SB 1062 Uproar: Can Arizona Democrats Capitalize on It in November?
Other than Melvin and Thomas, GOP candidates for governor, including Secretary of State Ken Bennett, ex-GoDaddy exec Christine Jones, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, and even Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey, who has CAP's Cathi Herrod as a policy adviser and supporter, all have come out in favor of a veto.
GOP moderates who voted for 1062, including state senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs, and Steve Pierce, made public mea culpas, saying they regretted their votes and asking Brewer to save the state from 1070-like boycotts with a veto. Plus both of Arizona's Republican U.S. Senators -- Jeff Flake and John McCain -- say 1062 is onerous and has to go.
Early on, Republican political guru Chuck Coughlin, the guy responsible for giving Brewer the key to the ninth floor, told the New York Times, that he believed Brewer would veto 1062.
That's likely because Chuckles knows that were Brewer to sign this abomination of a bill, the Dems might actually win some statewide offices come November and, who knows, pick up seats in the Legislature.
Assuming Brewer vetoes 1062, the protesters melt away, and the media frenzy dissipates, does this brouhaha have any effect on the political reality of this state and the deep political psychosis that holds sway over Arizona tuskers?
Rebecca Wininger of Equality Arizona, the state's preeminent LGBT advocacy group, says she believes 1062 broke the dromedary's back.
"This is a tipping point," Wininger tells me. "I think people are awake enough now and have found their voice that we're ready to take back our state."
Wininger has been a constant presence at the Capitol, where a diverse crowd opposing 1062 has been showing up almost daily.
Wininger informs me that there's a big demonstration planned for March 29 in Phoenix. It will mirror to some degree the massive "Moral March" led by the NAACP in my hometown, Raleigh, North Carolina, to protest the extremism of the Republican-led Legislature there.
Marches are great, I told her. But unless some of the Republican crazies are defeated in their primaries by moderate Rs, or by Democrats in general elections, or unless Dems score veto power with the election of DuVal, the insanity will roll on like the mighty Mississippi River.
In other words, can the backlash against 1062 be translated into electoral victories?
At the March 29 protest, Wininger says, candidates will seek signatures for their nominating petitions, and people will be encouraged to get involved.
What about money? If Brewer saves the Rs' fannies with a veto, will progressives be able raise money with 1062?
"I think so," she tells me. "We're already seeing some inquiries [from out of state about] what people can do to change Arizona."
She also pointed out that the Dems need to pick up only two seats in the state Senate to force a tie. And some statewide wins by Ds, particularly for governor, would help ameliorate the political extremism of the Republican Party.
Certainly, Arizona Democrats can make the case that the Rs simply are bad for the economy because they have passed divisive laws such as 1070 and 1062, statutes that are expensive to litigate and costly to the state's business interests.
In fact, GOP ideologues already have pushed bills out of legislative committees this year opposed to higher standards for our state's K-12 students.
This, because the black-helicopter crowd regards these national standards, referred to as Common Core, as a plot by the Obama administration to teach Karl Marx to children.
An educated workforce? Higher standards? Of course, it's a communist plot! And phooey to the businesses that want employees to be able to read and write.
But so far, the Dems have not made headway politically by opposing this sort of
Rather, the seats picked up by the Dems in 2012 in the state Legislature and in Arizona congressional elections were the result of a fair shake from the state's Independent
Redistricting Commission, which drew new and more competitive legislative and congressional maps.
The next redistricting will not be until after the next census, in 2020 -- a long time to wait for change.
Todd Landfried of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform saw a similar pattern, with far different dynamics, in the battle over 1070 in 2010.
"There's a possibility that the Republicans jumped the shark with 1062," he says. "Time will tell whether the businesspeople who have supported these fringe Republicans over the years, say, 'You know what, it's just not worth it anymore. Even if we have to hold our nose and endorse Democrats.'"
The message to Arizona Rs then would be: Shape up or lose.
Which might force Grand Canyon State Rs to moderate, just as the Democratic party had to moderate back in 1992 to take the White House with Clinton, a conservative (by Democratic Party standards) Southerner.
Until then, I can promise, the crazy will just keep on' comin'.
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