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Phoenix mayor fears recession if sequester takes effect

PHOENIX -- The country is facing across-the-board budget cuts on March 1, unless Congress votes to stop them.

The action is called a sequester. Democrats are calling for more taxes to offset the cuts, something that Republicans are balking at. President Barack Obama wants a balanced solution that combines both spending cuts and more revenues.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is glad that Obama talked about the potential sequester during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

"I think that the president and Congress need to not accept sequestration, which is this massive cuts that would result in massive job losses," he said.

Stanton said a sequester would be devastating for Arizona.

"We cannot lose close to 50,000 jobs in the state of Arizona over the next few years. It would send us back into recession."

Stanton is also glad that the president talked about immigration during his address last night. Obama renewed his call for sweeping immigration reform.

"It's important for me as the mayor of a southwestern city that is soon to be a majority Latino city that [we get the] immigration issue behind us and done the right way," he said. "Passing the right kind of comprehensive reform bill and moving on is incredibly important."

Emotions were high at a Senate immigration hearing in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Protesters interrupted Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano as she spoke. After the protestors were taken out of the hearing, the former Arizona governor claimed that the U.S. border has never been more secure.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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