Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Sane Republicans, Run Screaming from SB 1062
See how the blind mice run . . . as far away from Senate Bill 1062 as they can get.
This morning, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce officially joined the increasingly crowded bandwagon of opposition to the anti-gay "religious freedom bill" that Arizona Republicans in the state Legislature passed last week.
As the Greater Phoenix Economic Council did Friday, the business associations called on Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill.
The Chambers' statement reads in part:
"As leaders in the business community, we cannot support measures that could expose our businesses to litigation, nor do we want to send a message that our state is anything but an open and attractive place for visitors and the top talent that will be the cornerstone of our continued economic growth."
Thus proving that money is neither gay nor straight, but green.
The business leaders join a number of Sand Land GOPers who've rushed to oppose the bill, some more vigorously than others.CAP president Cathi Herrod gets owned on CNN.
These include the following Republican gubernatorial candidates: Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, ex-GoDaddy exec Christine Jones, and, most surprising of all, state Treasurer Doug Ducey.
One of the Ducey's big supporters has been Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy. SB 1062 is CAP's baby, and Herrod has been a policy advisor to the Ducey camp.
On Friday, Ducey stated that, "I haven't had a spare moment to read the actual bill."
Sunday, he sent out a message to supporters stating, in part, that, "If I were governor . . . I would veto SB 1062."
The only Republican gubernatorial candidates to embrace the bill, so far, are state Senator Al Melvin and disgraced, disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
U.S. Senator Jeff Flake has called on Brewer to veto the bill. Ditto Arizona senior U.S. Senator John McCain, who Tweeted this morning that she should veto it.
State Senator Steve Pierce of Prescott, who voted for the bill, wants to dial back that vote.
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Over the weekend, he told Prescott's Daily Courier that, "I don't like the negative picture of Arizona, and I'm on board asking the governor to veto the bill."
He added: "I have friends that are gay and I wouldn't do anything to hurt them. This is blown way out of proportion and it's too bad."
Blown out of proportion? Not really. On CNN, when Cathi Herrod was asked if a restaurant could discriminate against a gay couple because of 1062, she refused to answer the question.
Because, of course, the answer is yes.
This morning, Pierce and fellow Republican senators Bob Worsley and Adam Driggs released a letter they sent the governor, urging her to veto the bill.
The national press has had a field day slapping Arizona around on 1062. State Representative John Kavanagh, a bill supporter, took it on the chin (um, so to speak) from CNN's Anderson Cooper, when Kav appeared on Cooper's show to defend the indefensible.
Republican political consultant Chuck Coughlin, the guy who got Brewer elected in 2010, told the New York Times he was doubtful Brewer would sign 1062.
"We already have laws to sufficiently protect people's religion freedoms in this country, and this bill could actually empower people to discriminate," he opined to the Gray Lady.
Democrats, up and down the line, have opposed the legislation. But then, none of them voted for this bigoted bill to begin with.
The longer Brewer waits to veto SB 1062, the more pronounced the damage will be on Republicans running for statewide office this year, particularly when they get to their general election match-ups.
I kinda sorta wish she would sign it. Why? Because the Arizona Republican Party -- as it currently exists -- would not survive the tsunami of outrage.
And that would not be a bad thing at all.
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