In the least surprising news rising from the aftermath of Tuesday's elections, Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance) was elected by the R caucus to be the president of the Arizona State Senate. A couple of other senators (Yarbrough, Pierce) were mentioned as being interested, but the only thing that would have prevented Pearce from taking over the Senate would have been if he accepted a patronage job from Jan Brewer.
However, while an agency head gets a bigger paycheck than a legislator (at least, more pay that's "on the books"), in practical political terms, the only person with more political juice in the state right now is Jan Brewer, and she owes him BIG.
She'll spend the next two years signing some of the biggest pieces of garbage to ever pass any legislature.
What could those bills look like?
...SB2001 - changing the state's motto from "Ditat Deus" to "Sieg Heil"
...SB2002 - the new state jobs program: Anyone on any kind of public assistance has to serve time on a work gang at the border with Mexico, installing a line of kerosene-soaked crosses along the entire border
...SB2003 - the new state energy program: Turn burning crosses at the border into power generation stations
...SB2004 - legalizing corporate sponsorship of government offices and facilities. Look for the "Highground Inc. Foyer" on the 9th floor of the Executive Tower and the Corrections Corporation of America Senate Republican Caucus Room" shortly after the new lege is seated in January
---SCR2001 - Rescinding the Arizona Constitution in its entirety and seceding from the United States of America
...SB2101 - Making the act of asking one's employer for a raise a class six felony
...SCR2002 - Ending the constitutional requirements to have and support public education in Arizona
...SCR2003 - Specifying that eligibility for voting is confined to registered Republicans and to those who can pass a civics test - written in pig Latin
...SCR2004 - Specifying that English is the only language allowed to be spoken in Arizona. Tourists and Natives not welcome
...SB2178 - A new "Employer Sanctions" bill, this one penalizing employers who pay their employees a livable wage and/or fringe benefits
...SB2255 - Specifying that presidential candidates on the AZ ballot cannot have skin any darker than Russell Pearce's after a day spent speechifyin' and back-slappin' at a tea party or neo-Nazi rally at the Capitol
...SB2284 - Requiring that members of the Senate from the minority caucus serve as the butlers and maids for the members of the majority caucus
...SCR2005 - Creating a special class of citizens called "corporations" and granting them tax-exempt status
Note: the above is thoroughgoing wiseass-ery. None of the listed bills are real.
Other lege-related notes: Congratulations go out to LD17's own David Schapira, the newly-elected leader of the Democratic caucus in the state senate. Senators Leah Landrum Taylor and Paula Aboud were elected as Assistant Minority Leader and Democratic Whip, respectively.