Free Speech

Update on the "Bush Lied" T-Shirts

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Three Arizona lawmakers now say they regret their votes in favor of the law aimed at banning the "Bush Lied/They Died" shirts (original post here). But I'm not sure their explanations make them look much better.

"I shouldn't have voted the way I did," House Minority Leader Phil Lopes said. The Tucson Democrat blamed his vote in favor of Senate Bill 1014 on a "senior moment."
 
Rep. Tom Prezelski, D-Tucson, said he thought problems he originally had with the measure had been fixed. He acknowledged not reading the final version.
 
And Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, conceded that she wasn't paying attention and was totally unaware of the contents of the bill on which she voted at least twice—once after a proponent of the measure gave a short floor speech explaining the essence of the bill and why he believed it was necessary.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who signed the bill, either wasn't paying attention in law school or can't be bothered with the mere Constitution.
…gubernatorial press aide Jeanine L'Ecuyer said a divided vote would not have resulted in a veto.
 
"Her concern is for the families who lost someone," L'Ecuyer said.
 
Asked if Napolitano, a lawyer, believes the measure is unconstitutional, L'Ecuyer's only response was, "The governor signed the bill."
Frankly, I think Napolitano's career went downhill after Bloodletting.

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  1. Haha, I thought that was a concrete blonde reference but I had to look it up to make sure. I thought of the band when I saw her name too.

  2. As stupid as this law is–and as transparently unconstitutional–it strikes me that it has now risen to the level of a serious challenge against the 1st Amendment.

    Do you all remember how we were all sure that the Supreme Court would strike down McCain-Feingold the first time around?

    Be afraid for our liberties.

  3. Mein Gott.

    ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *thinks of every inappropriate, mean-spirited thing ever uttered at H&R and applies it to 1) everybody involved with the bill 2) those who support it.

    oh – and wishes to send them to Mogadishu^2

  4. And how are the Arizona lawmakers different from our federal lawmakers who voted to pass the Patriot Act without reading it?

  5. Wow. On the one hand I’m stunned and delighted to hear politicians, speaking on the record, admitting they don’t have a clue what they’re voting on. On the other hand, I’m cynically saddened that the revelations, will be met with a “that’s pretty much what we thought” shrug.

  6. I’m pretty sure Ms. Napolitano is the only incumbent for whom I have ever voted. On balance, she’s done a hell of a great job as governor of AZ.

    But clearly, she isn’t perfect.

  7. Be afraid for of our liberties.

    Fixed!

  8. I’m pretty sure Ms. Napolitano is the only incumbent for whom I have ever voted. On balance, she’s done a hell of a great job as governor of AZ.

    I’m sure you’ll enjoy universal tax paid preschool when it arrives courtesy of Janet N

  9. It was a unanimous vote.

    I think that says more about the mores of behavior of the citizens of Arizona than it does about the idiocy of their elected officials.

    “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”
    ~George Bernard Shaw

  10. It’s not like thay can say “I neglected my oath of affice and voted for this blatantly unconstitutional bill because I didn’t want to hand a jingoistic cudgel to my opponent in the next election cycle” out loud, can they?

  11. “””And how are the Arizona lawmakers different from our federal lawmakers who voted to pass the Patriot Act without reading it?”””

    In that respect, they are not. That doesn’t justify it.

  12. Reason shouldn’t be so hard on sweet KyrstenSinema, since she’s a very strong “progressive” who’s usually on their side (and on the side of the MexicanGovernment, of course).

  13. I guess there are no Ron Pauls in the AZ legislature.

    Their loss.

  14. I wonder if Ms. Napolitano is related to Andrew Napolitano? By blood that is, certainly not by ideals.

  15. LoneWacko,
    How about saving your MexicanVitrol for an appropriate thread on TransBorderLaborTrade. Mmmkay?

    As for the bill in question, so three asshats admit to having not read the bill before voting on it. Three. That’s it? So the rest read it and thought, “Hell this restricts free speech and violates my oath of office and I am game for it!”

  16. OK people, POLITICIANS DON’T READ THE LAWS THAT THEY SIGN!!!

    Do you know why? Because government passes hundreds of thousands of pages of laws each year. If every politician scrutinized every law they signed (as opposed to superficially skimming it, just to say “yeah, I read it”), they would be spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year reading laws.

    There is no way lawmakers can meet the modern demand for laws and to read and understand all the laws they are signing. It isn’t because lawmakers are stupid, or lazy, or corrupt, it is because it is SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO!!!

    The only way to get lawmakers to read and understand what they are signing into law is to get lawmakers to make less laws. While less laws might appeal to libertarians, libertarians are a fringe group.

  17. Politicians passing fewer laws seems like something that should appeal to anyone on any side of the political spectrum, no?

  18. There is no way lawmakers can meet the modern demand for laws and to read and understand all the laws they are signing. It isn’t because lawmakers are stupid, or lazy, or corrupt, it is because it is SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO!!!

    My understanding is that it’s quite possible. Ron Paul, for example, seems to vote in favor of all the laws he reads, understands and approves of.

  19. My understanding is that it’s quite possible. Ron Paul, for example, seems to vote in favor of all the laws he reads, understands and approves of.

    And votes against all others.

    This is how I vote for office-holders. When in doubt, vote them out.

  20. A ‘senior moment’? Seriously, the guy is saying he was too OLD to know which way to vote?

    Christ on a pony.

  21. Jozef,

    They’re probably paid less to not do their job than the national guys are.

  22. Apparently, for legislators, ignorance of the law is an excuse. Literally.

  23. Does Jeff Flake have an opinion on the matter? Though he may have not had much influence over the issue, my limited knowledge of the state makes me think he may have a sane outlook.

  24. Frankly, I think Napolitano’s career went downhill after Bloodletting.

    I didn’t much like the producing on Bloodletting – many of those tracks sound like crap compared to collected live performances of the same songs. 😉

  25. “lunchstealer | July 13, 2007, 2:44pm | #
    A ‘senior moment’? Seriously, the guy is saying he was too OLD to know which way to vote?

    Christ on a pony.”

    lunch – in this case, he probably tried, lovingly, to mount a pommel horse….

  26. Frankly, I think Napolitano’s career went downhill after Bloodletting.

    Yeah, you and damn near everybody else on the planet. After Walking in London, maybe the collected speeches of a governor of AZ would have sounded better.

  27. I propose the following Constitutional Amendment:

    “Any legislation or resolution brought before Congress or a legislature of a State, must be verbally recited in its entirety in a session of Congress or that legislature, by the author of said legislation or resolution, before a vote may be taken on the matter.”

  28. Brandybuck, I agree except for one thing. The feds shouldn’t dictate to the states procedures for passing laws. That should be a state rights issue. But I’m in favor of the states passing the state version of the same amendment.

  29. de stijl | July 13, 2007, 1:08pm | #

    It’s not like thay can say “I neglected my oath of affice and voted for this blatantly unconstitutional bill because I didn’t want to hand a jingoistic cudgel to my opponent in the next election cycle” out loud, can they?

    Bingo

  30. Something you all are over looking.Most bills are written by staff,not lawmakers.In congress ,the member that ‘writes’ the bill has no idea what’s in it.Why do you think so many are shocked to see what’s in the patriot act.

  31. Something you all are over looking.Most bills are written by staff,not lawmakers.In congress ,the member that ‘writes’ the bill has no idea what’s in it.Why do you think so many are shocked to see what’s in the patriot act.

    Granted, but who was it that put “Cousin Bert” on the payroll or let the lobbyist write the law?

  32. Granted, but who was it that put “Cousin Bert” on the payroll or let the lobbyist write the law?

    Who said Cousin Bert gets hired?
    Who with lobbyists conspire?
    We do, we dooooooo!

  33. My dream of the future is that one day, we with libertarians finally in power, the US government will convene a Great Review of all the laws currently on the books. These laws will be scrutinized, one at a time, and voted up or down. Lawmakers will be required to work the entire year due to a national legislative emergency.

    Ahh, my libertarian dreams.

  34. OK people, POLITICIANS DON’T READ THE LAWS THAT THEY SIGN!!!

    Ya i don’t think you guys are getting it…

    yes they do not know what they signed but they had a really good idea…

    and now the scarey part…

    to avoid backlash they are using the excuse that they didn’t understand what they were signing as a way to dodge criticism.

    Now that is fucked up.

  35. My dream of the future is that one day, we with libertarians finally in power, the US government will convene a Great Review of all the laws currently on the books. These laws will be scrutinized, one at a time, and voted up or down. Lawmakers will be required to work the entire year due to a national legislative emergency.

    My dream is more realistic.

    despite the mountains of laws that accentually make everything illegal but people and law enforcement just ignore it and enforce the things that make sense…like murder.

    think this is impossible…i suggest you look at all the sodomy laws that remained (and may still remain) on the books yet are not enforced.

  36. There is no way lawmakers can meet the modern demand for laws and to read and understand all the laws they are signing. It isn’t because lawmakers are stupid, or lazy, or corrupt, it is because it is SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO!!!

    Actually, it isn’t. First, set the default vote to “No.” Then a lawmaker’s staffers only have to read far enough into a law to see if it might possibly change his mind. The lawmaker ends up considering only those bills, say ten percent, that he might vote for. He only has to read far enough into the bill to see if it might possibly change his mind. This means he ends up actually reading all of the one percent of the legislation he’ll seriously consider voting for, and rejecting half of them.

    I use the same process all the time selecting books at the library.

    My dream of the future is that one day, we with libertarians finally in power, the US government will convene a Great Review of all the laws currently on the books. These laws will be scrutinized, one at a time, and voted up or down. Lawmakers will be required to work the entire year due to a national legislative emergency.

    Lawmakers will be required to work the entire year century due to a national legislative emergency.

    It would be far more efficient to simply wipe the books clean and declare a do-over. Allow Representatives, in seniority order, to reintroduce for up/down vote the ten laws they consider most important.

  37. I’m pretty sure Ms. Napolitano is the only incumbent for whom I have ever voted. On balance, she’s done a hell of a great job as governor of AZ.

    WTF? Its always been one of my greatest fears, but now I guess I must accept the fact that I have indeed been transported into bizarro world.

  38. Its very obvious who is to blame in this matter: Negroes.

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