Does Ducey deserve heat for staff raises while teacher pay still lags?

Does Ducey deserve the criticism he's getting for boosting his staff's paychecks, and will it linger into his anticipated 2018 re-election bid?

PHOENIX - Gov. Doug Ducey is facing tough questions after a news report  that he's given hefty raises to several staffers while offering meager pay increases to Arizona teachers.

Does Ducey deserve the criticism, and will it linger into his anticipated 2018 re-election bid?

This weekend's special one-hour "Sunday Square Off" answers those questions in our Left/Right debate with political analyst Chris Herstam and Christine Jones, a former business executive and a 2014 GOP candidate for governor.

The governor's office issued a rebuttal to the news report, contending that many of the raises were for staffers who were promoted.

Also up for debate:

Bannon's revolution in AZ: Are Arizona Republicans taking up arms in Steve Bannon's "revolt"? The former top political adviser to President Donald Trump stopped in Scottsdale last week to bless Kelli Ward's primary run against GOP Sen. Jeff Flake.

Tax cuts behind deficit? Are big tax cuts the reason for Arizona's projected budget shortfall this year and next, even as the economy improves?



Also on "Square Off":

Fiasco over school grades: Evan Wyloge, of the Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, explains the fiasco surrounding Arizona's new letter grades for schools, and why one of the solutions might be illegal.

Media erupts over supervolcano: End-of-the-world headlines erupted over an Arizona State University team's new research on Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano. ASU Professor Christy Till, the research team leader, tells us why those headlines were wrong and why we shouldn't worry about the supervolcano smothering us in ash some day soon.

I also interview two political newcomers in high-profile races:

Sinema challenger: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud would be the first Muslim elected to statewide office. We talk about the challenges she's faced and why she was a big supporter of Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, her Democratic opponent in next year's primary.

Doctor in the House: Republican Dr. Steve Ferrara is running for Sinema's Ninth Congressional District seat in a crowded GOP primary. Ferrara explains how he jumped out to huge fundraising lead almost a year before the primary.

"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after "Meet the Press."

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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