Danehy: Tom Rounds Up The Latest Outrages At The Arizona Legislature


The late political strategist Emil Franzi hated the use of the term "lawmaker." He said that far too many people who get elected to the state Legislature take that term literally and feel an obligation to law-make all over the place like a mediocre cop trying to fulfill a traffic-ticket quota. All too often, those (Republicans) who hold a razor-thin margin in the Legislature forget that their job is to serve the people, not subvert the will of the people.

It's probably human nature for somebody to run for office, get more votes than the other candidate(s), and then all of a sudden convince themselves that they're The Chosen One, He/She Who Knows What's Best. They don't listen to the people; they tell the people.

Exhibits A-D:

• Just a couple weeks after wannabe-tyrant Shawnna Bolick garnered national attention by introducing a bill that would nullify the will of the Arizona people in presidential elections, consistently repugnant state Sen. David Gowan gave himself whiplash when he introduced a similar bill, scheduled it for a hearing in his committee, and then quashed it. And somehow he wants credit for his actions.

To me, that's like he put on a pair of jackboots, stomped around for a while to get attention, had a cockroach crawl out of his butt, then demanded applause after he stepped on it.

Gowan falsely contends that the U.S. Constitution gives legislators the power to select the state's Electors. He should probably listen to (fellow Republican) Speaker of the Arizona House Rusty Bowers, who said, "I don't see us in any serious way addressing a change of Electors. (We're) mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people."

That applies even if some people aren't happy with the way the vote turned out.

• In 2018, the voters of Arizona said loudly and unequivocally that they wanted nothing to do with any expansion of the socialism-for-the-rich school voucher program. By an overwhelming vote, the people repealed a vulgar state law that would have vastly expanded the voucher program. When the voucher program (I refuse to employ the intelligence-insulting misnomer that they use) was first established, I wrote that backers were cynically using handicapped kids to get their foot in the door so they could later expand the giveaway to include their well-off friends who wanted the state to help pay for their kids' high-priced, private-school education.

It was such an obvious scam. The state would give parents six or seven grand for tuition. The well-off would just apply it to the tuition they were already paying; it was like pocketing the money. But what is a poor parent supposed to do with it? Private schools can cost as much as $20,000 or more a year. Where's that other 13 grand coming from? So this scam, disguised as helping the disadvantaged, only ends up helping people who don't need it.

That's why Arizonans overwhelmingly told the scammers to take their law and use it in suppository form. It's the absolute height of arrogance and disdain that they would dare to bring it back up so shortly after having it smacked down.

• If this world were fair, former State Senator Eddie Farnsworth would be in prison—not jail, but PRISON. Instead, he sits comfortably on a giant pile of (millions of) taxpayer dollars that he amassed by passing self-serving laws, then exploiting those laws, and acting all butt-hurt when people dared to call him a crook. Channeling something that Jack The Ripper probably would have said, Farnsworth sniffed, "I'm not going to apologize for being successful."

Successful at what?! Ripping off taxpayers? Gaming the system for personal profit? Saddling the schools you dumped with decades of debt?

• Back in the 1990s, Arizona's voters passed a referendum. The Legislature didn't like it, so they immediately started tinkering with it. That angered Arizona's voters so much that the people passed another initiative, one that said that the Legislature can't mess with anything that the people have passed. The Legislature REALLY didn't like that.

So now that Arizona's voters have shown that they are actually on the side of quality education, the Legislature's Republicans (who, as a requirement for being in the club, all hate public education) are in full attack mode. When Prop 208 passed in November, it created a small tax surcharge for the wealthiest Arizonans to help fund education.

First, the Republicans (who, as mentioned, hate public education) went to court to try to get Prop 208 overturned. Their lame arguments were declared officially lame by the court. So, now they want future propositions to have to get to a ridiculous 60 percent to pass, instead of a simple majority. I mean, what are we supposed to think, that this is America or something?

Now comes the latest, this from State Senator J.D. Mesnard. (The J.D. stands for Vile Cretin; apparently, he went to one of Farnsworth's charter schools.) Mesnard wants to create a new tax bracket to shield his rich friends from having pay that voter-approved tax surcharge. With a straight face (and a crooked heart), he claims that it's in the best interest of small business owners. He lies.

The new Arizona marches to the beat of Red For Ed, while the soon-to-be Republican minority in the Legislature clings desperately to the mantra of Wealthy is Healthy.