Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Arizona (!) deals blow to ‘birther’ crazies

Express Staff Writer

It may be only a fleeting moment in a state known for rogue politicians and bizarre legislation. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed two bills Monday night that the state's heavily right-wing lawmakers thought she'd surely sign--one requiring presidential candidates to show a birth certificate when filing for election, the other allowing guns on university campuses.

Brewer found legal holes in the gun bill.

As for the "birther" bill, the governor wrote in her veto letter Monday night:

"I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions."

Continuing, she wrote, "In addition I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful (her emphasis) nation on Earth to submit their early baptismal 'circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona secretary of state.

"This is a bridge too far."

Donald Trump's heart must've sunk on the news.

Arizona lost its national reputation for being ethnic friendly, level-headed and bipartisan in governance and wise in policies during the GOP takeover. In another era, Democratic Gov. Bruce Babbitt was called "Arizona's greatest governor" by powerful Republicans.

Gov. Brewer isn't setting the state's political agenda. The dark hand is the mean-spirited, grumpy, vindictive state Senate president, Sen. Russell Pearce, who has engineered and rammed through spiteful anti-immigrant legislation, expanded gun rights and punishes Republicans who don't toe the line. His cover that the American culture is being rescued is losing its appeal as Arizonans awaken to the figures turning the state into a laughing stock at best, self-destructive at worst.

The Republican sheriff in Arizona's largest county, Maricopa (Phoenix), is under federal investigation for a rainbow of accusations, including abuse of authority. He and a former county prosecutor attorney also are being sued for $153 million by various elected public officials and judges who were spitefully and wrongly accused of crimes.

Top-tier business bluebloods are struggling with a Fiesta Bowl scandal—allowing millions to be siphoned off for the pleasures of the executive director and for entertaining politicians.

Arizona should relish Gov. Brewer's rebuffing those who would bring more disgrace to the state. (Tardily, Brewer also restored funds for organ transplant patients that she'd withheld for months with lame budget excuses, creating a national uproar.)

Is this an awakening to reverse the ugly trend that has brought Arizona down?

Will the little blonde governor stand up and say, again, "This is a bridge too far" to other GOP madness?

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