• Pandering on immigration: It’s Okay If You Are Republican!
    posted by Donna Gratehouse at 26 April, 9:50 AM  0 
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    Per yesterdays AZ Republic editorial:

    Which brings us to former Democratic Sen. Dennis DeConcini’s testimony. Who, exactly, authorized DeConcini to “apologize” before Congress for his state’s behavior?

    A member of the Senate for 18 years, the Tucson native had a great opportunity, a national stage, to instruct Schumer and Congress on the consequences of their failure to act on immigration reform.

    You don’t have to be a supporter of SB 1070 — we most emphatically are not — to recognize that a local political overreaction is exactly what you get when your state becomes an illegal-immigration superhighway, as the Tucson-Douglas sector of the Arizona-Mexico border was in the early years of this century.

    That is exactly what happened in 1994 in California with Proposition 187, a fiercely punitive law that nearly tore that state apart.

    DeConcini could have noted that. He could have explained the circumstances that handed former state Sen. Russell Pearce so much power. Instead, he made a political plea on behalf of Democrats to potential Latino voters with a meaningless apology.

    The editorial referred to former Senator Dennis DeConcini’s remarks to Senator Chuck Schumer’s subcommittee hearing on SB1070 this Tuesday. DeConcini should definitely apologize. For endorsing Sheriff Joe Arpaio for reelection in 2008. But the Republic ed board doesn’t exactly have clean hands where SB1070 is concerned and they most assuredly have no business chastising any Democrat for making SB1070 into an election issue. After all, what the hell else were the Republicans doing with it in 2010? Every statewide Republican candidate, from Governor Jan Brewer down to the freaking State Mine Inspector, ran on it. As did every Republican lege candidate. The Republic endorsed many of those candidates. So why is it suddenly so unseemly that Democrats would try to appeal to Latino voters on an issue that every Dem in the AZ Legislature voted against in 2010, and no Democratic candidate supported, which in at least a few cases might have led to their loss that year? Is this yet another IOKIYAR situation for the Republic? Sure looks like it.

    And if they really want clarification on the “circumstances that handed former state Sen. Russell Pearce so much power” they might want to consult the April 23, 2010 edition of the Arizona Capitol Times.

    Sen. Russell Pearce’s battles with Arizona’s business community over immigration policy have become legendary, but the Mesa Republican this year secured a ceasefire with the state’s largest business association by agreeing to remove one of the five major components that were originally included in S1070.

    In fact, an early amendment to the bill erased a section that would have given county attorneys the power to subpoena the records of businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants. In exchange, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry agreed to stand aside, rather than oppose the multi-faceted immigration measure.

    As the largest business association in the state, the Arizona Chamber has considerable lobbying power. Even though Pearce was unable to gain the group’s support, he neutralized an influential opponent that otherwise would have used its lobbying efforts to convince lawmakers to vote against the bill.

    Although it’s unclear whether business interests, acting alone, could have killed S1070, the Arizona Chamber is closely aligned with a handful of state senators who could have shattered the fragile Republican majority in that chamber. All 12 Democrats in the Senate had lined up against the bill, which meant that three opposition votes from Republicans would have kept the bill from advancing.

    Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber, said the smart move this year was to seek changes to the bill rather than oppose it. By removing the provisions that would have caused the most problems for businesses, Hamer averted another confrontation with Pearce that would have further damaged relationships within the Republican Party.

    Yeah, they sure didn’t want to damage those relationships. The Chamber went on to endorse every single pro-SB1070 statewide Republican candidate in 2010. And that Republican sweep sure has been gangbusters for the business community, hasn’t it? What was that the Republic was saying about election year pandering? Like I said, IOKIYAR.


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    Donna Gratehouse

    Post Author: Donna Gratehouse

    Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.

    Website: http://www.democraticdiva.com/

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