Kristie O'Brien Press Release SB1062

January 23, 2014 - Four years ago, people across America were outraged when the Supreme Court accepted the notion that corporations are people.

Arizonans should be equally outraged with state Sen. Steve Yarbrough, who has proposed legislation (SB 1062) defining a person as “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.”

Kristie O’Brien, Yarbrough’s opponent in the State Senate race in District 17, called the proposal “not only a horrible idea but also yet another example of Yarbrough’s misplaced priorities.”

“This is a nod to the religious Far Right. They can’t outlaw things like birth control so they try maneuvers like this,” Ms. O’Brien said. “His bill would give corporations – or practically any other employer – veto power by claiming deeply held religious convictions.”

Typically these battles are fought over such things as mandates for insurance coverage to include availability of birth control, or a requirement to offer same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

“This is cultural war mumbo jumbo, and Yarbrough is a master of it,” O’Brien said. “We already have plenty of protection for religion, from the First Amendment on down.”
She criticized Yarbrough for ignoring Arizona’s serious problems in favor of championing Far Right fringe measures.

“Arizona’s jobless rate trails the national average, thousands of children are put at risk by a non-functional ‘protective’ services program, Arizona is near the bottom in educational performance, and our state budget faces a new fiscal crisis, yet Sen. Yarbrough’s priorities are elsewhere,” Ms. O’Brien said.

She noted that two of the first four bills he has introduced so far this year are the trumped up protection of religion measure (SB 1062) and a bill to divert still more funds away from public schools into the hands of private schools (SB 1048).

“He’s off to a great start—as a Far Right lap dog,” O’Brien said. “Those are his priorities. Mine will be jobs, public education, and the well-being of all of Arizona’s citizens, especially its children.”

O’Brien filed paperwork to enter the race earlier this month. She is a native Arizonan born and raised in the East Valley. She grew up in Chandler and is a graduate of Dobson High School. A lawyer and mediator, Ms. O’Brien is a graduate of Trinity University, Washington, DC. She attended The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Bond University, Australia. She is a member of the American Bar Association.

Legislative District 17 includes Chandler, Sun Lakes and western Gilbert.


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