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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/28/2013 9:24:00 AM
Senate votes to make gold and silver legal tender in Arizona

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- State senators voted Wednesday to make gold and silver legal tender in Arizona -- but not copper, cattle, cotton, citrus or climate.

SB 1439 stems from concerns by some that the paper money being printed by the Federal Reserve Bank is becoming worth less and less. So they convinced Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, to give gold and silver coins created by private, for-profit mints the same legal status to pay bills, at least in Arizona.

But Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, suggested that if Arizona was going to have merchants weighing and assaying gold and silver to determine its value, perhaps the state should not stop there. So he proposed an "Arizona-centric' list of additions from the "Five Cs' for which the state is known.

He said, for example, there is little difference between trading beef or oranges as commodities versus gold and silver.

"And what has more value than sunbeams?' he added, though failing to describe how they could be counted.

Farley's light-hearted effort to amend the bill met with frowns from supporters.

Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, called it an "unfortunate attempt' at humor. And Crandell bristled at having fun poked at his measure.

"Some of these bills come from constituents,' he complained during Wednesday's floor debate.

"They feel very passionate about what they are,' Crandell continued. "And to ridicule and to make fun of a bill that is being put through I think is very unbecoming the profession that we have down here.'

Farley, however, said his amendment fits the proposal.

"I believe the bill itself ridicules our financial system,' he responded, saying his amendment adding other items to the list of legal tender "simply demonstrates how the underlying bill has serious problems with it.'

Biggs, however, said there's no parallel between what Farley proposes and Crandell's bill.

He said gold and silver have long been recognized as the backing for legitimate currency. Everything else, Biggs said, is just bartering.

And Biggs aligned himself with the thinking of those who want the coins recognized as legitimate.

"You either have fiat currency which continues to inflate, which is what we have today, or you have something backing up that currency,' he said.

The wording of the measure stems from the fact the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits states from creating their own currency. But supporters contend that does not preclude states from recognizing coins minted by private organizations.

The legislation would not require anyone to actually accept these coins.

Crandell acknowledged his legislation probably is unworkable, at least at this point. So he agreed on Wednesday to delay its effective date until after the 2014 legislative session, giving lawmakers a chance to work out any of the kinks.

A final roll-call vote is needed before sending the measure to the House.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: h w

Totally supported. Money as a medium of exchange has to be bcked by tangibles. Going of the gold standard was the biggest mistKe. And as far as i can see, not onlt capitalism but fit money itself will be failing us shortly. Looking at the number coming out not from only the fed but pretty much around the glibe, this catastrophe is writongon the wall....

Source: equity research head, CFA, FRM

Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

The main problem I see with this one is that you'd have to store the coins in your mattress or such. Banking would nullify the advantage of having a valuable commodity in the event U.S. currency becomes worthless. But then the article quotes Sen. Crandell re details needing to be worked out.

Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Article comment by: Lese Majeste

The funny money being issued by the FED is becoming more worthless each day.

Why American have to pay over 450 BILLION dollars a year to the private bankers that own the FED is a mystery and illegal.

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

WoW! We haven't somebody of Chester's wit and earthy charm in Az government since good ol' Ev Mecham. Gee Chester, what's next?

For Chester, it's back to the bunker drawing board for more Godly inspiration!

Hey, I've got an idea Chester is bound to approve of Let's use bullets for change. We can make BBs a penny, .22's a nickel, 9mm's will be a quarter, 10mm's can be a 50c piece, etc., etc...

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: P F

How impressive!

One can almost hear Senator Crandell's voice quiver near tears as he whispers defensively, "Some of these bills come from constituents ...they feel very passionate about what they are, and to ridicule and to make fun of a bill that is being put through I think is very unbecoming the profession that we have down here.'

Gee, he sounds so concerned about Arizona constituents and their wishes.

As with most issues dealt with by our august Arizona Congress, an alternate form of legal tender is one of the most important, critical issues of out time!

I hear people asking about it all the time.

It is a laugh to read one of these 90 dwarves mention, with a straight face even, concern about behaving in a way that is 'unbecoming the profession that we have down here.'

Hey, with Jan Brewer as ring-leader, the circus and clowns that run Arizona define "unbecoming."

I wonder if Senator Crandell has been as kind and sensitive speaking about the ideas constituents pushing for rational immigration reform present?

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Kayo Parsons-Korn

How much more time of the legislature is Mr. Crandell going to waste on his ideas?

"The legislation would not require anyone to actually accept these coins."

Then what is the point of this bill? I can just see someone pulling out a gold, privately minted coin at Basha's to pay for their groceries. Uhhh... what are we suppose to do with this? Let's see, we'll weigh it and see what gold is trading for today? Gee, I hope highway men don't rob me between my house and Basha's.

This is why paper money was invented in the first place! And now of course, debit and credit cards are replacing that.

What I think he is seeking is that paper money should be backed by gold. A totally different proposition.

Of course, that would involve the Federal Government. God forbid.

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: so glad to see our hard earned dollars at work... .

for such important legislation...

so how about we pay mr. crandell in coins... pennies and nickels?

funny how crandell does not seem to be turning down our possibly worthless 'federal money'?

remember this next election folks... this is what you get... exactly what you voted for.

disgusting... and only the tip of the iceberg...

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