“The Legislature is not a debating society. It is a lawmaking body. ... We debate bills in the Legislature that have a chance of passage to improve them, not for sport or to comply with some liberal equal-time rule.”Then in a follow up interview, the daily quoted him,
“Dem bills rarely get heard for two reasons. First and foremost, they tend to be ideologically liberal, so the conservative-dominated chambers do not want to advance them. Given that they would never get the votes to pass, hearing them would only waste time and give liberals a platform to advocate liberal positions. Second, some Dems (a small number) have “burned bridges” with Rs by repeated harsh attacks. Consequently, nobody is going to help them.This, a mere five months after the brash former New York Port Authority and New Jersey Police Department detective sergeant said the following during floor debate on the Medicaid Restoration bill.
But John, I thought you said the Arizona Legislature is NOT a debating society.
When the tables were turned around on Kavanagh and his comrades, he was quick to squawk. Oh... the pain of it all.
Oh, the pain of it all, just because a bi-partisan coalition was tired of getting steamrolled by the likes of John Kavanagh. All because they dared pass a bill to ensure Arizona doesn't lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding for hospitals and health care services.
Let's explore Kavanagh's pejorative comment. A list of 45 examples of tactics or strategies that have been attributed to Chicago's "ONE-PARTY" system may shed some light on our good friend John Kavanagh and what was really his description of Arizona Republican Party style politics.
7. Rewrite the law to require independent and opposition party candidates to collect ten times the ballot access petition signatures your candidates must.See #StopHB2305. From the legislative summary/fact sheet for the final version of the Tea-publican bill to suppress voting rights in our state:
Amends the number of signatures required for nomination petitions to the following percentage and alters the basis from which the signatures are to be gathered to the total voter registration rather than of the candidate’s party...In other words, Libertarian Party candidates, for example, in order to qualify for the ballot, must obtain more signatures on nominating petitions than there may be Libertarians actually registered to vote. John, and 32 of his House Republican colleagues (as well as 16 GOP senators) voted to rewrite the law to require so many signatures that many potential opponents cannot possibly qualify.
The good thing is that the people of Arizona will have the opportunity to VETO this bill in November. John Kavanagh, of course, voted in favor of HB2305.
18. Steal opponent’s signs and campaign materials and have local authorities ignore it.John Huppenthal, longtime GOP state lawmaker and current Superintendent of Public Instruction, in 2008 stole a competitor's campaign signs and got away with it even though he was caught in the act.
20. Run candidates in the other parties’ primaries.John Rowland Mills, longtime taxpayer funded GOP political operative and now convicted felon, was known to have recruited Green Party candidates* to run against and dilute the vote for Democratic candidates.
32. Line the government from top to bottom with friends, family and contributors.In 2012, the GOP legislature passed Gov. Brewer's personnel "reform" which eliminates merit system protections which had been put in place decades earlier to minimize the harmful effects of political patronage. Our good friend John Kavanagh voted in favor of this reinstitution of the Spoils System. Evidence of the insidious nature of this so-called reform was on full display when Gov. Brewer had Joey Strickland fired from his position as director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services.
37. Run 2 candidates for the same office, ganging up on the real challenger and stealing away opposition votes.Remember the historic Russell Pearce recall election, which succeeded in ousting the sitting Senate President from office completely in spite of (a number of) dubious actions by Pearce supporters, including running fake candidate Olivia Cortes.
45. Have party workers at the Board of Elections accidentally forget to print the opponent on the ballot, or even their entire party.In the run up to the 2012 general election, Maricopa County Elections officials (overseen by elected County Recorder, Republican Helen Purcell) "inadvertently" gave out Spanish language documents showing the wrong date for the election.
30. Reward all campaign contributors with ten-times the amount they donated in government grants, pork or no-bid contracts.Think Chuck Coughlin, special aide to Gov. Brewer, and key lobbyist for the private prison industry. Oh, and our good friend John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and beneficiary of private prison campaign donations, is an avid supporter of bilking taxpayers to warehouse humans.
Even though marijuana is safer than alcohol, in Arizona, possession of even the smallest measurable quantity of marijuana is a felony. That makes simple marijuana possession one of the quickest and easiest ways around the 13th Amendment abolition of slavery. Next time you're at the Capitol, if you see workers in orange jumpsuits tending the grounds, this is how that came to be. Slave labor is much less expensive than paying state employees.
Should I continue?
The bottom line is this, Kavanagh hung on to an expression that was introduced as dog-whistle code for GOP voters during the 2012 Presidential campaign, hoping to topple the Obama administration. Then, in a hissy fit during the legislative machinations to pass Medicaid Restoration, the (near) epithet passed over his angry lips and was recorded for posterity.
By the way, this John Kavanagh was the prime mover for the 2012 legislation criminalizing PASSIVE RESISTANCE.
Now we have reports that House Appropriations chair Kavanagh is willing to find funding to address problems at Child Protective Services, as long as he can take it away from the Early Childhood Development and Health Board.
Kavanagh, ever generous with his comments to the press, also recently stated he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Arizona's Medical Marijuana Law. No doubt encouraged on by his benefactors in the private prison industrial complex.
Isn't it time for the Republican dominated state legislature to reap what it has sowed for so many years?
* See page 10 of the pdf document to note that Democrat Jackie Thrasher lost by a margin far less than the number of votes cast for the Green Party candidate, who was known to have been recruited by Mills.