Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jack Harper - brazenly hypocritical or cluelessly ironic?

You know, I was going to write a couple of quips (succinct but witty ones, of course :) ) about the Phoenix New Times' piece on Russell Pearce's history of domestic violence. Turns out that in 1980, his wife filed for divorce, citing among other reasons, that Pearce has "...a violent temper and has from time to time hit and shoved his wife..." (courtesy the New Times' upload of the court documents).

I'm certain a crack that pondered the possibility that Pearce has sublimated his documented anger toward women into a hatred of Mexicans (more socially acceptable in LD18, that) was imminent, but it turns out that Jack Harper (helped along by Democratic senator Ken Cheuvront) is around to save Russell Pearce from some biting sarcasm (for now anyway :)) ).

Turns out that while the legislative session is over, it isn't *over.*

From the Arizona Republic -
An end-of-session maneuver that cut short a Democratic filibuster and paved the way for lawmakers to refer the same-sex marriage ban to the fall ballot is now the subject of a rare formal ethics complaint.

Democratic Sen. Ken Cheuvront of Phoenix has asked the Senate ethics committee to issue a formal reprimand against Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise. Cheuvront accuses Harper of conspiring with other Republican leaders to intentionally break the rules of the Senate by turning off microphones and allowing the Republican majority leader to make a motion in the middle of a debate between Democratic senators.

Harper, a previous winner of (and permanent contender for) the annual Legislative Loon Award, bemoaned the complaint as "partisan," while ignoring the fact that it was his own partisan maneuvers on the last day of the Senate's session that precipitated the complaint.

I'd say that his pronouncement on his latest troubles, whether rooted in hypocrisy or simple cluelessness, gives him a leg up on another Legislative Loon award, but there's no guarantee that he will return to the next session of the lege - he's facing a strong opponent in the person of Robert Boehlke.

Anyway, the complaint will be ruled on by Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, who admonished some of his senate colleagues for their "loss of decorum" during the final moments of the legislative session.

It should be noted, however, that Tibshraeny's concern over his colleagues' antics wasn't so strong that he couldn't vote for the anti-same sex marriage measure that Harper was so intent on railroading through that late night/early morning.

In short, while there might be a faux reprimand discussed for appearances' sake, nothing significant will come of this. Even if Tibshraeny finds merit to the complaint, it would take a majority vote of the senate to issue a reprimand, and the senate isn't scheduled to meet until the new lege is seated in January.


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