Kahn aiming to 'get city government off our backs'

By J. Ferguson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Fifty-nine-year-old lawyer and Libertarian mayoral candidate Ed Kahn wants to radically change the face of city government.

"Get city government off our backs, away from our water and out of our wallets," is his slogan.

Kahn said he would sell Sun Tran to a private company rather than letting the city run the mass transit system.

"It's a typical government boondoggle," Kahn said. "The city shouldn't be running a mass transit system. The city runs it at a loss."

Kahn said he might offer tax incentives to run smaller buses, called Jitneys, through Tucson to provide a more efficient service.

Kahn, who switched political parties after 30 years as a Republican to Libertarian in March, has gotten more attention for the money he raised than for some of his extreme political philosophy.

Most of the donations for Kahn's campaign were received from Libertarians nationwide after he sent out letters to them promising their contributions would be used to register Libertarians locally.

City officials deemed the technique was legal since Kahn used only the city's matching funds toward his campaign.

Kahn said he wants private industry to build a toll parkway along the Rillito River and Pantano Wash linking Tucson's East and Northwest sides. He said he would want to link both sides of the parkway to Interstate 10.

Kahn supports Proposition 200, the water initiative which would force city officials to use ground water for the next five years rather than using the controversial CAP water.

"Its very simple," Kahn said. "The bureaucrats who ran the water utility fouled it up. This proposition would effectively tie their hands. And I want to tie their hands. I don't want to give them a chance to foul it up again."

Kahn said he does not support Proposition 100, which would give the city council and the mayor a 50 percent salary increase raising the mayor's salary to $36,000 and the city council's to $18,000.

Kahn said he is also against the New Campus. He proposes that the University of Arizona should focus on undergraduate education, rather than centering on research.

"They (the university) have ignored the undergraduates and put all their money into graduate programs and research," Kahn said. "Three hundred or 400 in a freshman English class? That's insane. It's outrageous and we shouldn't put up with it. (Students) should have a full professor of English teaching a freshman English class with no more than 30 or 40 people in it. If they're not doing that they're not doing their job."

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