Mayor Gordon and Sen. Kyl on stimulus funds to the statePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX - As Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl calls for an end to stimulus funding for Arizona, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and state lawmakers and educators are speaking out against Sen. Kyl. They say the federal dollars are crucial to the state's education system.
Gordon, teachers applaud stimulus funding - As Sen. Jon Kyl calls for an end to stimulus funding for Arizona, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon state lawmakers and educators are speaking out against him.
It was not too long ago when we were talking about thousands of teaching jobs on the chopping block but some of the teachers are headed back to the classroom and they gathered Thursday morning to thank the stimulus package.
"As we sat there crying, I just looked around and I couldn't help but think what was gonna happen to me and my career," says teacher Rosemary Shapira. She has felt a whirlwind of emotions since last school year after being notified her job was in jeopardy. She says, "They announced that they would not be renewing our contracts for the following school year." Shapira was one of thousands of educators affected due to cuts of education and is now saved by the stimulus.
Mayor Gordon says, "The stimulus package to date has provided our state education system with approximately $200 million with another $2 billion allocated." It was a direct contradiction to what Arizona senior Sen. Kyl says. He said on television, "I think it's now acknowledged. It hasn't done what is set out to do. All governors like "free money" coming to the state and my governor is no different."
However Mayor Gordon argues the stimulus money is about people and not about politics. He says, "That's what this is about, putting real people to work, not about arguing and debating as to what we should or shouldn't be doing when people are suffering. People like Shapira, who are thankful for that stimulus money now headed back to work. Lawmakers tell 3TV a lot of those re-hired had to do with the budget not approved yet and still stalled in a special session.
In response to Thursday's press conference, Sen. Kyl's office released the following statement to 3TV:
"It appears that Phil Gordon has become the local lap dog for the Democratic National Committee. Worse, he is woefully out of touch with the thinking of most Arizonans when it comes to stimulus spending. 74 percent of Arizonans disagree with Mayor Gordon and say that the stimulus has hurt or had zero impact on the economy - three out of four -- according to a Rasmussen poll released Monday."
-Andrew Wilder, Communications Director for Senator Jon Kyl
Sen. Kyl's office also sent a to the Rasmussen poll released on Monday cited by the senator.