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A Year of Capitol Quotes: 2010′s wildest statements

JANUARY

1/22: “I can tell you that if any Democrat votes for her budget as it was released, poor Democrat, man. Any Democrat who is willing to support the governor on eliminating health care for 310,000 people, I’ll make sure that they get examined by their constituents.” — Senate Minority Leader Jorge Garcia, on the possibility of Democratic lawmakers voting for Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget proposal, which included a ballot measure that gave voters the opportunity to drastically roll back AHCCCS eligibility.

1/22: “I feel like a monkey on fire.” — Rep. David Stevens, on the hectic pace of the 2010 legislative session.

1/29: “If we’re tilting at windmills, by God we’re going to kill us some windmills.” — Libertarian Barry Hess, referencing Don Quixote as he prepared to mount this third campaign for governor.

FEBRUARY

2/5: “I’m just delighted to hear that this person just didn’t attack Senator Harper, and that it wasn’t a horrible gay experience.” — Sen. Paula Aboud, a Democrat from Tucson, giving a sarcastic response to Sen. Jack Harper, who had told colleagues that he objected to sharing a room with a gay man while serving in the military.

2/5: “I have the most difficult constituency to represent, with the exception (of) if I were a lobbyist for al-Qaeda.” — Donna Hamm, founder of Middle Ground Prison Reform and an advocate for prisoners and their families.

2/19: “Babe Ruth taught me how to hit a curveball, Ty Cobb taught me how to slide into second base, and I used to go steady with Abner Doubleday.” — Former Gov. Rose Mofford, telling the House Commerce Committee about her lifelong love of baseball while testifying in support of a bill that would help finance a new spring training stadium for the Cubs.

2/26: “I support this bill because I’m pleased to see Rep. (Andy) Biggs finally regulating something.” — House Speaker Kirk Adams, a Republican from Mesa, speaking on the House floor in support of H2246, which would allow the regulation and sale of some fireworks to the general public in Arizona.  The bill eventually passed.

2/26: “When Marty Shultz and Chuck Coughlin go around shaking everybody down, it will be interesting to see how much they can generate.” — Tom Jenney, of Americans for Prosperity, commenting on the fundraising capabilities of the “Yes on 100” committee.

MARCH

3/5: “I know there are people who are pro-abortion here, but I don’t think you ought to be going around killing 12-year-old kids.” — Rep. Ray Barnes, a Republican from Phoenix, defending a bill that would allow a handful of abandoned mines to be filled in with scrap tires. In recent years, several children have died falling into the unmarked mines.

3/12: “I’m sure the Republicans will do whatever they want regardless of my opinion.” — Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat, explaining her opposition to budget bills during a committee hearing.

3/26: “The Legislature has a plan in place to cut a billion dollars if it doesn’t pass. … Why don’t they just cut the billion dollars? That’s kind of screwy.” — Republican gubernatorial candidate Buz Mills on Proposition 100, a temporary 1-cent sales tax increase. The measure was passed by voters.

3/26: “I wouldn’t bet a whole lot of money on those lawsuits being successful. I think most of these arguments were settled as a result of the Civil War.” — John Rivers, president of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, on the multi-state lawsuit against the federal health care bill.

APRIL

4/9: “When you think of Tom Horne, do you really think of him going out and kicking illegal immigrants in the ass or anything? No, you really don’t.” — Pollster Bruce Merrill, commenting on whether illegal immigration will be a factor in the attorney general primary race between Republicans Tom Horne and Andrew Thomas.

4/23: “I’m not your guy for employer sanctions. If you want employer sanctions you’ve got to go somewhere else.” — Republican gubernatorial candidate Buz Mills, speaking to the Arizona Farm Bureau.

4/23: “That was a misstatement. … If you spent as many days giving speeches, unfortunately sometimes you get your words mixed up.” — Camilla Strongin, Buz Mills’ campaign manager, explaining Mills’ comments on employer sanctions.

MAY

5/14: “It’s time for you to end his fairy tales.” — Citizens Clean Elections Commission attorney Jose Rivera, telling Judge Crane McClennen to reject an appeal by Rep. Doug Quelland in a May 10 hearing. Quelland, a Phoenix Republican, was later removed from office by the Clean Elections Commission for violating campaign spending limits.

5/21: “I think I overestimated what I could do with $1,200 — and half of that was from me.” — Republican political consultant Constantin Querard, explaining that the campaign opposing Prop. 100 had failed to get its message to voters due to poor fundraising.

5/28: “Mr. Konopnicki is not a true conservative. His voting record shows that for the last 8 years.” — Snowflake Republican Sen. Sylvia Allen, referring to her primary opponent, Rep. Bill Konopnicki of Safford.

5/28: “Do people really want somebody who says the Earth is 6,000 years old?” — Safford Republican Bill Konopnicki, referencing a comment Sen. Sylvia Allen, his opponent in the District 5 Senate race, made earlier in the year regarding the age of the Earth.

JUNE

6/11: “Either I lost the case and I got more money in my campaign, or I won the case and I got less money in my campaign. The irony is, it was going to be ironic no matter which way it turned out.” — State Treasurer Dean Martin, who joined the lawsuit against matching funds and lost at least $1.4 million in campaign funding due to his side’s victory.

6/18: “We have did the biggest cuts in the history of the state.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, during the June 15 televised debate among GOP gubernatorial candidates.

6/25: “My biggest critic is my mirror. I might be able to lie to you, deceive you and even steal from you, and you might not even know it. However, my mirror knows.” — Rep. Ray Barnes, responding to a Capitol Times/Capitol Reports survey question asking what else he’d like voters to know about him.

JULY

7/2: “We all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, clarifying comments she made during the June 15 GOP gubernatorial debate when asked again during a Q&A session with reporters on June 25.

7/16: “It’s tough to compete with the Greta and Jan show every night on national television.” — GOP gubernatorial candidate Buz Mills, referring to several appearances Gov. Jan Brewer had made on Fox’s  “On the Record” program hosted by Greta Van Susteren.

7/23: “I can get re-elected on pink underwear.” — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

AUGUST

8/6: “We had a discussion about having a discussion.” — House Speaker Kirk Adams, on the possibility of a special session to make changes to SB1070.

8/20: “I’m probably one of the few people on this floor who had a grandfather beat up both by union thugs and management thugs.” — Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican, saying a secret ballot would protect workers from intimidation from both sides.

8/27: “I differentiate mud-slinging from parsing out the truth. I believe in truthful comparisons. When a campaign puts out something they know is untrue, that’s despicable.” — Vernon Parker, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, commenting on a campaign mailer distributed by rival candidate Ben Quayle that may have given the impression that Quayle is a father when he is not.

SEPTEMBER

9/3: “It’s like Matt Jette saying he wants to debate us eight times.” — Gov. Brewer’s adviser Chuck Coughlin on Terry Goddard’s request for six more debates.

9/17: “Jonathan Hulburd’s wife won’t give him the amount of money it would take for him to beat Ben Quayle.” — Sean Noble, former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. John Shadegg, referring to Hulburd’s wife, whose family owns household products giant SC Johnson. (Hulburd ultimately lost the CD3 race to Republican Ben Quayle by about 23,000 votes.)

9/17: “Probably.” — Legislative District 17 House candidate Republican Steve May, on whether he was drunk when he was pulled over by Tempe police on his Segway. May eventually dropped out of the race.

9/24: “It’s money that Russell Pearce and John Kavanagh are salivating over, and the same thing is true for the open-space money. I don’t know that I necessarily want the money to get into their grubby hands.” — Sen. Carolyn Allen, on Prop. 302, which would have eliminated Arizona’s First Things First program by sweeping its approximately $325 million budget into the state’s general fund. Voters resoundingly defeated the measure by nearly a 3-to-1 margin.

OCTOBER

10/8: “According to you, if there was a hypothetical race between Thomas Jefferson, Democrat, and Lindsay Lohan, Republican, I could not endorse Jefferson over Lohan.” — Former Attorney General Grant Woods, on a Maricopa County GOP rule that precinct committeemen cannot endorse non-Republicans.

NOVEMBER

11/5: “All I can say is God bless them.” — Elliott Pollack, a Scottsdale economist, talking about the difficulty that freshmen lawmakers have when they encounter the complexities of the state budget for the first time.

11/26: “He doesn’t know where the middle is.” — Sen.-elect Steve Gallardo, a Democrat, who had a difficult time imagining how incoming Senate President Russell Pearce, a Republican, will unite the GOP caucus.

11/26: “I’m too young.” — Democrat Rebecca Rios, who is mulling a political comeback after losing the Senate election in Legislative District 23 to Republican Steve Smith.

DECEMBER

12/10: “This is still Senator Pearce’s baby, no pun intended.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, when asked to comment on Russell Pearce’s birthright-citizenship bill.

12/10: “I don’t know what the Democrats are asking for. It’s hard to get past them accusing us of being executioners to really evaluate what they’re saying.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, on Democrats’ demand that Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature restore Medicaid funding for transplant patients.

12/17: “We can’t just give the Legislature the finger and ignore them. They raised some legitimate concerns, although antagonistically.” — Mick Rusing, a member of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, on having to convene again after Republican legislative leaders complained about the slate of nominees to be sent to them.

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