Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Arizona: Race to the Bottom

Not to be outdone by the anti-labor movements in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Carolina, and the anti-immigration bigots in Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia, and the anti-woman’s health rights haters in Mississippi, Kansas, and Oklahoma, the state of Arizona Republican Party has taken the worst of all the above and thrown it into a pot and threatens to destroy this state.
I have written previously on the craziness that is Arizona including these ridiculous bills and proposals:
·         The unconstitutional anti-immigrant law SB1070
·         The requirement that anyone wanting to be on a Presidential ballot must submit a birth certificate to the Secretary of State
·         Anyone with a heavy accent would not be allowed to teach in the public schools
·         Guns should be allowed in all public areas including universities.
·         Eliminating the requirement to have a permit to carry conceal
·         Allow carrying  a concealed weapon into a bar
·         Force a 30 day waiting period before filing for divorce
·         Require ultrasound before allowing an abortion to take place
·         Give adoption priority to heterosexual couples over homosexual couples
We also have seen:
·         A call for private donations to build a fence along the Mexican border.  One year later the grassroots movement as $275,000 in the fund or about enough for 0.091 miles.
·         Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is under multiple state and federal investigations
·         That same sheriff saying he will go looking for President Obama’s birth certificate
·         $Billions of cuts from the State University System
·         State and Federal politicians arguing Phoenix is kidnap capital of the world and there are headless bodies in the desert
Is it any wonder that the referendum to legalize medical marijuana passed last year?
But all kidding aside, the new legislative session got under way and already the GOP controlled State House and Governor’s Office is pushing the following anti-union legislation:
·         An absolute ban on state and local governments and school districts from bargaining with organizations that represent public workers
·         Barring cities and counties from paying release time to workers who are actually doing union business
·         Requiring unions to obtain annual authorization for payroll deductions for dues
This new legislation is being fast tracked through the government and will make Arizona the most anti-organized labor state in the country’s history.  If you thought Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana recent ani-labor laws were bad, Arizona makes them look tame.

Meanwhile, two Immigration bills are back in the Senate after falling last year. One bill would require the state to collect data from school districts showing how many students are illegal immigrants. The other would require hospitals to report to the state the costs of treating uninsured illegal immigrants.  So the state legislature, ignoring the smack down from the courts over SB1070 has split 3’s and doubled down with turning the public schools and hospitals into ICE officials.  Despicable actions by this legislature. 
Then there is the bigoted Steve Smith, a man with ties to a racist organization and was savagely embarrassed by Chris Matthews last year when Smith was defending the birther movement.  Smith already acknowledged that Arizona has fairly substantial laws requiring that women give “informed consent'' before terminating a pregnancy. That includes everything from a discussion of the risks and a 24-hour waiting period to offering to let the woman see an ultrasound of the fetus. Now Smith wants to adopt the personhood definition that was recently defeated in Mississippi in the new SB 1494 that would alter Arizona law to define human life as beginning at conception. The first step in challenging and overturning Roe V. Wade and eliminating a woman’s right to an abortion.
So there you have it.  A bigoted, sexist, racist, anti-education, anti-middle class government is set on lining the pockets of the rich and destroying civil liberties.  What sort of political party or movement promotes such dogmatic drek?   The worst kind.  The state of Arizona has combined the worst of the Republican controlled states and created the reddest and meanest of states.  Let’s continue to hope the courts can do something to hold back this tide of hate and cronyism until the electorate wakes up and realizes this not what we voted for.

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