Arizona's Down on Brown and Suffering Economically; Plus, Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris Finally Gets in Touch

BOYCOTTING ARIZONA?

It's not news that the coffers of the state of Arizona and its municipalities are as dry as week-old turkey.

The state's closing its parks. Rest stops statewide have been shuttered. And Republican Governor Jan Brewer is staking her political career (or what's left of it) on a proposed increase in the state sales tax.

The Phoenix City Council just gave the nod to a 2 percent sales tax on food, a regressive measure that hits the city's poor disproportionately.

And in a recent series that reads like a bad joke, the state's paper of record suggested that a boost in tourism and more trade with Mexico was the answer to Arizona's fiscal woes.

Why does that sound like Henny Youngman (or, say, Neil Hamburger for the hipper crowd)?

Because at the very time revenue's needed the most, Arizona is controlled by a cabal of extremist lawmakers, such as state Senator Russell Pearce, whose obsession is ridding the state of illegal immigrants and making those legal residents of Mexican descent so uncomfortable they might as well skedaddle.

So, even without a budget, Pearce and fellow Hispanic haters — like state Representative Carl Seel (a member of Chris Simcox's old Minutemen group MCDC) and state Representative John Kavanagh, who once applauded neo-Nazi J.T. Ready on the state House lawn — push on with Orwellian measures that resemble something out of apartheid's old playbook.

Legislation that would make it a trespassing offense to be in the state sans papers and give local cops wide latitude to stop and arrest anyone suspected of being here illegally is on the verge of passing.

Ditto a bill that would count all public school students "who cannot demonstrate proof of legal U.S. residence." Which means, of course, that they'll be asking little ones for their documents.

So the question I have for the Arizona Republic regarding its series on tourism and trade with Mexico is: Why would anyone of Hispanic descent — who has a choice — want to set foot or stay in a state that's practically run by a gaggle of blithering bigots?

Also, having Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the state's unofficial racial-profiling bobble-head doesn't help matters.

I know the legislative nativists and their supporters would say good riddance to the brown folk who might be leaving, not coming, or canceling their trips or conventions to the state.

Back when the employer-sanctions law was being hotly debated, University of Arizona researcher Judith Gans suggested that emptying the state of its foreign-born workforce meant that Arizona was "deciding as a matter of policy to shrink our economy."

Pearce let on that he didn't care whether his proposals shrank the economy; he just wanted the illegals out and the so-called "rule of law" established. You know, his rules and his laws.

Pro-apartheid South African President P.W. Botha was all for the rule of law, too, as were the American South's many segregationist politicians long ago.

Say you don't care? Waltz down to the local Food City or Ranch Market and eyeball the folks wheeling out their carts full of groceries.

Think of every pork chop and horchata bottle you spy as money to keep our libraries running, our cops on the street, and our rest stops open for business. It's called commerce, and it puts dinero in the government's pockets.

But I know that too many folks here in Sand Land could give a cold cactus. This, despite the fact that U of A's Gans estimated in 2007 that the total sales-tax revenue attributable to non-citizens was $1.5 billion.

She further concluded that the income derived from this segment of the population offsets the costs in services for education, healthcare, and public safety.

To be sure, the economy is no longer pumping as it once was, and immigrants have been leaving Arizona for other states. It's delusional to think that the majority is leaving for south of the border.

And would anyone with half a lick of sense argue that the state doesn't need whatever tax revenue it can bring in?

That's why the news that Phoenix civil rights activist Sal Reza's considering a call for an economic boycott of the state is intriguing.

Reza mentioned this to me recently when he explained that he and other activists from his Puente Movement will be at the state Capitol at noon on the Thursday this column is published to denounce Russell Pearce and set off on a several-state caravan, to end March 21 in Washington, D.C., where they'll join a giant rally for immigration reform.

The ornery pro-immigration activist is demanding a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to pressure the DOJ to make haste with its civil rights investigation of Sheriff Joe. Reza and his group want a federal takeover of Arpaio's department. Such court-ordered receiverships have occurred before, most notably in California, where the state's entire penal system was placed into federal receivership in 2005.

Along the way to D.C., Reza's merry band of troublemakers will stop at cities such as El Paso, Austin, Houston, and Atlanta to bear witness to the human rights abuses occurring in Maricopa County and Arizona. Reza said he wants to demonize Pearce as one of the key architects of the suffering and oppression.

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19 comments
Karen
Karen

Arizona will become just like Mississippi. Nobody with any money or education will move there, or headquarter a business there.

NOMOREILLEGALS
NOMOREILLEGALS

ARE you kidding me???????....get rid of the illegals....these people are draining the community....draining the hospitals......GET A CLUE....the illegals leach off our society more than they contribute....Im sooo SICK and TIRED of having to get a translator at work everytime a person comes in speaking spanish....LEARN ENGLISH....Our country babies and folds backwards for these people....Ive been to mexico many times...I have never been treated right in mexico NOR have I ever had someone say Oh sorry sir you only speak english let me go get a translator...you know why???cause they dont care....I hope Arpaio continues his raids....SEND EM BACK...and Mexican natives with residency or legal citizenship..you dont like it??? TAKE A HIKE

John Connor
John Connor

At least I'm not afraid to use my real name, Former Republican. You sound like a former RINO to me. Didn'y bother to challenge one of my points. Started calling names instead. Typical for a liberal.

Former Republican
Former Republican

John, I think you meant to sign "Bull Connor". People like you have ruined Arizona and it's future.

John Connor
John Connor

Arizona would be better off without the Messcans. Less crime. Less blight. No more roach coaches selling tacos on the street. People speaking English for a change. Fewer cop killings. So what if the economy is smaller? If the tradeoff is social harmony, I'd take it. So if they want to boycott us, go right ahead. It'll make a better day for all of us.

Montrose Mike
Montrose Mike

Ok, So Pearce is trying to get these laws passed where ANY suspicious person can be interviewed by LE, and ANY citizen can throw a tantrum and file a law suite against any state agency NOT checking on these suspicious persons right?

Well then my friends in the Valley of the SUN, when these laws go into effect head out of the valley and head up north to the grand canyon, to the London bridge, to sunset crater, to Montazuma's castle go to EVERY tourist attraction that Arizona has that is OUTSIDE of Maricopia county and demand that the local LE investigate EVERY foreign looking and sounding individual tourist on EVERY tour BUS that trys to enter any one of the states tourist attractions.

DO that to the tour buses too before the enter the drive ways to the Indian casinos.

USE this LAW against the nativists.

INSIST that the LAW be applied equally to EVERY FOREIGN looking person.If you are Hispanic, How do you know that that white tourist IS actually from Wisconsin and not from Canada and is here illegally.If you are white how do you know that that buss load of Asians with the cameras are ALL here legally.

Make such a stink that ALL LE comply with EVERY ASPECT of the LAW at EVERY tourist attraction. Word will get out soon enough that FOREIGNERS are not welcomed in NAZIzona and soon enough the financial matters will come to a head.

Also, how many of the old timers in Sun City sound like they might just be from somewhere else. Make the LE in there start investigating those people, how many of them came here legally during the second world war any way?I think the Sheriffs office should specifically targeted to investigate Sun City.

Use Pearces LAW to MESS with EVERY ONE

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Pinkus Fingerinyourbutt, you can't spell and your grammar is as horrible as your logic. Why can't any of the Arpaio supporters who post on here use correct English?

BTW, illegal aliens can't get food stamps or any other government benefits, you idiot. So the Mexicans you (allegedly) saw at Food City were U.S. Citizens just like you and me. Which tells me your problem isn't with illegal immigrants, it's with all brown people.

Roger Morris
Roger Morris

Oh where oh where is Eric Holder at, Oh where oh where is he at! They found the emails! It's like FISA all over again! No Protection! No Immunity! It's like QWEST vs AT&T/Verizon Wireless! It's like "portal domination" Oh where oh where is the United States Attorney General, oh where oh where is he at? We got "raids." We got mexican american "forced attestations" of citizenship at gunpoint! No papers! No Birth Certificate! No Senator Grassley "REAL ID." Detainment for you! Rendention for you! Encarceration for you! If you WINK, NOD outside local store, LOWES or HOME DEPOT! Felony for you! Arrest for you! Russell's got midnight "JIM CROW" legislation! YOU LIE! YOU LIE! Brown skin, brown eye; Obama, Holder, YOU LIE, brown skin, brown eye "single site operations." Late night SWAT MCSO Arpaio Strausse "Bltzkrieg" style round up's! Stop! Stop! Stop! You under the brown skin, brown eye GOP Axis of Evil arrest! We're all just illegal! We're all being held hostage economically for Russell Pearce and his GOP Enemies of Humanity become the new REAL COYOTE, Shadow wolves in the night! No budget for you! Just cuts! Just layoffs until the next "Special GOP brown skin, brown eye Ethnic Cleansing" bill to come to the floor of the House or Senate! Oh where, Oh where is Eric Holder at! Oh where, Oh where is he at?

Now that all those lost emails have been found! We want "TESTIFIES" and MCSO Arpaio Strausse shut down! It's like FISA! It's Joe's Law! It's Pearce Law! Please indict! Please indict!

uraliar
uraliar

Pinkus, you're a liar. You didn't go down to Food City. You're just spreading a lie akin to Reagan's "welfare queens." There are a shitload more Anglos on public assistance than Hispanics. In fact, I'm sure I saw your momma down at DES the other day.

Your momma later went out and bought a buttload of groceries, and paid a buittload of sales tax in the bargain. Good thing your momma's a hefty eater. Hungry hungry hippo...

uraliar
uraliar

Pinkus, you're a liar. You didn't go down to Food City. You're just spreading a lie akin to Reagan's "welfare queens." There are a shitload more Anglos on public assistance than Hispanics. In fact, I'm sure I saw your momma down at DES the other day.

Your momma later went out and bought a buttload of groceries, and paid a buittload of sales tax in the bargain. Good thing your momma's a hefty eater. Hungry hungry hippo...

pinkus fingerhut
pinkus fingerhut

i went down to food city and you what your right ,i noticed loads of hispanics shopping and filling up there carts with food, i also noticed that most of the shoppers had 3 or more children with them. wow , i stood by one of the cahsiers and i also noticed that most of the purchases were made by the food stamp credit card. how do you explain away that you moron ?. seems to me all we get is no commerce.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Dennis, Your comment paints the truth and the reality. Those who have sucked us dry are those who live off us taxpayers - the elected officials. Using our money to destroy our rights.

Crow
Crow

New Mexico is looking better all the time. This state sucks.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

We greatly appreciate all that Reza is doing which is rights for all. when one is violated, all are violated. Thank you, Sal Reza, for not giving up or giving in. You are making a difference. Wells Fargo is NO place for a sheriff's suite of offices and you finally made them take note. Will be there on moving day. Can't wait. There will be dancing in the streets of downtown Phoenix.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

In 2007 Pearce proudly proclaimed we would, in fact, shrink our economy with the employer sanctions bill. He estimated it at around 7%. It's cost much more.

In 1999 while Pearce was director of Transportation, he was caught and fired for his involvement and coverup of a fraudulent ID scheme. Arpaio was Sheriff (first elected in 1998) and ignored the offense as DMV didn't pursue charges although they easily could have. Lets face it-we've all seen Arpaio go after much smaller offenses for political reasons. Now he is the very Sheriff jailing and deporting good people like those arrested for working with fake ID's so they can feed their families by washing your cars and dishes.

Pearce was caught putting a drunk driver back on the road with his fake ID scam. Pearce's guilt is not even in question! This should've been a jailable offense.

Nine year old Katherine Figaro's father went to jail and was deported for working at the same car wash for 10 years because he used a fake ID. He contributed to our Social security system and paid state and federal taxes while taking nothing he didn't work for.

Pearce and Arpaio have spent their entire lives being paid by taxpayers. Katherine's father helped pay Pearce and Arpaio's salary.

9 year old Katherine actually speaks english better then Pearce. She's also a hell of a lot more honest and doesn't take credit for homework, books or drawings she didn't create on her own. She wrote her own letters to her father when he was in jail awaiting deportation and didn't need a ghost writer.

Pearce now wants every law officer to spend there days chasing immigrants while the constitution clearly defines immigration as a federal issue. He expects school teachers, social workers, doctors and family members to report the undocumented. He isn't concerned that children, families or our economy will suffer. The more broke we are the more he will destroy what we have left of a working government by cutting all school programs, human health services, youth programs.

He has cut services for battered women yet has an easily documented beating of beating his wives. Katherine has never seen her father hit her mother because he is a respectful man in control of his emotions. Pearce's boy grew up to work for Sheriff Arpaio. Go figure.

Trust me-the things I'm saying about Pearce would make me clearly liable of slander if they weren't 100% true. Even the worst of us do not deserve to be called a women beating, fake ID scamming racist unless there is unquestionable proof. With Pearce-the proof is all there. It's not just an opinion. So now what choices are really left? Sal Reza is considering drastic measures. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Concerned taxpayer
Concerned taxpayer

Chad, Thanks for weighing with good information. The leaders lack vision. They are more concerned with their personal agendas to think beyond that.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

The Wall Street Journal wrote a prescient Editorial in December 2007, on the eve of the implementation of the Employer Sanctions Law. The journal, quoting the U of A study, stated "never have we seen a state make a conscious decision to SHRINK its' economy", and predicted dire economic consequences for Arizona. Well, now the chickens have come home to roost and we are all getting a lesson in unintended consequences.

Of course it doesn't matter to Russell Pearce, John Kavanagh, and Joe Arpaio if the economy sucks. All three have never worked a day in the private sector and are guaranteed their government checks regardless of tax revenue.

Arizona Bad for Business, Bad
Arizona Bad for Business, Bad

Once again, Stephen, you're ahead of the pack. You look at the big picture and you hit this one out of the ball park. When one man, Senator Russell Pearce can introduce bills that defy logic and the Constitutional Rights of people, it IS high-time to boycott the state. Not only for growing public awareness so others don't get their lives shredded in Arizona but to show Arizona where it hurts them -- in the pocketbook. The Neanderthals like Pearce, Arpaio, Hendershott, Andrew Thomas, Rick Romley and their enablers have ruined Arizona.

 
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