retain good jobs and attract more of them.

District 1

Karen Fann (R), Senate

Noel Campbell (R), House

District 2

Chris Ackerly (R), House

Daniel Hernandez (D), House

District 5

Sonny Borrelli (R), Senate

Regina Cobb (R), House

District 6

Sylvia Allen (R), Senate

Brenda Barton (R), House

Bob Thorpe (R), House

District 8

Frank Pratt (R), Senate

T.J. Shope (R), House

David Cook (R), House

District 11

Vince Leach (R), House

District 12

Warren Petersen (R), Senate

Eddie Farnsworth (R), House

District 13

Steve Montenegro (R), Senate

Darin Mitchell (R), House

Don Shooter (R), House

District 14

Gail Griffin (R), Senate

Drew John (R), House

District 15

John Allen (R), House

Heather Carter (R), House

District 16

Doug Coleman (R), House

District 17

Steve Yarbrough (R), Senate

J.D. Mesnard (R), House

Jeff Weninger (R), House

District 18

Frank Schmuck (R), Senate

Jill Norgaard (R), House

Bob Robson (R), House

District 19

Lupe Chavira Contreras (D), Senate

Mark Cardenas (D), House

Diego Espinoza (D), House

District 20

Kimberly Yee (R), Senate

Paul Boyer (R), House

District 21

Debbie Lesko (R), Senate

Tony Rivero (R), House

Kevin Payne (R), House

District 22

Judy Burges (R), Senate

David Livingston (R), House

Phil Lovas (R), House

District 23

John Kavanagh (R), Senate

Jay Lawrence (R), House

Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R), House

District 25

Bob Worsley (R), Senate

Rusty Bowers (R), House

District 27

Catherine Miranda (D), Senate

Reginald Bolding (D), House

District 28

Kate Brophy McGee (R), Senate

Mary Hamway (R), House

Maria Syms (R), House

District 30

Robert Meza (D), Senate 

Ballot initiatives

Proposition 205: Vote no. There is no upside to the legalization of recreational marijuana. The negative consequences that could result from legalization of recreational marijuana expose employers to increased workplace accidents, more workers’ compensation claims and lower overall workplace productivity. We also can’t ignore the adverse effects marijuana has on adolescents’ developing brains, which has serious implications for the development of Arizona’s workforce talent pipeline. No credible economic development organization would tout marijuana legalization as a reason to locate in Arizona. Legalization sends the wrong message to the companies we want to grow and invest here.

Legalization experiments in other states are very much still in their infancy. We should look closely at what happens in other states before we pass a new law by initiative that will be extremely difficult to ever undo.

Proposition 206: Vote no. Proposition 206 proposes to drastically increase Arizona’s minimum wage by nearly 50 percent and institute a costly new paid leave mandate. Many Arizona businesses –particularly small businesses – cannot sustain such a big labor cost spike and a new mandate.

Proposition 206 will make hiring more expensive, which will hurt the very individuals the initiative’s proponents claim to want to help: young people; those with fewer skills; those at the beginning stages of their career; and those trying to break into the job market. 

Employers don’t have good options when they’re faced with a dramatic spike in labor costs. They can cut their employees’ hours; they can reduce headcount; they can raise prices; or they can accelerate automation, making employees altogether unnecessary.

These are big issues facing the state this year. No matter where you land on these candidates and policies, I hope you’ll take the time to vote and make your voice heard.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry