By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
The decision for Republicans on who to nominate for governor could depend on whose numbers they believe.
On one hand, challenger Ken Bennett says that, as Senate president, he put together a budget that cut individual income tax rates by 10 percent. Yet incumbent Doug Ducey, while vowing when first elected to cut income tax rates to “as close to zero as possible,” has been unable to move the needle.
But Ducey says that Bennett is at least part of the reason the state wound up deep in the financial hole when the Great Recession hit.
He accuses Bennett of working hand-in-glove with Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano to increase state spending far beyond what was appropriate. And that, Ducey says, left Napolitano successor Jan Brewer “holding the bag” with a $3 billion gap between expenses and revenues as the economy tanked.
Bennett says he left office at the end of 2006, insisting Napolitano, who stayed on, inflated the budget in the following two years, before she quit to take a job in the Obama administration.