• Want citizenship? The line forms at the rear

    posted by Jim McAllister at 3 September, 9:26 AM  0 
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    I love the so called “dreamers” who feel they should be accorded some sort of special citizenship privileges because they were brought unknowingly into the United States as children by their illegal alien parents. They obviously don’t realize that sneaking in doesn’t qualify them for citizenship and if they were dealing with any other country or administration, they would probably be hot footing it home on the next bus with a stern warning about consequences if they return.

    Now, some of them are going the civil disobedience route which will bring them even less favor from an already annoyed general public.  Recently, four illegal protesters chained themselves to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Phoenix.  Two others were arrested for blocking a bus leaving that building with a group of illegal aliens.  Similar incidents have been happening in places like New York City. 

    These kids should have a talk with their parents about their travails.  We didn’t ask them to sneak into this country and break our immigration laws, hence, why should their children be given the privileges of U. S. citizens?  It doesn’t matter that they were brought here unknowingly; whoever said life is always fair?  If you want citizenship, join the rear of the line.

    In Monday’s (8-26) Arizona Republic there is a column by Sharon Harper, the CEO and president of the Plaza Companies.  She is lamenting the failure of our immigration system.  Gee, Sharon; no kidding!  Sharon goes on to mention how “we need a workable solution for the millions of illegal immigrants working among us in the United States.”  She also feels that “Immigrants should have an opportunity to earn their way to the right side of the law” and if American workers can’t or won’t fill jobs, she feels that temporary visas should be issued to illegal labor.

    Regarding her first statement about a workable solution for illegal immigrants already here, what about those who have obeyed our laws by standing in line for years waiting for their opportunity to come here the right way?  It’s a beautiful thing to watch those who waited cry tears of joy and wave their little flags when they have been granted citizenship. Why should the scofflaws who sneaked in be given priorities?

    Her second statement is also bogus.  Why should illegal aliens have a chance to “earn their way to the right side of the law”?  They have already broken the law and for that they should be handed forgiveness?  That’s nonsense.

    My favorite is Ms Harper’s comment about temporary visas for illegal workers if Americans won’t do the work.  She is naïve if she thinks those with temporary visas will leave the U. S. when that visa expires.  Many never leave and manage to get lost in the shuffle which creates more problems like the Danny’s Car Wash incident.

    Nice try, Ms Harper; but even though you successfully run a large company, you are a bit lacking in the knowledge of human nature when it comes to immigration.



     


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    Jim McAllister has been a Plugged-In Scottsdale blogger, an Arizona Republic Sunday Plugged-In contributor, and a Scottsdale Republic columnist since 2005. He has also written for the Sonoran News and did a weekly column from 2004-2006 for the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Independent. In 2004 he wrote a 7 part series on The History of Television for TV TOME (now TV.Com). A veteran of the U. S. Air Force, he has done hosting and commercial work in radio and TV and currently does a blog at jmcallister.blogspot.com.

    Jim McAllister's Website: http://mcallister.blogspot.com


    SB1070? What SB1070?

    posted by Donna Gratehouse at 25 July, 9:47 AM  0 
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    I’d heard that Governor Brewer had sent a “Dear Fellow Republican” email around a couple weeks ago but I hadn’t followed what an uproar it was creating amongst the activist base of the AZ GOP until today. Here’s Brewer’s letter from July 12th, which purports to deliniate her many conservative accomplishments as Governor and reassure her Fellow Republicans that the Medicaid expansion is not really part of the Kenyan Usurper’s Communist Takeover (good luck with that), while pleading with the activists not to ruin everything in 2014 because they’re mad about Obummercare:

    Dear Fellow Republican,

    When I assumed the Office of Governor in early 2009, the State of Arizona faced the largest budget deficit per capita in the entire country. We were saddled with a nearly $3 billion dollar deficit left behind by our former Democrat Governor as she fled Arizona to make a further mockery out of our nation’s border security. As I said at the time, it felt like I had arrived after a great big party was over, all the guests were gone, and someone handed me the bill and told me to clean up the mess!

    With the help of the our Republican-majority legislature, we cleaned up the state’s fiscal house and put money away in our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Recently, the Legislature passed a budget that is balanced in Fiscal Year 2014 and keeps the state’s $450 million Rainy Day Fund intact. Our General Fund spending ($8.8 billion) increased marginally–just 3.4% compared to Fiscal Year 2013–making it one of the most conservative budgets in the entire country. Indeed, in addition to the Rainy Day Fund, we have a carry forward balance of $697 million! Through our hard work, we also have ensured that our state budget will be structurally balanced by Fiscal Year 2016 with a $100 million surplus.

    I also kept my word and made sure that the temporary one-cent tax, which was supported by 64% of the Arizona electorate in 2010 as Proposition 100, stayed TEMPORARY. Keeping my word, I opposed Proposition 204 (last year’s attempt to PERMANENTLY extend the tax) and ensured that Prop 100 expired at the end of last May. Additionally, we passed effective election reforms to prevent fraud and have stood strong on the need to secure our border and enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

    When it comes to conservative leadership and fiscal responsibility, Arizona proudly remains a model for the rest of the country.

    I remind you of these things because, while I know that some of you do not support my efforts to restore Arizona’s Medicaid program, it’s important to remember that I am governing all of this state with Republican principles.

    The bottom line for me as your Governor is this: Arizona voters have TWICE approved making childless adults who earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

    When I took office in 2009, these program costs were soaring and eating away at our state’s General Fund obligations. Hospitals across the Arizona were facing bankruptcy because when citizens without insurance get sick, they still show up in our emergency rooms where hospitals are required to care for them.

    The question I had to resolve was how to cover these populations, as required by voter mandated state laws, for the least amount of state money.

    Under federal law, if Arizona expands our coverage by an additional 63,000 Arizonans (moving our eligibility level from 100% of the federal poverty level to 133%), the feds will pick up 100% of the costs for the first three years of the program.

    So over three years, rather than spend $1.3 billion of state funds to cover Arizona’s obligation–which would have covered fewer Arizonans–I decided to accept federal funds to protect our precious state resources. I also insisted that if the federal commitment changes, Arizona’s financial obligation will change as well. If federal reimbursement rates drop below 80% of the entire program costs, Arizona’s new law will AUTOMATICALLY TERMINATE. Just as we did in 2009, when the state was broke, we reduced AHCCCS enrollment. We are prepared to do that again if the federal government does not keep its word.

    Let me be very clear: if we had not found a way to restore coverage to those citizens required under state law, we almost certainly would have been challenged in court and been forced to restore this Arizona voter approved coverage. Such a ruling by the courts would immediately drain Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund and burden the General Fund for many, many years to come.

    Arizona’s Medicaid program is the most successful program in the country. Arizona’s per patient obligation is half that of other states that do not use our cost containment model (which was created by Republicans over 30 years ago). Arizona’s Medicaid program is NOT Obamacare. It is, in fact, a large part of the solution as the most efficient, cost-effective Medicaid system in the country.

    I have asked our Congressional delegation to ensure that other states adopt our cost-effective model of service as a way of bringing our burdening national debt under control (a copy of this letter can be seen at http://restoringarizona.com/about-the-issue/additional-documents).

    In closing, I appreciate those of you who have supported me as I made this tough policy decision. And I respect those who disagree. But I cannot emphasize enough that kicking 63,000 Arizona citizens currently enrolled in AHCCCS off of health care–including those in the middle of cancer treatment–would have been disastrous for Republican’s chances at the polls in 2014.

    As surveys have shown time and again, the citizens of Arizona overwhelmingly support my Medicaid restoration effort. I reminded many a Republican who disagreed with me over Prop 100’s temporary one cent tax in 2010 that we won two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature just months later. It is my hope that our Party can reclaim those majorities in the fall of 2014. To continue efforts to potentially hurt and intimidate those who stood with me only puts Republican’s chances for electoral success next year back into harm’s way.

    This may mean little to those in “strong” Republican districts, but with every statewide office currently in Republican hands, Democrats are looking for ways to tip the scales on a statewide level to increase Democrat turnout.

    Ronald Reagan often used the quote, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” As fellow Republicans, we agree even more than 80% of the time. We are allies.

    It is time to move on, work together for a united front in 2014 and focus on the key issues that face our state including the economy, quality education, and public safety. If we work together, I know we can once again sweep every statewide office and two-thirds majorities in both houses of our State Legislature just as we did in 2010.

    Thank you for giving me the honor of your attention and for your dedicated service to our Grand Old Party and the Great State of Arizona!

    Sincerely,
    Governor Jan Brewer

    What stuck out for me right away was how Governor Brewer took care not to mention that which assured her electoral prospects in 2010 more than anything else when she signed it into law that April, and likely helped the rest of the GOP statewide slate considerably as well: SB1070. Turns out not the only one who noticed the omission. The anti-Medicaid expansion group United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives noticed it too.

    Glaringly absent in the Governor’s repertoire is SB1070. SB1070 is the landmark legislation of Arizona that encompasses our true individualistic spirit and the Governor does not mention it once. State sovereignty exists in the fiber of every Principled Conservative but is lacking in the Governor. She has the audacity to claim that the super majority win in 2010 was due to her one cent sales tax increase, Prop 100, instead of the tireless work of the PC’s fueled by the energy of SB1070!

    She was their bestie 3 years ago when they were putting billboards in her honor all over the state for “Doing the Job the Feds Won’t Do” but now she’s off with her new BFFs at the Chamber, who don’t think overt anti-Hispanic bigotry is a good look for 2014*.

    *But let’s never forget how they were fine with it in 2010.

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    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.

    Donna Gratehouse's Website: http://www.democraticdiva.com/


    Ed Meese calls out the Gang of Eight

    posted by Tom Patterson at 18 June, 5:37 PM  0 
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    Do you want some clarity on the Schumer-Rubio immigration reform bill? Google Ed Meese’s letter in the June 14 Wall Street Journal.

    Meese was the Attorney General at the time of the infamous 1986 “Reagan amnesty” bill. There has been a lot of blather from Karl Rove and others about how different today’s bill is from the disastrous 1986 law, which resulted in a quadrupling in the number of illegal immigrants.

    But Meese crossed them up. He read the bill. That’s the way we used to do it, he dryly pointed out. What he found was quite different from what we’re being told by today’s advocates.

    In fact, Meese said the Gang of Eight Bill contains “pretty much the same penalties and hurdles” as the 1986 legislation. Congress should learn the obvious lesson: bending the rule of law winds up incentivizing millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope of being in on the next amnesty.

    Meese chides today’s lawmakers for not reading bills and relying on the characterizations of others. But I thought the cool thing was that Meese admitted the good intentions of the Reagan administration ended in failure. He didn’t try to sugarcoat it or justify his involvement other than pointing out that Reagan was at least honest in using the word “amnesty”.

    Today’s spinmeisters use euphemisms like “pathway to citizenship” and “comprehensive reform” to describe exactly the same thing. Meese obviously knows what he is talking about. We should listen to him.


    More Posts by Tom Patterson

    Patterson is the volunteer chairman of the Goldwater Institute and past chairman of the Arizona Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has served on several community boards, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, Diamondbacks Foundation and Hospice of the Valley. He is the state chairman for Americans for Tax Reform. Previously, he served as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (public sector chair). He was the minority leader (91-92) and majority leader (93-96) of the Arizona Senate. He is a registered Republican but not politically active. In addition, he was the organizer and lead tenor of the original Arizona Singing Senators.

    Tom Patterson's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/pattersontomc/


    Unequal justice in Maricopa County is everywhere, even in Tent City

    posted by Donna Gratehouse at 28 May, 4:13 PM  0 
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    Hi all! I have a Very Special Memorial Day post for you guys.

    Investigative journalist and former US Senate candidate John Dougherty had this response to Friday’s announcement that a federal court has stripped the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to do immigration enforcement due to repeated civil rights violations and evidence of racial profiling:

    My first interview with Joe Arpiao was in in the fall of 1993. I wrote a story in Phoenix New Times that Arpaio had no regard for the Constitutional rights of those who have been arrested, but not convicted of a crime. It’s distressing that two decades have past, many have died, more have been abused, lives shattered by a renegade sheriff who manipulated a fawning media to keep his machine rolling. The Arizona Republic for many years perpetuated the Arpaio legend and shares blame for allowing this atrocity of civil rights and justice to have gone as long as it has. May the recall deliver justice and move Maricopa County, and Arizona,into a new era of justice, community and freedom.

    Dougherty is absolutely right about the major role that fawning, uncritical media coverage played in allowing Arpaio to get away with his vicious jails and racism (I, and Dougherty I’m sure, would also indict local TV news and talk radio stations in that). But fawning media only tells part of the story.

    It’s obvious that many Maricopa County residents shrug off the racial and poverty profiling of the MCSO on the streets because they have nothing, personally, to worry about because of it. “If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear.” Sheriff Joe’s popularity rides on the belief that he’s enforcing tough law ‘n order against “those people” who we should assume are up to no good. He’s keeping “us” safe from “them”.

    But wait a second! There are some lawbreakers, who happen to make up a large percentage of the arrests in Maricopa County, who go to Tent City but don’t get the real Tent City experience. Those would be people who get DUIs. And I feel like I cannot continue with this post until I make an admission: I got a DUI in November, 2002. I stupidly drove under the influence in Chandler (dumb, dumb, dumb!), got pulled over, and faced a penalty of one day in the Maricopa County jail. This is a decade old memory so I’ll try to describe it as best I can.

    I showed up for my day in jail in May, 2003, which I had picked out from a calendar at my hearing (seriously, they put up a calendar and allowed me to pick the day most convenient for me). I arrived at the Durango Street Jail and then spent several hours in a receiving cell that smelled like swamp ass, in close quarters with several other women. Most of us were DUI idiots, but at several times we were joined by girls from the “Horse Shoe”, who had committed other crimes and had spent a fair bit of time in the Maricopa County jail. They regaled us with stories of their lives outside and inside jail. I will always say of my time in the Maricopa County jail that I hated the accommodations but I loved the entertainment. At no time did I fear for my safety. The only time I interacted with the “general population” was for the few hours I spent in the nasty holding cell during intake and release. We DUIs got our own separate section of tents where the guards were polite and addressed us as “ma’am”..

    I never wore the stripes, didn’t go on a chain gang, and didn’t eat the jail food. I was only there for one day, but I was there with women serving longer terms. They were there for second or extreme DUIs, without aggravating factors. They had sentences ranging from 2 to 30 days. They didn’t wear stripes either. When you are sent to jail for more than 2 days for DUI you are eligible for work release five days a week. You get to leave the jail 12 hours a day, leaving you with plenty of time to eat regular food. On the weekends you are required to spend in the jail you simply forego eating or get stuff from the vending machine. It is possible to avoid the infamous green balogna for your entire sentence if you are in Maricopa County jail for a DUI.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s no picnic. But Tent City for DUIs is basically an amped-up Scared Straight program that is not much like what life is like in there for other inmates. I’m don’t know exactly why DUIs are treated differently but I suspect it has to do with the fact that people at all socio-economic levels get them. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, successful business people, and celebrities are picked up for DUIs. Many are able to afford expensive lawyers for lighter sentences.

    This privileged sector within Tent City (for “us”) is not only unjust, but it has allowed Sheriff Arpaio to enjoy the continued support of the public for the horrific way he mistreats the other prisoners (“them”). Imagine how things might be different today had some wealthy white socialites picked up for DUIs in Scottsdale ever been subjected to the same conditions in Tent City as poor undocumented immigrant women picked up in South Phoenix typically are. I’ve got a strong feeling they would be.

    Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend.

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    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.

    Donna Gratehouse's Website: http://www.democraticdiva.com/


    Has Arpaio folded up the circus tent?

    posted by Mike McClellan at 28 May, 10:51 AM  0 
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    Something’s been missing from the Phoenix media landscape over the last few months, something that became a regular feature on the nightly news for the last few years:

    Huffing, puffing, Joe Arpaio, at yet another “crime suppression sweep.”

    Those have suddenly disappeared, which leads to the question, “Have they been so successful that Joe was able to end them, so successful that there’s no more crime to suppress?”

    Or, maybe just maybe more likely, has the circus left the town?

    That is, have his publicity stunts lost their shelf life, no longer politically the way to make sure Joe stays in the news?

    Has his bevy of PR flacks put their collective finger into the political wind and discovered that the sweeps just ain’t what they used to be?

    Between the political force and the judicial force of the recent court ruling on Joe’s enthusiasm for racial profiling, the sweeps might have died.

    So what to do now for America’s Most Publicity-Seeking Sheriff?  How to keep his name in the news? 

    Hmmmm, hmmm, well, maybe he could do something unheard of for him.  Maybe he could quietly go about his business.  Silly me.  Okay, then, how about trying to enforce the employer-sanctions part of the law Arpaio routinely used to raid businesses? Maybe discourage other businesses by teaming the the DA to slam employers hiring illegal immigrants.

    Get ahead of the curve a bit, for once, since employer sanctions are a big part of the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill.

    Don’t hold your breath.  Doing that would require real work, something Joe’s never seem to have been a fan of.


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    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    AZ Rep Johnny Mendez came out as atheist and that is good for all of us

    posted by Donna Gratehouse at 23 May, 9:22 AM  0 
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    I couldn’t stay for the press conference after the Tuesday Arizona House floor session, but I did arrive at the gallery in time to see AZ Rep. Juan Mendez deliver his now-viral secular invocation on the House floor.

    Hat tip to Hemant Mehta for the transcript:

    Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads. I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you to take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.

    This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, many moments of tension, of ideological division, of frustration. But this is also a room where, as my Secular Humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love…

    Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” There is, in the political process, much to bear. In this room, let us cherish and celebrate our shared humanness, our shared capacity for reason and compassion, our shared love for the people of our state, for our Constitution, for our democracy — and let us root our policymaking process in these values that are relevant to all Arizonans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief. In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

    Awesome! The most satisfying (to me) part of the AZ Republic report on it was this:

    House lawmakers appeared to have no reaction to Mendez’s remarks.

    But in a statement Monday on the Supreme Court case, Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, defended the practice of praying before government meetings.

    “The outcome of this case could very well preserve or eliminate one of the great American traditions, which poses no threat to the secular nature of the business of the state,” he said.

    Not only could they not react without looking like intolerant jerks (thanks to secularists being so forthright lately!) but Tobin had to insist that public prayers don’t threaten secular governance. I’m pretty sure he wishes they would, though. I’m guessing Tobin would be keen on the idea that pressuring elected leaders and citizens to bow their heads and mouth prayers would lead them to agree with him on how (his) religion should dictate public policy. And that atheists are terrible people because, well they just are. Mendez’s invocation was a hearty “to hell with that!” It felt good to watch him give it from the gallery. It was yet another occasion, happening with more frequency these days, where I had cause to feel confident and comfortable being a non-believer in public.

    When prominent non-believers step forward, it makes it more okay for others to do so. It’s happening at an astonishing rate and it is making this a more tolerant and better country than we were only 11 years ago when columnist Kathleen Parker had no qualms about dissing atheists after the 9/11 attacks and pushing religion and nationalism as the cure for the nation’s grief and confusion. Frighteningly, she saw 9/11 as an opportunity to declare war on secularism.

    …There are no atheists in foxholes, we’ve always known. There were none in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, we can guess. And now there are none anywhere to be found. America today is about God and country, but then it always has been. We just lost track.

    We lost track when we evicted God from our public institutions and when we stopped honoring our nation with the songs and rituals that defined American childhood until a few decades ago. We of a certain age remember beginning each school day by pledging allegiance to the flag, singing My Country, ‘Tis of Thee and, finally, reciting The Lord’s Prayer.

    We twitched and fidgeted because we were children. We mouthed words we couldn’t pronounce and didn’t understand. For years I thought we were “pegging legions” to “Publix for witches,” but no matter. We were united in song and prayer and a shared, if immature, understanding that we were a whole dedicated to a common purpose.

    That unity of purpose has been resurrected through an unspeakable tragedy and expressed in the language of God and country such as we’ve not heard in my adult lifetime. Since terrorists brought down the twin towers and part of the Pentagon, we’ve repeatedly witnessed America’s leaders praying, singing, pledging and asking the nation’s citizens to join them.

    Which is to say, our children must be awfully confused. Reared and educated in godless institutions that also scarcely acknowledge the importance of patriotism — watching adults sing songs they’ve never learned — they must wonder “wassup.” It’s as though America’s adults belong to a secret society to which their children have never been exposed…

    …I don’t know how we reconcile the legal separation of church and state required by law with the marriage of God and country demanded by our national psyche, but I’m sure we can figure out something.

    If we’re to win this war — sure to last into our children’s futures — we have to reweave the rituals of God and country into our institutions. We can’t expect children to understand and someday defend a heritage that they have never been given.

    I remember being revolted by that column and I was not alone it that, but at that time we had to scurry to dark secret corners of the internet on atheist and freethinker message boards to express our outrage. Kathleen Parker is still clutching her pearls over secularism today but the difference is that she would be getting a mountain of pushback from out atheists and others on a column like that if it ran today. If you think we haven’t made substantial progress in normalizing non-belief, consider that a tornado survivor in Oklahoma told Wolf Blitzer she was an atheist.

    The great thing about secular humanism getting a “fragile toehold” (to borrow phrasing from Parker) in the public discourse is that it can lead to holding up to scrutiny unsupported-by-evidence beliefs about the economy, climate, health care, etc., that lead to ineffective and downright harmful public policies. It opens the door wider to policy making that is rooted in reason and compassion, as was expressed so eloquently in that invocation.

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    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.

    Donna Gratehouse's Website: http://www.democraticdiva.com/


    DREAMers Driving Freedom

    posted by James Garcia at 19 May, 4:51 AM  0 
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    A federal judge has let stand, for now, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to bar undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as DREAMers, from securing state drivers licenses, even as Congress negotiates proposed legislation that most expect will ultimately allow these young people to remain in the country and earn a path to U.S. citizenship.

    While the ACLU lawsuit against Brewer continues, I think it’s important to take the long view on the governor’s senseless and mean-spirited decision to impose the ban in the first place.

    Consider, for instance, that by the time a child born today in Arizona to a Latino immigrant becomes an adult, he or she will be among the more than 50 percent of the people in the state of Latino origin. And immigrants arriving here that same year (around 2030-2035) will account for a larger percentage of our nation’s population growth than births.

    With that in mind, I take at least small comfort in knowing that Gov. Jan Brewer’s open hostility toward immigrants, however unforgivable and destructive, is the desperate, anachronistic and futile gesture of an ultimately doomed ideology which clings to the belief that the preservation of “white privilege” is somehow synonymous with the “founding fathers” mythologized vision of democracy.

    To put it bluntly, some people just don’t believe “brown” people are good enough to be Americans. This, to echo George W. Bush, is at best its own form of “soft bigotry”—soft, but no less shameful.

    The irony is that as I watch DREAMers challenge what must be an often intimidating and sometimes outright terrifying gauntlet of obstacles, I see in them a quintessentially democratic spirit inspired in great measure by the ideals of democracy that most Americans abide by today.

    In other words, DREAMers, particularly those who have risked everything, including their physical freedom, and stepped out of the shadows are generally the sort of people who believe they are fully American. In my view, by struggling to remain in the country they love, DREAMers are embracing and advancing our Constitutionally protected principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Unlike the DREAMers, I was born in the United States. But it’s fair to ask: “When did I really become American?” Did it happen at the instant of my birth? Did it happen the day as a school child when I first recited the Pledge of Allegiance? Or was it the moment when I gazed awestruck into the foggy screen of black-and-white TV set as Neil Armstrong took “…one giant step” onto the surface of the moon?

    Becoming American, truly American, is less about serendipity and more a product of intellectual maturation. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution granted me citizenship at the moment of my birth on U.S. soil (though my mother also was a citizen), but I did not earn and probably did not deserve that designation until I finally came to understand that liberty cannot exist without human dignity.

    While we should never forget that “American liberty” and “slavery” were once regarded as compatible concepts, our understanding of liberty today is, at its core, part of the genius of our modern-day interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Despite their relative youth (or perhaps because that unfettered idealism), DREAMers get this like few other people I know.

    So, to deprive DREAMers of their desire to remain in the United States is to deny them their de facto right to citizenship, human dignity, and, yes, liberty.

    And deporting them is just plain un-American.

    - James E. Garcia is a journalist, playwright and communications and media consultant in Phoenix, Arizona. He blogs at azcvoices.com/politics and americanlatino.net.


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    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    Immigration Reform is all about Economics

    posted by Romina Khananisho at 13 May, 8:57 AM  0 
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    Late last week the Senate Judiciary Committee made the first major change to the bipartisian immigration bill, requiring the government to achieve “effective control” of the Southern Border. I highly doubt this one amendment will really change the minds of those demanding border security. Honestly, I am not sure what it will take to sway the border security fanatics, but what I will tell you is that the continued focus on border security is really taking away from talking about the real reason we need this reform, economics.

    A couple of weeks ago, during Senator McCain’s town hall meeting in Goodyear, he drove home a message that to me sounded like we Americans, need a reality check. Americans are not working. We aren’t filling the needs of companies in this globally competitive environment!

    While we continue to fight off the greatest recession in recent history, there are people sitting in their homes, collecting entitlement program dollars while jobs remain unfilled, causing business to look elsewhere for employees.

    The bill has a provision that protects the American worker from immigrants taking the jobs that Americans are willing and able to do. While I am perfectly ok with that provision, I know that my fellow Americans have become increasingly lazy and entitled. There are a lot of jobs out there they are not “willing” to do. Why should they, when their checks come in from the government for doing nothing. Because of this increased entitlement attitude, I say hand over the visa’s to those who want to work.

    You may think the jobs I am talking about are only agricultural in nature, or they are lower skilled positions, but this isn’t it at all. The amount of visa’s needed to fill those high skilled, high paying jobs is growing dramatically. The legislation targets those people who are world’s brightest and most innovative minds studying here in the U.S. Rather than educating them and sending them back to their home countries of China or India to compete with us, we will staple green cards to their diplomas and encourage them to stay right here.

    We are in a globally competitive market and if our own college educated students can’t meet the qualifications for these jobs, then we are going to give them to those who can. So while your college aged kids are “finding” themselves, the bright minded, dedicated immigrations will be finding their way into the best jobs with the best companies. The bill will also expand the highly skilled H1-B visa program from 65,000 to 110,000 to fill jobs Americans can’t do.

    Finally, the bill establishes a guest worker program for lower-skilled workers that ensures our future flow of workers is manageable, traceable, fair to American workers, and in line with our economy’s needs. And finally, the new agricultural guest worker visa program would be established to ensure an adequate agricultural workforce to safeguard our food supply. This program will also allow current undocumented farm workers who have made a substantial prior commitment to agricultural work in the United States to obtain legal status through an Agricultural Card Program.

    To me discussing the economics behind the need for immigration reform is much more important than arguing about border security. The fact here is that American’s are not filling the growing need of a competitive global economy. With that, it is time to move on and find the best and brightest from all over the world and bring them here. America must remain competitive and an immigration bill that creates a process to lure the best and the brightest has my support.


    More Posts by Romina Khananisho

    Romina Khananisho moved to Arizona in 1994 with her family and attended college at Arizona State University. Almost 20 years later her career has thrived as a government relations professional serving both the private and public sector. Currently she is the Government Relations and Communications Manager for the City of Goodyear, Arizona. She oversees the city’s communications division, Mayor and Council staff, grants and neighborhood services as well as serves as the City’s lead lobbyist. Romina is responsible for developing and guiding federal, state and regional legislative policies for the City. She plans and directs the citywide communications/marketing function through, social media, PR consultation and issues management, media relations, public outreach campaigns, publication production, website content management, graphic design services, and audio-visual/video productions. Ms. Khananisho oversees the City media spokesperson and develops various marketing messages for the City. Before joining the City of Goodyear in 2007, Romina served as Campaign Manager for Proposition 106 Conserving Arizona’s Future Campaign. She was the Director of Public Affairs for Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and a Senior Associate with the public relations firm of Demenna and Associates in Phoenix. She gained experience working as a staff assistant for the Office of Majority Staff in the Arizona State Senate, a special projects coordinator during the 2000 election season for the Cook County Republican Party in Chicago, a constituent affairs specialist with the Arizona Governor’s Office (1997-1999), and an administrator with the Phoenix public affairs firm of Highground, Inc. Romina holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree as well as Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Sociology. Her opinions have been featured in the Arizona Republic and she was named Forty Under 40 in 2011 by the Phoenix Business Journal. Romina is an adjunct faculty member with Rio Salado Community College and teaches Political Science and Sociology.

    Romina Khananisho's Website:


    Boston, Guns and Immigration: Huh?

    posted by Mike McClellan at 23 April, 12:26 PM  0 
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    It’s so predictable, isn’t it?

    A national tragedy followed by the politicization of it.

    So somehow, gun control and immigration reform have been connected to the bombings in Boston.

    On MSNBC, the odious Lawrence O’Donnell — can anyone watch him for any length of time? — had this to say about Boston and guns:

    “The NRA’s effort to guarantee that America’s mass murderers are the best equipped mass murderers in the world is not limited to those who use automatic weapons and high capacity magazines. The NRA is also in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes.  Gunpowder could be traced by investigators to a buyer at the point of sale if gunpowder contained a taggant — an element that would enable tracing of the purchase of gunpowder. But thanks to the National Rifle Association, identification taggants are required by law only in plastic explosives.”

    Which might be true . . . but wouldn’t have stopped the bombing at all.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the gun fence, Ken Reiner, president of Gun Owners of Arizona, unsurprisingly had a different view of Boston:

    “If you have terrorists running around your neighborhood — these are people that set off bombs, killed a police officer at point-blank range — you want the best weapon possible at your disposal.  If that’s an AR-15, then you should be able to have an AR-15.”

    I’m sure law enforcement authorities would like a neighborhood full of gun toters creeping around in search of the bomber.

    Immigration reform, too, has been linked to the bombings.   And you can bet that Rand Paul — oh, please make him the 2016 Republican presidential nominee — would have something good to say about it.

    And he did.  In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Paul included this rhetorical question:

    “Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism?”

    Besides the fact that the brothers didn’t immigrate from the Chechen Republic, Paul’s looney question begs another one:

    How were immigration officials supposed to know that a then 9-year-old and a 15-year-old would a decade later pursue their insane terror?

    Paul — who likes to show up on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show — wants to be taken seriously.

    Questions like the above only put him in the Ken Reiner School of the Inane.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    On campaign finance and immigration, yawning gaps in thinking

    posted by Mike McClellan at 11 April, 4:34 PM  0 
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    Today’s Republic features an editorial and a column with something in common:  huge gaps in the writer’s reasoning.  

    The editorial, “Bill to raise cap should be law” (here), the paper argues in favor of raising the cap for individual campaign contributions from $488 to $5,000.

    Why?  Here comes the pretzel logic:

    “But Arizona’s strict limitations on individual contributions without question have contributed to the proliferation of independent-campaign committees, fueled with funds from anonymous donors.”

    So, the paper’s argument goes, while raising the cap will likely kill public funding, somehow that same raise will deter anonymous independent-campaigns.

    Any explanation for why that would happen?

    Not in this editorial.  Trust us, the paper seems to say, the anonymous contributors will come out of the shadows because now they can pony up 5K to candidates.

    Of course they will.

    Meanwhile, on the column page today, the reliably Obama-hater Charles Krauthammer pops up today with another reliably specious column about immigration reform, “Enforcing border must be trigger” (here).

    As readers meander through Krauthammer’s default criticism of Obama and immigration — that, like every subject, this is just a campaign issue for the Pres. — they’ll notice something missing.

    Any even vague suggestion as to what a secure border would look like.  Krauthammer doesn’t even make the attempt to tell his readers what he would consider a secure border.  For him, it’s good enough to say that what’s proposed isn’t good enough.

    Two sins of omission today.

    Just like in Sunday’s Viewpoints, where a Grady Gammage column defending Phoenix growth (in the wake of an attack by a L.A. Times columnist).

    Where the paper conveniently neglects to tell readers what Gammage does for a living:  land use development.

    Oops.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    To BCI or not to BCI; that is the question?

    posted by Jim Barber at 2 April, 5:55 AM  0 
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      With the help of a complicit news media, and the typical low-information voter, the Democrats have successfully pinned the lack of a “comprehensive” immigration bill on Republicans. Even after the unions scuttled the near-historic agreement in 2006, during the Bush administration, no one gave credit to those individuals who came so close. It is with this assurance that they will escape blame that President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano can so openly undermine current efforts to come up with a bill that can pass both Houses. Both Obama and Napolitano have made public statements that they do not want a bill that ties reform in any way to border security.

      It is obvious why the president does not want immigration reform to pass. Once passed, it can’t be used as an issue against the Republicans in the 2014 Congressional elections. Ms. Napolitano is doing her best to help make sure the president gets what he wants. Both know that without a border security agreement, reform is dead in the water. That is why Napolitano scrapped the only measuring device available for estimating the number of illegals crossing our borders each year. It is how she is able to maintain that “our borders are more secure than they have ever been” with a straight face. Previously, the government “estimated the number of miles of the border that were under ‘operational control.” By changing the method of counting (now only those apprehended and detained are counted – not the catch-and-release or the ones spotted but not apprehended) and then pretending that enforcement has slowed the number of attempts – not the lack of jobs due to recession, improved economics in Mexico, and the demographics of fewer young people in Mexico and Latin America.

      As pointed out by Byron York’s op-ed piece and an article in the Wall Street Journal, Napolitano promised a new, “better” measure- the Border Condition Index (BCI). But, during the hearings held by the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, a dirty little secret was exposed. Mark Borkowski, a Homeland Security technology official, told the committee that, not only had HSA not produced a BCI after 3 years, but it had never been the intention to produce an actual measuring device. And, of course, without a measuring device, the Secretary can produce any figure that is convenient to her cause – the scuttling of immigration reform.

      As a final note, late breaking news from TownHall.com on Monday was a report that Border Patrol agents are reporting a sudden surge (nearly double) in the number of illegal border crossings in the last few weeks. The reason? They want to be inside the U.S. on the off-chance that a bill actually does pass so they can cash in on the amnesty that will surely come with passage.


    More Posts by Jim Barber

    Jim was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, went to Phoenix Union HS until joining USMC at 17, graduated from San Diego Evening HS during enlistment and graduated with BS at ASU after marriage and 3 kids. He started private work career as a Teamster, moved to management and spent his entire career in the freight business before retiring in Camp Verde, AZ.

    Jim Barber's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/jimbarber-0/


    Arizona Republicans swimming in de nial

    posted by Mike McClellan at 19 March, 9:32 AM  0 
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    So some Arizona Republicans think they need to do little to attract Hispanics (you can read the article about this here):

    “Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, said the GOP already has the right message for Hispanics who are a growing percentage of the state’s voting-age population.”

    ” Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said the party already has a good message for the Latino community.’What do people like? God? Family? Pro-life? Pro-traditional marriage?” he said. ‘Boy, that sounds a lot like our platform.’”

    And this little nugget:

    “Gov. Jan Brewer called it ‘unfortunate” that her party has been unable to attract Hispanic voters in Arizona.”

    Granted, more sane Republicans, like House Speaker Andy Tobin, recognize the party’s weaknesses.

    But as long as the state’s identified as the anti-illegal immigrant hothouse, Arizona Republicans won’t attract Hispanics to their party.

    And as long as the crazies at the state level — like Smith — and at the national level — like Texas Official Senate Demagogue Ted Cruz (who recently voted against a resolution recognizing MS Week) — are the loudest voices in the party, as long as the sane wing of the party is silent when the crazies make their pronouncements, the Republican Party will be viewed as the Grand Odd Party, and will not only fail to attract Hispanics, but will increasingly lose women and the young.

    If the Party really wants to attract a broader base, it’s time for the sane to point out how batbleep crazy the insane in the party are.

    That John McCain did that  and then abruptly apologized for doing so is not a good start.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Arpaio’s ‘reign of terror’ destroying Latino families

    posted by James Garcia at 16 March, 11:07 PM  0 
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    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign of terror in the Latino community continues. Thursday’s arrest of 11 people at America’s Taco Shop restaurants across the valley on “suspicion of using false identities to get jobs” (Arizona Republic, March 15, 2013) raises two obvious questions:

    • Why aren’t the business owners or managers ever arrested in these raids?
    • Why given all of the other crimes—murder, rape, child molestation, burglary, assaults, etc.—the Sheriff could be focusing his attention on is he so fixated on arresting undocumented immigrants.

    The Arizona Republic reports this is the 72nd time Arpaio’s deputies have conducted this sort of “workplace identity theft operation” since 2008. Should identify theft be against the law? Yes. Would I rather the Sheriff’s Office spent its time trying to address other crimes, such as the 400-plus child molestation cases it neglected to properly investigate, instead of rounding up people (the overwhelming majority of whom in Arizona are Mexican immigrants) whose day-to-day existence is basically taken up doing the crap work most Americans don’t want to do? Yes.

    “Mr. Garcia, are you implying that Sheriff Arpaio is a racist?” No. I don’t exactly know what motivates Joe Arpaio. Ego? Politics? Bigotry? A mish-mash of all of the above? But what I do know is that Arpaio could care less that his actions are destroying the lives of countless innocents. I also know that the U.S. Justice Department in its pending lawsuit against him has accused Arpaio and his deputies of engaging in a ‘pattern of unlawful discrimination”’ that “Latinos at the county jail were often referred to as ‘stupid’ or addressed with an ‘ethnic slur’; that “Latino drivers [in Maricopa County] were five to nine times more likely than their non-Latino counterparts to be stopped or searched”; and that “some [Latinos] were detained because they were said to have looked nervous or avoided eye contact”. And the list goes on.

    And the terror goes on.

    It is time for the terror and Sheriff Arpaio’s abuse of power to end. It is time Maricopa County has a sheriff who wakes up in the morning committed to “serve and protect” the community, the entire community, rather than to serve and protect his own narrow interests and corrupt base of power.

    It is time to recall Sheriff Arpaio. If you agree, go to this website: www.recallarpaio.com/petition/ and fill out the petition to recall Sheriff Arpaio.

    In case your wondering, I have absolutely no affiliation with Respect Arizona and its Recall Arpaio campaign. I just want Arpaio to stop destroying immigrant families who mean us no harm.

    And is it too much to ask that our county’s top law enforcement officer spend his time fighting crime and protecting all Maricopa County families instead of parading around on the 24-hour news channels with the likes of tough-guy actor Steven Seagal (who, tellingly, also happens to be a favorite of Russian President Vladimir Putin) or holding press conferences declaring, yet again, without any evidence at all, that President Obama is an illegal alien?

    Sign the petition. Recall Arpaio. Let’s restore integrity to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

     


    More Posts by James Garcia

    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    Rob Robb: Nice gloss job on Jeb Bush

    posted by Mike McClellan at 10 March, 4:45 PM  0 
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    In Sunday’s paper (you can read his piece here), Republic columnist Robert Robb does a nice job of defending Jeb Bush’s view on immigration.

    Mainly by glossing over one important point.

    Robb makes the obvious case that the House has to be included in any immigration reform measure, and that the House is much more conservative than the Senate.  Thus, the “legalization as opposed to citizenship” argument Bush (and co-author/Goldwater Muckety Muck Clint Bolick) makes might be more palatable in the House.

    Which is true.  And as Robb points out, legalization might not be the last step.  A later Congress could add citizenship.

    However . . . 

    Robb defends Bush, writing the following:

    “ Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Goldwater Institute litigator and scholar Clint Bolick are getting slapped around in punditryland for their book, Immigration Wars. The reason? They advocate permanent legal status for those who came to this country illegally as adults, but not a path to citizenship.”

    Not quite.  The uproar was not so much over the point of view Bush/Bolick express as it was on the flip-flop by Bush.

    Bush, in his book, reflects a sudden change of heart.  Heretofore, Jeb Bush had called for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who met whatever standards would be imposed.

    To be specific, in response to Mitt Romney’s call for “self-deportation”:  ”You have to deal with this issue. You can’t ignore it. And so, either a path to citizenship, which I would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives (my bold); Or a path to legalization, a path to residency of some kind.”

    In 2007, Bush supported legislation that would grant citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.

     But in his book?

    “Permanent residency in this context, however, should not lead to citizenship. It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship.”

    But then a few days after the book was published, in an interview on MSNBC?

    “We wrote this book last year, not this year, and we proposed a path to legalization, so anybody that had come illegally would have immediately a path to legalization. If you can craft that in law, where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally, I’m for it. I don’t have a problem with that.”

    So Robb’s defense of Bush omits the flip-flop with backspin Jeb Bush performed last week:  I was for citizenship before I was against it before I might be for it.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Arpaio recall a really terrible idea

    posted by Tom Patterson at 8 March, 11:31 AM  0 
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    I think it’s a matter of some importance that the recall of Joe Arpaio fail. If it doesn’t, the recall of Russell Pearce will no longer be an isolated incident, it will be the beginning of a really bad new trend.

    Don’t bother me with the argument that Randy Parraz and the others have “the right” to initiate a recall. Of course they do. But we all have the “right” to do a lot of things that are just self-aggrandizing foolishness.

    The intent of the recall provision was to allow the people to deal with misconduct in office that shouldn’t wait until the next election to be corrected. Instead, it’s being used as a do-over for people who are simply disappointed with the election results and get a kick out of throwing their weight around.

    So what’s wrong with a special election that addresses only the same issues that were there for the general election?

    Well it’s a waste of money for one thing. Local governments have more important things to spend money on than pointless elections.

    The millions that will go to attack and support Arpaio (again) could surely be put to better use. Of course, the commercial petition gatherers are thrilled.

    The other problem is the Continuous Campaign. We already have a problem with political campaigns stretching on forever and much more attention paid to campaigning them to governing. It’s pretty ironic that a campaign which is based partly at least on dereliction of duty issues will itself keep Joe from tending to his sheriff duties. Makes no sense except to the outsized egos behind it.

    Well I was preparing to post this, I came across some interesting coverage of the recall. Laurie Roberts wrote that “a recall election isn’t like a regular election where a Republican nominee faces a Democrat… Recall organizers will surely look for a fellow Republican to run against Arpaio… Split the Republican vote and Arpaio is gone”.

    Well, fair enough, I guess. Then she goes on “then again, never underestimate the sneakiness of certain Republican operatives. I imagine they’re out there, even now, scouring the county in search of a spoiler or two…”

    Wait a second here. How come it’s just good political strategizing when the recall organizers arrange to “split the Republican vote” but it’s “sneakiness” on the part of “operatives” blah, blah, negative, negative when Arpaio supporters potentially do the EXACT SAME THING.

    I’m guessing it was probably unintentional on Laurie’s part. Even more evidence of how one-sided all the reporting is on this issue.


    More Posts by Tom Patterson

    Patterson is the volunteer chairman of the Goldwater Institute and past chairman of the Arizona Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has served on several community boards, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, Diamondbacks Foundation and Hospice of the Valley. He is the state chairman for Americans for Tax Reform. Previously, he served as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (public sector chair). He was the minority leader (91-92) and majority leader (93-96) of the Arizona Senate. He is a registered Republican but not politically active. In addition, he was the organizer and lead tenor of the original Arizona Singing Senators.

    Tom Patterson's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/pattersontomc/


    So much for Marco Rubio

    posted by Bodo Diehn at 13 February, 11:59 AM  0 
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    This guy, touted as the Savior of the Republican Party, gave a talk without substance.  Can you recall a single substantive counter-proposal he made to President Obama’s points in his State of the Nation Address?

    His speech was clearly written before the President’s address.  Why else would he beat up on college costs after the Prez made the same point, or call for more education after the President called for more and better instruction starting at preschool?

    How lame the assertion that universal background checks “Undermine the Second Amendment”!  Rubio’s address contained only standard Republican boilerplate and displayed no original thought.  I do grant him that it is difficult to put together a good response just a few minutes after the original address, but I would have expected a cogent thought or two.  Instead he rolled out the old “Solyndra” argument of wasteful government spending, carefully omitting that it was the Bush administration who gave the original approval for the Solyndra grant.

    So what do we have here?  A guy without charisma who admitted that many government programs were important in his life, yet is proclaiming that government is holding us back.  And moreover, who admits to having no clue that in addition to spending cuts, tax increases are required to balance our budget. And who, oops, though the son of immigrants, failed to address immigration reform in any meaningful way. Way to go, Marco!

    You can post comments to my blogs by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” link or on http://www.bododiehn.net/hello-world/ , and I will reply publicly (where called for) as soon as I can.


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    Bodo Diehn first came to Tucson in 1964 for postdoctoral work at the U. of A. and is a retired university professor. After leaving academia, he went back to work for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for five years. His interests are Politics, Science, and Literature (not necessarily in that order). He is a long distance runner and triathlete.

    Bodo Diehn's Website: http://www.bododiehn.net/hello-world


    Obama’s role in immigration reform: Don’t screw it up

    posted by Mike McClellan at 11 February, 8:07 AM  0 
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    President Obama’s vision of immigration reform is not that much different from the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s ideas, with the exception of the commission the Gang wants that will certify the border is sufficiently secure as a trigger for the rest of the changes.

    Except this one, that has the potential to gum up the works — the gay issue.

    According to a story in today’s paper (you can read it here), “President Barack Obama and some congressional Democrats are pushing for any immigration-reform plan to include a provision to allow gay Americans to sponsor their immigrant partners for legal residency in the United States.”

    Really?  

    Look, getting a big package of immigration reform is difficult as it is, especially in the Republican-controlled House.  Giving reform opponents another weapon to use in their attack on reform is, well, just dumb.  

    The President and immigration reform supporters will need some House Republicans to vote for a reform package — why give the outside groups that will pressure those Representatives some other argument to use, particularly when some of those reps. might be the kind of social conservatives who are against more rights for gay couples as it is?

    No, Obama’s role here should be as a facilitator, someone who uses his power to bring groups together, to prop up the wobbly Senators and Representatives whose votes for a reform package might put them in the sights of groups who would see this as some kind of political treason.

    The President hasn’t been very good as a mediator or facilitator, sometimes preferring to speechify rather than do the dirty work of getting disparate groups together.  Maybe he should brush up on Lyndon Johnson’s ability to push unpopular legislation through Congress.

    His time for immigration reform is ripe — the Republicans are running scared, aware of the Latino votes’ impact on the Presidential race, aware that their sometimes racist-sounding rhetoric hasn’t worked, that they need to go in a different direction.

    The Pres should take advantage of that, and leave the gay issue out of the equation.

    Otherwise, he jeopardizes what could be a historic change in immigration.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Arpaio Recall: A Waste of Time

    posted by Mike McClellan at 5 February, 7:39 AM  0 
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    I guess the group spearheading the Arpaio recall have  a bunch of bucks to waste.  Because even if they can get enough signatures to spark a recall, it’s going nowhere.

    Paul Penzance was the best candidate to run against “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” and while it was a closer than usual victory for publicity-addled Arpaio, it was still a win.

    And what’s transpired between November and now to call for a recall?

    Nothing.

    Arpaio is the darkest stain on Arizona, a black mark in our history, much worse than Evan Mecham or Fife Symington.

    And yet, enough of the True Believers show up on election day to put Arpaio back in office.

    So while I’d like nothing more than to see America’s Most Undeserved Egomaniac tossed out of office, the effort to recall him seems futile and, well, a little less than serious.


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Recalling Arpaio’s record, justifies his recall

    posted by James Garcia at 4 February, 8:54 AM  0 
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    Where do I sign? Anyone who says that Arpaio won his last election “fair and square” and therefore his recall from office is unnecessary, unjustified or just plain sour grapes, either doesn’t understand, or care to understand, the corrupting and distorting influence of campaign financing, especially when such a large proportion of the funding support for Arpaio comes from out of state. Or perhaps his apologists have decided to simply live with the fact that it’s alright that we elected a man as our sheriff who apparenty believes that “serving and protecting” the people of Maricopa County includes the right to blatantly abuse the authority of his office to intimidate his critics; waste tens of millions in taxpayer money defending lawsuits that could have been easily avoided; allow a shocking number of inmates to die while in custody in his jails, which led to several lawsuits; direct his deputies and investigators to set aside actual crime-fighting duties–such as trying to solve hundreds of sex abuse cases–and instead spend their time chasing down completely discredited claims that President Obama was not born in the United States or raiding car washes and restaurants in pursuit of undocumented immigrants whose greatest crime is their fierce desire to live the American dream. I don’t know if Arpaio will be recalled, but I do know that the State Constitution allows for Arizonans to petition for his recall, so Respect Arizona has a legal, constitutionally sanctioned right to try. And because I personally believe that Mr. Arpaio is one of the most ethically bankrupt and politically opportunistic, self-serving elected officials in the nation, I will sign the petition and hope and pray that if he runs again for the post (and he likely will) that a clear majority of the good people of Maricopa County will finally come to know how the sheriff’s practices affirm his seemingly low regard for the core principles that inspire and undergird the U.S. Constitution–namely, the belief that all men are created equal and that the implicit duty of our elected public officials is to preserve “liberty and justice for all”, not just a powerful few.


    More Posts by James Garcia

    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    Give a hand to the Gang of 8

    posted by Julie Erfle at 29 January, 3:24 PM  0 
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    I’m less concerned about who takes credit for implementing comprehensive immigration reform than I am about ensuring it gets done. But since yesterday’s announcement by the Gang of 8, which includes Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, I’ve heard lots of complaining and very little thanks.

    Who cares if it’s Congress or the President who takes the lead on changing the policy? The fact is the President can’t do it alone. Nor can Congress. They need to work together.

    I’ve been highly critical of Flake’s flip-flop and McCain’s ‘danged fence’ stance as well as President Obama’s failed first-term promise to tackle CIR, but now is not the time for gloating or ‘I told you so’s.’ The election is over. It clearly had far-reaching consequences, and Republicans and Democrats have been awakened to this reality.

    This is a very good thing, but if we want to make the most of it, then we must be willing to put aside our partisan views and work together. After all, isn’t this what we’ve been demanding for the past six years?

    We speak about gridlock and Washington’s inability to get things done and then, when compromise is in the works, we criticize those working toward solutions. Enough. Regardless of how we personally feel about those who are a part of the Gang of 8, we should take the time to personally thank them and offer our support.

    Immigration reform is far from reality. It will be a very tough climb, and our Senators and Representatives will need as much support as possible to drown out the shrill voices of those who will scream “amnesty” and demand nothing short of deportation for all.

    The plan put forward by the Gang of 8 is both compassionate and smart. It balances the political concerns of those on either side of the aisle without forgetting that we are dealing with real people, individuals who already consider themselves Americans.

    If you haven’t had a chance to read the Gang of 8’s set of principles, you can do so here. Please, take the time to read it and then send a note of thanks to both Senators McCain and Flake. Only by working together and promising our support will we ensure that passage of comprehensive immigration reform finally becomes reality.

    Senator John McCain

    D.C: (202) 224-2235

    Phoenix: (602) 952-2410

    John_McCain@mccain.senate.gov

    Senator Jeff Flake

    D.C: (202) 224-4521

    Phoenix: (602) 840-1891

    Jeff_Flake@flake.senate.gov

     


    More Posts by Julie Erfle

    The story behind this blog begins in 2007 when, on an ordinary September morning, my world was unexpectedly smashed to pieces. A drugged-up gang banger with multiple arrests and outstanding warrants crossed my husband’s path. As my husband and his partner attempted to arrest him, he pulled a gun and shot my husband twice in the back of the head. The murder of a Phoenix police officer is big news. Bigger still is the fact that this happened at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant in a border state rife with contentious immigration battles. As I listened to the politicians and pundits spin my husband’s death to further their interests, my journalism background came into focus and I found myself doing my own research into the causes and possible solutions to our nation’s immigration problems. I also gained an awareness of what it was like to be on the opposite side of the lens. I had been a member of the media, and now my family was the subject of the story. When I went public with my views on immigration, I was drawn even further into the political web of Arizona politics, and though I shied away for a time, I felt I could no longer be silent. And so I created this blog, my editorial on the challenges facing our state and our nation. My expectation is that it will be used as a source of reasoned debate to elevate our discussions in a thoughtful and informed manner while seeking solutions to complex problems. I hope the differing opinions expressed by myself and others will both challenge and motivate individuals to work for the greater good.

    Julie Erfle's Website: http://politicsuncuffed.com/


    Immigration Reform: Determine the danged metrics!

    posted by Mike McClellan at 29 January, 9:44 AM  0 
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    The gang of eight beat Obama to the punch, with the bipartisan group of Senators unveiling the four principles of immigration reform today (you can see them here).

    But none of the reforms kick in until one principle is acted upon:

    “Our legislation will provide a tough, fair, and practical roadmap to address the status of 

    unauthorized immigrants in the United States that is contingent upon our success in securing 

    our borders and addressing visa overstays.”

    And how will that success be determined?

    By a group of border governors and attorneys general:

    “Our legislation will create a commission 

    comprised of governors, attorneys general, and community leaders living along the 

    Southwest border to monitor the progress of securing our border and to make a 

    recommendation regarding when the bill’s security measures outlined in the legislation are 

    completed.”

    The Gang of Eight’s proposal is a fair one, but what will this commission use to determine that border security is sufficient?

    That’s the devil in the details.

     

     

     

    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Brewer’s budget gambit

    posted by Tom Patterson at 28 January, 10:32 AM  0 
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    Here we go again. Harkening back to freespending governors of the past, the so-far prudent Jan Brewer wants to juice up the revenue forecast so that she can spend more in her budget.

    Most Arizonans probably don’t get that heavily involved in the arcana of budget construction. The way it works is that the budget is “balanced” when appropriations for the next fiscal year are matched by the projected income. Of course, nobody knows exactly what the income will be so, so the possibility of some chicanery is always out there.

    That was one of Janet Napolitano’s favorite tricks: pretend the revenue for next year is going to unexplainably go through the roof and spend your imaginary good fortune before reality sets in.

    Now Gov. Brewer once to pretend we’re going to have an increase in tax revenue of over 5% next year, when revenue growth so far this year has been less than 4%, according to Bob Rob. That would give her $260 million more to spend than the Legislature is recommending. It’s just like finding free money.

    You might think that after all the heavy lifting she and the legislature did to repair the fiscal damage from the Napolitano years, she wouldn’t want to go down this road again. Yet the urge to spend other peoples money while getting the credit for it yourself is well nigh irresistible.

    The real solution to the problem would be a law authorizing the Treasurer or some neutral third-party to set the revenue level for the budget. He/she would be accountable for it. The squabbling and fudging would end.

    Meanwhile, why not err on the conservative side? Extra money in politics is never a problem. If nothing else, taxpayers always appreciate being able to keep more of what they earn. Deficits are just a way of making someone else pay for your stuff.


    More Posts by Tom Patterson

    Patterson is the volunteer chairman of the Goldwater Institute and past chairman of the Arizona Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has served on several community boards, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, Diamondbacks Foundation and Hospice of the Valley. He is the state chairman for Americans for Tax Reform. Previously, he served as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (public sector chair). He was the minority leader (91-92) and majority leader (93-96) of the Arizona Senate. He is a registered Republican but not politically active. In addition, he was the organizer and lead tenor of the original Arizona Singing Senators.

    Tom Patterson's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/pattersontomc/


    Security, insecurity and the high price of bad policy

    posted by James Garcia at 10 January, 9:52 AM  0 
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    Bad policy is expensive. The U.S. now spends more on immigration enforcement than all federal law enforcement efforts combined. When will the “enforcement only” crowd understand that we might not need 20,000 agents patrolling our borders if we actually had an immigration system that worked instead of one that allows policy makers to pretend that we didn’t hold up the “Help Wanted” sign that drew the overwhelming majority of the 11 million-plus undocumented immigrants who now live here. The ultimate irony (or hypocrisy) is that it’s the virtual lockdown at the border that has convinced so many of the undocumented that it’s no longer safe to cross back home and so they stay in anticipation of the inevitable: the day our economy is pumping on all eight cylinders again and most Americans go back to turning a blind eye again to their presence. The difference now, of course, is that undocumented immigrants have enough brothers and sisters who are willing to go to the polls and express their acute displeasure with that business as usual approach. As my dear friend Roberto Reveles and others like to say, “Today we march…tomorrow we vote.” Come to think of it, it might be time to update that chant to something along these lines: “Remember why we marched when you vote today.”


    More Posts by James Garcia

    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    An Arizona Journalist’s Gratitude

    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 30 December, 4:55 PM  0 
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    For a couple of weeks, I’ve laid low.

    I vowed not to pitch stories despite all the stories breaking around me because I wanted to think  without distractions. I finished up some magazine work, butconcentrated on hiking, jogging, cooking  and sharing time with friends and family.

    Then I got this email, out of the blue, from a reader:

    “I have been hoping to better understand the human reality of immigration, and your book – often hard to read – did just that. My heart breaks.”

    I realized my heart is full of thanks too. To the readers, like this one,  who took the time to write. To the undocumented immigrants who inspired my narrative nonfiction book and who told their stories, warts and all. To all the people who purchased the book Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone and were moved by the raw truth of the stories.

    Little things mean a lot — for instance, readers had the decency and grace to buy the book new at indie book stores and on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites. They shelled out four or five bucks more, but by not buying from cheesy private dealers to save a few dollars, they signaled a  support of  the kind of investigative  journalism and writing that takes years and years of practice  to nail down.

    Thank you.

     

     

     

     

     


    More Posts by Terry Greene Sterling

    Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.

    Terry Greene Sterling's Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/


    Responding to James Garcia

    posted by Jim McAllister at 22 December, 1:20 PM  0 
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    Does the whining ever stop from James Garcia, the self appointed defender of illegal immigration and self proclaimed playwright?  I don’t know how he can see his keyboard through the tears as he types his pitiful little pieces about the terrible treatment of people who sneaked into this country.

     

    Now he is defending the “Dreamers” against the picture that columnist Ruben Navarette has painted of many of them.  You know who they are:  They are the younger version of their illegal parents who only exist because Obama was doing poorly in the polls against Romney and needed to provide a shot in the arm for the Latino vote.

     

    These kids have a good deal as they can now crawl out of obscurity but many don’t seem to realize that.  Suddenly they take their inch and want to convert it into a mile with goodies like driver’s licenses and several other demands like health care, college, and citizenship.  Wow!  They are beggars AND choosers!  

     

    They also complain that they need $465 to do the Dreamer processing; an amount of which many have never seen at one time in their entire lives.  I guess they thought this was going to be easy!  Nothing worth having is easy, kids!

     

    Obama threw these people a bone and now they want the whole hog.  They seem to forget what a break they got with the Dreamer deal so now we have them parading around in caps and gowns crying “Now, what?”   I’ll tell them “what”:   You’re illegal, deal with it!

     

    Before they get too enthralled with Obama and his two year deal with them, they better check and see what his deportation record is for Latinos.  He won’t need them after two years so they should probably be thankful for what they have and get their young asses in gear to make the best of it and stop complaining.

     

    They are now in the United States and there are a hell of a lot of people here who were actually citizens who had more obstacles than these kids have and became successful.  If they want to join us, they are welcome and should take advantage of the freebie they have been given.  If it’s not enough, the roads to Mexico are open and they are welcome to leave.   

     


    More Posts by Jim McAllister

    Jim McAllister has been a Plugged-In Scottsdale blogger, an Arizona Republic Sunday Plugged-In contributor, and a Scottsdale Republic columnist since 2005. He has also written for the Sonoran News and did a weekly column from 2004-2006 for the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Independent. In 2004 he wrote a 7 part series on The History of Television for TV TOME (now TV.Com). A veteran of the U. S. Air Force, he has done hosting and commercial work in radio and TV and currently does a blog at jmcallister.blogspot.com.

    Jim McAllister's Website: http://mcallister.blogspot.com


    DREAMers and the people who would steal their destiny

    posted by James Garcia at 21 December, 5:30 PM  0 
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    Dear Ruben,

    You got it wrong. Here’s why: The vast and overwhelmingly majority of DREAMers are not as you describe them. I know because I have interacted with them in a variety of ways in recent years. In fact, barely a week goes by that I don’t communicate directly with undocumented young person. I have taught them as a university professor. I have counseled them as a mentor. I have cast them in my plays. I have even written a play about them: “Dream Act”. It is based on those experiences that I can declare with full confidence that if there are a handful of DREAMers who have overreached (and what movement doesn’t have a few bad apples), the trouble with your column is that it implicitly argues that the movement itself is now defined by what you smugly describe as a pervasive sense of self-righteous entitlement. That claim is an irresponsible exaggeration at best and a point-blank falsehood at worse. To make matters worse, you even go a step further and condemn the movement for pursuing an agenda that you claim intentionally disregards the interests and welfare of their undocumented immigrant parents, but your own column quotes (with mocking disdain, it must be noted) United We Dream’s recently announced platform that calls for “Fair treatment for DREAMers and our families and communities”. You also contradict yourself by first noting, accurately, that some “80 percent” of Americans polled support efforts to legalize the immigration status of DREAMers, while going on claim that popular support for DREAMers is supposedly waning and that the movement’s purported sense of self-importance threatens to torpedo now reinvigorated efforts in Congress to pass a comprehensive federal immigration reform bill early next year. And what evidence do you cite to support this claim? A quote from Arnold Torres, a respected political observer and former director of the national League of United Latin American Citizens, who also happens to be, as you note, your business partner. While Mr. Torres is entitled to his opinion, he, too, provides no tangible evidence that the DREAMers cause is falling out of favor or that anyone in Congress believes that these young people, as well organized and passionate as they are, have the power to single-handedly derail the long overdue but apparently growing national consensus that our country’s immigration system must be fixed and that now is the time to do it.

    Ultimately, the DREAMers, as a collective, as a movement, as a product of our political system, and as a living and breathing example of civic engagement that is living up the fundamental ideals of democracy deserve not your disdain and callous ridicule, but our nation’s respect and admiration. I am proud to imagine these young people as tomorrow’s leaders. And I am inspired, not put off, by the fact that even though they are undocumented, they are nevertheless courageous enough to risk their freedom, and not for the sake of a selfish demand, as you have cast it, but in the name of a quintessentially American principle: our sense of justice and fair play.

    The DREAMers’ struggle, whether you care to acknowledge it or not, is our struggle. (And I’m not talking about the Latino struggle, but the American struggle.) The “demands” they make are not rooted in a sense of self-serving entitlement, but in the clear-headed understanding that whether they are undocumented or not the Constitution affords them certain civil and human rights, even as it effectively negates or obfuscates others.

    Yet, I agreed wholeheartedly with at least one point your column makes. You are right in stating that “…these kids are as American as they come. They may have been born in another country, but — unlike their parents — they were raised in this one. They bleed red, white and blue…”

    They certainly do. So let’s give them their due. That’s all they want. And, yes, they deserve it.

    Respectfully,

    James E. Garcia
    Phoenix, Arizona


    More Posts by James Garcia

    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    Los Cenzontles: Talent, Heart and Amazing Music

    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 21 December, 4:50 PM  0 
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    I am an American —  carrying the DNA of my  Mexican,  German, English, Scottish and Irish ancestors with more pride than you can imagine. I am  deeply thankful for all the sacrifices and lessons, for all the food and language and music passed down from my Scottish ancestor who landed in 18th century America as an indentured servant, from the German intellectuals who fled their country fearing persecution in the 19th century, from the Irish great grandmother from “lovely County Kerry” suffering a potato famine, from the Gilded-Age  grandfather of English descent who loved his thoroughbred horses and his private railway car, from the Mexican grandmother who passed down tears, laughter, pride, shame, superstition, chocolate and her namesake, the Virgin Mary.

    All this explains why the music of Los Cenzontles pulls my heart hither and thither.  Doesn’t matter whether you’re German, Mexican, or Irish — this diverse group has your roots covered because it plays music with links to all these cultures, and many more. Los Cenzontles has created music with the Chieftans, David Hidalgo, Chavela Vargas, Taj Mahal and Linda Ronsdadt, among other superstars.

    The California-based group produces more than music.  They’re an art center and a community center, one of those rare beloved fusions of culture and community.

    Here’s a song called “Regresa Ya” about a migrant having a phone conversation with his wife in Mexico. He’s trying to “triumph” in the USA because he’s a  guy who feels he must support his family. But he’s not triumphant, not by any stretch. He doesn’t have enough money to send home. And the wife says  over the phone that it’s better to be poor together than poor apart.  One word of warning — this is a Mexican country song but don’t peg Los Cenzontles  as a just a country group. What’s important here is that the music choice fits the story and characters in the song.

    Los Centzontles sing of our American life. The music confirms who we are.




    More Posts by Terry Greene Sterling

    Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.

    Terry Greene Sterling's Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/


    DREAMER DISPUTE: ARE DREAMERS “HEROES” OR “SPOILED BRATS?”

    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 21 December, 9:10 AM  0 
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    National columnist Ruben Navarrette thinks some Dreamers, certain undocumented kids granted a two-year-ban from deportation by the Obama administration, are acting like  spoiled brats. They’re  blowing immigration reform possibilities for others by becoming radicalized, he contends. Keep in mind Ruben Navarrette is a Latino, and quite liberal. But certain Dreamers, and not all Dreamers, he points out, are starting to annoy him because, he says, they feel too entitled, just like other American young people.   The gist of his story  is that some Dreamers have become so politically radicalized  they’re making a bad name for other Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants. It’s an uncomfortable argument,  especially for a liberal like Ruben Navarrette.

    In response,  Gregory Pratt, also a liberal Latino columnist, writes that Dreamers are not spoiled brats, but extraordinarily humble and hardworking heroes. He writes:

    “Don’t believe me that the DREAMers are extraordinary people? Go read my story about Angelica Hernandez, an undocumented valedictorian in electrical engineering at Arizona State University. Or check outUndocumented Inc., a cover story I wrote about DREAM Act students who have started their own small businesses.

    In that piece I highlighted Lilly Romo, a talented young woman who couldn’t attend nursing school because she lacked a social security number, so she started her own English school; Celso Mireles, an ASU graduate who listened to President Obama deliver the commencement speech at ASU in 2009 then went to work Colorado alfalfa fields days later; or Dulce Matuz, then a real estate agent who is currently President of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine this spring.”

    Ok, so now I’ll weigh in. I think both writers speak the truth.  Navarrette is right — some  Dreamers have been radicalized to the point of harming  their movement’s image, and, honestly, grating on nerves. But  as Pratt points out, the Dreamers he knows (and I know) are  uncomplaining,  strong, smart and kind human beings who have been through more hardships than most of us can imagine.

    I believe the  good-kids image prevails and  and makes Dreamers the most attractive and beloved immigrant group in America.

    The problem, of course, is that because Dreamers are so beloved — and so young — they have to steer clear of manipulators who want to use them for the political gain of others.

     


    More Posts by Terry Greene Sterling

    Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.

    Terry Greene Sterling's Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/


    What’s Driving Brewer’s Ban on Giving DREAMer’s Licenses

    posted by James Garcia at 18 December, 12:59 PM  0 
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    During my brief sojourn at the ACLU, I am proud to say that I assisted in communicating to the nation the organization’s lawsuit challenging the governor’s executive order that banned DREAMers from receiving driver’s licenses in Arizona. Aside from being unconstitutional, the governor’s decision was nothing less than cruel. It also servies no practical public service. What does Arizona society gain by telling DREAMers who are legally authorized to work in the United States under their “deferred action” status they are barred from driving a car that would make it possible for them to go to work. The GOP nationally has finally begun to understand that attacking immigrants will only widen the gap with Latino and other mnority voters. So why is it so difficult for Arizona’s statewide Republican leaders to read the bilingual writing on the wall.


    More Posts by James Garcia

    James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and Phoenix-based media communications consultant. As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, magazine and newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and television, radio and online commentator. He is the owner of Creative Vistas Media, co-founder of The Real Arizona Coalition (therealarizona.org), immediate past chair of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, and the author of more than 20 plays.

    James Garcia's Website: http://www.therealarizona.org


    SANE? Yep, but that won’t stop the insane

    posted by Mike McClellan at 6 December, 10:24 AM  0 
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    So a bipartisan group of Arizonans, including Sandra Day O’Connor, Greg Stanton, and Bill Montgomery (who clearly knows the political winds are blowing in a different direction) have come together to provide a comprehensive immigration plan:  SANE (you can read about it here).

    It’s nothing new, and the reaction of opponents like incoming state senate president Andy Biggs, is nothing new, either:  “It looks to me like they’re trying to find an approach to grant amnesty.”

    Of course.

    But the group’s proposal is reality-based and might be the impetus to federal action.

    It has two stumbling blocks, though:  the kneejerk reaction of the Biggs of the political world, and one devil of a detail.

    The detail?  ”Operational control of the border.”

    Which is what the plan calls for.  How can we know when we have that?

    Here’s where we should go for an answer:  Andy Biggs.  Joe Arpaio.  Jan Brewer.  Fox News.

    What would they say is operational control?  What would they use to measure that?  How would they define it?

    And then — after they don’t give us an answer, because they won’t — SANE can help move the process along by coming up with what the government should additionally do beyond what happens along the border now.  

    And then?  Well, maybe we can have a sane discussion of the issue and come up with a sane plan, free from the hysterics and posturing of the insane.

    That, of course, is the devil in the details, how to marginalize the immigration crazies.

    Good luck, SANE coalition.  


    More Posts by Mike McClellan

    Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Mike McClellan's Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/


    Say what? Arizona LEADS on immigration reform

    posted by Julie Erfle at 5 December, 10:24 AM  0 
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    Much to the chagrin of comedians, Arizona is moving away from its embarrassing headlines on immigration extremism and embracing a S.A.N.E. approach.

    After more than two years of work, the Real Arizona Coalition has put together a platform for federal immigration reform supported by almost 40 state organizations, which include thousands of individuals such as business leaders, law enforcement officials, the faith community, civil rights activists, political leaders and more.

    The effort is historic because it brings together people from opposite sides of the aisle for a grand compromise, something that hasn’t been attempted in years. It pairs Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a staunch conservative and Tea Party favorite, with the former Chair of the National Council of La Raza, Daniel Ortega, Jr. Who could have guessed we’d see these two individuals on the same side of a legislative debate?

    Others have joined in as well, and it is this team effort that makes me believe that for the first time in the five years I’ve been advocating for federal immigration reform, it may actually happen. I’m almost speechless. Almost.

    Though the platform has the backing of influential leaders such as Montgomery and Ortega as well as former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, we still need Arizona’s congressional delegation to move the platform forward and begin work on federal legislation.

    I remain optimistic because I’ve seen a real desire for compromise and civil discourse by members of Arizona’s congressional delegation. Just this past Sunday, reporter E.J. Montini wrote about Republican Congressman-elect Matt Salmon’s and Democratic Congressman Ed Pastor’s friendship and their desire to work together for the good of this state and country.

    Consensus is tough, and this platform was not easy to obtain. As Ms. O’Connor said, “We agreed. We disagreed. And we compromised to produce what we regard as the S.A.N.E. solution.”

    So what is this S.A.N.E. platform? It’s a framework for policymakers to address immigration reform by

    Securing our sovereign borders

    Accounting for everyone in the U.S. without lawful authority

    Necessary bureaucratic reform implementation

    Engaging all levels of government

    In a nutshell it means that yes, we must secure our borders, but no, we must not seal them. The goal is operational control of the border, like what has been achieved in the Yuma Sector, without inhibiting trade with our most important partner.

    We must reform our outdated visa system. We need a system that responds to changes in the market, whether those changes are in the low-skilled or high-tech sectors, and create a secure system for all employers to verify work eligibility.

    And we must deal with the most controversial area of reform: the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants currently in this country. We know that we cannot deport nor would we want to deport 11 million people, but we also know amnesty – forgiving past wrongs and granting automatic citizenship — will not work and is a nonstarter for many Americans.

    Instead, the S.A.N.E. platform offers temporary legal status to those who are currently undocumented, provided those individuals have no felony convictions, pay any taxes due, and undergo a background check. After five years those with temporary legal status who have completed all necessary administrative steps may apply for permanent legal status.

    Those who are currently here undocumented who hope to one day gain citizenship will not be able to move to the front of the line but rather wait, on average, eight to ten years before being able to apply.

    This platform will not satisfy everyone. Indeed, most people will want to add their own personal tweaks. However, compromise is a must if we wish to move this issue forward.

    The eventual legislation will be a battle and everyone pushing for reform will be bruised in some way or another. But if individuals such as Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, and Bob Worsley, the newly elected Republican State Senator from District 25, can find a way to come together, can’t we all?

    I encourage everyone to read more about the platform and sign on in support at therealarizona.org. This could be the beginning of a new role for Arizona, one that will make headlines for the right reasons.


    More Posts by Julie Erfle

    The story behind this blog begins in 2007 when, on an ordinary September morning, my world was unexpectedly smashed to pieces. A drugged-up gang banger with multiple arrests and outstanding warrants crossed my husband’s path. As my husband and his partner attempted to arrest him, he pulled a gun and shot my husband twice in the back of the head. The murder of a Phoenix police officer is big news. Bigger still is the fact that this happened at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant in a border state rife with contentious immigration battles. As I listened to the politicians and pundits spin my husband’s death to further their interests, my journalism background came into focus and I found myself doing my own research into the causes and possible solutions to our nation’s immigration problems. I also gained an awareness of what it was like to be on the opposite side of the lens. I had been a member of the media, and now my family was the subject of the story. When I went public with my views on immigration, I was drawn even further into the political web of Arizona politics, and though I shied away for a time, I felt I could no longer be silent. And so I created this blog, my editorial on the challenges facing our state and our nation. My expectation is that it will be used as a source of reasoned debate to elevate our discussions in a thoughtful and informed manner while seeking solutions to complex problems. I hope the differing opinions expressed by myself and others will both challenge and motivate individuals to work for the greater good.

    Julie Erfle's Website: http://politicsuncuffed.com/


    2013: Year of the Latino?

    posted by Julie Erfle at 27 November, 6:10 PM  0 
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    If this last election taught us anything, it’s that Latinos cannot be ignored. They matter. As the fastest expanding minority group in the country, they have and will continue to have an important role in this country’s elections.

    That means Republicans need Latinos. Democrats need Latinos. America needs Latinos.

    And what is it that Latinos want? The same thing most Americans want: good paying jobs, an excellent and affordable education, and a chance to achieve the American dream.

    It isn’t all about immigration reform, and yet, it is immigration reform that drove the conversation this past election and will continue to drive the conversation until reform is finally implemented.

    No, most Latinos are NOT undocumented. But many Latinos do know someone who is undocumented, and almost all Latinos know what it means to be the subject of doubt, the one who is most likely to be pulled over and asked for proof of citizenship. They know what it means to be categorized as “illegal.” They know what it means to be hated simply for the color of their skin.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t a new concept in this country. Black Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans have and continue to feel the sting of racism, of doubt, of less-than full integration into a white-dominated culture.

    But now, more than ever before, Latinos have at their fingertips the makings of a perfect storm. With Black Americans deserting the Republican Party, the GOP is struggling to find a way to hold on to this crucial minority, and they know immigration reform may be the only way to do so.

    In the coming weeks, Arizonans will have an opportunity to be at the forefront of a major immigration reform movement. Business leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and others will soon unveil a plan to move this state and this country forward. How Arizona’s politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, respond to this initiative will set the stage for the future of both parties.

    It is an exciting time to be in Arizona. The world will be watching us. Let’s hope this time we find a way to crawl out from the ashes of embarrassment and rise above our racist image as a state ready to lead.


    More Posts by Julie Erfle

    The story behind this blog begins in 2007 when, on an ordinary September morning, my world was unexpectedly smashed to pieces. A drugged-up gang banger with multiple arrests and outstanding warrants crossed my husband’s path. As my husband and his partner attempted to arrest him, he pulled a gun and shot my husband twice in the back of the head. The murder of a Phoenix police officer is big news. Bigger still is the fact that this happened at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant in a border state rife with contentious immigration battles. As I listened to the politicians and pundits spin my husband’s death to further their interests, my journalism background came into focus and I found myself doing my own research into the causes and possible solutions to our nation’s immigration problems. I also gained an awareness of what it was like to be on the opposite side of the lens. I had been a member of the media, and now my family was the subject of the story. When I went public with my views on immigration, I was drawn even further into the political web of Arizona politics, and though I shied away for a time, I felt I could no longer be silent. And so I created this blog, my editorial on the challenges facing our state and our nation. My expectation is that it will be used as a source of reasoned debate to elevate our discussions in a thoughtful and informed manner while seeking solutions to complex problems. I hope the differing opinions expressed by myself and others will both challenge and motivate individuals to work for the greater good.

    Julie Erfle's Website: http://politicsuncuffed.com/


    PEW HISPANIC: LATINO ELECTORATE WILL DOUBLE IN 2030

    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 14 November, 9:21 PM  0 
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    A new report by the venerable Pew Hispanic Center indicates the Hispanic electorate will likely double by 2030.

    Right now, Latinos compose 10 percent of our electorate. In less than two decades, that number will surge to 20 percent.

    For years, the Hispanic electorate has been trashed for not voting in greater numbers, but  let’s get real.

    In the first place, several million Hispanics can’t vote because they’re undocumented.

    In the second place,  this is a very young demographic.

    A whole bunch of Hispanics aren’t eligible to vote yet. But by 2030, as Pew points out, a  good many of our young Hispanic Americans will have achieved voting age.

    Do you think these voters will forget what was said about, and what happened to, their families?


    More Posts by Terry Greene Sterling

    Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.

    Terry Greene Sterling's Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/


    POLL: MOST AMERICANS FAVOR CITIZENSHIP PATHWAY FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 14 November, 1:35 PM  0 
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    An ABC/Washington Post poll once again drives home how most Americans feel about their undocumented, law-abiding neighbors. Fifty-seven percent of respondents in the poll supported a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented.

    ABC News writes:

    “In this survey, support for a path to citizenship peaks at 82 percent among Hispanics, 71 percent among Democrats and liberals alike and 69 percent among young adults, all key Obama groups. Support’s at 68 percent among nonwhites overall, compared with 51 percent among non-Hispanic whites. Obama lost white voters by 20 points last week, but won nonwhites — who accounted for a record 28 percent of the electorate – by 61 points. It was a record racial gap.”

    This takes me back to 2010. Remember the political opportunism, the  hysteria and the absolute lies that spurred the passage of SB 1070? Remember all the fearmongering about how we were being overrun by lazy conniving criminal “illegals” at the very time illegal immigration was approaching record lows?

    Back then, The Arizona Republic ran a poll and found out that many Arizonans actually supported allowing their undocumented neighbors to stay if the immigrants worked and paid taxes, which, of course, most do.

    This odd finding in the Arizona Republic poll confirmed to me that most Arizonans who supported SB 1070 never understood the true intent of the law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer — SB1070 was intended to remove.every.undocumented.immigrant.from.arizona.

    The law passed because our checks and balances were all akimbo — Gov. Janet Napolitano was called to Washington to head Homeland Security. Gov. Jan Brewer constitutionally rose from Secretary of State to replace Napolitano.  Brewer, a shrewd  political opportunist, signed SB 1070 to get herself elected in a tough race against Terry Goddard. Then came the slew of copycat laws across the nation and the Republican anti-immigrant rhetoric that  helped lead to Mitt Romney’s electoral slap down. The undocumented should “self-dpeort,” Romney said during the campaign. And he also said he’d veto the Dream Act.

    And on and on.

    I”m still astounded by how out-of-touch Romney’s advisors were.

    Today’s ABC News -Washington Post poll only confirms it.


    More Posts by Terry Greene Sterling

    Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.

    Terry Greene Sterling's Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/


    The Right Side of History — Politically and Morally

    posted by Nathan Sproul at 14 November, 8:23 AM  0 
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    When a political party loses an election, either it learns and adapts or it bristles and digs into a trench of electoral failure.

    After the Democrats lost their third straight landslide in 1988, they got smart and elected an Arkansas Democrat who broke through the GOP’s southern grip.

    In 2000, the Bush campaign realized the Republican Party looked white and cranky. It seems like ancient history before 9/11 and Iraq and Afghanistan but Bush ran as a compassionate conservative.

    Remember when he said that our failing schools, especially in the inner-city, suffered from “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

    He was right politically and morally. It’s time for the GOP to be right politically and morally again. This time the issue is immigration reform.

    My second greatest regret about the Bush presidency (after the decision to invade Iraq) is that he didn’t start his second term with immigration reform. Presidents need the wisdom to understand what issues are their issues and which issues should be left to successors. We weren’t ready for social security reform but we were ready for immigration reform.

    By the time Bush got to immigration reform, it was too late. In 2007, the GOP had been crushed in the previous election. The GOP lost the House and Senate. The levers of power no longer worked as smoothly as 2005.

    Even with Ted Kennedy’s support, the GOP needed Harry Reid to pass the legislation. Reid wasn’t about to give the GOP that triumph. So it died an ignominious death. Immigration reform’s champions like Kyl, McCain, Flake and Shadegg were bloodied and bruised.

    The political message was that immigration reform was the new third rail of politics for Republicans. Touch it at your own peril.

    Since then the handful of brave Republicans who publicly supported comprehensive immigration reform were loudly accused of amnesty and treason. The business leaders who advocated for a humane policy were boycotted and accused of putting “profit before patriotism.”

    The entire conversation devolved into a hyperbolic convulsion of who can be tougher on the issue.

    In Arizona, Russell Pearce built what seemed like an impenetrable wall around the Republican Party that demanded strict adherence to his immigration orthodoxy. In truth, this orthodoxy was re-packaged John Birch Society rhetoric from the 60’s with the bright shiny bow of border security tied around it.

    “Close our borders.”

    “We are being infiltrated.”

    “National Sovereignty.”

    Straw men arguments were fabricated to enforce ideological purity. The problem with straw men is simple. Sometimes they work short-term but soon enough voters figure it out and the proponents of weak arguments come crashing down in defeat.

    Russell Pearce has now lost two straight elections. Joe Arpaio only got 52% of the vote in a county that Romney won decisively.

    Demographics are rapidly moving against the GOP on this issue. Romney only received 21% of the Latino vote.

    That is catastrophic. If it continues, the GOP will join the trash bin of history along with the Whig party.

    Some Arizona Republicans have looked like George Wallace standing in front of the school door when it comes to this generation’s civil rights struggle.The good news is the GOP can change.

    It must change.

    It must get on the right side of history.

    I know many first and second generation Latinos. Not one of them came to this country to create a “new” Mexico within our borders. Not one of them came here to break our laws or hurt our country.

    They came here because they want to be part of the greatest experiment in human history – a representative democracy. They believe America is a “shining city on a hill.” They left tyranny and poverty. In many cases they risked their lives crossing a scorching desert to make a better life for themselves and their children.

    We are a land of immigrants. The opportunity of America isn’t confined to those here now. We must create comprehensive reform that affords the American dream to far more than currently have the chance. By so doing, we will embrace the patch they will place on the American quilt.

    Dramatically reforming our immigration laws is this generation’s civil rights struggle.

    Dramatically changing conservative rhetoric about the issue is this Republican generation’s moral and political calling.


    More Posts by Nathan Sproul

    Nathan is the founder and managing partner of Lincoln Strategy Group. Nathan manages the day to day operations at LSG, and serves as the chief public representative for the firm. Nathan’s wide ranging expertise in both campaign management and government relations, helps him manage clients to success. Previously Nathan served as Executive Director for the Republican Party and as a senior government relations representative.

    Nathan Sproul's Website: http://www.lincoln-strategy.com


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