Michael: A Shameful Session of the LegislatureI could hardly contain the derisive laughter that those rose in my throat like vomit as Bee and Tully claimed a successful session of the Legislature on the Star’s opinion page. If you define success as whoring for every special interest swinging a sawbuck, bashing gays, and scapegoating immigrants as the root of all evil, then perhaps the 47th session was, indeed, a big success. I choose to call it shameful.
When a prostitute claims she’s just ‘pro-business,’ one is right to be skeptical. The GOP tried to trade away Tucson’s constitutional rights to Clear Channel this session. They tried to prevent Arizona’s cities from taxing the monopolies of cable companies to help fatten corporate bottom lines. They even tried to strip Arizona’s largest cities of their share of state revenues. They threw special tax breaks and give-aways at every special interest that looked like they may have a buck, riddling our tax code still further with iniquitous loop-holes. The only thing that stopped their rampage of slatternly behavior was the veto badge of Sheriff Napolitano and the constant censure of the good town folk of the Democratic Caucus.
When the spokesmen of the GOP have to dig down to line items of less than 10 million dollars in an almost 10 billion dollar budget to find any good they did, you know there is a problem. 1.5 million for beds at shelters, 3.8 million for indigent health care, 4 million of Alzheimer’s research - please! This is the best they can do to highlight their beneficence? They even have the temerity to claim credit for funding the opening of the new medical school in Phoenix that Napolitano had to confiscate from their mean little fists at the Budget Corral! They even repeat yet again the bald-faced lie that it was Napolitano, and not themselves, who reneged on the budget deal.
The Arizona GOP Caucus are like a gang of thugs with the power to make laws. This session they chose to harass and terrify the defenseless immigrants and gays. Who will they target next? Sheriff Napolitano kept the gang from harassing folks too badly, vetoing their worst excesses and riding herd on the skittish voters they kept trying to stampede. But their malign intent is measured by their actions. Tully and Bee specifically blamed Napolitano for vetoing a measure to make local law enforcement responsible for immigration enforcement that nary a single lawman in Arizona favored. The police and sheriffs were outraged at the attempt to load yet more responsibility on their already overloaded possés, but the GOP still chooses to try to make rhetorical hay of the issue.
It should be apparent to all that the GOP’s intent is to inflame the issue of immigration, making it into a prairie fire the purpose of which is to cover their misdeeds, failures, and give cover to russlin' the people's cattle. They don’t care about Arizona. They only care about power. They are drunk on it, and are running rampage through Main Street filled with lobbyist purchased hooch, firing their weapons randomly (demanding the right to bring their guns into your saloons), disrupting public order, and endangering the safety of everyone with their hate-filled agenda. They need to be put the hoosegow where they belong for a nice long drying out period, not given license to stampede the herds through Arizona’s law code for another session.