Ah, happy days...Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready (left) and state legislator Russell Pearce, get frisky with each other in June of 2007.
Hey, you know you have a rock-hard coalition when you have a two-fisted, pinko liberal like me, and a right-wing ogre like state Senator Russell Pearce -- forwarder of white supremacist e-mails and hero to neo-Nazi swastika-lickers -- on the same page. And that's just what CameraFraud.com can boast to judge by its press conference yesterday announcing its citizen's initiative to ban photo enforcement statewide.
Both Pearce and newly-elected Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whom I gave kudos to in last week's Bird column for ending photo enforcement in his jurisdiction, joined CameraFraud's founders at a news conference at the state capitol. Pearce decried photo enforcement, a pet project of outgoing Gov. Janet Napolitano, and suggested the program was illegal under state law. Babeu was reportedly the first to sign his name to the petition, which needs 152,999 more to make the 2010 ballot.
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After watching this news conference, I've got some news for DPS and Redflex: Enjoy it while it lasts. Because that rumbling you hear is the beginning of a political tsunami that will take every one of those despised cameras and vans with it.
Actually, I think the Pearce is punking out on the issue. You're telling me a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican Guv to be sworn-in by month's end couldn't banish Redflex's Orwellian contraptions before 2010? Of course they could. Even if the GOPers couldn't jam through a constitutional amendment ridding the state of them forever, Brewer and her legislative cohorts could begin reigning in photo enforcement shortly after she ascends to the 9th floor.
Instead, if the GOP follows Pearce's lead, the pachyderms have the best of both worlds -- sucking in the much-needed dolo for two more years to help with the budget, while giving lip service to the citizen's initiative. Pearce is chairman of the powerful state Senate appropriations committee. Why doesn't he make certain that photo enforcement's demise is a requirement of the next budget, which Brewer will have to sign?
Babeu is the kind of guy who says what he means and means what he says. He single-handedly ended Pinal County's contract with Redflex. So why doesn't Russell Pearce, who is all John Wayne when it comes to bashing MMPs ("Mexicans Minus Papers"), show some real huevos, and insist on the end of this filthy revenue stream? C'mon, Russ? Just what are you afraid of?