Despite all this blather about immigration-related bills being "held" by state Senate President Russell Pearce until there's a budget, Senate Bill 1495, which would give the governor the power to call up a presumably nativist "state guard" anytime she wants, passed the Senate yesterday, 21-9.
All nine Democrats voted against the bill. Though Republican state Senator Frank Antenori expressed misgivings about the bill's broad, vague language in committee, and said that he planned to vote against the bill on the Senate floor, he rolled over as well, and voted "yes."
As I've blogged previously, all Dems and Republicans -- lefties, righties and those in-between --should be concerned about the bill becoming law. The idea is that somehow the state guard would help "secure the border" against an illegal alien "invasion." None of that language is in the bill, but its supporters have made clear that this is what the proposal will address.
Already the Arizona governor has the power to create a state guard if the Arizona National Guard has been activated by the feds. But this undefined state guard can be called up, "for any other reason the governor considers to be necessary."
And that's whether the governor is Jan Brewer or Janet Napolitano. An identical bill in the state House could be voted on at any time. It's likely to be passed and signed by the governor.
Some anti-immigrant militia groups love the idea of being taken into the state government's fold, and they believe the governor will invoke a state guard not long after it becomes law. One of these is a group registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission as Arizona State Guard, LLC, but is doing business as the Arizona Guard.
Charles Yuditsky and Tim Guiney are the two men fronting the Arizona Guard, which Guiney recently assured me has no connection with the infamous Arizona Guard once run by convicted felon and neo-Nazi-befriender Casey Nethercott.
Though I didn't connect with Guiney for a blog on the upcoming RifleStock, a militia camp-out scheduled for March 18 in southern Arizona, I got hold of Guiney last night. Though the Arizona Guard's Web page brags of doing security for RifleStock, Guiney informed me that his group of about 21 persons would not be doing security now, though he said Arizona Guard would have a presence at the event.
Guiney claimed not to know Alaskan survivalist Franke Schein, who has been pimping the outing and appears connected to the organizers. Schein's the author of the Lone Wolf Resistance Manual, which informs readers on how to make "boobytraps" and "home made explosives," as well teaching "ambush techniques" and "prisoner handling."
In any case, Guiney seemed unconcerned about the broadness of the bill's language, or the fact that state guard participants would have to hand over all of their personal info to the government.
"If someone wants to find us, they can find us [already]," Guiney said of the government.
The militiaman also shared that "Arizona State Guard, LLC," would in time be a money-making proposition. He said that he and Yuditsky wanted to make it "a security guard company eventually."
I wondered why they made a point of stating in a House committee that they were now calling themselves the "Arizona Guard." He said they didn't want to cause any confusion, as the bill refers to a "state guard."
He told me that his group was not violent, racist or affiliated with any skinhead groups. He even boasted of having a Jamaican fellow in his ranks.
"Most of the people in the militia movement are folks just like me," he said.
You know, regular Joes, albeit heavily-armed regular Joes.
Along those lines, I asked Guiney about an incendiary rant made in his name on the Web site patriotactionnetwork.com.
In it, "Tim Guiney" states, "Both [U.S. Senators] Kyle and McCain are a waste of our time. They both need to be defeated the next time around...They are frauds and traitors to this country, and if I ever get them in my cross hairs, I will not hesitate!"
The passage concludes on an apocalyptic note:
"God Bless All You Patriots, and if you aren't, then may God have mercy on your ssouls [sic], because I will not! I will shoot each and every one of you traitorous b******. Once the revolution has started, of course. I wouldn't want to offend any left-wing liberals, and make them cry!"
Guiney said he didn't remember the site, and hedged on whether or not he had made this post, which dates to 2009. When I read him the first couple of lines, he seemed willing enough to own it.
"It could be," he admitted. "I'm not happy with those guys [Kyle and McCain]."
When I read him the rest of the first passage, he hemmed and hawed, and said the cross hairs reference could have multiple interpretations.
"Some people have a bad day," he said. "Maybe I had a bad day."
But when I read him the part about shooting all non-patriots, he immediately disowned it.
"That does not sound like me," he said.
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Later, he seemed pretty sure he didn't author the passage, though he was concerned on how I was planning to write it up and asked me to be fair.
I suppose there could be another "Tim Guiney" in the militia movement in Arizona, but there are several posts by "Tim Guiney" on that site, and one of them lists his phone number, the same number I called him on. Maybe "Tim Guiney" is Tim Guiney's evil twin.
Something to think about as this "state guard" legislation advances in the House and almost inevitably becomes law. Should the state guard be created by this governor, watch out all you "non-patriots" along the lines of U.S. Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain. You could have a target on your backs.