We’re having trouble keeping our eyes off the shenanigans happening at the state capitol.
Less than two weeks since the Legislature returned to session and already we have lawmakers tied to romantic interests and Girl Scouts battling with politicians.
Regardless of your age or interests, there’s enough drama to script a soap opera.
There’s the role of a familiar “villain.” Globe Rep. David Cook is denying that he’s having a romantic affair with a staffer from the Western Growers Association, despite the release of more than 100 pages of intimate letters to the female lobbyist. We know Rep. Cook from his conviction on a drunk driving charge last year, when he warned the arresting police officer that he “didn’t know who he was dealing with.” The representative’s blood alcohol level was high enough that he earned a night in jail.
Then there’s Jay Lawrence, the state representative from Scottsdale, who appeared proud to proclaim he is a bigot at a gathering of Tea Party members earlier this month. Last week, Lawrence, 85, learned that an intimate relationship he had when he served in the Air Force decades ago resulted in a child being born. That child, now an adult woman with a daughter of her own, discovered Lawrence was her father through a DNA test. Lawrence, for his part, has been married twice since his days in the military and has fathered one son.
The Girl Scouts are in the midst of a political fight that pits environmentalists against Libertarians. Tempe Democrat Rep. Mitzi Epstein has presented a bill to make it illegal to launch more than five balloons. A Girl Scout troop in her district is pressing for the bill after members decided to do something about pollution and learned that about 29 percent of all bird deaths are attributed to balloon consumption.
Rep. Epstein’s proposal is already being opposed by House Majority Leader Rep. Warren Petersen of Gilbert, who calls the legislation “government gone wild,” and challenges the notion that Arizona should have the authority to outlaw “little girls releasing balloons.”
Finally, we have a Coolidge lawmaker who wants to outlaw the latest social media craze. Last year, videos began showing up on the internet portraying people opening ice cream containers, licking the top, and putting the product back on the shelf. This bill would empower police to toss the offender in jail.
Who knows what’s next? We’re enjoying the entertainment offered by our lawmakers, even though these aren’t the jobs we elected them to do.
Reprinted from Sierra Vista Herald/Review