Well, well, well, it looks like the Arizona Republican Party has found a new way to outdo itself in the realm of shady behavior. The recent decision to allow state lawmakers to purge emails after 90 days and destroy text messages in a hot minute is nothing short of an insidious new strategy for further damaging the democratic process. I’m sure they want to mimic McCarthy who is working to spay the Office of Congressional Ethics. The rotten Republican apple doesn’t fall far from the rotting Republican tree.
Are you thinking, “Hey, the Arizona GOP’s move sounds illegal. Like, maybe super illegal?” I’m no superhero, but my spidey senses are tingling. Hello? Does anyone want to read the Arizona public records law?
How did this happen?
Unsurprisingly, the GOP uncovered a cool loophole. By changing a rule, a mere rule, they get to sneak around any need to approve legislation that could be vetoed by our new Democratic Governor, Katie Hobbs.
“Genius, move, dudes! You totally rock at being underhanded!,” says yours truly, mocking the Arizona GOP under my breath.
Ironically, the Arizona GOP has decided to proactively inoculate itself against any future pandemic of improprieties. What improprieties? Well, wouldn’t it be outrageous if a state official were texting the spouse of an anonymous Supreme Court justice about a planned insurrection? Yeah, outrageous is an understatement.
Say, didn’t Attorney General Mark Brnovich write that public officials’ text messages and social media posts are public records? He’s a Republican, for Pete’s sake, so what’s up with that!? Maybe we should appeal to those fragile egos and tell them they are missing out on an opportunity to be enshrined in history. It’s also free PR! Oh, wait. I think that’s part of the point.
Time is money, honey
But wait, it gets better. In addition to this email and text message destruction extravaganza, the GOP has also decided to limit debate time among lawmakers on the House floor to a measly 30 minutes per bill. Apparently, we don’t need informed, thoughtful decisions. Plus, we’re all very busy with other very important stuff so no one should take the time to explain their vote. (channels The White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.) “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”
Come on, who could fault legislators for wanting to push through unsavory legislation as swiftly as possible? Just because they’ve chosen to restrict deliberation in the legislature all under the guise of “balancing disclosure and privacy,” there’s no cause to doubt their intentions. Right? Right?
All sarcasm aside, let’s be clear: this is a calculated shirking of accountability and a purposeful disdain for the public’s right to transparency. Stay tuned for more updates on this wretched ridiculousness.
Just the latest raging hypocrisy. I just think of the beatings the city councils county boards and school boards receive about transparency and open meeting laws, and disclosures, and posting assurances. And thats not counting the loony idea that teachers should post every period and comma of every lesson plan, on line, so parents can read them. Yeah right. Of course, none of that means anything to the 31 nor the 16 privileged characters.