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Mahoney advocates ╬change' in Arizona

Photo
Dick Mahoney
By Daniel Scarpinato
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002

His family has been made up of Arizona Democrats since 1871, but Dick Mahoney is breaking the mold.

Mahoney, 51, independent candidate for governor, says that Democrat Janet Napolitano and Republican Matt Salmon are "good people, good human beings, but they're working the system."

"They don't represent change in the slightest," he said.

The three university budgets would be off the chopping block if Mahoney were elected governor, he said.

Deep cuts need to be made in other areas, he said, in order to protect and pour more money into education.

"I want to see a state that says ╬investment in education and health are investments, not costs,'" he said.

Mahoney wants to see "news models of economic development," which could include slimming down the Department of Corrections and eliminating the Department of Commerce.

He'd be against an in-state tuition increase, he said, because it could exclude people from attending the universities.

Out-of-state tuition should increase at a rate level with inflation.

Mahoney said he favors a plan similar to one used in Georgia that gives high school graduates with a B or better free tuition, with the expectation that they participate in community service.

Mahoney said he's not persuaded yet by President Pete Likins' Focused Excellence plan, but said he didn't know all the details.

For K-12, the goal would be to "get more money in there," he said. "The rest is just cheap, inflated talk."

Testing is fine, but the AIMS test has proven to be far from fruitful, he said.

Instead, he said that exit exams should be developed by teachers in individual districts, since testing is "not one-size-fits-all."

The role of a good university system is to "teach well and have great coursework," he said.

Mahoney has a strong background in higher education.

He earned his bachelor's degree in history and political science from Princeton University, a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and a degree in law from Arizona State University.

Mahoney is a professor emeritus at the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, where he has taught for more than 20 years.

One of the leading historians on the Kennedys, Mahoney was Arizona's Secretary of State from 1991 to 1995 when he was still a Democrat. A fourth-generation Arizonan, his grandfather was a founder of the state.

Mahoney calls Arizona's leadership "Phoenix-based" and would like to see money make its way to areas of the state other than just Maricopa County. That's one of his gripes with the Republican and Democratic parties in the state.

He said at a debate last week that he doesn't have an "umbilical attachment to Phoenix, Arizona," despite the fact that he is a native of the city.

Mahoney describes himself as a "progressive" on social issues, one of his original attractions to the Democratic party.

He faced criticism earlier this month after running ads that criticized Napolitano and Salmon for ignoring allegations of child abuse and incest in Colorado City, Ariz.

But Mahoney maintains his stance, advocating intervention on an issue that he said is ongoing.

And that's not the only change this candidate, who has billed himself as a wild card, is advocating.

"I have a passion for things that change," he said. "And I don't mind the risk."

Carrying less than 5 percent in a recent Rocky Mountain poll, if he had to vote for one of the other three candidates on the ballot Mahoney said he would check the box for Libertarian Barry Hess.

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