One of Jesse Kelly’s chief arguments against Ron Barber was that he would be a “rubber stamp” for whoever was the appropriate boogie-person at the time: Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and, scariest of all, Raúl Grijalva.
Well, it didn’t take long for Barber to distance himself from one of those. Barber and Grijalva took opposite sides in a bill to enable environmental rules to be relaxed on public lands near the border, ostensibly for border enforcement.
I guess this is Barber’s way of showing that he is tough on illegal immigration. That isn’t the only issue at stake here. The writers of this bill are using fears of border crime as a pretext to weaken protections for our public lands, which is why the bill was opposed by environmental groups and sportsman’s organizations. Nobody should be surprised if the next attempt to mess with our parks and forests cites this bill as precedent.
Barber has a different political tableau than Grijalva has. I’ve watching politics long enough to understand what he’s up against. I understand that he’s got to be more conservative on border issues than Grijalva is.
Still, when I read a brag like this in the press release, only the second I received from his office, it’s a bit disconcerting:
Joining Barber in voting to pass the bill were Arizona Reps. Jeff Flake, Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Ben Quayle and David Schweikert.
It’s just one vote, but I am more than a little deflated to know that I busted my ass for the last eight weeks so he could boast about voting with Ben Frickin’ Quayle.