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.

Deal Leads Handel in Tight Contest in Georgia

I'll have a complete wrap up later but as of now Linda McMahon has won the GOP Senate nod in Connecticut, while Dannel Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, defeated Ned Lamont for the Democratic Governor's nomination. Michael Bennet outlasted Andrew Romanoff in the Colorado Democratic Senate primary while the other races in Colorado remain to close to call. The Tea Party back candidates Ken Buck and Dan Maes are however both leading their respective races with above 75 percent of the precincts reporting. In Minnesota, the DFL primary for Governor remains too close to call with Margaret Anderson Kelliher edging Mark Dayton with 76 percent of the vote in.

In Georgia, the GOP gubernatorial run-off Congressman Nathan Deal has a small lead in a razor close contest over Karen Handel, the former Secretary of State. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Deal received 292,007 votes to Handel's 289,576 though no winner has yet been called. Absentee ballots remain to be counted and given the less than one percent margin, an automatic recount will be triggered.

Handel had been endorsed by Sarah Palin while Deal drew endorsements from Mick Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. The winner faces Democrat Roy Barnes in the Fall.

 

US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader

They're off and running! And so is our coverage of the 2010 Mid-Term Elections. Here are stories from around the country on races for Federal, state and local offices.

In Connecticut, Lamont Tacks to the Center
The New York Times reports on how Ned Lamont, the Connecticut businessman who won an insurgent campaign against Senator Joe Lieberman by running left with his anti-war stance, is tacking to the center in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for Governor in the Constitution state. The primary is Tuesday.

As Mr. Lamont gears up for the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday , progressives are grumbling that he has talked too much about tax breaks and streamlining red tape, and not enough about issues dear to labor unions and government watchdogs.

Modeling himself after Lowell P. Weicker Jr., a former Republican who became an independent, Mr. Lamont has vowed to shake up Hartford, and even borrowed Mr. Weicker’s “Nobody’s Man But Yours” slogan from his successful 1990 race for governor.

And some bloggers who had thrown themselves behind Mr. Lamont’s Senate bid have been lukewarm or indifferent. When Mr. Lamont announced his candidacy in February, using the word “business” more than a dozen times in his speech, My Left Nutmeg, a liberal Web site, ran the headline: “Ned Lamont announces for Governor.”

“If Lamont’s supposed hard-core supporters cannot rouse themselves to cheer his announcement, complete with fawning video, how in the wide world of sports is he supposed to win this thing?” one blogger wrote.

The 2010 version of Ned Lamont offers yet another striking sign of how a rough national landscape for Democrats is influencing politics at the local level.

By repositioning himself as a business-friendly centrist, Mr. Lamont is betting that liberals will give him a pass, if begrudgingly, because Democrats are desperate to capture the State Capitol for the first time since 1986.

The President Heads to Texas
President Obama heads to Austin and Dallas on Monday where the main event is a Democratic National Committee luncheon expected to raise $750,000 to $1 million. Tickets start at $5,000 per couple. The Texas Democratic Party will receive $250,000 to help build the party in the Lone Star State. The Dallas Morning News has more on the President's visit to Texas.

The political realities for Texas Democrats are stark – in part because backlash against Obama and his policies has fueled Republican energy. Democrats had hoped for years that by 2010, demographic shifts would help them regain a statewide office or reclaim the state House, but both goals remain major challenges.

The lunch in Austin will be followed by a speech at the University of Texas. Afterwards, the President flies to Dallas where he will attend a fundraiser at the Highland Park home of attorney Russell Budd and his wife, Dorothy. The event is to raise money for the DSCC.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White has opted to steer clear of the President whose popularity in Texas leaves much to be desired. As of late July, Rasmussen finds that 63 percent of Texans disapprove of Obama's performance (with 56 percent "strongly" disapproving). The Austin American-Statesman looks at the calculated risk that Bill White is taking by staying away from Obama and finds there's really not much downside.

In Florida, Tea Party Movement Raising Millions for Conservatives
The Orlando Sentinel has a story on the financial rewards that the ultra-conservative Republican candidates are reaping from their involvement in the Tea Party Movement. Allen West has raised nearly $3.5 million for his rematch with Rep. Ron Klein in the Florida Twenty-second Congressional District. Marco Rubio has harnessed Tea Party support to help rack up $11.6 million of campaign funds in his bid to win the Senate seat.

There's more...

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