Prezelski vs. Paton

Just when you thought that legislators had put the session to bed without incident, things got really exciting at the State Capitol.

On the last day of session, the State House put forth an amendment on a bill that allowed the Dems to go on the record in their support for restoring voting rights to convicted rapists, child molesters and murderers. (Before it got to the floor, Democrats were successful in getting it through the Government Committee).

After the bill failed to pass the full house and several ACLU-lovin’ Democrats had put their fingerprints all over it, Democrat Tom Prezelski confronted Republican Jonathan Paton in the hallway over comments he made on the floor of the House.

Seeing he was confronted with the truth, Prezelski lost it. According to witnesses, he “lunged” at National Guardsman 1st Lieutenant, Paton.

The Republic’s Amanda Crawford reported the incident on her blog. Meanwhile the Capitol Times Legislative Report gave their take on what happened after the incident:

End-of-session dramatics was provided courtesy of Prezelski and Paton. After COW debate of S1623 (elections; manual audits; penalties) during which Paton argued against a provision — later stripped from the bill — that would have restored the voting rights of felons, Prezelksi confronted him in the hallway outside the members’ lounge. A witness told our reporter Prezelski was upset at Paton’s assertion that violent felons and sexual criminals should never have their rights restored. The argument was brief, but reportedly Prezelski “lunged” at Paton and was held back by Dem Counsel David Gass, while Ulmer ushered Paton away.
Ulmer and McGuire were the only lawmakers who witnessed the altercation. Others who were nearby say McGuire was upset at Prezelski, calling him “immature” and not deserving of her respect. Later, McGuire refused to speak with reporters, saying only, “I am now officially on ‘probation'”, pantomiming air quotes around the last word. Meanwhile, Ulmer apparently tried to downplay the incident, telling reporters “nothing happened” and “there is no story here.” She did concede there had been an argument that became heated, but she adamantly denied that Prezelski ever made a move toward Paton or that he had to be restrained.
When reporters went to Prezelski for comment, he became indignant about the questions he was asked. He stomped away from reporters after this brief exchange:

TP: Was it Paton that ran to the press?

Reporter #1: It wasn’t him.

Reporter #2: Can you clarify what happened?

TP: I think he misrepresented a bill that he was defending. He used some inflammatory language and accused Democrats of harboring criminals, and I don’t think that’s useful, and it had nothing to do with what the bill was about. And he knew that.

Reporter #2: So, did you physically threaten him?

TP: (raised voice) No, I did not physically threaten him. No, that’s ridiculous.

Reporter #2: So, what happened?

Reporter #3: We have witnesses that said that you lunged at him.

TP: I did not physically threaten him.

Reporter #2: Did you lunge at him?

TP: No, I did not lunge at him.

Reporter #2: So, what happened?

TP: No. This is stupid. I did not physically threaten him. Gosh, this is …

Reporter #2: Can you explain what happened?

TP: Did that guy tell you that? No, this is stupid. I’m not going to talk to you guys if you’re going to make shit up and listen to people who are making sh*t up. That’s stupid.

Incidentally, Tom Prezelski is the brother of Ted Prezelski, liberal activist blogger of, Rum Romanism and Rebellion. Seriously, we couldn’t have made this stuff up!

I guess one could say that Prezelski is the new Burnell-Smith


  1. What bizarre behaviour… But what is with the cheap shot at Burnell-Smith at the end? Did he attack somebody?

  2. Joe Schmoe says

    Every legslative session, the media likes to target and label one or two conservative Republicans as the legislative “nutcase” at the capitol. If you’ve been around, the targets have included Jean McGrath, Colette Rosati, Barbara Blewster, and David Burnell-Smith.

    Of course, we don’t think this is fair especially given all the Democrat nutjobs at the capitol who are given cover by their liberal friends in the media.

    Finally, the media cannot overlook this incident – although I have not read it in the main paper.

    We should be pleased that the mantle of “nutcase” can now be handed to the someone truly deserving of the title.

  3. kralmajales says

    Ok…just why should…give me a reason…why should felons NOT receive the right to vote back after serving their time and being out of jail?

    Other than the fact that some of you think they MIGHT vote Democrat…give me a reason.

    If a person has served their time and are back in society, there is no reason whatsoever why they should not have the right to vote. What is so dangerous about that?

    I mean, wouldn’t some of you extend the rights to carry a fire arms to individuals who have served their time?

  4. Actually, I wouldn’t extend gun rights to felons either. Under Arizona law you can get your voting rights back if you have only one felony. It’s automatic. For multiple felonies you have to petition the court. That means you have to prove you have lived a decent life since prison, etc. Maybe there could be a way them could get their rights back automatically for non-violent felonies, but why should they get them back for murder, rape, etc.? We have laws for a reason. Don’t break them and you won’t have any problems. These people broke the social compact. They should not get those rights back automatically. By the way, this is fairly broad. Try to run for office, be a lawyer, have a real estate license, etc. if you have a felony. You basically can’t do that either.

    Somehow I doubt that Democrats will ever introduce a bill that gives felons their gun rights back. Why? Because they don’t trust them. So why should we trust their vote either?

  5. Yup, I’m with the no voting rights crowd on this one. These people may have been punished, but losing your voting rights seems less like punishment and more like society determining that if you think its okay to rape, murder, etc., we don’t think we trust your judgement to pick our leaders. Naturally, you’ll pick folks who are soft on crime and the criminals who commit them. Yes, Kral and others call those folks Democrats, but there are likely soft on crime Republicans too who should benefit from the fact that the criminals are voting. Think of criminals electing judges… Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

    The fact that you’ve paid for your crime doesn’t mean you’ve become a good or wise person. That is why they have to petition for it.

    And, as a 2nd Amendment lover, no guns for these felons either!

  6. Didn’t the felon KNOW he/she was committing a crime? Didn’t they know it was punishable by prison and other actions? I learned in 8th grade civics in my Arizona public school that if you commit a felony you lose your franchise.

    Considering it takes two felony convictions to forever lose such a right, it isn’t really something that was lost, rather it was thrown away. When was the last time a judge in Arizona, or any state for that matter, actually sentenced someone who was a first time offender to a felony anyway? The plea deals and soft judges leave a lot of room for folks who should not be voting to retain that privilege. By the time they actually get a felony conviction they probably have committed many more crimes than the one for which they will see any jail time.

  7. BTW…. Prezelski is a big geek. Where is a video camera when you need it?

  8. Restoring voting rights to convicted felons would be as smart as allowing convicted child molesters to become day care workers and school teachers after they serve their time.

  9. Kralmajales must have been abused as a child. Don’t forget, he thinks that Giuliani, McCain and Romney are the best Republican candidates for President in his lifetime.

    It would take something traumatic to explain this position as well as other positions he has taken in many other postings.

  10. gop4ever2008 says

    There are 900,000 registered Democrats in Arizona today… I just assumed that felons could already vote. My bad.

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