Monday, April 19, 2010

AZ Senate passes Pearce's police state bill, sends it to Jan Brewer for her signature

I can understand disagreeing with most of what comes out of the AZ lege, most of the time, it's just politics.

What I can't stand is being ashamed of what comes out of the lege.

Tonight, I'm profoundly embarrassed to be an Arizonan.

From Reuters (yes, this is getting worldwide coverage) -
Arizona lawmakers passed a controversial immigration bill on Monday requiring police in the state that borders Mexico to determine if people are in the United States illegally, a measure critics say is open to racial profiling.

Lawmakers in the Arizona Senate voted 17 to 11 to approve the bill, widely regarded as the toughest measure yet taken by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration.
And the money quote from the article -
"I believe handcuffs are a wonderful tool when they're on the right people," said Russell Pearce, the Republican state senator who wrote the bill.

We want to "get them off law enforcement and get them on the bad guys," he told Reuters.
For those of you who aren't familiar with our Sen. Pearce, when he says "bad guys" and "the right people" for handcuffs, he's referring to people with skin that is a color other than white, reserving a special contempt for people of Mexican descent (remember his proposal to restart "Operation Wetback" anyone?)

As noted in the article, the vote was 17-11, with the voting going almost completely along party lines. The only Democrats who didn't oppose the bill were Amanda Aguirre and Albert Hale, who were both absent.

The only Republican who had both enough humanity and spine to oppose the bill was Carolyn Allen.

All of the rest of the Rs in the Senate fall into one of two categories -

Pure evil

Craven cowards

Late last week, a friend of mine from work who is of Mexican descent but is a U.S. citizen by birth, as are her children and grandchildren, asked me about this bill and what she should do when she is pulled over by the police and they demand to see her papers.

All I had for her was a lame "be polite and give them over."

When she asked why the law was going to be passed, I told her that some of the people in the lege "simply don't like brown people", to which she replied that "brown people vote, too."

Unfortunately, not enough vote in the general election and almost none vote in the Republican primaries.

Which brings us to the question of whether or not Jan Brewer will sign the bill into law.

Rest assured, she will.

She's running in a Republican primary where every candidate is trying to out-right-wingnut her (and she was pretty much a far right ideologue even before the primary season started.) This bill is tailor-made for someone who is trying to get the Tea Party/nativist wing of the GOP on their side.

In other words, the real question isn't "will she sign it?" but "will she be doing the Snoopy dance on a copy of the Bill of Rights while she signs it, or will she just be grinning from ear-to-ear for the cameras?"


Thane Eichenauer said...

I'll just offer two words that are a tinge more effective than shame:

Recall and referendum

cpmaz said...

I would agree with you, except for two very practical reasons -

1. It's an election year, and by the time any recall effort took hold, the regular elections would be taking place. That is the place to turn these people out of office.

2. As for a referendum, there are approximately 5 weeks left to gather signatures to get a referendum question on the November ballot. In practical terms, there just isn't enough time to get it done (220K+ sigs).

Right now, the two best possibilities for beating back this measure are a successful federal lawsuit, maybe on 4th amendment grounds (I'm not a lawyer, so don't get upset if that sounds like I'm ignorant of some of the nuances of Con law. I am and I admit it), and turning out the legislators who voted for this come November.

Thane Eichenauer said...

Practical is what works. If a recall effort "took hold" it could certainly be a factor in any upcoming election.

I imagine that Gabriel Giffords is going to loose some votes due to her recall. Of course I keep reading in the Arizona Republic that the Democrats are going to do a bang-up job explaining the benefits of the health care reform bill between now and November so perhaps Giffords can ignore the effort.

It would certainly be nice to see a nice transpartisan recall effort file against Russell Pearce.