Sunday, January 11, 2009

That's our Jack.

State Sen. Jack Harper is up to his old tricks, and the lege isn't even in session yet.

Now he's seeking to add barriers to the path to becoming an elected official.

He's filed SB1053, a bill to require candidates for public office to prove their citizenship at the time that they submit their nomination petitions.

At first glance, that would seem to be just another one of a long line of nativist measures that Harper has sponsored or co-sponsored all through his years in the lege.

This one is meant to "solve" the non-existent problem of undocumented immigrants running for office.

In other words, the bill is part of Harper's normal pre-session "preen and posture" warmup routine.

The proposal will get a little attention from political geeks like me (the ones that consider C-SPAN and Arizona Capitol Television to be high Comedy), but not much else unless it looks like the bill will actually pass the lege.

What's really fun about it though (and what people should be paying attention to) is that it highlights how Harper is utterly unqualified for the Secretary of State's job that he is aspiring for in 2010.

Somebody should tell Jack that ARS Title 16, Chapter 4, Sections 301 and 341 require that candidates for office be "qualified electors." In addition, Title 16, Chapter 1, Section 121 defines "qualified elector" as "A person who is qualified to register to vote pursuant to section 16-101..."

And from 16-101, the first listed requirement for a registered voter (emphasis mine) -
A. Every resident of the state is qualified to register to vote if he:
1. Is a citizen of the United States.

To sum up, candidates for office already must be citizens, and that documentation is taken care of at the registration step (and at the voting step too.)

In other words, the man who would Secretary of State, the state's chief election officer, isn't familiar with even the most basic election laws.

That's our Jack. :)

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