Monday, January 21, 2013

Arizona Legislature: jokers leave, yet it is still a national punchline

The latest edition of the Arizona legislature is missing the names of some of the nuttiest of the nuttiest (Frank Antenori - lost in the general election; Russell Pearce - lost a Republican primary; Sylvia Allen - chose not to run for reelection).

However, the "crazy caucus" of the AZ lege didn't have to rebuild.

It just reloaded.

Now it is names like Carl Seel, Steve Smith, and Jeff Dial, "leading" a new generation of neo-Cons (short for "Confederates") in pushing the worst of the worst legislation.  And pushing to keep Arizona in its now-accustomed place, as the centerpiece of the monologues of late night comedians.

State Rep. Carl Seel (center, in the striped shirt), "hangin' with his crew" at a pro-gun rally at the state capitol this past weekend.  Picture republished with permission of Dennis Gilman.

For example, and this is just a sampling -

HB2467 - adding another requirement for high school students to meet before they can receive a diploma - they have to swear an oath that is substantially the same as oaths of office for elected officials and for people joining the armed services.  Sponsors/co-sponsors: Seel, Smith, Dial, Reps. Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, David Livingston, T.J. Shope and Sen. Chester Crandell.

HB2475 - Barring from polling places election observers from national or international organizations.  Sponsors/co-sponsors: Seel, Borrelli, Livingston, Adam Kwasman, David Stevens, Debbie Lesko, Warren Petersen, and Kelly Townsend (a name to watch.  A tea party muckety-muck in the SE Valley.  She should be the source of a never-ending supply of embarrassing legislative proposals.)

HB2434 - Barring the use of any "public resource" by anyone who may not be in the state legally.  I say "may" because the standard of evidence in the bill is rather low.  Essentially, it would turn "breathing while brown" in AZ into a Class 1 misdemeanor, and a second "offense" into a Class 6 felony.  Sponsors/co-sponsors: Seel, Townsend, Lesko, and Ethan Orr.

HB2431 - Allowing anyone who is "eligible for membership in the Arizona State Guard" to ignore any (possible) pending assault weapon, extended magazine, or ammunition measures if those things are purchased for the purpose of "maintaining proficiency of arms" within Arizona.  Under the section of AZ law referenced in the proposal, nearly everyone is eligible for membership in the AZ militia.  Sponsor: Seel.

HB2318 - Exempting from federal rules and standards, and state standards stemming from federally-funded programs, any schools, particularly charter schools, that don't accept federal funding under a specific section of the US Code.  Sponsor:  Eddie Farnsworth

HB2284 - Making a daily recitation of the pledge of allegiance mandatory for students in public and charter schools, unless a parent specifically request that their child be excused from doing so.  Current law allows time for reciting the pledge of allegiance for those students who "wish" to do so.  Sponsor: Farnsworth.

HB2283 - Mandating that when a state agency that publishes material in a language other than English, that material can only be published on the internet.  Sponsor: Smith.

HB2291 - Making it a Class 6 felony to enforce or attempt to enforce federal firearms regulations within AZ.  Sponsors/co-sponsors: Smith, Kwasman, Seel, Stevens, and Thorpe.

AZBlueMeanie of Blog for Arizona offers his take on this measure here.

And my personal "favorite" (quotes denoting the use of sarcasm, just in case you couldn't figure it out for yourself):

HB2293 - Turning hospitals and emergency rooms into immigration checkpoints, round two (or is it three?).  Sponsors: Smith, Kwasman, Seel, Thorpe.

For now, the House seem to be most active on the "crazy", but it's early.  Andy Biggs is now in charge of the Senate, and with fellow travelers like Al Melvin, Judy Burges, and Don Shooter around, the Senate Rs are sure to make their howls at the moon heard, and soon.  I expect them to catch up by the first week of February.

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