Birther Bill: Preliminary Vote Scheduled for Today (Insert Collective LOL From Rest of Country Here)

Despite state Representative Judy Burges' humiliating "Birther Bill" having failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, it has found its way back to the Legislature via a strike-everything amendment. Sadly, a preliminary vote on the bill will be taken in the Senate today.

The bill is slightly different from the original -- but equally embarrassing for Arizona.

It would require political parties to provide a presidential candidate's birth certificate to election officials before that person's name is allowed on the Arizona ballot. It also would require the party to provide a statement saying where the candidate has lived for the last 14 years.

If it sounds a little paranoid and conspiracy theory-ish, that's because it is.

The bill is in direct response to the repeatedly debunked controversy over President Barack Obama's citizenship and the right-wing conspiracy theorist "birther" movement. Birthers are tin-foil-helmet-wearing whack-jobs so the move doesn't do much to help the state's already bad rep.

Republican Congressman Jeff Flake is one of the few GOPers in Arizona to interject in the "Birther" debate with a refreshing voice of sanity.

"Barack Obama is a citizen of the country. We ought to get off this kick. And there are plenty of differences we have with the president, between Republicans and Democrats, than to spend time on something like this," Flake said in February.

The purely symbolic bill (U.S. citizenship already is a federal requirement to run for president) has failed twice in the Legislature already. It was voted down last year, and despite it passing in the Arizona House of Representatives earlier this year, it failed in committee in the Senate, so it never went to a full vote.

In any event, in the Legislature's crusade to waste as much of its time (and infinitely worse, your money) as possible debating useless legislation that does nothing but humiliate the entire state, the bill still is alive.

Check back for updates.

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