Feathered Bastard

County GOP Chair A.J. LaFaro Wants His Own Cult, and Puente's Carlos Garcia Gets a Reason to Vote

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According to a 2013 analysis by the National Journal, if eligible Latino voters in Arizona had cast ballots at the same rate as Anglos and African-­Americans in 2012, it would have meant an additional 217,000 votes, almost all of them for Dems.

Such a change would turn the politics of this state upside down.

Already, Arizona is heading in that direction. A report in March from Latino Decisions and America's Voice predicted that by 2029 Arizona will become a majority-­minority state, with Latinos making up 44 percent of the total population by 2050.

No wonder state Republicans are big on voter suppression.

In fact, I would argue that Arizona's egregious immigrant-­bashing legislation, Senate Bill 1070, was all about driving Latinos in general from the state, whether documented, undocumented, able to vote, or unable to vote.

In other words, the Republicans don't need any help, which is exactly what Latinos staying home on Election Day does.

What good will it be if Arizona becomes a majority-­minority state but bigoted whites still rule?

On a more immediate level, there is most certainly a reason for Latinos to vote for Fred DuVal for governor.

DuVal has promised that his first act as governor would be to reverse Governor Jan Brewer's prohibition of driver's licenses for DREAMers who qualify for the president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

This would mean that more than 20,000 young men and women in Arizona who already have qualified for DACA would be able to drive to work and school.

It also would mean an end to the state's expensive defense of Brewer's hateful policy in federal court, which has cost taxpayers $1.48 million so far, according to my latest tally of invoices from the law firm Fennemore Craig in Arizona DREAM Act Coalition v. Brewer, paid by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

That's not to mention the money the state would make if it dropped the policy like a hot rock and let these law-abiding DACA-recipients purchase licenses.

At $25 per head, that would equal $500,000 at a time when the state's coffers are bone dry.

I don't care if your skin is brown, black, white, or purple, that's good enough reason to vote D this year as any.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons