by Chris Potter
So earlier today, Mike Turzai, who will be the state House majority leader next year, released the names of the Republicans who will be chairing the various legislative committees. And Daryl Metcalfe, the Pride of Cranberry, will be chairing the State Government Committee.
You know what that means? Birtherism in state government! More pointlessly divisive debates over gay marriage! And yet more demonizing of immigrants!
As its name suggests, Metcalfe's committee handles legislation that pertains to state government and its powers. Constitutional amendments, campaign-finance and other election reforms ... all such mess as that.
And wouldn't you know it? That's also the committee that deals with issues like immigration reform, a pet cause for Metcalfe.
Naturally Metcalfe himself is all a-flutter with excitment:
[N]ewly-appointed State Government Committee Majority Chairman Metcalfe looks forward to the opportunity of advancing the Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment; election reform legislation requiring all Presidential candidates to officially submit proof of U.S. citizenship documentation; and his Arizona-modeled legislation to provide state and local law enforcement with full authority to apprehend Pennsylvania’s estimated 140,000 illegal alien invaders for deportation
Emphasis mine -- yeah, he's going there. So Pennsylvania looks well positioned to be the source of some really embarrassing headlines in 2012.
It's got to be an especially sweet post for Metcalfe, since this committee tried to bottle up a cherished piece of anti-immigrant legislation. The committee's then-chair, Democrat Babette Josephs, explained her feelings thusly: "I give every bill the attention it deserves. I believe this bill deserves no attention whatsoever."
Metcalfe later got the bill out of committee anyway. Now he's going to be in charge ... and Josephs will be the minority chair. Which means Metcalfe's counterpart will be someone who boasts of supporting "equal rights for lesbian women and gay men" and of "stopp[ing] English-only legislation."
I wish I could say I was looking forward to the fireworks.