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

A compendium of news worthy events from around the country.

Delaware Senate Passes a Civil Union Bill. The Delaware Senate by 13 to 6 with 2 abstentions passed the Diamond State's first civil unions bill. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark, with about two dozen co-sponsors, would grant same-sex couples the same legal protections and responsibilities as married couples. The bill now heads to the House. If the bill were to become law, Delaware would become the eighth state to recognize same-sex civil unions. More from Delaware Online.

In Florida, Rick Scott's Approval Rating Sinking Fast. According to the latest Quinnipiac University survey of 1,499 registered Florida voters, 48 percent of Floridians disapprove of Governor Rick Scott's performance — more than double the level measured in a February poll. Only 35 percent gave the Republican newcomer a favorable rating, exactly what it was more than a month ago. The full story in the Miami Herald.

Arkansas Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Gay Adoptions. The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s opinion that a recently passed law that would prohibit unmarried, cohabitating couples from adopting or fostering children is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the law, which was targeted at gay and lesbian families, needlessly violated their right to privacy. As Arkansas Justice Robert Brown maintained, under the ban such couples “must choose either to lead a life of private, sexual intimacy with a partner without the opportunity to adopt or foster children or forego sexual cohabitation and, thereby, attain eligibility to adopt or foster.” More from Fox 16 News.

Surreal California Budget Proposals. The Los Angeles Times termed the budget cuts proposals under discussion in the Golden State as "surreal."

Cut teachers' pay by 5%. Close a public university or two. Fire the entire state workforce.

Those were among the proposals bandied about by state lawmakers in a budget hearing Thursday that at times had a touch of the surreal. 

A $15 billion budget shortfall remains to be fixed, and the Senate Budget Committee hearing was the first held since talks for a referendum on taxes between Gov. Jerry Brown and Republicans collapsed late last month. 

Democrats made it clear they saw this and upcoming hearings as an opportunity to rally public support for raising taxes without GOP backing. They talked about how low state spending is today by historic measures -- spending per personal income is the lowest in four decades -- and how firing every state worker would not close the gap. 

Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) asked about shuttering a UC or CSU campus in the state to preserve some of the state’s flagship schools, such as UC Berkeley in her district. "Do you have a viable economy if you don't have a first-class higher education system?" she asked.

Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) asked about cutting teachers' pay by 5%, admitting the question was politically "like lighting a fuse on a rocket."

Partisan squabbling punctuated the hearing, and no consensus emerged.

Surging Oil Prices Brings Huge Surplus in Alaska. With more than $11 billion already in its savings accounts, Alaska is projecting a new $3.4 billion surplus because of soaring oil prices. The debate now turns to what to do with all the money. Stateline looks at the enviable fiscal position up in the Last Frontier.

Bishop E.W. Jackson Seeks GOP Nod in Virginia Senate Race. Bishop E.W. Jackson, the head of STAND for America (Staying True to America’s National Destiny), is filing paperwork to run for the Virginia Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb.  Bishop Jackson will face former Senator George Allen and at least one other Tea Party-backed candidate. Right Wing Watch has more on Bishop E.W. Jackson.


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