U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon apparently didn't get the message when ousted state Senate President Russell Pearce got a voter-assisted boot from office last week.
Pearce's historic downfall -- combined with a recent poll showing that the vast majority of Arizonans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- seems to suggest that Arizonans are warming up to a more moderate approach to handling the illegal immigration problem.
Not Cardon, though -- who's running for the Senate seat getting vacated by retiring Senator Jon Kyl -- he supports the same down on brown immigration policies that got Pearce kicked to the curb.
"Unlike Barack Obama -- and my opponent [in the GOP Senate primary] Jeff Flake -- I oppose amnesty and I will not reward those who break the law," Cardon told supporters at a campaign event at his Phoenix headquarters this morning.
As for the poll, released last week by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy (more on that here), Cardon isn't surprised that 78 percent of Arizonans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- but that's not gonna stop him from vehemently opposing any type of amnesty.
"That poll doesn't surprise me at all," Cardon tells New Times. "That's what we all want, is to help people out -- but helping people out by letting people break the law and get ahead of others who haven't is not the solution."
According to Cardon, he's a compassionate guy, but when it comes to illegal immigration, "If you don't take care of the problems first that are causing the problems behind it, you don't solve anything. As a result we have to first enforce the laws we have here and secure the border and control who's coming back and forth."
Opposing Cardon in the GOP Senate primary is Congressman Jeff Flake -- and Cardon already is on the attack (which is interesting considering Cardon served on Flake's finance committee for his Senate campaign until he decided to run for Kyl's seat himself).
"Until he flip-flopped, my opponent Jeff Flake spent 10 years as the leading advocate in Washington for amnesty," Cardon says. "He worked hand-in-hand with the Washington liberals. Together they have refused to respond to America's most pressing need: securing our border."
As Flake was working "hand-in-hand with the Washington liberals," and acting as "the leading advocate in Washington for amnesty," Cardon admits he was dumping money into Flake's re-election campaigns. Additionally, Cardon also dropped some coin to get Senator John McCain re-elected -- even as McCain supported plans for comprehensive immigration reform.
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"I gave money to [McCain and Flake] in the past," Cardon explains. "No one agrees with every politician 100 percent of the time. As a result, I thought they were doing what was right back then -- when people start making different decisions, I change my opinion."
And that's the part that's so perplexing.
As Cardon says, "when people start making different decisions," he changes his opinion. For example, when Flake flaked on his support of amnesty -- and supported immigration policies similar to Cardon's -- that's when Cardon changed his opinion and decided he no longer supported Flake.
In other words, Cardon supported Flake until Flake started agreeing with him.