Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bob Burns admitting that Democrats actually exist?

And that maybe they matter?

Next, you'll be telling me that Russell Pearce is going to resign his position, convert to Catholicism and become a priest so that he can minister to the poorest of the poor in Mexico. All as penance for the bile that he has spewed and the pain that he has caused in his career as a politician.

So you say that those two things will never come to pass - Russell "National Alliance" Pearce will never change his nativist ways, and MarszaƂek Senatu Bob Burns (thanks Tedski!) will never move beyond his partisan nature?

Well, you are half right - Pearce isn't changing any time soon...or probably any time ever.

On the other hand, Bob Burns has cracked open the door of bipartisanship.

From -
Senate President Bob Burns said he was seeking Democratic votes as he tries to wrap up a special legislative session that went into unexpected overtime last week.

"We need at least four members of the Democratic caucus," Burns, R-Peoria, said late last week, after discussing the state budget at the annual tax watchdog luncheon of the Arizona Tax Research Association. He said he and other legislative leaders planned to spend the weekend looking for those votes.
I have no specific info regarding which Dems Burns is targeting, much less what, if anything, he is offering in return, but I've got a couple of phone calls out.

My off the cuff guesses:

Targeting - Richard Miranda, Jorge Luis Garcia, Ken Cheuvront, and Albert Hale.

- They targeted Miranda before, Garcia has indicated in the past that he has been interested in dealing, Cheuvront is actually pretty conservative for someone who is a gay Democrat (OK, if he wasn't gay he'd probably be a leader of the Chamber of Commerce wing of the AZGOP, but the AZGOP hates gay people nearly as much as they hate Mexicans), and what Hale wants (see the linked article) isn't going to cost the state anything (the R's are against it because it benefits Native Americans, and for no other reason).

Offering - Not a hell of a lot. Burns has too much political capital invested in his previous plan of passing a budget with only R votes. In addition, too many members of the R caucuses in the House and the Senate have made the same investment, and they will be loathe to sign off on any real compromises.

It'll be interesting to see if enough of the Dems are willing to sell their souls in exchange for the equivalent of meaningless but shiny baubles and trinkets.

If not, and right now I'm betting on "not," it will be even more interesting to see if Burns and Adams can convince enough of their caucuses that a little bipartisanship beats holding a special session meeting on the Friday after Thanksgiving.



Thane Eichenauer said...

All sides await word of what such compromises might consist of. Taxes and borrowing seem to be the only important issues but I imagine that there may be other spending adjustments that might be discussed.

And while I don't assume it is likely to come up, legalization of marijuana would still be my first suggestion. Legalization of other drugs would be my second suggestion.

cpmaz said...

I know that previous ideas put forth by Dem members of the lege have included non-tax hike/non-spending cut stuff. Those, along with the rest of their proposals, were rejected out of hand by the R leadership in the lege.

I'm with you on the legalization of marijuana thing, though as much to discourage people from using it (bottom line: we are a society of wannabe rebels, and that takes the form of breaking laws on things like personal drug use. Once they are legal, they are less attractive to certain, non-addicted people). I don't think that's coming up either.

Eli Blake said...

This year the Democratic caucus did an admirable job of cohesion.

If he wants to talk to a Democrat, Sen. Burns can talk to Jorge Garcia, the minority leader.