PHOENIX, AZ -- With one of the worst budget crises in the nation, Arizona lawmakers have had a particularly stressful job this year. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer even called the capitol a "hell hole." On Monday, the stress was too much for one Arizona lawmaker who launched into a strange rant on the Arizona House floor in which he cataloged nonexistent education jobs, including the Bisexual Principal of Restrooms and later suggested that legislators let the state go bankrupt.
The rant begins about a minute into the video with Rep. Ray Barnes (R) talking about the way school administration has changed since he was in school,
[1:12] When I went to school, we had the superintendent of schools, and that was it. And then for the school itself, it was the principal. And the assistant principal was the English teacher. And when the principal wasn't there, a substitute came in and took the English teacher's place, and she became the principal.
Now. You have the superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the superintendent of communications, the superintendent of sports, the superintendent of government affairs. You got the principal, the assistant principal, the assistant to the assistant principal, the principal of recess, the principal of discipline, the principal of sports. And I'm sure unless we got a bisexual teacher somewhere, there's probably a principal of the girls restrooms and a principal of the boys restrooms. And that bothers me because I'm telling you that's not [inaudible] padding the books...
The rant was interrupted about a minute later [2:12] when Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) makes a point of order, saying, "Impugning. I think, lack of decorum, something inappropriate. Please keep your comments to the bill and not to people's orientation. Thank you."
Barnes responds by angrily yelling,
[2:39] I think this is the comments to the bill. Is there not anything in there about education cuts? What's the matter? Don't you read the bills before you start voting on them? It is a part of the bill. And now I tell you something. It's going to happen again, and it's going to happen again, and it's going to happen again. And I don't know where it's going to stop. But you think it's in trouble now? You wait! Because if we don't stop all of the problems this year, which I doubt if we will, we've got three times as many next year.
[3:19] Somewhere down the line, that thing is going to break, and then I tell you, one of the school districts came in and talked to me and said "you can't vote against the school problems because we need the budgets. We can't solve them."
And I says, look it, I says, "Quit putting pressure on me. I got enough pressure. I'm not against education. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for education."
And he says, "But we can't take any cuts."
I says "Now wait a minute," I says, "I tell you what. Why don't we just let the state just go bankrupt, and let a trustee come in. That's not, you can't vote on a trustee. The trustee comes in, and he decides who's gonna take the cuts."
"Oh no, no, no, you can't do that!"
I says "Yes we can, and maybe we should."
Watch the video:
Barnes also stepped on his tongue earlier this year when he complained that women are too emotional for politics. He later defended himself in an interview with a Yellow Sheet reporter:
In an interview with our reporter, Barnes defended his statement, saying he actually said “most often women are more emotional than men.” But he wasn’t talking about the women in the audience, Barnes said. “When we go to an affair like that, you don’t see the weakest women, we see the strongest,” he clarified. “Weaker women don’t get involved,” he said. Those “weaker” women, Barnes said, are usually the ones who “stay home with the kids” or run home to the kitchen after work. “It’s a realistic comment,” Barnes said. “I don’t think it’s sexist. I married a woman because she’s a woman, not a man. I married a woman who doesn’t want to get involved in all those things.” Continuing, Barnes said he’s not saying that it’s a bad thing that the “weaker” women stay home with the kids. “As long as one member in the family is strong, it’s fine,” he said. “There’s got to be a passive and an aggressive.” Two “aggressives” in a relationship means World World III every day, he said. And two “passives,” he said, can’t even figure out when to throw the garbage out.
Barnes is not alone in embarrassing Arizonans this year. Governor Jan Brewer (R) called the capitol a "hell hole." State Senator Sylvia Allen (R) gave a speech on the Arizona House floor where she said, not once but twice, that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Arizona State University seemingly inferred that President Barack Obama was too inexperienced to receive an honorary degree when he delivered the spring commencement speech. The President of Arizona's largest community college board was arrested and unable to recite her ABCs. The Arizona Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne (R) was cited for speeding in a school zone and later accused Obama of promoting "worship-like reverence" in America's schools. Senator Jon Kyl (R) said people don't die from a lack of health care and that maternity care is not necessary. The Arizona Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum was arrested at the AZ GOP headquarters for criminal speeding, and even though he was caught red-handed on camera, he said he had "no memory" of the incident. We are also home to the preacher who prayed for Obama's death and a crazy person who brought an assault rifle (which he didn't know how to hold properly) to an Obama speaking event (after which Arthur Frommers said he was contemplating a ban on Arizona). Oh, and our Republican-led legislature voted to allow guns in bars.
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