Phoenix, AZ – Democrat Andrei Cherny said he understands that the prime role of
the treasurer is to manage the state's money and its investments.
But he wants the treasurer to also serve as an auditor of sort,
reviewing how public money is spent and whether it is being spent
wisely. But Republican Doug Ducey said that's not the treasurer's
(I think we have an auditor general, we have an attorney general,
and we have folks that are non-elected, non-partisan independent
folks that are there to audit state government. My concern is if
an elected official starts auditing other elected officials.)
Ducey said if he is elected he would do more to make state
spending more transparent and let the voters decide whether they
like how their money is being spent. But Cherny said that level
of detail is not available to the public. More to the point, he
said no state agency has combed through the spending of the
Legislature and the Governor's Office in more than a decade.
(Last year in the midst of these terrible budget cuts to
education, public safety and everything else, the Legislature
spent $46,000 on renovating one of their rooms, $3,500 on new
artwork, $6,000 on comfy new chairs. We need somebody who's going
to be holding them accountable. And it has to be somebody who's
Much of the half-hour debate on KAET-TV, the Phoenix PBS
affiliate, was punctuated by the pair attacking each others
background. Cherny said that Ducey was late in paying property
taxes on his home, twice, before finally writing a check this
year when he announced his bid for treasurer. Ducey conceded the
point, calling it an oversight but saying he now is current.
He, in turn, chided Cherny for his links to various national
Democrats, calling him a Washington insider.
(He has worked for Al Gore, John Kerry and, most recently, he is
the co-author of Barack Obama's economic plan, Change We Can
Believe In. This is Andrei's background. If people like what
Barack Obama is doing to America's economy, they're going to love
what Andrei has planned for Arizona.)
Cherny said that has nothing to do with the race.
(Mr. Ducey, if you want to run against Barack Obama, hop into
your private jet, fly out to Iowa and start knocking on doors.
You're running for treasurer of the state. And I offered some
advice to Barack Obama, absolutely. I'd offer advice to whoever
asked. I'm a patriot.)
But Cherny does in fact, claim credit in his official bio as
being co-author of the Change We Can Believe In plan. Cherny said
his real background is as a prosecutor for the state attorney
general's office, working on cases of financial fraud and
corporate crime. Ducey cited his own experience in business,
including being the chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based
Cold Stone Creamery during its period of expansion before it was
sold in 2007. He now runs iMemories which transfers
videocassettes, movies and photographs to DVDs. In 2002, Cherny
had run unsuccessfully for the state Assembly in California. But
he denied being an opportunist, saying he moved to Arizona to
marry a fourth-generation state native. For Arizona Public Radio
this is Howard Fischer.