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Capitol Quotes: 2011 Session Wrap

JANUARY

‘This is nothing new. Democrats are used to being in the minority in the
Arizona Legislature’ — Senate Minority Leader David Schapira at the beginning of the session.

“If you’re eating and you’ve got both hands on your burger instead of the wheel and you’re weaving, you can get pulled over.” — Rep. Steve Farley, a Democrat from Tucson, who tried again to ban texting while driving as part of a more comprehensive distracted-driving bill.

“Saturday’s events were….an assault on our constitutional republic, on our democracy.” — Gov. Jan Brewer’s remark during her State of the State Address on a deadly shooting spree in Tucson that killed six and wounded several others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“I will never say anything hateful or hurtful again about somebody else who I have a disagreement with because we must break this mold.” — Rep. Steve Farley, a Tucson Democrat.

“I do think that there are ‘before’ and ‘after’ moments, and this was one of those events.” — House Speaker Kirk Adams on the shooting in Tucson.

“I’m speaking about myself, too. I have a lot of passion. I do not speak hate. I do not incite towards violence or hate. But I am willing to tone down the volume of rhetoric and ask the others to tone it down, too.” — Sen. Paula Aboud, a Tucson Democrat, who called for more civility in the political discourse.

“It would be surrendering to madness to not continue with the affairs of state after a respectable respite.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills, when asked whether the Legislature would move forward with a bill to allow college faculty members to carry guns on campus.

“I know there are some who say they have every right in the world to wrap their car around the telephone poll while texting. But they don’t have a right to take out other people at the same time.” —Tucson Republican Sen. Al Melvin, who said he will again push for legislation prohibiting texting while driving.

“We may be the minority party, but we are the watchdog for the people of this state.” — House Minority Leader Chad Campbell explaining how Democrats are attempting to position themselves at the Legislature.

“His choosing of those two words were very insightful. What they mean, I’m not sure.” — Rep. Russ Jones, a Yuma Republican, on the newly elected state GOP Party Chairman Tom Morrissey’s use of the label “constitutional conservative” to describe himself.

FEBRUARY

‘I’m just surprised it didn’t happen before now.’ — Senate President Russell Pearce, on the recall efforts against him.

“The Arizona state Legislature is going to be hooked on medical marijuana.” — Rep. Justin Olson, a Mesa Republican, talking about the dangers of taxing medical pot.

“In one sentence – been there, done that.”— Rep. John Kavanagh, a Fountain Hills Republican, on a list of suggestions U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made on how states can save money on their Medicaid programs.

“I think he’s just a jobs bill and pension reform bill away.” — Surprise Republican Sen. Jack Harper, on the likelihood House Speaker Kirk Adams would run for Congress.

“No one has actually read this bill completely…No one can actually stand up and defend this bill.” — Sen. Steve Gallardo, a Phoenix Democrat, who opposed the jobs bill.

“I’m confused why people would be upset by this legislation. I thought we could all agree that drop houses are bad and that people who kidnap and torture other people should be punished.” — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat, on protests to her “drop house” bill this session.

“I demand you take these handcuffs off. I’m state Senator Scott Bundgaard, and according to Article 4 of the Constitution, you cannot detain me.” — Sen. Scott Bundgaard , a Peoria Republican, to police officers the night he got into a scuffle with his girlfriend, according to supplemental police reports.

“Veto-proof majorities is a nice theory.” — House Speaker Kirk Adams, on the chances of overriding a Gov. Jan Brewer veto on a bill to grant the Legislature authority over federal funds that are currently controlled by the Governor’s Office.

“This Legislature makes really poor decisions already with our own finances. And I think we’d make even poorer decisions when it comes to other people’s money, like federal dollars.” — Senate Minority Leader David Schapira on a bill that would have given the Legislature control over federal money currently controlled by the Governor’s Office.

“They might buy us our plane ticket out of the state.” — Rep. Steve Farley, a Tucson Democrat, discussing how the Republicans would react if the Democrats in the House ever decided to leave the state to avoid a vote, as the Democratic senators in Wisconsin did over an anti-union bill.

“The question becomes: How many of our rights and freedoms are we willing to set aside in the name of illegal immigration enforcement?” — Sen. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, who opposed a slew of bills being pushed by Senate President Russell Pearce, author of last year’s SB1070.

“She asked if I was content to be a one-term senator.” — Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Chandler Republican, on his wife’s response when he told her he wanted to reform the pension system for public safety employees.

“I just pray a lot, anymore.” — Former legislator Pete Rios, a Democrat and Pinal County supervisor, on his reaction to the 2011 Legislature.

MARCH

‘It was a blink of sanity that happened.’ — Tucson Democrat Sen. Paula Aboud referring to the Senate’s
decision to reject a bill creating a committee tasked to review and recommend the nullification of federal laws. The next day, however, the Senate revived the bill.

“We have passed four abortion bills. That, LoJacking the uterus, is absolutely the most nanny-state thing that you can do.” — Then-House Minority Whip Matt Heinz, on criticisms that some Democrats’ bills represent a “nanny state.”

“If somebody is sitting behind us with a gun, let’s be honest: The only thing that’s going to protect us is (Sen. Lori) Klein.” — Phoenix Democratic Sen. Steve Gallardo, during the March 2 debate of a bill that would allow guns to be carried in government buildings, referring to a colleague who carries a concealed pistol.

“Rolling on the side of the road in a fistfight with your girlfriend is bad behavior and it reflects badly on the Senate.”  — Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican, speaking about Sen. Scott Bundgaard.

“I don’t want to sound Clintonesque, but it depends on what you mean by distraction. Is it distracting me personally from getting the work done that I’m trying to get done? The answer would be no. Is it distracting the body from getting the work done it’s supposed to be doing? I don’t think so. Is it distracting some people because they feel like…they’re wasting time talking to the press and answering questions about Senator Bundgaard? Some people might feel that way.” — Sen. Andy Biggs, a Gilbert Republican, when asked whether the Bundgaard situation had become a distraction.

“I liked the tax portions of the jobs bill but didn’t care for the jobs portion of that bill.” — Gilbert Republican Sen. Andy Biggs, on his opposition to tax credits.

“You know what? If that was my daughter and we still operated under the old school rules, something would’ve already happened. …You used to have the dad and brother program that used to address these situations.” — Lake Havasu City Republican Sen. Ron Gould, on Sen. Scott Bundgaard’s altercation with his ex-girlfriend.

“I’m disappointed in the Senate today.” — Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican, on the failure of SB1308 and SB1309 on the Senate floor on March 17. The bills, which Gould sponsored, were aimed at denying U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

“I think the reason these bills failed is each one of them took away a civil liberty of someone who is here legally.” — Mesa Republican Sen. Rich Crandall on the failure of a slate of immigration bills.

“If there’s a guy in southern Arizona that can run to right of me, I defy you to find him.” — Sen. Frank Antenori, a Tucson Republican, defending his conservative credentials after voting against the birthright citizenship bills.

“I am finally a senator because I’ve just had the House kill my first bill.” — Sen. Michele Reagan, a Scottsdale Republican, after the House Commerce Committee voted down SB1039, her bill to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure.

“That is moral relativism at its finest.” — Gilbert Republican Sen. Andy Biggs, on Rep. Catherine Miranda’s opposition to SB1222, his bill that would have denied public housing benefits to illegal immigrants and evict anyone who allowed an illegal immigrant to live in their public housing.

“I really think that Mr. Gosar is a robot and the machine of very conservative,
right-wing politics.” — Rep. Tom Chabin, a Flagstaff Democrat, on CD1 freshman U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar.

APRIL

‘I have no plans to be traveling to D.C. — or the D.C. metro area — any time soon. I’ve never had any plans for a D.C. fundraiser.’ — House Speaker Kirk Adams on rumors about his travel plans in relation to a run for Congress.

“You can imagine how much pot has to be smoked for us to get $10 million in TPT.” — Gilbert Republican Sen. Andy Biggs, on the amount of money the state anticipates making in a sales tax on medical marijuana.

“The sun will come up tomorrow if you voted ‘no’ on all of them.” — Senate Majority Whip Steve Pierce, a Prescott Republican, referring to bills on the third-reading calendar and arguing it was time for the Legislature to adjourn sine die.

“What is our obsession with guns? Simply because our Constitution outlines our right to possess a weapon doesn’t mean we can take any weapon that can terrorize any group anywhere we want without consequences.” — Rep. Tom Chabin, a Flagstaff Democrat.

“I have stood up here and fought for unions, for the environment, for women’s rights. But because I’m questioning a system that I think has been harmful, suddenly I’m a bad guy.” — Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Phoenix Democrat, on his support of getting rid of Clean Elections laws.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee is a bastion of free speech.” — Lake Havasu City Republican Sen. Ron Gould, after a speaker went off subject and complained about a lack of benefits for the Board of Executive Clemency while speaking on behalf of a confirmation nominee for that board.

“Sometimes you need divine intervention.” — Sen. Steve Smith, a Maricopa Republican, explaining why he had taped a cross to his desk on the Senate floor.

“That’s got to be the most rude veto letter ever.” — Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican, on Gov. Jan Brewer’s scathing veto letter on his guns-on-campus bill.

“The fact of the matter is as a governor you have to govern. When everybody else gets to go home, I have to make sure that the trains…run properly and on time. And things that come up to me have to be able to be enacted and enforced and be effective. And we get legislation that doesn’t do that, I have no other choice.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, on her vetoes of several conservative bills.

“I believe that I’m the same person that I was when I first ran for the Legislature.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, on complaints that she’s not conservative enough after she vetoed several conservative bills.

“I got a little ticked off. I had some bills killed by some folks in the House in a very sneaky, vindictive way after I bent over backwards to accommodate them with amendments. Then they stood up on the floor and killed my bills on final read. I was half tempted to say screw running for Congress. I’m coming back to make sure none of your stuff sees the light of day next year.” — Sen. Frank Antenori, a Tucson Republican, on his conflicts with House colleagues and the possibility that he’ll run for Congress in 2012.

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