Chalk up another embarrassing defeat for state Senate President Russell Pearce and his fellow Republinuts on three bills they desperately wanted: the birther bill, the guns on campus wackiness, and a bill allowing for an anti-health care reform compact among the states.
Governor Jan Brewer has just vetoed all three measures.
Though I've dissed Brewer in the past as dumber than a bag of bricks, I now amend that, as her bag is at least three bricks lighter today.
(My colleague James King has already blogged about the birther mess. He has all the dirty details on the "circumcision angle," here.)
Perhaps Brewer's Svengali, Highground Consulting guru Chuck Coughlin, advised her to veto this trio of wing-nut proposals. In doing so, I suspect she has spared Arizona a little of the near-universal derision that it receives worldwide whenever its name is intoned.
Of course, this doesn't make up for her signing Senate Bill 1070 into law about a year ago, something Coughlin also advised her to do.
But Jan Brewer suddenly asserting herself against Pearce, who once claimed Brewer owed her 2010 victory to him because of his legislative spawn 1070, is a BIG deal.
Her response to the birther bill is the most amusing. In a letter to state House Speaker Kirk Adams explaining her veto, she had the following to say:
"I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and more powerful nation on earth to submit their `early baptismal or circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far."
Sleazy state House Representative Carl Seel was the sole sponsor of the birther madness. Well, at least Seel got to meet fellow birther Don Trump over this little bit of conspiratorial insanity.(Schmucks of a feather...)
Brewer's letter to Pearce on the guns-on-campus bill was equally caustic. She said her prime reason for vetoing this travesty was that it was "poorly written," and could muddle federal and state prohibitions regarding guns on K-12 grounds.
"While I support the thoughtful expansion of where firearms should be allowed," she wrote. "The actual legislation that does so must be both unambiguous and clear to protect the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners. Senate Bill 1467 is neither."
Ouch. Then there's her veto on Senate Bill 1592, which would have forced the governor to sign a compact with other states to defy President Barack Obama's federal healthcare reform.
Brewer pointed out to Pearce that by directing her to do so, the legislation "violates the separation of powers requirement established by Article 3 of the Arizona Constitution."
The governor stated that she continued to "support efforts toward a better partnership with the federal government" over health care.
The U.S. Congress would have had to approve any such compact between the states, and as that was unlikely to happen, the bill was a giant waste of time. But Brewer still gets points for vetoing it.
Pearce voted for all three measures, publicly supported them, and was a sponsor of the anti-health care reform bill.
These vetoes are almost as severe a drubbing for Pearce as was the defeat of five Pearce-pushed anti-immigrant bills in the state Senate recently.
Do I sense a shift? Some tectonic plates moving? Maybe it's a mere tremor instead of a 9.0, but it still feels like moving earth to me.
The possibility of overrides on all three? Well, the legislature will likely be at sine die tomorrow. Also, a lot of the GOPers that voted for these proposals did so knowing Brewer would veto them.
So, I think they're dead. And Pearce is a loser, once again.