Pearce Becomes Arizona Senate President

Arizona Legislator Russell Pearce has become the President of the Republican controlled state Senate.

This is significant for several reasons:

1. Pearce has largely taken credit for masterminding SB1070, Arizona's anti-immigrant legislation. He is of course being too modest, as he had plenty of help from both private prison lobbyists and Washington D.C. based lobbying firm ALEC.

2. He has vowed to take SB1070 national, by forming a coalition of like minded state legislators who have vowed to pass similar legislation and help repeal birth right citizenship, in their home states.

3. This will only increase the influence of Washington D.C. based group ALEC's influence on state, and national politics.  Pearce has worked hand in hand with this organization to draft legislation in the state. By virtue of their working relationship, as Pearce's influence grows in the state so too does the reach of ALEC.

This is evidenced by the fact, that all of the legislators who voted for SB1070 received generous handouts from Private Prison Lobbyists.

The Associated Press has more HERE:

Arizona Republican senators-elect on Wednesday chose illegal immigration hard-liner Russell Pearce to be the chamber's next president.

The Mesa Republican was chosen by lawmakers who held a closed-door reorganization caucus one day after Tuesday's general election added to Republicans' majorities in both legislative chambers.

Pearce has made a name for himself by passing anti-immigrant legislation in the state Senate:

Pearce also served as a co-chairman of the campaign for Proposition 200, a 2004 voter-approved law that denied some public benefits to illegal immigrants and required proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Last week, a federal appeals court struck down the citizenship requirement for voter registration.

With the gains made in the last election the GOP now has veto proof majority:

Republicans won three more Senate seats Tuesday, increasing their majority in the 30-member Senate to 21. They also added at least two additional seats to their current 35-member majority in the 60-member House and GOP candidates held leads in three other races.

If those leads hold, the Republicans would have veto-proof majorities in both chambers, although it is unclear if they need it. Republican Jan Brewer won a full term Tuesday and has often agreed with Republican lawmakers.

Ironically, the GOP has risen to prominence in the state, by hammering the federal government for being in the pocket of special interests.

In Arizona, it is hard to imagine the GOP taking such large shares of the electorate without the help of outside money flooding the election. Money taken from both D.C. based organizations and big corporations.

With a veto proof majority, the state GOP has set their sights on repealing birth right citizenship.  

One can only imagine what creative new ways, D.C. based organizations, lobbyists and big corporations can find to separate families and demonize children.

We will continue to follow this as it develops.