Friday, February 05, 2010

First order of legislative business: packing their own parachutes

After massively bungling last year's budget, members of the Arizona legislature, especially Republican members, have been announcing their retirements and resignations from the body right and left. Many are term-limited out (though that is almost meaningless with the loophole allowing members of the house to bounce to the senate every eight years and back again eight years later.) Others are seeking higher office (though I'd wonder what they've been smoking if they think the reward they deserve for last year's debacle is a promotion) and others are apparently just tired of it all and don't want to take the blame for the mess they've created.

But, Senator Jack Harper is sponsoring a bill that will do one thing: eliminate the one year wait before they can accept jobs from lobbying firms. Of course that law was put in place nearly twenty years ago after seven members of the legislature were caught accepting bribes from an FBI agent posing as a lobbyist. That should be a hint right there why we don't want to get rid of the prohibition.

But Harper's bill appears to have been put on a fast track, clearing a key committee vote today and ready to go to the full senate for approval. Apparently with the mass rush towards the door, it's nice to know that with unemployment near 10% in Arizona and the state suffering form the consequences of the failure of their policies from past years and their failure to even have a policy last year, they are looking out for themselves.

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