In a move of political daring, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a person who has never been known for political daring, this week broke with her long-time puppeteer, State Senate President Russell Pearce, and vetoed three bills that were supported by the repugnant Pearce. Or, as the Phoenix New Times more cleverly put it in discussing just one of those vetoes::
"It pains us, but big props must go out to Governor Jan Brewer, who today vetoed one of the most ridiculous, conspiracy-based, purely symbolic pieces of legislative garbage to pass the Arizona Legislature: the humiliating "Birther Bill."
Arizona's proposed Birther Bill originally called for political parties to provide a "long form" birth certificate to the Secretary of State for any Presidential candidate that they wanted to place on the Arizona ballot. Many Americans have no access to "long form" birth certificates and most states provide a simpler "Certificate of Live Birth." Some Republicans, sensing a problem in allowing only one form of proof, amended the measure to allow a "circumcision certificate" or a baptismal certificate to stand in lieu of the long-form certificate. Brewer, herself a former Arizona Secretary of State, decided that documents discussing penises might be just a little far-afield to mix with the solemn duties of government. She described the bill as "a bridge too far" - and going nowhere, I might add!
The Arizona governor also vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on campus. Brewer lamented that while she supported gun rights, that particular piece of legislation was so "poorly written" that it could muddle federal and state prohibitions of guns on K-12 campuses. The confusing language of the bill was undoubtedly intentional to a degree because Pearce's people want guns legal everywhere in the state: churches, hospitals, universities, libraries, bars, kindergarten cloakrooms, you-name-it. What was good for Tombstone is good for Arizona - or some such horse manure!
And the final bill that Governor Brewer vetoed was a measure that would have forced her to sign a compact with other states to defy the federal healthcare reform. Clearly Jan was flexing her muscle on something other than a cocktail glass - and nobody was going to force her to do anything!
Like the Phoenix New Times, I hate to give the Arizona Governor credit for anything positive, and up until now that has never been an issue. But those vetoes were good things and will help make Arizona look a little less foolish in the eyes of the world. Good work, Governor!