Sylvia Allen's "Arizona Guard": Disaster in the Making

Sylvia Allen: Bizarro-world politico

If you need an example of wigged-out, dysfunctional democracy verging on outright insanity, look no further than state Senator Sylvia Allen's Border Security, Federalism and States' Sovereignty Committee.

Here, Chairwoman Allen and a cadre of right-wing loons hold sway. Rational questions and reasoned arguments are dismissed with a flutter of Allen's hands. And those poking their heads in the room to interject a note of sanity are most unwelcome.

That was the case Thursday when Major General Hugo E. Salazar, Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, dropped by Allen's committee to express his concerns over Senate Bill 1083.

That bill, which is Allen's baby,  would create a state-sponsored "Arizona Guard" with four paid staff positions, an initial $500,000 from the state's general fund and an extra $1.4 million from gang task-force funds, all so that potentially hundreds of local, armed militia-types can run around on the border after "illegals."

Under the Arizona Constitution, Salazar is the commander of all state military forces and answers directly to the governor, and he would, in theory, bear responsibility for this new force as well. So you would think Allen would be eager to hear what the general had to say.

She wasn't. In fact, her face visibly dropped when Salazar approached the lectern before the committee, and explained that he had seen that the bill was on the day's agenda, so he decided to be present so he could make his concerns known.

"My real concern is...I really haven't been consulted on this bill," he told the committee.

Seems he and Allen had discussed the bill in her office, but that was about it. Otherwise, he explained, "I don't know what the plan is."

He hastened to state that he had no official position on the bill, but he had a number of worries, among them the fact that Allen's militia would be armed. 

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