Steve Smith's "Save Joe Arpaio's Ass Bill" Passes State House, and, Oh, It's Unconstitutional
Meaning that this pathetic Hail Mary attempt to save Joe's keister is headed right for the judicial septic tank.
"I diagnose a bad case of rectal blindness," quipped elections law expert Tom Ryan. "That is, I don't see it getting its ass past the Arizona Supreme Court."
Ryan should know. Unless you've been living in a cave for the last few years, you'll recognize him as the crusading Chandler attorney who defended the Pearce recall against legal challenges and a sham candidate by the name of Olivia Cortes.
In 2012, he denounced Smith's bill. When I called him today, he was not amused by its revivification.
"It's clearly unconstitutional," said Ryan. "They are adding requirements to the constitution that are going to be rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court. I can say that with the highest degree of confidence...They know what they're doing is trying to handcuff the Sheriff Joe Arpaio recall."
Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona and one of the recall's main backers, saw the Smith bill as a sign of Republican desperation.
"They are scared to play in an area where it's not a primary," observed Parraz. "What are they fearful of? If Arpaio appeals to people, why do they want to have a recall primary, so he can bully people out?
"This is a really a reflection of how far they are willing to go. They want to change the constitution to save Arpaio. It shows they're scared."
Parraz stated there would "definitely" be a court challenge to it, if the proposal becomes law.
Ryan, who may be involved in that legal challenge, noted the hypocrisy of the so-called "constitutional conservatives" pushing the bill.
"We fought like crazy as a state to have initiative, referendum and recall as part of our constitution," he said. "These guys all profess to be originalists and protectors of the constitution, and here they are tearing down one of the protections voters have."