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Year in Review: Most quotable quotes of 2011

January

“Though I have nothing against our current system of succession for the secretary of state to become governor, I can tell you from experience that there’s nothing like an election to make the office feel a whole lot better.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, in her Jan. 3 inauguration speech. Brewer, who succeeded to the office in 2009, was once a staunch opponent of the secretary of state being first in line of succession.

“I do think that there are ‘before’ and ‘after’ moments, and this was one of those events.” — Then-House Speaker Kirk Adams on the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and 13 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“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, on his plans to again introduce legislation prohibiting texting while driving.

February

“I’m just surprised it didn’t happen before now.” — Then-Senate President Russell Pearce, on the recall effort against him.

“Does that sound like something we would comment on?” — Gov. Jan Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson, when asked to discuss the governor’s negotiations with then-Senate President Russell Pearce and then-House Speaker Kirk Adams on an economic recovery package.

“No one has actually read this bill completely… No one can actually stand up and defend this bill.” — Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, who opposed the “jobs” 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, R-Mesa, who opposed a slew of bills pushed by then-Senate President Russell Pearce.

“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 ex-girlfriend, according to police reports. Bundgaard denied invoking legislative immunity.

March

“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.” — Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, 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.

“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.” — Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, on Sen. Scott Bundgaard’s fight with his ex-girlfriend.

“If there’s a guy in southern Arizona that can run to the right of me, I defy you to find him.” — Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, defending his conservative credentials amid his “no” votes on the birthright citizenship bills.

April

“It’s like they all went to summer camp, and they came back with their marching orders…to attack public service employees.” — AFSCME Local 3111 President Sheri Van Horsen, on pension reform, the governor’s personnel reform plan and other Republican proposals she said target government employees.

“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, R-Tucson, on his conflicts with House colleagues and the possibility that he’ll run for Congress in 2012.

May

“I’m not going to let that be an excuse not to do it.” — Sen. Al Melvin, R-SaddleBrooke, on Gov. Jan Brewer’s comments that the Legislature must appropriate money for the new Arizona State Guard before it can be called into service on the U.S.- Mexico border.

June

“Nothing will persuade me to adopt a failed Keynesian Obama stimulus that is dragging the economy down.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, on the proposed unemployment insurance extension.

“The governor’s press release last Friday could have been written by Democrats.” — House Assistant Minority Leader Steve Farley on Gov. Jan Brewer’s criticism of Republicans for not extending unemployment insurance.

“That’s not an unusual thing for him to only read what he wants to read.” — Former Rep. Bill Konopnicki, on fellow Mormon Russell Pearce’s interpretation of the LDS church’s statements opposing enforcement-only illegal immigration legislation.

July

“If it results in more partisanship, I think that’s a price worth paying.” — Goldwater Institute attorney Nick Dranias, on a proposal to consolidate municipal elections with the state’s regular elections in November of even-numbered years.

“It screwed up my rating with the Sierra Club. I only got a D instead of an F, like all the other Republicans.” — Rep. Nancy McLain, R- Bullhead City, on her vote against SB1322, which would have required Phoenix and Tucson to open some services to privatization.

August

“Cold shoulder? I want him out on the freaking lawn. I don’t even want him to have a desk in the building. He can caucus with the Democrats for all I care.” — Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, when asked how he would treat Mesa Republican Jerry Lewis, who challenged then-Senate President Russell Pearce in the recall.

“I can’t imagine the stars aligning for that to take place and the funds being acquired to do all of that.” — Rep. Russ Jones, R-Yuma, on the likelihood that the Joint Advisory Committee on Border Security will be able to raise enough money and secure the land needed to build a state border fence.

“Money won’t be an object in this race. I won’t be outspent. And I’ll have the resources to win.” — Republican candidate Wil Cardon, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake for a U.S. Senate seat.

“There’s not a stalemate, there’s just a conversation.” — Goldwater Institute President and CEO Darcy Olsen, on the back-and-forth between the watchdog group and the Secretary of State’s Office about registering more lobbyists.

“I call it Arizona’s largest gated community.” — Lobbyist Chuck Coughlin, referring to Florence, which is home to a state prison and Arizona’s death row.

September

“Holy cow. So that’s what you need to pay someone to give our money away, huh?” — Byron Schlomach, of the Goldwater Institute, on the $300,000-a-year contract the Arizona Commerce Authority gave CEO Don Cardon.

“We’re making sausage here. It’s not a clean process.” — Republican redistricting Commissioner Richard Stertz on the commission’s attempt to balance proposed congressional districts.

“Where’s Gloria Allred when you need her? A Hispanic woman doesn’t have a right to run? Does Jerry Lewis think this race is only for white male Mormons? Pretty shameful, in my opinion.” — Then-Senate President Russell Pearce, on the lawsuit seeking to knock alleged sham candidate Olivia Cortes off the ballot for his Nov. 8 recall election.

October

“There’s so many political ambitions that live within the ZIP codes of the proposed District 9 to make it a Class A political science experiment.” — Republican lobbyist Stan Barnes, on the opportunities opened up for Phoenix-area Democrats in the proposed 9th Congressional District.

“To the legal community here it really was the same level of interest as the O.J. Simpson trial.” — Attorney Tom Ryan, on the interest generated by the Andrew Thomas discipline hearings.

November

“To me, this is her seat. Gabby isn’t just our congresswoman. She’s our family. Politics really isn’t worth stabbing your family in the back.” — Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, on why few Democrats are publicly maneuvering themselves into position for a congressional run in the event that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords doesn’t seek re-election.

“I’ve only raised six million dollars. So if they want to pit their one dollar against me, go for it.” — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the possibility of being targeted by the group that initiated the Pearce recall.

December

“I have a root canal coming up right after and I’m trying to figure out which is going to be more painful.” — IRC Commissioner Richard Stertz on whether he was looking forward to a commission meeting.

“(He has) never been anything but a gentleman — and I am not an unattractive woman.” — Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, telling CBS News on Nov. 29 why she doesn’t believe allegations that her longtime friend and one-time Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has sexually harassed women. Klein is the chair of Cain’s Arizona campaign team.

“If there’s some vast conspiracy being dictated by the Democratic Party, please let me know about it because I’ve been drawn into a district with four incumbents myself.” — House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, speaking to the IRC about GOP allegations that the commission favored Democrats by packing Republican incumbents together.

“I never inhaled.” — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery on his lack of exposure to marijuana.

“I tend to get over things, so we’ll work on that. I should forgive him, so we’ll work on that.” — Former Sen. Russell Pearce, on his attitude toward Sen. Jerry Lewis, who ousted Pearce in the Nov. 8 recall election.

“Let the lawsuits begin.” — Eileen Klein, Gov. Jan Brewer’s chief of staff, commenting the day after the legislative and congressional maps were adopted by the state’s redistricting commission.

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