While some post-debate polls showed a tightening race on the national level, the most recent KAET-TV poll, released two days before the debate, showed Bush holding a solid lead over Kerry in Arizona. Of the 553 registered voters surveyed, 49 percent supported Bush, 38 percent liked Kerry and 12 percent were undecided. Among likely voters, Bush's lead climbed to 15 percent.
Bush and Kerry will next do it Oprah-style, sitting on stools in front of an audience of regular ol' Americans, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, at St. Louis' Washington University. The debate will focus on domestic issues. For best viewing results, watch at your favorite happy hour and do a shot every time Bush says, "tax cuts."
The final debate, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13, just up the road in Tempe, has run into a spot of legal trouble. Arizona Libertarians filed suit against debate organizers, complaining that their guy, Michael Badnarik, has been excluded just because he hasn't got a prayer of winning even one electoral vote in November.
"It's a clear case of misusing state funds," according to attorney David Euchner, who is representing the Arizona Libertarian Party. "Arizona recognizes three political parties with ballot status, Democratic, Republican and Libertarian. There are three candidates on the Arizona ballot, of the same three parties. A debate which included all three of those parties would be nonpartisan and contribute to education and public information. But a debate that includes only two of the three candidates is a bipartisan campaign commercial--and an illegal donation to partisan political associations."
This week, Tucson's medical community, including representatives from the Pima County Board of Health, the Hospital Society of Southern Arizona, Northwest Medical Center, University Physicians Inc. and El Rio Community Health Center, got together for a joint press conference opposing Prop 200.
"This proposition is not going to solve any immigration problems; it's not going to reduce the numbers of people coming here without proper paperwork," according to Dr. Paul Horwitz, president of the Pima County Board of Health. "But it would tie up the health care system in red tape and it would discourage people from getting timely care for treatable diseases."
The aforementioned KAET poll showed that Prop 200 still had the support of 63 percent of voters, while just 23 percent opposed it.
Kolbe, who went against the majority of his GOP colleagues with his vote, complained that the push for an amendment was "an affront to this institution" because it was brought to the floor by House leadership rather than through the normal committee process.
Arguing that the issue of gay marriage was best left to the states, Kolbe called the proposed amendment "discrimination."
"Never in our history have we used the amending process to limit the rights of citizens," added Kolbe, who was evidently out drinking the day that the history teacher taught about Prohibition.