Sunday, April 14, 2013

Arizona Legislature: "Silly season" becomes "ignorant and ugly season"

Normally, this would be time for the "coming week" post, but there truly isn't much on the schedule right now.  It's subject to change (and probably will change) at a moment's notice, but right now the highlight of the week looks to be the lege's annual House v. Senate softball game on Tuesday.  It is scheduled to take place at the field at SRP's PERA Club in Tempe (1 E. Continental Drive) at 5 p.m.

However, because of the light schedule (so far), it might be wise to use this opportunity to highlight why this may be the most dangerous time in this, or any other, session of the legislature.

This past Thursday, State Sen. Judy "Birther" Burges held a hearing to denounce the UN's Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in particular, and sustainability and "green" initiatives in general, as efforts to take away American sovereignty and Americans' freedom.

Perhaps (not-so) surprisingly, things got a little colorful.

Posted by State Sen. Steve Farley on Facebook - 

The most specific thing noted in the update, Rep. Bob "body armor shill" Thorpe's urging the crowd to commit a felony (violating ARS 13-3107, also known as "Shannon's Law"), could be considered a crime in and of itself (see: ARS 13-1002).  Assuming that Thorpe actually did this (and such an assumption is necessary as the video record of the meeting hasn't been posted on the lege's website), he has all-but-absolute legal immunity for anything he says while at the legislature.

Still, "immune" in this context doesn't mean "didn't violate the law"; it just means "not responsible for his words".

As for the part about pointing out "Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club as a target"?  Until I see the recording of the meeting to see exactly what Thorpe said, I'll reserve comment.

Fair notice time:  If it turns out that Thorpe was advocating violence against someone because that person disagrees with him politically, that comment will be clear and direct.

All of this brings to mind the old saying - 

The devil finds work for idle hands.

 According to, this means "something that you say which means people who have no work or activity are more likely to do things they should not do, such as commit crimes".

It's as if the creator of that saying had Rep. Bob Thorpe and the AZ lege in mind when they came up with it. 

Note: I've been told both that the meeting video will and will not be posted on the lege's website.  If it is, I'll link to it and do a fuller analysis and commentary.  Until, and if, that happens, I've got a few feelers out to people who were at the meeting.  However, it's the weekend, and I don't expect to hear from anyone until Monday at the earliest.

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