SB 1070

Honeywell Contract is Target of Anti-Arizona Immigration Activists in Los Angeles

After Arizona lawmakers passed SB1070, calls for action by immigration activists were heard loudly in California.

San Francisco and Los Angeles announced boycotts against the state -- but reality quickly set in when city leaders realized such plans might come back to hurt them.

As L.A. Weekly writer Gene Maddaus points out this week, the Los Angeles boycott was a failure: "Aside from a single conference in Phoenix that LAPD officers were forbidden to attend, absolutely nothing has changed."

But, as Maddaus writes, the high-minded, liberal Los Angeles City Council is getting another chance to put the hurt on bad, old Arizona. Sometime in the coming weeks, the council will vote whether to hand Honeywell a $90 million contract to upgrade electronics at sewage facilities.

Immigration activists including Councilman Ed Reyes are pushing to punish Arizona by denying the contract to Honeywell, which they say is based in Arizona.

When Honeywell put in a bid for the work, it used a Phoenix address. But now, with $90 million on the line, the company is throwing Arizona under the bus and claiming it's based in Morristown, New Jersey.

Complicating matters, though, is the fact that a rival for the sewage-plant computer work is also pushing the L.A. government to uphold its promise to discipline Arizona. Naturally, the company, Emerson, thinks it should be awarded the contract instead. Yet Emerson also has an Arizona office.

Meanwhile, officials with the sewage department fret that any delays in awarding the contract could mean system failures that result in the release of huge quantities of "noxious gas."

Some might say that gas has already been released -- the fumes of faux indignation from the L.A. City Council.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.