State officers sworn in at Capitol - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

State officers sworn in at Capitol

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Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 5:38 pm | Updated: 3:16 pm, Tue Jan 4, 2011.

The state's new attorney general promised Monday to do what his predecessor would not: enforce Arizona's new law aimed at illegal immigrants.

In his inaugural speech, Republican Tom Horne said that makes him different than Democrat Terry Goddard, whom he is replacing. Goddard, unable to seek a third term as attorney general, instead waged an unsuccessful bid for governor.

Horne and the state's other top officers were sworn in Monday during ceremonies at the capitol.

Goddard acknowledged he has never been a fan of the legislation that requires police who stop people for other reasons to check their immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" they are in this country illegally.

It also allows police to charge illegal immigrants with trespassing and creates new state crimes of harboring or concealing those in this country in violation of federal immigration laws.

Goddard said the original version was legally flawed. But he subsequently said lawmakers had made changes to the original statute that make it legally defensible, including removing a provision that would have allowed police to consider a person's race, ethnicity or national origin in determining whom to question.

And Goddard said he was prepared to make those arguments in court, regardless of his personal opinion about the measure.

He never got that chance: Gov. Jan Brewer hired her own attorneys and kicked Goddard off the defense team. Goddard said she didn't have that power but opted not to challenge it.

Horne said his move doesn't mean that Brewer can now fire John Bouma and his legal team.

"He represents the governor and I represent the state,'' Horne said.

Horne, who made his support of SB 1070 a centerpiece of his successful campaign, said he will enforce the laws of the state.

"But we will do so with strict observance of the constitutional rights of every citizen,'' he said.

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The newest state school superintendent promised Monday to set a high standard for accountability.

John Huppenthal said schools need to be measured on many different levels to determine if they are doing their job. That includes asking not only students and parents what they think, but also what the teachers believe is happening.

"What we know is when teachers feel fully supported, when parents are deeply involved and when students are paying attention, that students learn how to read, they learn mathematics, they learn how to write and go on to great success in all academic endeavors,'' Huppenthal said.

He also told the audience at his inauguration Monday that Arizonans cannot simply sit back and wait for schools to do a better job.

"Even the best teacher with the best curriculum and the best-supported principal can't do it alone,'' Huppenthal said.

"We need you all to volunteer at a local school,'' he said. "Help tutor struggling students.''

Huppenthal said that with outside help "we have it in our grasp to have the best schools in the nation.''

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Secretary of State Ken Bennett said the state's current financial situation is not that different than it was a decade ago when he was president of the state Senate.

"Then, as now, we faced a state budget that was in crisis,'' Bennett said in his inaugural address Monday. "We faced an uncertain economy, creeping pessimism.''

But Bennett said the state weathered those fiscal problems "and we'll make it through these, again, too.''

Within the scope of his own duties, Bennett said his goal is to create "an election system that is the best in the world.'' The secretary of state is the state's chief election officer, though the actual voting is handled by each county.

Bennett was originally appointed secretary of state two years ago when his predecessor, Jan Brewer, became governor following the resignation of Janet Napolitano.

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Doug Ducey, the new state treasurer, vowed Monday to do a good job over the next four years "and help government work for all of us.''

"I'm eager to roll my sleeves up and get to work,'' he said in his inaugural speech. "I greatly appreciate this opportunity.''

Ducey replaces Dean Martin who quit at the end of his first term in his unsuccessful bid for governor.

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State Mine Inspector Joe Hart said Monday he and his staff have made "great strides in improving safety'' for miners and others in Arizona.

"We will continue our efforts to make Arizona a safe place to live, work and recreate,'' Hart said in being sworn in for a second four-year term. One of the major roles of his office is keeping track of abandoned mines and trying to keep people from falling into them.

 

 

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