Tuesday, April 19, 2011

AZ Gov. Brewer Nails Two

OK, Jan Brewer done good, as a Looney Tunes character might way. Arizona's governor confounded me with two vetoes yesterday. I had been perfectly happy to put her in the irredeemable winger bucket and to ignore a suggestion on my FB page to friend her. Now, I actually have to think about it all.

The short news is that she stomped on:
  • A birther bill that would assert her state's authority to demand any Presidential candidate produce long-form birth certificate, baptismal and circumcision records and such to prove U.S. citizenship to local satisfaction before getting on the AZ ballot.
  • A concealed-carry bill that would expand the right to have guns on school sidewalks and campuses, specifically of community colleges and universities.
I figured, wrongly, that she'd let both slide through and wait for lawsuits to invalidate them on unconstitutionality and craziness. For the gun bill, she is a huge second-amendment supporter and even in the letter accompanying her veto of it wrote, "...while I support the thoughtful expansion of where firearms should be allowed, the actual legislation that does so much be both unambiguous and clear to protect the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners."

She noted that act was vague enough to include K-12 schools and did not define public right of way. She said AZ law had four definitions of the latter.

This knocks the concealed-carry proponents down, but they can rise in one of two ways. If they think they have the votes, they can try to override her veto. If they pay attention and agree they were sloppy, they can start again with a carefully worded version and populate colleges with people packing hidden heat.

By the bye, several university presidents asked her to veto the gun bill, with comments like, "Guns have no place in schools." Likewise, even in an atavistically Wild Wild West state, calls to her office tipped against the bill.

She had even plainer talk about the birther bill. Everyone except the AZ legislature seems to realize individual states can't clog up federal elections, even as cheap political tricks. In her letter on that veto, she wrote:
...As a former Secretary of State, 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.

In addition, I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their "early baptismal or circumcision certificates" among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far.
There I was happy to lump Gov. Brewer in with Donald Trump and other irrational or manipulative, mendacious sorts. She caught me short. While I think her written reasoning on the gun bill was far too spongy, she did the right thing in both cases.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While those are two bills that deserved vetos, and the Governor deserves credit for having vetoed them, the Governor did sign a pretty ugly bill:

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/04/19/brewer-adoption/

Great blog, and I am a longtime listener of Leftahead.

Thanks
Matt Wall

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