Imagine living someplace where the political hijinks are so outlandish that people refuse to believe that they’re really happening. (Oh, right.) Stacey Champion lives in just such a place. It’s called Arizona.
“We have these extremist legislators -- some of the shit they say would blow your mind,” says Champion, an environmental consultant and PR specialist who lives in Phoenix. "'Al Gore created climate change' -- they really believe this stuff."
You laugh, but for those who care about the Grand Canyon State, it creates a conundrum: Recent proposals from Tea Party Republicans -- to raise money for the state’s schools by making the state the nation’s nuclear waste dump, for example -- have stretched the popular imagination to the breaking point.
People assume that such spectacularly bad ideas will run up against political checks and balances and die early deaths -- and often they do, even in Arizona, says Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon chapter. But sometimes they don't, and sometimes these proposals are pushed through in such a sneaky fashion that no one has a chance to shoot them down.
That’s where Champion came in.