In Arizona, Governor Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill

In a move that is bound to displease, to put it mildly, the radical right, Republican Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed HB 2177, the so-called "birther bill" that  have required presidential candidates to provide their birth certificates to appear on the ballot.

From the Tuscon Sentinel:

the "birther" bill, "creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona," Brewer said.

The bill would have required presidential candidates to present their birth certificates or other birth records to be eligible to be on the ballot.

"As a former Secretary of State (sic), I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically-motivated decisions," Brewer wrote in her veto message to House Speaker Kirk Adams.

"In addition, I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President (sic) of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their "early baptismal or circumcision certificates" among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far," Brewer wrote.

Candidates could have substituted those records for a birth certificate if the bill had become law.

So-called "birthers," pushing a theory that President Barack Obama is not a native-born citizen as required by the Constitution, want to force candidates to disclose their birth certificates. The irony, of course, is that Obama's opponent in the 2008 election, Arizona Sen. John McCain, was likely ineligible to hold the nation's highest office because of the circumstances of his birth, while Obama was born in Hawaii to a mother who was a citizen.

Governor Brewer also vetoed two other bills of note. Brewer vetoed a bill that would have directed the governor to set up an alliance with other states to regulate healthcare, in a challenge to the Federal government, another that would have allowed guns to be carried on school grounds. She vetoed the guns at school bill "because it is so poorly written," Brewer said.

"Bills impacting our Second Amendment rights have to be crystal clear so that gun owners don't become lawbreakers by accident," she wrote in her veto message to Senate President Russell Pearce.

The Governor added that the bill didn't define the "public right of way" where weapons could be carried on school campuses, and included K-12 schools where firearms are prohibited by Federal law.


These United States

A round up of news and blog posts from around these United States.

Delaware House Passes a Civil Unions Bill. The Delaware House has approved a measure that allows civil unions for same-sex couples by a vote of 26 to 15. Last week, the same measure passed the Delaware Senate by a vote of 13 to 6. The bill now goes to Governor Markell who last week after the bill passed the Senate: "It's time for this bill to pass. It's time for the bill to be signed. It's the right thing to do for the people of Delaware." Once signed, Delaware will become the eighth state to offer civil unions.

Green Mountain Care Passes Senate Panel in Vermont. The Burlington Free Press reports that the Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed by 5 to 0 vote a bill that would put Vermont on the road toward creation of a government-financed health insurance plan called Green Mountain Care by 2017. The legislation, a priority for Gov. Peter Shumlin, already passed the House.

Arizona's Birther Bill Advances.  A year in the making, the Arizona Senate approved a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove they were born in the U.S. before they're included on Arizona's ballot. The Senate made a few changes to the bill before passing it and turning it back over to the House of Representatives. Believe it or not, there are actually conservatives who believe that this will keep Barack Obama off the ballot next year. It's not for nothing that the Grand Canyon state is derided as the "meth lab of American democracy." More from KPHO-Phoenix.

Georgia Set to Pass Arizona-Style Immigration Law. Stateline reports on Georgia House Bill 87 which would allow local police to check the immigration status of anyone whose legality it suspects.

Obama's Insane Hostage Bargaining Strategy. Jon Chait of the New Republic bemoans the President's handling of the debt ceiling issue. Chait writes, "If Obama is going to begin by saying he'd like a straight vote on the debt ceiling but is willing to make policy concessions, what do you expect the Republicans to do? Keep in mind, the assumption that the Congressional minority can use the debt ceiling as a hostage to win substantive policy the president opposes is entirely novel. Obama has introduced this new development." Indeed, the President should insist on a clean bill. Anything else would allow lunatics to run the asylum.

These United States

News from around the country.

Challenge Upheld to Arizona Immigration Law. A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a lower court decision that blocked the most contested provisions of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect. More from the Tucson Sentinel.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Health Care Exchange Bill. The Republican Governor Susana Martinez in the Land of Enchantment has vetoed legislation that would have created a one-stop shopping clearinghouse for tens of thousands of New Mexicans in need of health insurance. The full story in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

DC Mayor Gray and DC Council Members Arrested in Budget Protest. The Washington Post reports that Washington DC city officials including Mayor Vince Gray and members of the DC City Council were arrested Monday afternoon while protesting the inclusion of two DC specific riders that overrule the wishes of the District's resident. I'll say this again, the District needs its own representation in Congress. No other federal capital in the world has its citizens disenfranchised.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race. Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to open a DOJ investigation into the Waukesha County clerk who found 14,000 missed votes. The story from the Huffington Post.

Tim Donnelly aka The Shredder. The Los Angeles Times profiles Tim Donnelly, a Tea Party-backed freshman Assemblyman from San Bernardino who is raising concerns with his violent rhetoric. He is a political novice and a former member of the Minutemen vigilante group who squeaked through in a crowded GOP primary and then went on to win in the general election. He has compared lawmaking to a "full-blown war that requires guerrilla tactics." He earned his nickname, The Shredder, after he posted a video on YouTube went viral. The video showed him shredding Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal.


Missouri Trending Red

The Show Me State is often hailed as a bellwether of national political trends. If so, the Democrats may be headed for a rough spell. More than 1.8 Republicans went to the polls Tuesday in Missouri for every Democrat. In the 2008 presidential primaries, and the 2002, 2004 and 2006 party primaries, the Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls.

Steve Kraske who writes the Prime Buzz column on Missouri politics at the Kansas City Star points to the above chart that tracks the party preference of voters in Missouri primaries from 1944-2010 to demonstrate how Missouri, once a Democratic bastion, has been slowly trending Republican.

The McCain-Palin ticket edged the Obama-Biden ticket by 3,632 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast in the 2008 Presidential election - a margin of 0.12 percentage points - to claim Missouri's eleven electoral votes. In presidential elections since 1956, as Missouri has gone, so has gone the nation. And the 2008 miss was only the second time the Show Me State voted for the loser since 1900. 

After the election, Kevin Smith, a forty year veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns, said “Missouri has lost its status as a bellwether, it has established itself as a red state when it comes to national politics.”

Tuesday's results seem to confirm Mr. Smith's analysis. 

Running Against Obama

For all the talk of the Democrats running against George W. Bush, it's clear that GOP is running against Barack Obama or in the case of Brian Nieves, a State Representative in Missouri now running for the State Senate, against Barack Hussein Obama.

Here are three GOP ads from around the country beginning with the Nieves ad in Missouri. Keep in mind that he is running for a seat in the State Legislature when you watch his commercial. Nieves, it should be noted, was one of the sponsors of Proposition C, the recently and overwhelmingly passed state initiative that seeks to exempt residents of the Show Me State from having to comply with PPACA, the US healthcare reform package signed by President Obama earlier this year. Nieves, who served in the Navy and is a Zone Pastor in the Church of the Living Bread in his hometown of Washington, MO just west of St. Louis in Franklin County (the meth capital of the Mid-West), is a 'Tea Party Patriot' who goes around telling people that 30 years from now others will ask "where were YOU during the patriot uprising?" All very amusing, if he weren't off his Show Me rocker. 

Meanwhile in the Mountaineer State, John Raese released this ad, his first of the campaign, in his bid to become the next Senator from West Virginia. The conservative Republican makes no direct mention of Governor Joe Manchin, the Democratic candidate, and concludes the ad by proclaiming, "I won't be a senator that's a rubber stamp to Barack Obama, I'll only serve you." Raese, a businessman, ran unsuccessfully against Jay Rockefeller in 1984 and against Robert Byrd more recently in 2006.  The Hill has some more background. 

Down in Arizona, John McCain though facing a primary challenge from the right still seems to think that he is facing off against Obama. On the plus side, at least Senator McCain shows enough respect to refer to the President as President Obama something neither Nieves nor Raese could bring themselves to do.


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