Jason Shelton (aka, "4409") arguing against Pearce's unconstitutional bill
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State Senator Russell Pearce's police state/bigot bill is under siege by the Libertarians and Ron Paul Republicans over at Ernie Hancock's Web site Freedom's Phoenix.
As I've blogged previously, Hancock sent out a mass e-mail last week with a link to an article by Freedom's Phoenix columnist John Green attacking SB 1070/HB 2632 as a back door to the Real I.D. Act and a national identity card.
In them, Pearce blamed Hancock for the bill being left in limbo in the House Committee of the Whole. (The bill's expected to come back up this Tuesday, March 23, but it's not yet on the calendar at the time of this blog post.)
"HB2632 did not pass COW (Committee of the Whole) today in the house!" exclaims Pearce. "It appears that an open boarders [sic] person named Ernest Hancock mass emailed the House Legislators claiming that HB2632 is a backdoor to the Real ID Act."
In the rant, Pearce goes on to state, "This whole email campaign was just short of a domestic terrorist act."
Pearce's hysteria is laughable. Hancock is not open borders, he is opposed to the heavy hand of the state, as most Libertarians are.
Moreover, comparing a mass e-mail advising legislators of what's in a bill to domestic terrorism is absurd, and should give you an indication of the extent to which Pearce has a problem with freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
Posting a photo of Pearce in a flag-desecrating golf shirt and carrying Old Glory, Freedom's Phoenix writer Jet Lacey notes, "I think Sinclair Lewis said it best, `When fascism comes [to America], it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.'"
Another FP contributor, videographer Jason Shelton, has posted a long video in which he confronts Pearce over the bill, and then runs down some of the problems with it, like how it will give cops unrestricted authority to stop anyone they believe of being in the country illegally. Police are also indemnified against any of the lawsuits that will inevitably arise.
In the video, Shelton questions state Rep. Cecil Ash on the issue of cop indemnification. Ash responds that all officers of the court have this protection, and that police officers are no different. If so, Shelton wonders, then why does it need to be in the language of the bill?
Shelton's diatribe makes some excellent points on how average citizens could be affected by the broad, lopsided language of the proposed law.
For example, taxi drivers could be arrested and their cars impounded for transporting someone who is undocumented. And average Joes picking up their buddies for work could be arrested for violating anti-day labor provisions.
"I tell you [Pearce's bill] is really not about immigration," Shelton correctly concludes. "It's about expanding police powers."
Too many Arizona Republicans have been so blinded by their desire to do away with illegal immigrants, that they are ready to shred the very constitutional rights we all hold dear.
Here, the Freedom's Phoenix crowd, many of whom are Republicans, are serving as an alarm bell, a tocsin against Pearce's liberty-imperiling legislation. They are to be congratulated. Their persistent agitation against SB 1070/HB 2632 could be what stops it.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
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