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Capitol Quotes – Best of the Session

Jan. 2
“I have decided that I am going to try to adopt the attitude that this is going to be a two-year running sitcom, which could be a comedy … but I think that the public might not think it’s funny.” – Sen. Carolyn Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, talking about the upcoming session and the state’s budget woes.

Jan. 9
“That’s nice. Very good. Thank you. I’m glad you do that. That’s very nice.” - Gov. Janet Napolitano, replying to state Treasurer Dean Martin at a Jan. 8 meeting of the state Loan Commission after Martin told her he understands the budget and has to cover every check written by the state.

Jan. 16
“One of the things I will leave with, not just a budget plan for 2009, but for 2010, so that if changes are made or cuts are being made because of the fiscal crisis, people understand that there’s some real choices to be made here that are not fiscally mandated.” - Gov. Janet Napolitano, just before leaving Arizona to take over as secretary of Homeland Security.

“The Democrats are going to get to pick the role they want to play. They will be a part of the process if they choose to be a part by participating and finding ways to reduce spending and balance the budget. If they choose to vote ‘no’ on any budget, they will automatically make themselves irrelevant.” - House Speaker Kirk Adams, on whether minority Democrats will be a part of the fiscal 2010 budget negotiations.

Jan. 23
“This is the best thing that’s happened to the state in at least six years.” - Sen. Al Melvin, on Gov. Jan Brewer’s inauguration.

Jan. 30
“I will not be chairing Committee of the Whole, even if asked.” - Sen. Jack Harper, a Republican from Surprise, when asked if he had participated in a COW training session organized by the Senate majority staff.

“I suspect that might be Democrat math, which is a lot different than Republican math.” - Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills, responding to a question regarding the budget from a Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Feb. 6
“If they want to keep the Republican majority and keep the option for a Republican governor, I think they are putting themselves in harm’s way.” - Sen. Carolyn Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, commenting on the ramifications of the fiscal 2009 budget bills that closed a $1.6 billion deficit.

Feb. 13
“This is a great experiment that Senate President Bob Burns has done, and people have talked about doing it for years and have never done it. So let’s see how it works. It hopefully doesn’t mean we’re in session until late June. But at the same time, usually what’s holding us up, keeping us here until June is the budget.” - Rep. Adam Driggs, a Republican from Phoenix, on Burns’ decision to hear only budget legislation until a fiscal 2010 budget is passed.

Feb. 20
“I won’t support it. How much simpler can I get?” - Senate President Pro Tempore Thayer Verschoor, reacting to a report that the Governor’s Office is mulling a special election to ask voters to approve a sales tax increase.

Feb. 27
“I heard a congressman on the news last night say ‘I’ve read every word of it.’ Yeah, right.” – Rep. Sam Crump, a Republican from Anthem, speaking about the federal stimulus package.

“At one point, I was the owner of 11 used car lots.” - Attorney General Terry Goddard, commenting on his office’s seizures of car lots owned by dealers who assisted in human-smuggling operations.

March 6
“I may have to use some of the tools that I have available to make my point.” - Senate President Bob Burns, who opposes Gov. Jan Brewer’s sales tax proposal.

“To my friends and colleagues on the right, I will not accept a budget that eats the seed corn that must be sown in the fields of our future.” - Gov. Brewer in her address to the Legislature March 4.

“It sounds like we are sabotaging our governor.” – Sen. Carolyn Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, commenting on a decision by Senate leadership to unveil a budget proposal a day before Governor Brewer outlined her budget plans.

March 20
“It is kicking out the public. And I just can’t believe the audacity and the shame that we are talking about it at this point during our ‘Sunshine Week.’” - Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, a Democrat from Phoenix, commenting on the decision by Senate GOP leadership to move the press out of the Senate building at the end of the session.

April 3
“For those of you who think that you have solutions, I don’t know if you’ve got all the information.” - Gov. Brewer, responding to Don Goldwater’s criticism of her plan to raise taxes temporarily.

“You’ve never heard of a temporary tax, but you’ve never heard of Gov. Jan Brewer either, so there you go.” - Gov. Jan Brewer, responding to the concerns of an audience member at the Phoenix Rotary 100 luncheon that the temporary tax increase she has proposed would become permanent.

April 10
“You’re a reporter – you might want to ask.” - Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Phoenix, telling journalist Howie Fischer at an April 6 press conference to speak with GOP leaders about their thoughts on federal stimulus money for unemployment insurance.

“I have asked. And they don’t want it.” - Fischer’s response.

“It could have been made perfectly innocently, to the extent that you can carry around $100,000 in duct tape.” - Assistant Attorney General Michael O’Toole, commenting on an attempted cash bond payment that was delivered, wrapped in cellophane and duct tape, by a paralegal.

April 24
“Let’s say Sarah Palin was acceptable, and I voted for her.” - Chris Simcox, explaining why he voted for Sen. John McCain last November.

“We’re not even playing footsie – we’re texting.” - Assistant House Minority Leader Kyrsten Sinema, likening the budget process to dating.

May 1
“I’m not going to get rolled again this year like every single year in the past.” – Sen. Ron Gould, a Republican from Lake Havasu City, complaining about “liberal” House Republicans whom he said want to push more spending and a tax increase.

“I want to implore my colleagues to stop bullying Senator Gould.” - Sen. Paula Aboud, a Democrat from Tucson, responding in jest to Gould’s complaint.

May 8
“I’m not that kind of girl.” - Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, responding on the House floor May 7 to another lawmaker who addressed her using the honorific “Mrs.” instead of “Ms.”

“We will take minority votes as long as it fits into the mold – however you want to describe the package.” - Senate President Bob Burns, inviting individual Democrats for input on the budget.

May 15
“I’ve suggested that we add the fourth floor onto the building so that, when we jump, we don’t just break our legs.” - Rep. Russ Jones, a Republican from Yuma, expressing his dismay May 13 in the House Appropriations Committee at the choices lawmakers were faced with to solve a massive budget deficit.

“Thousands of patients across Arizona are already using medical marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation. These patients shouldn’t have to risk arrest and jail just for following their doctor’s advice.” - Andrew Myers, a campaign manager for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, explaining that voters should pass a ballot initiative in 2010 to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

May 22
“I think we can do at least three, maybe five. I mean, we’re not going to privatize death row, obviously.” - Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills, speaking about the possibility of privatizing prisons. The comment was made less than a week before the release of a Senate Appropriations budget proposal that called for the privatization of the Arizona State Prison Complex-Eyman, which includes the state’s death row.

May 29
“I rise neutral to the bill. Can you rise neutral to a bill?” - Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, speaking during floor debate May 28 on a bill that would limit property taxes for education.

“I was not sure what I would do on this bill until I heard Mr. Crandall’s forceful neutrality.” - Rep. Andy Biggs, a Gilbert Republican, responding to Crandall.

June 5
“So to say I was shocked and dismayed would be an understatement, but I would liken it to being released from prison only to walk across the street and get hit by a bus.” - Sen. Pamela Gorman, a Republican from Anthem, describing her surprise at the fractured relationship between Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and the Republican-led Legislature.

“It’s ugly and I don’t think we can ever make it pretty.” - Senate President Bob Burns, saying the budget will have something for everyone to dislike.

June 12
“We’re not thinking anything yet, at least not out loud.” – House Speaker Kirk Adams, speaking to reporters June 11 about the possibility of how a tax increase could be structured as part of a budget plan.

“I consider this first panel – not necessarily the governor or her staff, but this first panel of people testifying to be a kangaroo court.” – Sen. Jack Harper, a Republican from Surprise, commenting on the education panel at Gov. Jan Brewer’s June 9 budget forum.

June 19
“I learned at a very young age people sometimes like to trick you. Well, I am not going to wait until June 30 to have them … more or less trick the Governor’s Office by dropping a budget on my desk on the 30th and to have government shut down.” - Gov. Jan Brewer, speaking shortly after filing a lawsuit asking the Arizona Supreme Court to force the Legislature to send her the budget bills it passed June 4.

“I would describe the meetings as unremarkable.” – Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman on the governor’s budget negotiations with lawmakers since she filed suit against the Legislature in the Arizona Supreme Court on June 16.

June 26
“Do you intend to go through these whole COW columns, or are we at least going to have a potty break?” - Sen. Carolyn Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, asking a pertinent question on the Senate floor during an extended committee of the whole session.

“I have responsibilities, and that doesn’t change. To some degree, math is comforting. Math doesn’t change. That provides some level of normalcy.” - State Treasurer Dean Martin, commenting on coming back to work after the deaths of his wife and newborn son.

“I think we demonstrated that we can have an entire legislative session without true leadership showing up. There were no attempts to approach problem-solving from a broad perspective.” - Sen. Debbie McCune Davis, a Democrat from Phoenix, reacting to how this year’s session played out.

July 3
“We are only doing this for her (Brewer). We passed a budget June 4. These are her bills, so for her to veto these bills, she would be responsible for shutting down government. Why would you veto your own bills?” - Sen. Russell Pearce, commenting on the budget agreement reached between legislative leadership and the governor and the prospect of getting Brewer’s signature on the measures that were passed July 1.

July 10
“It’s a matter of teamwork. I just felt like we could maybe improve our teamwork through the leadership here.” - Senate President Bob Burns, on his decision to replace a member of his leadership team and change the makeup of the committee he chairs.

“I voted for the damn thing in committee, so I hope I’m not one of those people.” - Sen. Jonathan Paton, a Republican from Tucson, speaking July 9 about the belief among some legislators that Gov. Jan Brewer will veto bills sponsored by lawmakers who opposed sending a sales tax increase to the ballot.

July 17
“You think I’m going to change? It’s going to be a neighborhood near you.” - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, commenting on the changes to the federal program that allows local authorities to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

“We proved our point.” - Arizona Farm Bureau lobbyist Joe Sigg, referring to a judge’s decision that legislative fund sweeps of agricultural accounts were illegal.

July 24
“I’m out here trying to get NCSL to take a turn to the right.” - Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican from Mesa, speaking July 22 from Philadelphia, where he is attending an event hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Right now I haven’t given it a lot of consideration. The bottom line is that I’m not worried about my political future. I’m worried about the future of the state of Arizona.” - Gov. Jan Brewer, on whether Republicans will be willing to nominate her in the 2010 gubernatorial race if she raises taxes.

2009 Session Wrap coverage:
A session to remember – even if you don’t want to
Brewer reflects on tumultuous first session as guv
Burns’ gambit: Inside Senate president’s strategy
House speaker says work remains on transparency
House minority leader gives Legislature an ‘F’
Garcia says he needed 1 more Dem in Senate

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