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John McCain
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
If there's an upside to a state legislature passing and a governor refusing to say if she'll veto a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, it's got to be watching Republicans squirm over Arizona's SB 1062. Here's a bill that's drawing opposition not just from Democrats and activists but from business groups, the Super Bowl host committee and the state's professional sports teams, and from many Republicans. Yet it was Republican state legislators who passed it and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer who's still thinking about signing it. It's making their party look terrible, and some Republicans know that. Case in point:
The state’s Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, are prodding the governor to veto the bill on financial grounds, warning that boycotts of Arizona could do untold economic damage to the state. They even worried about losing next year’s Super Bowl.

“I know that the entire business community is galvanized, in a way that I’ve never seen, against this legislation,” said McCain.

“I hope she moves quickly,” Flake said. “I just don’t see any reason to wait.”

Even the Republican state legislators who voted for the bill mostly don't want to talk about it. A series of them all but sprinted away when CNN's Randi Kaye tried to ask them why they voted for the bill. Meanwhile, Brewer is not fulfilling Flake's hopes: She's waiting. But as bad as the spotlight on the GOP's state-based agenda is, the prospect of her signing it has to have Republicans who care about winning elections even more worried:
If Brewer signs the legislation, the major concern of party strategists is that opponents would launch an effort to overturn it. A referendum in November would allow the debate about whether denying services to gays is discriminatory to simmer through November, drawing global attention and increasing turnout among younger, liberal voters. This could complicate GOP hopes of holding the open governorship and picking up targeted House seats.
Of course, the Republican Party brought this on itself, and deserves every moment of worry and bad publicity. But Brewer's delay is also drawing out the worry for the people who would be victimized by this bill becoming a law, and that, like the bill itself, is wrong.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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