Yes, I know that it's 4 days early, but short of George W. Bush resigning from office, giving his fortune to Amnesty International and volunteering to spend the rest of his life with Habitat for Humanity working to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast, it isn't likely that anyone is going to flip-flop as much as Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance) did this week.
From AZCentral.com -
Lawmakers want to be free from voter restraints
Staring down a deficit abyss of about $3 billion for this year and next, Arizona lawmakers complain that their efforts to cut spending and balance the budget are stymied by voters.
Health care for the poor. Spending on schools. Money for clean elections and land conservation. Early-education and health programs for kids, funded by tobacco taxes. Major state programs and big bucks - all off-limits because they are protected by voter-approved initiatives.
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, says this means that a huge chunk of budget growth, about $600 million a year, is on "auto-pilot," which makes it difficult for the Legislature to balance the budget during hard economic times. Why shouldn't voter-approved programs share the cuts?
"In bad times, tough decisions have to be made," said Pearce, who sponsored the measure, House Concurrent Resolution 2044.
Pearce complains that what voters have protected are "the giveaway programs, the socialist programs," referring to programs like AHCCCS and First Things First.
OK, let's be clear here - Pearce wants the authority to override voters' wishes because he thinks that they (aka - us!) haven't voted wisely.
This from the same guy who has sponsored over 30 proposed referendums so that the legislature can get the worst of their worst schemes past the Governor's veto pen.
Oh, and those 30 measures aren't exactly a new trick for the old nativist dog Pearce - he sponsored or cosponsored 17 such proposals during the 2007 session of the lege, 23 during 2006, and 17 during 2005.
A goodly number of the HCRs and SCRs that he sponsored for referral to the ballot were of the "let's screw with brown people" variety, which leads to the conclusion that he only respects voters' opinions (and votes) when they coincide with his own.
Reining in those dastardly brown Mexicans immigrants? Gooood voters...
Reining in saintly nativist American legislators? Baaaadd voters...
For this spectacularly shameless flip-flop of the "reverse one and a half somersaults with three and a half twists" variety, Rep. Russell Pearce reels in this week's Sunday Morning Crappie Award.
BTW - Pearce is running for state senate this year. Judah Nativio is running against him, and can use your help and your vote.