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A Great Interview with "We the People" on Next Door

Steve is interviewed by Ann Pendarvis of "We The People", a Private site on Next Door

Steve is running for Karen Fann's LD1 AZ Senate Seat. His goal is to protect that seat with a Constitutional Conservative.

Marc and Ann were at it again last Wednesday (12/1/2021), this time interviewing a candidate for LD1 Senate Seat. This candidate, as well as the candidate’s campaign manager, (who was invited by us) arrived for our 10:30 meeting and stayed fully engaged with us until 1:45. To say they were generous with their time is an understatement.

What struck me most about this candidate was the genuine ability to look at the issue of the topic and provide a complete and thoughtful reply instead of “simply, answering the stated question”. For example, we asked if this candidate supports the creation of a Lieutenant Governor position. We expected either: “Yes I do, blah blah blah”, or “No I don’t, blah blah blah”. Instead, the answer we got was, “It depends on how and why the position is set up.” Through the discussion on this topic, we learned the creation of an “open ticket” Lieutenant Governor position, for the sole purpose of preventing the Secretary of State from taking over the position of Governor, with no well-defined duties for the Lieutenant Governor position, would NOT be supported by this candidate. However, if the Governor and Lieutenant Governor positions were a single ticket, (like the President and Vice-President are), and if there were well defined duties (as there are in states that have a Chief Operating Officer instead of a Lieutenant Governor), that ensured the Lieutenant Governor was both ready to step in at a moment’s notice and provide valuable support for the Governor (instead of being a mere figurehead), then this candidate WOULD support the creation of the position.

In a similar fashion, this candidate discussed the importance of ensuring our resources (both locally and at the state level) are adequately protected, infrastructure is properly built before new construction, and the citizens of current homes are not expected to absorb the entire cost for new infrastructure while the builders walk away with their profits. One way to do this is to create a localized infrastructure fund by assessing a fee on each new home. However, this fund would need to be protected and reserved for the sole purpose of improving and preserving infrastructure, (roads, technology, water resources, etcetera), for the area that they were collected in. (This means protecting the funds so future legislators could not usurp the funds for other uses and preventing places like Phoenix from taking funds from Yavapai. This would most likely mean holding the funds in a trust and finding a truly fair and impartial executor for that trust.)

Another in-depth discussion pointed out several things that need to be carefully considered prior to committing to an implementation plan to improve our technological resources; we focused specifically on cable internet. We all agreed that our current internet options are both lacking and a current obstacle to attracting business to our area. This is evident when we consider that 1/3 of our working citizens commute to Phoenix every work day. Add to this the societal and business changes toward using more internet services and telecommuting, it’s obvious improving the internet choices, specifically cable internet, would be a huge attraction for business. We all agreed, there are 3 basic ways to bring cable internet resources to any area: 100% private enterprise, 100% government, or a partnership between private enterprise and government. 100% private enterprise would likely provide technological resources very quickly; however, there are concerns that the one current internet provider in our area may create a monopoly, which would become more problematic and likely highly expensive for consumers. 100% government is (we all agreed) never a good idea. The partnership option between private enterprise and government will need to have very well-defined parameters and should include private enterprise users as well as providers. One idea would be to have Embry Riddle and the airport involved on the private enterprise side, as well as creating parameters that would prevent Embry Riddle, the airport, and the current internet provider from creating a monopoly, and not allowing government to go so far as to define the partnership as a public utility. This balance, if done with enough diligence, should allow private enterprise (Embry Riddle and the airport) to get/use better technology, the general public to get better cable options, the cable companies (yes more than one) to build a profitable business, and government to provide consumer oversight to ensure our communities do not get left behind.

We asked this candidate what the top 3 priorities would be on day one if elected for LD1 Senate Seat. Election integrity would be first because it is important to restore confidence, fairness, and integrity in our election process. Immigration and border security would be second. Our border patrol persons need better resources, trafficking (humans and drugs) is negatively impacting border communities as well as the rest of our state. Tied for second place, is ensuring AZ maintains its stand regarding 2nd Amendment rights. 2nd Amendment rights are constantly and continually under attack, we must all stay vigilant. Third place is improving our schools and giving our kids a better education. AZ's education system is currently ranked 47th or 49th (depending on whose research you look at). This candidate believes that having the money for education allocated for each student, follows the student. This will allow parents to take full control of their child’s education and open up the ability for parents to ensure their children get the best education they can – while simultaneously forcing public schools to improve their ability to properly educate our children through the means of competition and private enterprise.

Something very interesting, that you do not usually see on any candidate’s business card, is the candidate’s cell phone number and personal email addresses. Usually there is simply a link to the website – which has a form you can fill out to email the candidate – so the candidate or someone “on the team” can respond. This candidate believes in being accessible to constituents, and backs up that belief by providing multiple ways for the voters to make direct contact. This candidate learned very early on in his business ventures that a “collaborative” management style is often times more productive than a “top – down” management style. We discussed individuals using “top-down” management style usually take the position: “here is our goal, here is what each person/department is going to do to get there”. That’s not to say that “top-down” managers don’t listen, but they usually have already made up their mind (or received their orders from someone above them) and are not usually willing to change or even tweak the plan. On the other hand, the “collaborative” management style says, “Here is the goal. Here is the direction I thought we would take, what do you think?” Usually, the “collaborative” manager will get more buy-in from employees, the plan will be better thought out, and usually better executed. Some skills the “collaborative” managers learn quickly are how to keep people with varied ideas on track, keeping people from opposing points of view engaged and working on a single solution, and making all member own accountability for the project.

I have repeated through out this account of our interview that this candidate looks beyond the question and responds not only to the question that has been asked, but to multiple potential solutions. I want to stress that this is very different than some other candidate responses I have heard that say, “if these 3 things happen then this is the direction I might take, unless there is some unforeseen reason why I can’t do that.” Those candidates, to me, are setting up the excuses for their future failures. This candidate says, “This is what I support/don’t support and here are the areas that we will need to pay particular attention to so we don’t run into issues later.” This is a rare skill; but it is also a skill very successful negotiators possess. When a person has to look at a very complex problem, and get two (or more) parties with opposing interests to agree on a single solution, that person has to logically look at the problem, consider the opposing points of views, motivations, and desired outcomes, and balance all these things in the resolution. THEN, the negotiator usually has to walk each party through the negotiation keeping, (or getting) them calm and engaged. This requires an ability to look at all sides, all potential outcomes, and an ability to work well with people who often do not agree. Negotiation also requires all parties involved to give up something that is not so important to them, so the other party can get some value out of the deal too. We agreed that no senator would always be able to get everything he/she wanted out of every negotiation. We asked where the line in the sand would be for this candidate. This candidate stated that the Constitution would always come first. This candidate also stated that once you reach that point in the negotiation where the other side wants more than you’re willing to give up, you end the negotiation and walk away. Too many politicians either don’t know they CAN walk away or they don’t know WHEN to walk away.

Have you guessed who this candidate is yet? Here are some more clues. This candidate has had an extensive and varied education and work history: nuclear medicine degree, real-estate brokerage license, passing the bar on the first attempt (highly unusual), practicing law, owning and operating his own businesses are just a few of this candidates’ experiences. All of these life choices have helped this candidate develop and improve his ability to look at and dissect issues that most would not see in a proposal. He, (and his wife) have been teaching a class the last 4 years on the United States Constitution. He is the First Vice Chair of YavGOP, and under his tenure, the Precinct Committeeman positions have more than doubled – with a few precincts having waiting lists now! Yes, this candidate is Steve Zipperman.

Two of my favorite quotes from Steve during this interview are:

  1. “The decision to run is the stupidest decision I have ever made.” Steve went on to share that the reason he is running is to bring honesty and integrity back to our political system. He could make more money and have more influence staying in the private sector as a private citizen. However, that choice would not allow him to ensure he has done everything in his power to make things better for our community, our state, and our nation. The decision to run is (I inferred) the only decision he has made based more on passion than on logic In his adult life.

  1. “Know what you’re willing to give up BEFORE entering into a negotiation.” This quote came up while we were discussing the possible reasons for current and past senators giving up so much, that from this side of the fence seems to be unnecessary. Having been in many negotiations of varying degrees of contentiousness and complexity, Steve believes you not only go into a negotiation with a stronger position, but you also lose less when you go into it knowing exactly how much you’re willing to give up before your even sit down. Steve also pointed out that you must stick to the decision you made and not allow the other side to convince you to give up more than you are willing to, and walk away if you need to.