This evening, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed two major bills: the campus carry bill and the birther bill. From what I am seeing on various social media sites, Gov. Brewer has many very unhappy supporters this evening. Some have even resorted to calling her a ‘traitor’ on her personal Facebook page which I do not find at all fair. I at least want to hear her reasoning.
Though I am disappointed with the outcome of the campus carry bill (and I mean that also in the sense of how it was watered down in the state senate), I am also mindful that Gov. Brewer has been a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and has greatly expanded the state’s gun laws since taking office in 2009. The governor expressed her concerns with the campus carry bill regarding the ambiguous ‘public rights of way’ phrase stating it was unclear and overall, the bill was ‘sloppily written’ which has some in the state legislature responding a bill does not pass the state house overwhelmingly if it is unclear; however, the bill’s original language permitting guns inside the college classrooms was eliminated by the time it passed the state senate.
In fact, it was reported on www.myfoxphoenix.com tonight the bill would not have passed the house if it had not been scaled back. Therefore, a gun is only permitted in the ill-defined ‘public rights of way’ but not in a college classroom as originally intended.
There was also concern that ‘public rights of way’ could also be applied to K-12 public schools where guns are already forbidden by law. Just on a side note: as I’m reading through the campus gun veto, I see a headline about a bill in New Hampshire that would allow parents to keep their children out of classes and programs promoting sex ed/condom distribution. I have a sneaking suspicion more children are harmed in public school sex ed programs than would be with a gun-carrying teacher and staff.
As for Arizona’s campus carry, I would like to see the wording clarified and reintroduced in the next session to see if a) it will pass the Arizona house and b) accepted into law by Gov. Brewer
Another bill getting attention nationally- perhaps even more than the campus carry law – is the birther bill that was vetoed.
I have not been hugely supportive of the birther movement at all. In 2009, I spoke up at legislative district meeting when an older gentlemen, with good intentions, brought a posterboard with a copy of what a birth certificate ‘oughtta look like’. I kindly stated that I understood, but the point was there were more tangible things on which to go after Obama than a birth certificate. Unfortunately, no one cared about Obama’s records during the campaign, so we have to deal with him on his presidential record. Knowing that we have a president who doesn’t care about what he’s doing to us and an entire political and media system that will not challenge him, we have to keep the focus on his record in The White House.
I realize spending $2 million to keep something under wraps is cause for concern; however, we’re also dealing with a malevolent pig (yes, I said that!) who is in control right now. He wants to elevate this conversation to a fever pitch – and then, what if he does produce the birth certificate? Many people will look foolish and the media will have a field day with conservatives as never before. The establishment (Democrat and Republican) want something to happen that will make ‘the birthers’ (who are labelled as ‘conservatives’) look as ridiculous as possible. Who knows? Maybe that’s why The Donald is breathing life into this argument.
Gov. Brewer’s veto is actually something we should welcome. Whenever we are discussing the language of citizenship, there is a tendency to think we can apply it as a state and move on. The truth is, this issue has to be dealt with at the federal level as pointed out in my previous post, Immigration Law: How Far is Too Far? When the birther issue is brought up, so is the uniform establishment of citizenship. Only the United State congress can change laws on that matter. There was a Senate bill introduced on April 5 by Senators Vitter, Paul, Lee and Moran. Let’s see how far this goes as it would be an amendment addressing the concerns brought up by immigration arguments and the birther movement.
When Brewer stated on Greta’s show last night that the power of the Secretary of State would be expanded, I do see her point. Though the Secretary of State (a post Brewer held prior to becoming governor) performs verification, the state itself cannot establish citizenship. Again, I see this as a move to put the debate at the federal level where it belongs.
These are not the only bills the governor has vetoed recently and as a result, the wildfire season has begun in Arizona.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld Arizona residents have a right to claim tax credits when donating to non-profit groups providing scholarships for children to attend private schools. The following week, Gov. Brewer vetoed a bill expanding that credit. This veto does not discontinue the tax credit at all (as some were led to believe) – it simply does not expand it. In addition, Gov. Brewer did sign a separate bill to create a voucher system for special education students to leave public schools, a move hailed by the Goldwater Institute.
The education lobby in Arizona is already planning to challenge the special education voucher in court. The true intent of their challenge is due to the funds that would go to the public school for that special needs child being transferred toward the voucher to educate the child elsewhere. Money is what is at the heart of the challenge – not the interest of the child or parents.
I look at Governor Brewer’s responses to these bills as being very measured and thoughtful. In her decisions, she has asked for or offered solutions. Where I have had my largest disagreement with her is in her support for a sales tax increase that was passed by voters last May. I do not see that it has added any benefit to our state’s businesses and certainly not to residents who are struggling. I also do not envy Gov. Brewer who came into office in 2009 on the heels of one of the most incompetent and deranged people to govern this state. Gov. Brewer indeed inherited a mess and went to work immediately downsizing state government programs, dealing with a tremendous state deficit and being ignored by Napolitano and Obama on the border even prior to the signing of SB1070 last April.
Often times, we see the initial title of a bill without seeing all the items attached to it. It is not a matter of just signing a bill because it’s the ‘birther bill’ or ‘campus carry’, but being mindful of exactly what the language entails. We become emotional about some bills – and that’s where we need to stop ourselves. We need first to listen with reason – and if the reason is not acceptable, then we can get emotional about it ; )
***Gov. Brewer released a statement on Facebook earlier this evening, and I thought you all would be interested in her post regarding the ‘birther bill’:
Why I Vetoed HB2177 (qualifications for federal, state and local elections
by Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Also, the bill would require candidates for President – regardless of gender – to submit various records, including baptismal or circumcision records. I hope that it’s obvious why these type of requirements could be problematic.
I believe the bill created significant new problems for our elections and granted too much power to either a state or local election official who could arbitrarily prohibit anyone from appearing on the ballot in any federal, state or local election.
As Governor of Arizona, I do not have line-item veto authority for non-appropriation bills, such as this bill. Although many of you may be disappointed in my decision, it was the right thing to do based on the consequences of the entire bill.