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Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Gov. Brewer Create An Armed Militia For Whatever She ‘Considers Necessary’

By Tanya Somanader on March 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

"Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Gov. Brewer Create An Armed Militia For Whatever She ‘Considers Necessary’"

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Arizona’s GOP-run legislature has taken to marginalizing and villainizing the immigrant population with zeal — be it through SB 1070, HB 2191, or SB 1070 “on steroids.” Now, the Pheonix New Times reports that state Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-AZ) is pushing a bill to give Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) a “blank check to establish a ‘state guard’ that would do her bidding, whatever that bidding might be.”

Allen’s SB 1495 not only establishes a “state guard” independent of the national guard and finances that guard with national guard funding, but it allows Brewer to created this “Armed force” for “any [] reason the governor considers to be necessary”:

Section 1. Section 26-174, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

Arizona state guard; establishment; purpose; appropriations

A. If the national guard of Arizona or a major portion thereof is called into active federal service, or if the national guard or a major portion thereof is alerted for federal service or for any other reason the governor considers to be necessary, the governor may establish an armed force for the safety and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of the state which shall be known as the Arizona state guard.

B. The Arizona state guard shall insofar as practicable be governed by and subject to the laws of the state pertaining to the national guard. The governor shall issue or cause to be issued rules and regulations to govern administration and organization of the state guard.

C. Appropriations made to the national guard shall be deemed appropriated to both the national guard and the Arizona state guard, if and when the latter organization is established, and any funds which that are unexpended from appropriations to the national guard may be used for establishment and maintenance of the Arizona state guard.

Given the current agitation within the state’s ad hoc militias, this GOP-generated “state guard” represents an official opportunity for anti-immigrant extremists already active in Arizona. Bill Davis, the neo-nazi supported founder of Arizona’s “border vigilante group” the Cochise County Militia, has been recruiting “combat veterans, with kill records, to camp out and patrol” along the U.S. – Mexico border. He also created a “private military company” to “stop border crossers” when the Border Patrol won’t. Shawna Forde, the vigilante leader of Arizona’s Minutemen American Defense, just received the death sentence for the murder of a 9-year-old Hispanic-American girl and her father.

SB 1495 is already being touted by white supremacist and hyper-militaristic sites. What’s more, as indicated by a Southern Poverty Law Center report, there are 512 extremist “Patriot” groups across Texas, Michigan, California, Indiana, Oregon, New York, and Kentucky itching to see similar legislation. Oklahoma and Montana have already obliged. Should these efforts succeed, states risk sanctioning a level of blind hatred that will — and has — only ended badly.

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