Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Republican demolition derby

You'd think that with one-party rule in the legislature and the Governor's office, Arizona Republicans wouldn't have any trouble getting a budget together. After all, the legislature was continually at loggerheads with former Governor Napolitano, a Democrat, and you'd think they'd welcome an opportunity to make their case to voters that they can get things done without having to inconveniently involve Democrats.

Well, that's half right. They have in fact shut Democrats out of the process, but it seems like this Republican leadership is truly disfunction on display.

After having to go to a three A.M. vote in the Senate just to force together an atrocious budget bill that they could send to the Governor (and in the process, there were several Republicans who crossed party lines in the house to vote against it,) the GOP leadership haven't sent the budget bills to her yet because she said she will veto it. So they are holding it back, presumably so if she vetoes it then there won't be another bill ready by June 30 (certainly not one she will sign) and she will have to shut down state government.

With negotiations at an impasse, the Governor is now going to court to try and force the legislative leadership to send her the bill now, so she can veto it.

Keep in mind too that the legislature has been in session since January and they spent five full months doing practically nothing, so they could force everything through this month-- so if there is a time crunch then perhaps it means that we should reduce the legislative calendar to just a month, with perhaps one more month for committee hearings. After all, if they are going to sit on their hands anyway for five months just to bring time into play, they could do that just as easily in February as they could in June.

It's hard to know where this is going, this battle between a bunch of ideologically driven loony tunes who run the legislature and a weak, unelected Governor, but one thing is for sure:

The favorite refrain of Republicans when they don't get the job done of 'blame the Democrats' won't work this time, with Republicans fighting it out with other Republicans.

As viscious as it's getting, I wonder if Michael Vick's next project will be to collect a stable full of Arizona Republicans to go at each other and fight it out to the end.

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