Arizona government…the epitome of how not to run a state

If you think your state has problems, just look at the charade of participants, below, that make up the Republican governor’s office and GOP controlled legislature in my home state of Arizona.  This is a great state and doesn’t deserve the ridicule it receives from the antics of these wingnuts.  It is both laughable and tragic, but makes some of the best non-fiction reading in politics today. 



Jan Brewer finger wagging



The epitome of epitomes, Arizona Gov. Jan brewer wagging her finger in the face of President Obama just minutes after he had deplaned in Mesa, Arizona.  Within days a local music teacher, Leonard Clark, filed papers with Sec. of State Ken Bennett to recall Brewer.  In his words: “The whole finger wagging incident crystallized it.  She is embarrassing our state.”  A lot of Arizonans agree.  See the “Brewer Doesn’t Speak for Me” site. 
The Daily Beast concurs with Harry Reid (below) that this airport tarmac incident was “emblematic of the Arizona GOP’s increasing extremism, and it may be turning off voters.  But that’s not all.  The state GOP created a T-shirt with the encounter image on it with the phrase under it “Just one more year!”  Aside from being tacky, it is in complete bad taste, extending the disrespect pseudo Gov. Brewer showed the President, but indicative of Republican taste in Arizona.
Arizona will be forever known in the sports world as the place where one of the most prestigious annual college sports events, the Fiesta Bowl, was almost brought to its knees by a corrupt chief executive.  This wasn’t an underling to blame; it’s the top guy, the one who can be credited for much of the bowl’s success.  John Junker was caught with his hand in the political donation cookie jar. 
Junker was charged with reimbursing staff members with bowl money for making contributions to local and state candidates who helped the bowl to obtain financial subsidies.  This is illegal.  Gary Husk, bowl lobbyist and Junker associate, is also being investigated.  Current and former Fiesta Bowl employees have alleged that Husk was involved in the scheme with Junker.  The Fiesta Bowl has since recovered from the fiasco under new management.
National Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid say the GOP is now controlled by extremists like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  The Gov. is linked with other zealots like former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, who was the sponsor of the state’s anti-immigration bill, and who was recalled from his Senate seat, the first time ever. 
He is joined by Kris Kobach, current Kansas Sec. of State and fierce anti-immigration critic, who actually wrote the Arizona law SB-1070 with the American Legislative Exchange Counsil (ALEC).  Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain, failed 2008 presidential candidate, says nobody pays any attention to Reid, whom he characterized as not “totally rational.”  This from a man who chose Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.



Russell Pearce with J.T. Ready



So what does former State Sen. Russell Pearce do when they boot him out of the Senate?  He goes on talk radio, of course.  Pearce is known for his hateful and racist ways, having befriended fellow racist J.T. Ready, who is also a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi.  Stephen Lemons of The Phoenix New Times described Pearce’s show as xenophobic, self-adulation, and delusional in the host’s “radio cafeteria of hate.”  Lemons actually tuned into one of the shows.
Expecting the worst and getting it, it was Pearce at his best ranting and raving over illegal immigration, completely demonizing Latinos.  His phone guest was former Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado who described the struggle against immigration as “a matter of the survival of Western Civilization.”  Lemons commented on the two as engaging “in an aural love-fest better left for a room at a Best Western.”  Pearce plans to run again for the Senate in November.



Sheriff “Joe” Arpaio



Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the baddest in the West, has a volunteer posse that he constantly raves over.  Some carry guns, and can even make arrest under the supervision of a regular deputy, but can also be former criminals themselves.  A local TV station, KPHO, investigated the posse and found arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer and more.  Most are still on the posse.
Douglas Clark is a posse member as well as constable who rolled a county vehicle at 91 mph in a 45 mph zone, used his siren while not on a call, and used the red/blue lights installed on his personal vehicle to look for his wife’s lost item on the road.  He also detained a driver and passenger at gunpoint who had backed into his car when he was off duty.  The posse does not receive a salary but is covered under county insurance.

There’s more, much, much, more on Arizona that I will cover at a later date to keep you laughing and wondering.  I am also interested in the shenanigans going on in your particular state so please use the “comments” to tell me about it.  Sorry, but no anonymous entries, just use an online name.

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