Andrei Cherny is running for the position of Arizona State Treasurer. Last week, Cherney was the guest speaker for the Chino Valley Rotary Club.
As the only Democratic candidate, Cherney is running unopposed in the Primary election. The Arizona Secretary of State's office lists Thomas Meadows as the Green Party write-in candidate; Thane Eichenauer as the Libertarian write-in candidate; and four Republicans: Ted Carpenter, Doug Ducey, Barbara Leff and Thayer Verschoor.
According to the Arizona State Treasurer's website, these are the duties required:
"The State Treasurer is Arizona state government’s chief financial officer. The Treasurer’s Office manages Arizona’s annual state revenues; directs the state’s banking services; and manages Arizona’s nearly $9.7 billion investment portfolio. The State Treasurer also serves on the management boards of a number of public entities. The State Treasurer is one of six statewide elected officials, and serves a term of four years. A person may only serve as State Treasurer for two terms."
Cherney has a strategy to help turn Arizona's economy around:
- Bring more opportunity to Arizona's middle class by investing in Main Street Arizona and not just on Wall Street.
- Make Arizona the solar energy leader of the world and create thousands of good jobs
- Root out corruption and reform government so that it works better and costs less
Here are Cherney's opening remarks:
After he spoke with the members of the Rotary Club, Cherney took some time to chat with Chino Valley eNews for follow up questions.
Noting that Arizona is a big state, when asked what he's observed throughout his campaign travels, Cherney responded, "Two things have really stood out to me, number one, people out there are really hurting, in terms of losing their jobs and homes and businesses. And, number two, really the consensus that's out there about how we need to start doing some things differently in Arizona. People are ready to make some real changes, and are not only angry at wha'ts going on right now, but they actually want to start fixing these problems."
Increasing jobs is a big part of Cherney's campaign. But, what can the Treasurer do to increase jobs in the state?
"Well, the Treasurer can do a number of different things when it comes to jobs," Cherney answered. "Number one, instead of gambling all this money on Wall Street as we're doing now, think about how we can make safer investments and get more back for the state while creating jobs here at home. We've let Wall Street just run off with all our investment dollars, and every other state out there is thinking about how they can create jobs for their state. We need to start having treasurers who are going to think about Arizona and creating jobs here."
Illegal immigration certainly has an impact on the economy. On the one hand, there's the reaction to SB 1070, but on the other hand, you've got the economic burden of having people here illegally. Where does Cherney stand?
Cherney answered, "I think clearly we're seeing on both sides some impact on the economy. Whatever you think about 1070, it's clear that there have been a lot of boycotts that have cost this state tourism as well as harmed our image in terms of the business climate, but we also see that we have an illegal immigration problem in this state of people who are here when they're not supposed to be here, in many cases, coming here and getting tax benefits, courtesy of taxpayers , and so we really need to work on this illegal immigration problem."
Cherney continued, "As a prosecutor, that was one of the things I focused on, in terms of cracking down on illegal immigrant smuggling rings for years."
When asked if he focused on the illegal smuggling rings that brought in people, or drugs and guns, Cherney explained further, "These smuggling rings are usually doing both. Illegal immigrants and drugs and weapons. Sometimes they're separate rings, but oftentimes, these rings are really just one ring that is shipping people and drugs up from Mexico, and shipping guns down to Mexico. That's part of the whole cycle we're in. I was focused mostly on the illegal immigrants, but once you start looking in to it, all these issues go together."
It's been a pretty tough campaign season all around. And some of Cherney's campaign email blasts have been rather strongly against Doug Ducey. One email sent out by his campaign reprinted an article from Phoenix New Times, titled, "Doug Ducey: Emperor of Ice Cream or as Sleazy as They Come?" The rhetoric in this article was pretty strong, some might say it was 'over-the-top'.
Cherney didn't back down from sending out the article. He explained, "Look, I'm running to be the taxpayer's bulldog. I'm going to run on making sure that we stand up to the people whether they're on Wall Street and the big banks or in the state bureaucracy that are doing wrong by the state. There's no reason to be sensational, but I think we also have to make sure we're not going down the road in this state where we're really going to be hurting ourselves. And, I think there's some real concerns about Mr. Ducey -that's not a partisan thing, I think a lot of the Republicans that are working for the nomination they are honorable people that have done what's right, but for Mr. Ducey, whether that's not revealing his investments, not paying his taxes, not voting, this article we sent today about his business dealings and how that impacted small business people, I think those are real concerns people should have. So, we're going to call that to peoples' attention; not using any over-the-top language ourselves, but letting people know what's going on."
The primary is August 24, 2010, and the general election is November 2, 2010.