by Jim Nintzel
SB 1062—the so-called "religious conscience" bill that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed last week—was remarkable unpopular.
The legislation damaged Arizona's reputation across the nation, had business interests worried that it would damage the economy, and was opposed by 66 percent of Arizona voters, according to survey by Public Policy Polling.
So it's no surprise that Democrats are using SB 1062 to hammer on Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, who hopes to move up to Congress this year by unseating U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democrat who now represents Congressional District 1.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyrone Gayle tells The Range that more than 60,000 people have signed a DCCC petition calling on U.S. Speaker John Boehner to revoke his endorsement of Tobin.
“Americans from every state are tired of waiting for Andy Tobin to apologize for his anti-gay, anti-business agenda, and are now calling on Speaker John Boehner to denounce him,” Gayle said via email. “With more than two-thirds of Arizonans opposing the bill, countless Americans are still wondering why Andy Tobin pushed the law in the first place.”
Last week, the Arizona Democratic Party hit Tobin on the same issue. The press release:
Speaker of the House Andy Tobin has yet to explain how and why he slammed SB1062 through the Legislature, as was reported by the Arizona Capitol Times’ Yellow Sheet Report. In the midst of national outrage, Tobin remains silent while more political and business leaders are speaking up and calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto this heinous bill.
As Speaker, Tobin controls the legislative calendar and agenda. He must be held accountable. Tobin was a co-sponsor and met with the bill’s top lobbyist, Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, on several occasions before slamming the bill through his chamber to squash outrage from the LGBT and business communities.
“Andy Tobin is on the wrong side of history,” said DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. “As a congressional candidate, Tobin owes it to Arizonans to disclose how and why this despicable bill was rushed to passage without input from citizens and businesses across Arizona.”
Tobin was somewhat circumspect in his prepared comment after Brewer's veto.
"I respect the Governor's position to veto SB 1062, especially in light of the concerns brought up over the past week," Tobin said. "I understand the concerns of people of good faith on all sides of this issue."