Money Talks. And Democracy Walks. Arizona Style.

Money Talks. And Democracy Walks. Arizona Style. February 25, 2014

I don’t know how accurate this is, but it does seem likely to be true.

NBC News is reporting that Governor Brewer will veto the religious freedom bill passed by the legislature this week. According to that same source, the governor does not want to jeopardize Arizona’s economic future.

Three Arizona senators who had voted for the bill re-read it in the light of all that reflected green and asked the governor to veto.

Everyone, it seems, was just confused originally and now they’ve seen the light.

Uh-huh.

It doesn’t matter if this was a good bill or not. It doesn’t even matter what the issue is.

Money talks. And democracy walks.

That’s the real story here.

From NewsMax:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will veto a controversial bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to gays and lesbians on the grounds of their religious conviction, NBC News is reporting via Twitter.

Brewer has been under intense pressure from business groups and political leaders to diffuse the situation and veto the legislation which they fear will draw unnecessary attention to Arizona a year before it hosts the next Super Bowl and following economic losses on controversial immigration stances.

At the same time, three GOP state senators who initially ratified the measure have written to Brewer, a Republican, asking her to reject Senate Bill 1062, according to The Los Angeles Times. 

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45 responses to “Money Talks. And Democracy Walks. Arizona Style.”

      • Another reason why term limitation is a damned joke. Far from reducing the power of the party apparatus and the moneymen who own them, it mutliplies it. Let me explain: point one, the term-limited politician can still have a lifelong career – two terms as state representative, two terms as mayor of a major town, two terms in Congress, two terms as state governor… it soon mounts up. But in order to have this continuous career, he has to have the benevolence of the party; so, no mavericks and no thinking for yourself. Second, term limitations means that by the second term this character has nothing to lose – like Governor Brewer. The only chance a politician has of being held to account is come election time.

        • You are right about accountability. Obama doesn’t have “anything to lose” now and so his second term is even more brazenly leftist and godless. Had he acted in 2010 as he and his cabinet have acted since 2012’s election results were in, he would have lost to Romney or anyone else the R’s put on the ballot. Some of us saw the writing on the wall and knew what was coming, too many simply don’t engage or THINK thru to logical consequences the character and beliefs of those on the ballot before them (not counting those who couldn’t wait for the gloves to come off, which is a different problem). :-/

      • One of the factors weighing in her decision may be national political ambitions. There have even been rumblings about a presidential run in 2016. That’s probably just rumbling, but who knows? I think almost every governor entertains the idea at some point. I think at the least she’d be open to some cabinet position or judgeship one day. No politician who takes a stridently anti-gay rights position is ever going to be electable, or probably even appointable, on the national level, and Brewer well knows that.

  1. As an elected official, Brewer’s job is to use her best judgment on behalf of all of her state’s residents, not to rubber stamp whatever fool thing comes out of the legislature. A big part of her platform from day one has been fiscal responsibility. Business people, who live and die by consumer sentiment and who understand the deep realities of our economy, are telling her point blank “don’t do this, it will cost your state hundreds of millions of dollars and damage a key sector of your economy for years to come.”

    This isn’t idle bloviation from some gay activist. It’s the real deal. It’s also a warning from companies like Apple and American Airlines and perhaps the NFL that they’re not going to take the financial hit from consumer blowback over this “right to discriminate” bill. They might like Arizona, but their mandate is to their shareholders, not losing populists causes, and if push comes to shove with boycotts and toxic PR, they’re not going to be the ones holding the bag. They’ll bail.

    The money Arizona stands to lose is not just in CEO’s bonus packages. It’s money and jobs that sustain thousands of regular Arizonans whose livelihoods depend on the tourism and convention business – the shuttle bus drivers and hotel workers and travel agencies and restaurants and caterers and tour operators. Thousands of workers permanently out of the workforce or perhaps limping along on lower pay subsistence retail or swamping the state’s already hard-pressed social service sector.

    What would she get for this economic devastation? An unconstitutional law that would be cut up and sold for scrap by the first federal court to hear it.

    • I doubt very much that it had anything to do with any of this. I’ve seen these discussions and I can tell you it was more likely along the lines of “I paid for you. I own you. Now do what you’re told.”

    • And I for one, will never buy from Apple again in my life (actually, that’s a continuing personal boycott since the mid 1980s, and I doubt very much anybody will notice).

      And I’ve never liked the NFL, and like them even less now that I know that the flamboyant behavior on the field isn’t just play acting and that as I suspected all along, jocks are gay.

      American Airlines, once again my personal boycott won’t matter. I haven’t flown in 14 years and have no plans to ever take a plane anywhere again in my life.

      So those companies, like Homo Depot, have permanently lost my business. Good riddance.

      • This comment is really disgusting.

        I’m disheartened with the direction this blog and comments have gone the past couple of weeks.

        • Because they go against your wishes to make that which simply is not mathematically normal and cannot be accepted as reasonable, normal?

          Or because you’re beginning to see your issues through my eyes- as a violent destruction of society and trust?

          • Neither. In my opinion, saying “jocks are gay” and calling a store “Homo” is why some gay activists can say Catholics are bigoted, hateful, not Christ like and downright mean.

            It reminds me of high school when boys would walk down the hall and slam a kid into the wall and yell “Faggot” because the kid was different.

            • In other words, you want what is mathematically never going to be normal, to be considered normal by people like me.

              How are you any different than those high school boys who *DID* slam me into walls and lockers calling me “Faggot”- and who beat me up in college yelling that because they knew that the District Attorney wouldn’t press charges if they did?

              Heterosexuality is dead! Long Live the Homosexual Revolution! Is that better? Or do you want to castrate me as well?

              ——————————-
              Replying to a message still in moderation. My experience with this in high school has convinced me that most homosexuals who are bullied by the jocks, sometimes even homosexually raped by the jocks, are in fact heterosexuals- but once that label is applied, it is incredibly hard to shake, especially in a world that claims “homosexuals are just born that way”; I can’t think of a worse false rumor to spread about somebody.

              I’m against gay bashing, but I’m against the hetero bashing that took place over the last week as well.

              The Culture War has been ugly, and as usual, the real casualty was Christ himself.

              • Ted, I know you have strong emotions. I am also at least be a little bit aware of what you have suffered and suffer. I am very supportive of you as a person Ted. But please, don’t be so harsh in what you say about homosexual people. We can talk about the issues and be strong on them without that.

              • I got presumed gay in Catholic high school because I befriended and protected a kid in your situation. Because of that I was treated exactly the same way by students and faculty. I’ve never regretted taking up for him even if it made my life hell. I wouldn’t have regretted taking up for you either.

        • Well, it’s Ted. That’s pretty much what you should expect. The last sputtering gasps of this particular variety of hatred are going to be loud and obnoxious.

          • Because bpycotts and public attacks are not hate when you and your likes practise them, eh? As for your pitiful notion that history is with you, there is not one historical loser who did not feel the same.

    • And a very dignified and courageous statement, I’m sure. Time was when liberals were supposed to resist corporate interference with politics, not to grovel before it.

    • Funny how you positively glow in admiration and defense of this display of corporate power. Let the RCC with all it’s citizen members attempt to exert a similar power and your ‘bloviating’ against it would stun in it’s hypocrisy. As Fabio said, you are a slave. We all are. I’d just rather be a slave for God than Apple, Inc.

    • Here’s the real question. Does it matter? If DOMA was thrown out, and if state constitutions are being tossed by activist judges, would this law be any different? Judicial system seems perfectly happy with letting government be bought and paid for by the highest bidder.
      I used to have aspirations of joining my local city council or even state legislature in hopes of making a better place for my family. Now I can’t help but wonder if it no longer matters. Checks and balances, I get. An activist court and an executive branch that ignores the legislative branch entirely pretty much means the Republic is dead, doesn’t it?

  2. I wrote this for a Facebook column, but it is just as relevant here:

    If the sentences that caused the bill had any consistent sense, they would mean that no professional person is allowed to refuse a job on grounds of conscience. Let us suppose one of you is a translator, as I am; and let us suppose (which is rather more easy to suppose) that you are emotionally attached to the gay agenda. Let us suppose that I walked in with a long document full of every argument and fact you don’t want to hear, the kind that really would twist your insides with rage – thirty, forty thousand words of denunciation of the gay movement on all sorts of grounds. Days of work on a document you would throw out the window if you had a choice. Let us suppose I demanded a translation, You would not be allowed to refuse it, even on the ground that the anger the document causes you would be a health hazard. Are you willing to sacrifice your own consciences, such as they are, to that extent, merely for a fee? However, we know that you would never be askied to make such a sacrifice, because we know that this set of sentences is only meant to operate in one direction, against one set of opinions, and never against any other. No judge in America would ever enforce the demand that a gay-activist translator should work on a document opposing their views; they would be likelier to find an excuse to chuck the document’s writer in jail. So you are both enemies of freedom of conscience and hypocrites.

  3. Economic pressure is often used to force governments to change policy. Think of the Montgomery Bus Boycott or the disinvestment campaign against apartheid in South Africa. Heck, even the US government uses economic sanctions to pressure foreign governments to change their ways.

    I don’t think such tactics are a bad thing.

    • The Montgomery Bus Boycott and this long list of corporations using their muscle to control government seem the same to you Dale? Are you serious?

      • Rebecca, the three examples I mentioned were meant to illustrate why using economic pressure to change government policy is not inherently a bad thing.

        Clearly, the Montgomery bus boycott is not directly comparable to the pressure put on Gov. Brewer. In Montgomery, the pressure was exerted by persons directly affected by the government policy. That was not the case with Arizona.

        However. the disinvestment campaign against apartheid in South Africa does seem similar to the Arizona situation. A long list of companies, based outside of south Africa and not oppressed by apartheid, curtailed operations in that country. This economic pressure was am important part of overturning that government policy.

        The third example I used is similar to the the disinvestment campaign, but not voluntarily chosen by the companies. US restrictions on trade with Iran, to pressure change on its nuclear program would be an example

        I an sorry that I was not more clear in my earlier post. The point I was trying to make is that economic pressure is not, in and of itself, not an unjust tactic.

    • Of course you don’t. Since you postulate that the revolt of oppressed citizens in Montgomery is exactly comparable to some corporate moron getting on the phone to inform a Governor that if she doesn’t kill a democratically approved bill, double quick, she would have a lot more time to spend with her family – or, heaven help us, to the USA playing their sorry imperial games across the planet with taxpayers’ money – it is clear that the similarity of wholly dissimilar things is an open book to you. You would not see any difference between the men of Lexington gathering in arms to resist the British and the men of Al Capone spreading across the city to demand protection money from helpless citizens betrayed by their elected representatives. And clearly there is no difference between “omerta” and patriotism, since both are systems of loyalty to the death – never mind to what. Remove the morality, the context, and the purpose, and everything looks like everything else.

      • Fabio, of the three examples I gave, none of them involved illegal activities. What you termed “the revolt in Montgomery” was simply community-wide refusal to ride the city buses, choosing instead to walk (or if possible, carpool).

        I am not sure why you bring up organized crime or organized revolution. Neither of those things have anything to do with my examples, or with the economic pressure on the Arizona government.

        • The point is that I have no doubt that you would make no difference between any such things in such circumstances. The point which you absolutely refuse to answer is: Remove the morality, the context, and the purpose, and everything looks like everything else. You insist on arguing as though morality did not exist, and everything else was reduced to a question of whether the current, written statute law allows it. And how on God’s green Earth can you possibly be reading this blog and not be aware of what Rebecca, an experienced lawmaker, has said repeatedly, eloquently and circumstantially – that current statute law is largely written by the corporations, for the corporations, and of the corporations? If you decide the parameters, of course you win the game.

          • Fabio, you seem to be a believer in situational ethics, that what is right depends upon the situation and that what is right varies from situation to situation. My position is against such relativism.

            The tactic of using economic pressure is legitimate. it is also morally neutral. You can disagree with the goal of the tactic in this particular case, but that alone does not make the tactic immoral when its use is legitimate in other situations.

            As far as corporations writing laws, I do not doubt that is a common occurrence. Lobbyists wield a great deal of influence, and that extends to the participation of non-profit organizations as well as for-profit organizations. However, I think the outsized influence of lobbyists in lawmaking is a separate issue and largely out of the public eye.

            • That’s a clever answer. Of course, situational ethics could not possibly be further from the position of anyone who claims that right and wrong are absolutes and who charges you with removing them from the picture. Very clever, but since I know that it is the exact opposite of what I want and believe, completely useless as a debating tactic. I know you are saying the wrong thing about me. But maybe you calculate that others will not be quite so clear.

              • Fabio, it was an honest answer. I am far too dundering to be clever

                If absolute standards of ethical and moral behavior exist, as we both believe, then I don’t see how we can condemn the tactic of economic pressure to change policy. Here is a comparison. a pry bar can be used by a construction worker to remove metal from a piece of wood. The pry bar can also be used by a burglar to open windows in order to steal. The pry bar, like the tactic of economic pressure, is morally neutral.

                The goal should not be conflated with the means to achieve it. Earlier, I agave three legitimate uses of economic pressure to change policy. The point I have been trying to make is that the tactic of economic pressure is morally acceptable, even if you think its goal (defeating SB 1062) was not morally acceptable.

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