Here it is: My list of kooks at Capitol
That's right, fire up the phone lines to the editor because today I'm unveiling my kook list. Now, I acknowledge that the word "kook" may seem harsh. Normally, I don't go in for name calling, but, sometimes -- in desperate times -- you have to call it as you see it.
This list is all Republican. No shock there. Democrats barely register a blip at the Capitol, much less the ability to turn us into a laughingstock.
Meanwhile, to the list:
Rep. Carl Seel of Phoenix continues his quest to root out Barack Obama's birth certificate while the rest of us continue our quest to figure out how this guy ever got into the Legislature. When he's not on birther patrol, he's sponsoring bills battling AHCCCS fraud -- which he hasn't yet found despite serving a fake subpoena on the agency this spring -- and thwarting conspiracies to create a one-world order and a North American Union.
Sen. Lori Klein of Anthem will forever be associated with her "cute" pink pistol -- the one she pointed at a reporter, the one she brought onto the floor of the House just days after the Tucson tragedy. Last year, Klein brought us nullification. This year, she championed the rights of dogs to run free as long as they have liability insurance, even as she sought to limit the free-speech rights of teachers.
It was Klein who read a letter on the Senate floor about Hispanic students who aspire to be gang members and refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. This, without verifying that it was true. (It wasn't.)
Sen. Judy Burges of Sun City West has led the way both on the "birther" front and in efforts to foil the United Nations' plot to interfere with our God-given right to pollute any darned corner of this country that we so desire. She was a big supporter of guns on college campuses, reasoning that if you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to pack heat on the way to a frat party.
Recalled Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa makes the list because of his obsession with guns and illegal immigrants. In 2010, he brought us concealed weapons without a permit -- or any sort of basic gun-safety training. He caught lightning in a bottle with Senate Bill 1070, capitalizing on justifiable frustrations with illegal immigration. But his obsession continued in 2011, prompting his colleagues and the business community to say, "Enough already."
Rep. David Stevens of Sierra Vista catapulted onto my kook radar in April, when he warned that a proposal to build a highway between Phoenix and Las Vegas is really a plot to create one North American country. "You may have heard the term 'Amero'...," he told his colleagues.
Rep. David Gowan, also of Sierra Vista, authored a pair of vetoed bills: one to allow guns in any government building not equipped with armed guards and X-ray units, the other to require federal agents to check in with the local sheriff before enforcing federal law. Not even the sheriffs liked the latter bill.
Rep. Chester Crandell of Heber has his own ode to state sovereignty, declaring dominion over the air, water, wildlife and most land. It's Proposition 120, and if it passes in November, backers apparently believe they'll be able to get around federal regulations aimed at ensuring clean water and clear air and such. More likely, it'll land us in court as the feds sue us. Again.
Sen. Al Melvin of Tucson also sought control over federal land, but unlike Crandell's bill -- which went to the ballot -- Melvin's bill went to Gov. Jan Brewer, where it was promptly vetoed. Melvin also proposed a new industry for our state: dumping ground for the nation's high-level nuclear waste.
Rep. Michelle Ugenti of Scottsdale embraces all the crazy bills, but it's her mouth that makes her a standout. To a colleague who mentions during a televised hearing that he has a hot date: "Your right hand doesn't count." Bill-wise, she's best known for changing city elections -- prompting a lawsuit from Phoenix -- and for a new law requiring parents to call police within 24 hours after their preschoolers disappear.
And finally, Rep. Debbie Lesko of Glendale, who hoped to reverse a 10-year-old state law requiring employers to cover contraception in their insurance plans. Eventually, she had to scale back her bill, covering only religious employers.
Left unanswered is why Lesko and so many of her colleagues are obsessed with birth control when actual problems in this state cry out for attention.
None of them involving the uterus or even the United Nations.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2012/07/17/20120717roberts0718-here-my-list-kooks-capitol.html#ixzz210DKUnk6
Next up: the keepers.
Reach Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8635.