Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Russell Pearce, looking for shortcuts, declares himself to be AZ's sole lawmaker

Russell Pearce is well-known as Arizona's preeminent nativist, Senate President, and shadow governor.

What with appearances at neo-Nazi and Tea Party rallies, closed-door conferences with private prison lobbyists, frequent interviews on Fox News, and more, he doesn't have time for his day job as a working legislator.

Not to worry, Pearce has found a way to use his time more efficiently.

He's cutting out the "legislating" part, now crafting and enacting laws by personal fiat.

From an Arizona Republic article, written by Mary K. Reinhart -
Just in case there was any doubt, Senate President Russell Pearce on Tuesday sent a memo to lawmakers clarifying his policy on guns in the Senate: Feel free to pack heat.

Pearce's policy may conflict with the state law that's posted at the entrance to both the Senate and House advising visitors they cannot bring weapons inside. But he says the state Constitution gives him authority to make the rules within the building.
The section of the Arizona Constitution to which Pearce seems to be referring is Article 4, Part 2, Section 8.  It states -
Each house, when assembled, shall choose its own officers, judge of the election and qualification of its own members, and determine its own rules of procedure.
The Senate can and has determined its own rules of procedure.  Those rules detail legislative minutae, such as the form and structure of bill proposals, casting votes, parliamentary procedures followed by the Senate, record keeping of Senate proceedings, and so on. 

Packin' heat?  Never mentioned, nor should it be. 

There's nothing in the Arizona Constitution that allows the legislature to declare itself above the laws that govern the rest of us, no matter how much Pearce and his follower insist otherwise.

This all does bring to mind one question.  Where in the Senate rules of procedure would Pearce try to wedge in his "it's OK for legislators to violate state law" edict?

Personally, I think he should aim for changing the name of Committee of the Whole to "Committee of the Hole."  No pronunciation change,  and look at all the reduced ink costs from printing one less letter!

Look for lobbyists, journalists, and other Capitol regulars to start buying their suit jackets from Men's Wearhouse's new "Kevlar" line, coming soon to a location near you.



just jen said...

remember the "sell and lease back" of the capitol buildings last year (or was that the year before? i can't keep the shitnanigans straight)? wonder how the new landlord feels about the tenants packin' heat. might bring down the property values of the 'hood, yo.

cpmaz said...

I'm guessing that the new landlords won't care as long as the money keeps on rolling in (as it will for something like 20 years).

However, holes in the walls and ceilings may cost the taxpayers their security deposit. :)