If you thought the Tucson massacre was going to lead to a kinder, gentler, wiser state Legislature, think again, my pretties.
The local Republinuts in the state House and Senate are continuing their campaign of insanity and hate via a passel of loony laws coming down the pike. And with the Democrats reduced to insignificance, there's nothing to stop state Senate President Russell Pearce & Co. from turning Sand Land into a cacti-laden Mordor in the current session. Budget fiasco be damned.
So here's a rundown of a few of the proposed laws from local GOP moonhowlers. And people wonder why the Tea Party "Patriot" wackos will be partying in Phoenix with their guns, their racist placards, and their bad teeth come February 25. (Free moonshine and ammo for everyone, I hear.)
BTW, I don't see a bill gutting the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship provision, yet. But it's coming. Along with way more nutbar bills, no doubt.
1) HB 2077: The Joe Arpaio Protection Act?
This piece of legislative idiocy would have "any federal agency" that comes into a county "register its presence" with the county sheriff. Also, the sheriff can impose a "reasonable fee" on the agency.
So Sheriff Joe Arpaio would know when the U.S. Department of Justice has investigators in town looking into his shenanigans. Ditto for the FBI, I reckon. Except for the fact that such agencies already have offices in Maricopa County. The FBI, for instance. And the Arizona U.S. Attorneys Office falls under the purview of the DOJ.
So if U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder comes to Phoenix on official business, would he have to "register" with Arpaio's office? You see how stupid this is.
In addition, the bill states that should any of these agencies collect monies related to "fines, fees or penalties," they would have to turn them over to the sheriff, who then turns the loot over to the state treasurer.
Is that provision aimed at the IRS? Thing is, I doubt the feds will pay any attention to it, even if it's passed. It's virtually meaningless. A waste of time. What is Joe gonna do, throw federal agents in the Fourth Avenue Jail? I don't think so.
This is some far right wing anti-government stuff, and would hypothetically apply to all Arizona counties, not just Maricopa. There's a bill like it in the Montana legislature, but that one would go even further, and make arrests made by federal authorities illegal without the okay of the local sheriff.
2) SCR 1010: Exempting Arizona from International Law
No man is an island, but a state can be an island, and in the case of Arizona, perhaps its own nation.
This proposed amendment to the state constitution forbids state courts from in any way considering international law in its decisions. (Voters would have to approve this, of course.)
"The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. The courts shall not consider international law."
So when they call Arizona a "rogue state," they ain't kiddin'. "Outlaw state" is more like it.
I suspect this has to do with the brouhaha last year that occurred when the U.S. State Department mentioned SB 1070 in its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The council later issued a report that included condemnation of both 1070 and the U.S. Border Patrol's Operation Streamline.
3) HB 2179: Suffer the Little Children...No, Really Make 'Em Suffer...
Arizona is not allowed to deny children an education, even if they are undocumented. But the King of Creepy, Republican state Representative Carl Seel, would like to so scare the bejesus out of undocumented kiddies and their parents that they will be afraid to go to school.
So, he wants to require a head count of all children whose parents cannot prove the student's "lawful status." If the school district does not comply, funds can be withheld. If anyone tries to submit a falsified report, they can be hit with a misdemeanor criminal charge.
4) HB 2181: Arizona National Guard on the Border
The Arizona governor already has power to declare a state of emergency and mobilize the state national guard. This bill makes it clear that she can declare a state of emergency because of "unauthorized international border crossings."
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This is another Seel brainchild, BTW.
5) SB 1046: Turn Over Juvies To ICE
If U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a detainer on a kid in juvenile detention, the state will turn them over for possible deportation. Real sweethearts, these legislators.
There's some other wacky stuff on tap, but these are the wackiest. Look for more wingnut bills to drop in the coming days.