Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tea Party legislators doing the dirty work for extreme right-wing lobbyists

Sen. Schapira
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, today calls for Tea Party Republican legislators to stop doing the dirty work for the ultra-conservative lobbying cartel of The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), The Goldwater Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“Arizonans are looking for pragmatic and realistic solutions to fix the economy. Meanwhile, Tea Party Republicans are carrying the water for a group of lobbyists pushing an extreme agenda,” said Sen. Schapira. “Russell Pearce may be out of the legislature, but his spirit lives on in the bills being pushed by Tea Party legislators on behalf the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), The Goldwater Institute and ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).”

Lobbyists from these organizations are drafting legislation behind closed doors and killing good bills by stalling them in the process as they wield undue influence among Republican legislators. One of these legislators confessed on the Senate floor that he didn’t know who had drafted his own bill.

“Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy has been a particularly egregious offender this session. From killing an anti-bullying bill that had bipartisan support, to peddling a bill that would require a woman to explain to her boss why she needs birth control, this unelected lobbyist is pushing an agenda that is radically out of touch with Arizona voters,” said Sen. Schapira. “It’s time for these unelected influence-peddlers to release their strangle-hold on our state, and it’s time for voters to reject the Tea Party legislators who advance their radical agenda.”

The agenda being pushed by these three groups has been highlighted by a series of anti-union bills (SB1487, SB1484, SB1486), the contraception bill (HB2625) and Cathi Herrod’s actions that killed an anti-bullying bill that had bipartisan support (SB1462). The unelected lobbyists from these groups have been largely responsible for the legislature’s action on each of these bills – and the death of bills that would help Arizona’s families.

“This ideological crusade by Tea Party legislators on behalf of these extremist groups is keeping us from getting real work done for the people of Arizona.,” said Sen. Schapira. “Arizonans need their elected representatives to find real solutions that protect their kids’ education, help them get back to work and get our economy back on track. We were elected to represent them, not a few deep-pocketed special interest lobbyists.”

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