Top Quotes of the 2013 Session

Top Quotes of the 2013 Session

capitol quotesJANUARY

“Weigh the evidence and do the math.” — Gov. Jan Brewer on why expanding Medicaid would benefit the state’s economy.

“It’s cheap, it’s tawdry, it’s pathetic, but it’s certainly not Jack-the-Ripper.” — U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Martone, taking a dim view of time and money spent prosecuting former state Rep. Ben Arredondo.

“No, no, no. I mean, I paid the parking ticket, but that’s when I was like, ‘This is crazy.’” — House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, on the experience that led him to introduce a bill requiring cities to check and maintain their parking meters.

“When a child comes home with an animal at 10 o’clock at night, with no cage, it’s a situation which is ripe for unintentional animal abuse. Some families will set them loose, others won’t be able to care for them. It’s really a tragedy in the making.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, on his bill to make it a class 3 misdemeanor to give away animals as a carnival or game prize.

“I want a student to come away with a feeling that they’ve done something kind of noble, something part of the American experience of what makes our nation unique.” — Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, explaining his short-lived bill that would have required students to take an oath in support of the country before graduating from high school.


“I am not in the habit of kneecapping my municipalities.” — Rep. John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, saying he wouldn’t hear the governor’s sales tax reform proposal unless it replaces millions in sales tax revenues cities could lose.

“We like to be just left alone and ride our motorcycles.” — Paul “Sky Pilot” Price, a lobbyist with the Modified Motorcycle Association who supported a bill that would have prohibited police from profiling motorcyclists.

“I can’t say that we’ve had lions and tigers and bears, but we’ve had parrots and ferrets and squirrels, I kid you not. People coming in with birds on their shoulder, ferrets in little slings, squirrels in slings, dogs in purses, dogs in men’s briefcases.” — Roxane Nielsen, owner of Prescott Brewing Company, testifying on a bill that limits service animals to dogs and miniature horses.

“I think the concern is, which comes first, the duck or the egg.” — Gov. Jan Brewer, who asserted that border security needs to come before other immigration issues.

“The truth contained within this United Nations program is something sinister and dark. The plan calls for government to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decisions in the hands of private property owners.” — Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, opposing the U.N.’s Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.


“Jesus had Judas. Republicans have Governor Brewer.” — Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman A.J. LaFaro, testifying about grassroots opposition to the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan.

“Jesus fed the hungry before he preached to them.” — Elizabeth Singleton, a Republican and a former AHCCCS patient who supported expansion of the state’s Medicaid system.

“Big government is making its way into our bathroom stalls.” — Democratic Rep. Jonathan Larkin of Glendale, speaking against a bill to tie bathroom use in Arizona to birth gender.

“You could do that just as easily with livestock and citrus. You could get a bag of oranges and add a tangerine for sales tax.” — Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, jokingly suggesting alternatives to a bill that would have made gold and silver legal tender in Arizona.

“School safety seems to be like the weather. Everybody talks about it, but nobody’s done anything about it.” — Senate Majority Leader John McComish, R-Phoenix, saying it’s time for the Legislature to do something to make students safer.


“It’s hard not to agree with ‘The Daily Show’ when they pointed out it might be safer to be a gun in this state than a child.” — Sen. David Bradley, D-Tucson, on a bill to ban cities from destroying firearms turned over to police.

“I want to scream out, ‘What the hell did I ever do to you, governor? What did Joey Strickland do?’” — Former lawmaker Terri Proud, saying Veterans Services Director Joey Strickland shouldn’t have lost his job over comments Proud made to the Arizona Daily Star.

“It’ll get passed. She’s got the power of the veto and she will be there until she gets it.” — Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, on the fate of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion plan.

“The governor is showing she is not on the side of consumers. She’s on the side of big hospitals.” — Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, on
Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of Barto’s bill to force health care providers to publicly show their prices.

“Bad things will definitely happen if the Medicaid expansion isn’t approved. That worries me a lot.” — Sen. John McComish, R-Phoenix, saying Gov. Jan Brewer’s arguments in favor of it are persuasive.

“The Legislature should exist in order to get it right, not to get things done quickly.” — Republican Rep. Adam Kwasman advocating for staying in session as long as it takes to craft a conservative budget that doesn’t include Medicaid expansion.


“The Legislature should exist in order to get it right, not to get things done quickly.” — Republican Rep. Adam Kwasman advocating for staying in session as long as it takes to craft a conservative budget that doesn’t include Medicaid expansion.

“We’re certainly not out of the woods here. There’s storm clouds out in ’15 and ’16 that need to be recognized.” — Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, suggesting lawmakers shouldn’t use up the state’s rainy day fund on Medicaid costs.

“I’m not really getting a lot of support from folks (in the Legislature), so I’m going to step aside and try to find other ways.” — House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, announcing his decision to drop an effort to send the question of Medicaid expansion to voters.

“These right-wing guys are big on private property rights….but when it comes to a gun, they call it a community asset.” — Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, defending the city’s gun buyback program.

“It’s a liberal budget, it came in as a compromise and then it got bloated, and now it’s just the worst of both worlds — you have a bloated budget and you have Medicaid expansion.” — Republican Rep. Warren Petersen on the Senate budget proposal.


“They said, ‘Look, you don’t have to take all the heat from the whole Legislature, just do what you got to do.’ So I did and I changed my vote.” — Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, explaining how he cast the deciding vote for the state’s election reform bill.

“How you vote on this will define you for the rest of your political career, and perhaps longer.” — Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, who voted against Medicaid expansion.

“Thirty years of waiting is long enough.” — Gov. Jan Brewer as she signed her sales tax reform bill, bringing closure to an issue that lingered since the governor’s days in the Legislature decades ago.

“The national media doesn’t know Jan Brewer. They know the caricature. They know the picture on the tarmac. They know SB1070. But that’s about it.” — Matthew Benson, spokesman for the governor, saying many people outside of Arizona have a distorted view of her.

“I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut, and I feel like I’ve been betrayed. This was not necessary, this whole process of the special session.” — Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, saying Brewer overreached in calling a special session on Medicaid expansion.