Rose Mofford

Interview - 1989

Rose Mofford
January 01, 1989
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MOFFORD: I never dreamed this would ever happen. I like the job and the thing that I like the most about it is that what I'm able to do for the people of the great state of Arizona. I have a very positive attitude about Arizona, where we're going, and that's what makes me really like the job. When I'm faced with an issue, regardless of the magnitude, of it I immediately tried to resolve it and we're very responsive the entire staff is, that's what I like about it. The compliments that you get when you thank you for responding to this or thank you for taking action on that or thank you for handling our particular problem. We don't do any favors because we can't, but we try to give them an honest and an immediate to answer to any request that comes to the office.

INTERVIEWER: What’s been the High Point and low point of your administration thus far?

MOFFORD: The high point of the administration is as I said by going up to the office under such adverse conditions and being able to appoint a capable staff and that carried on and bringing stability back to the state of Arizona.

INTERVIEWER: How about the low point?

MOFFORD: Well the low point I would have to say when- when I had my accident, but it certainly didn't keep me from working and I continued to work from my home and I'm feeling better and- and it really wasn't a low point because it shows you that if with determination that you can carry on even though that I was hurt.

INTERVIEWER: And that of course was the freakish incident that happened over in the Yuma area. I want to ask you about leadership qualities; when you first took the job there was some criticism that Rose Mofford may not have what it takes, the right stuff as far as leadership. What do you say to that?

MOFFORD: Well anybody can criticize, but I think under the conditions in which we took over, I think that we have proven unquestionably that the state has continued to move forward. There isn't the chaos that we were faced with when we went into the office and I- I feel and I have heard it nationally as well as locally that stability has been brought back to the state of Arizona, and Arizona is certainly as looked upon as a state that's going to go forward and- and I feel that I played a role in seeing that this has happened.

INTERVIEWER: Governor, clearly the budget is the number one issue facing lawmakers in Phoenix. Do you feel that you're being sabotaged by some Republican lawmakers who may be trying to derail your budget proposals?

MOFFORD: Well when I presented my budget, I- it wasn't figures that I just thought up we work during the hot summer, we worked with every agency, I have visited every agency and that's why I'm here today. I know what they need and what they're faced with, and- and when I presented my budget in every instance it was done last year toward the end of the year. Figures change and the various agencies; more services are demanded because of the growth of the state and I feel that the mandates that are put on the books by the lawmakers that are required these services should be paid for and funded and the budget that I presented will just do that.

INTERVIEWER: Under what circumstances could you see yourself vetoing the entire budget or a good deal of it?

MOFFORD: I would never even consider it, vetoing the entire budget unless it was absolutely necessary. I don't even like to use the word veto at all and we don't want it- we don't want to use that word but I have given him a proposal when I gave my state of the state of how this can be accomplished and I show a figure of 255 million deficit and I feel that we can sit down and as I said pound on the table and work these things out. I have not asked for new programs the programs that, I may have asked for one or two that pertained to children and Children Services, but the the- the money that I've asked for we'll just keep state government going at the level that its operating now.

INTERVIEWER: As far as economic development, what's the key selling point that Arizona has as far as attracting new business to this state?

MOFFORD: That- that we- that we care, that we offer a good quality of life, we offer an excellent educational system, and that that they will have protection health and safety.

INTERVIEWER: What influence is Evan Mica playing in this legislature?

MOFFORD: Well, I'm inclined to think that the results of the last election that some of the legislators are a little afraid to take on some of the issues because of what effect it might have in 1990 in their election. I feel that many of them have run on the idea of no tax and they're trying to paint Governor Mofford as a person that will tax and spend, but that isn't the the picture at all. As I said, I presented a budget that would only keep the mandated services for the state of Arizona and those are on the books and we have to fund those.

INTERVIEWER: It's interesting that the governor of Arizona has a listed telephone number in the Phoenix directory, yet at the same time there are persistent complaints from reporters who say you are just inaccessible to the news media. What do you say to that?

MOFFORD: Well I have my media man here. Have you found me inaccessible? I- I answer every call, I'm in the phonebook, I'm very easy, I'm on the job every day, I have not left the state of Arizona, I have not taken a vacation and that- that may have been there the way they felt at first, but you don't go up to an office an empty office and have a conference the first day and- and you don't have a press conference every day because there was a frenzy out there when I got there. There was news being made every day I cannot make that news I only want what's good for the state and will address those issues and certainly keep that press informed of what's going on. We have a schedule that they know where I am every minute of the day.