Thursday, February 23, 2017

Republican legislators faced with angry constituents deflect, dodge, and disappear. AZ Senate bill penalizes peaceful assembly.

All over the nation Republican Senators and Representatives are facing town halls filled with angry constituents. “Do your job” is the kindest chant. Here’s a summary of some of those face-offs by vox.com in Republican lawmakers are getting an earful from their home districts. This afternoon Martha McSally might well be added to the list given her 100% voting record - 100% consistent with Trump, that is. That record does not reflect the makeup of CD2. In terms of the discrepancy between her record and her constituents, she ranks number 13 out of the entire House of Representatives and 12th out of all House Republicans.

The Republicans in the AZ Senate aka Phouls in Phoenix have an answer to the protests by an outraged citizenry: arrest them before they do anything. Howard Fischer covers SB 1142 in Senate OKs police power to arrest peaceful protesters to prevent riot.

PHOENIX — Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything happens.

SB 1142 would expand the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. It would redefine rioting to include actions resulting in damage to others’ property.

By including rioting in racketeering laws, the proposal would permit police to arrest people who are planning events. Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, a former police officer, said if there are organized groups, “I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there.”

“Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?” Kavanagh asked colleagues during debate. “Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?”

Senate Dems responded, for example:

Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, said the legislation is based on a false premise of how disturbances happen. “This idea that people are being paid to come out and do that?” she said. “I’m sorry, but I think that is fake news.”

Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, D-Green Valley, had her own concerns. “I’m fearful that ‘riot’ is in the eyes of the beholder and that this bill will apply more strictly to minorities and people trying to have their voice heard,” she said.

The 17–13 party-line vote sends the bill to the House.

“That may turn bad.” “May”?!?! This is an attack on Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States of America which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I guess the Founding Fathers should have said “Congress and the Arizona Legislature shall make no law …”

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