It’s disgusting to see the Republicans in Arizona still using smoke screens to confuse the uninformed and primarily conservative voters. This years legislative session includes legislative bills that are meant to pursue, or single out undocumented Immigrants who have made Arizona their place of abode.
Amongst the bills are ones that want undocumented children counted in the classrooms and a report generated that would go to the senate president and the governor as well as the chairman of the appropriations committee, who as many of us know is Don Shooter (R) Mesa, who donned a sombrero, a sarape and a half-filled bottle of tequila on the first day of the special session last year, making a mockery of the special session that was meant to direct legislators to the request for extension of unemployment benefits for Arizonans. Given the unemployment rate in Yuma Arizona, Senator Shooter should have not only taken his job serious, but taking into consideration the Mexican population in his district and the fact that he is pro SB1070, this was a slap in the face to not just Mexicans in his district, but Mexicans in Arizona. When confronted with his inappropriate behavior, shooter responded “Anybody who knows me, knows I’m a cutup, a jokester, but I also play hard and I work hard” Well, I’ll be, that certainly isn’t behavior conducive with what then senate president Russell Pearce called, “maintaining decorum within the senate building.”
Another example of irresponsible behavior from Arizona’s failed leadership is that of Frank Antenori (R) Tucson. As women prayed at a vigil outside the senate building, Antenori, who is currently running for congress, accompanied by senate majority leader Andy Biggs (R) Gilbert, stood inside the senate building, door open, body half way out, and with bullhorn in hand, turned the siren on while pointing the bullhorn at the women in prayer, later screaming through the bullhorn, “how do you like it?”
This irresponsible and childish behavior on behalf of Arizona legislators and our governor who claims to be part of Arizona’s “leadership”, is not uncommon. Many of us saw the recent images that made their way around the world with our inept governor wagging her finger dangerously close to President Obama’s face while reprimanding him for questioning distorted facts within her book.
I could go on and on about the insensitive comments like those of Lori Klein (R) Anthem who yelled “go back to Mexico”, to voters protesting in front of the senate building, but let’s move on and take a look at Arizona’s failed leadership from an incontestable series of facts.
Rather than using their creativity to conjure up laws that promote attrition of Arizona’s Latino and Immigrant community, Arizona’s legislature and it’s governor should be focused on attracting corporations that can bring jobs to Arizona. They should be finding a way to allow small businesses to thrive in Arizona which would stimulate the economy.
Arizona’s “leadership” has many years ago lost their way. They compromised any good intent they may have originally had as legislators for political gain. They have been much more interested in their reelection than reinforcing Arizona’s economy. The creation of unfunded mandates is one clear example of not only their hypocrisy, but their irresponsibility in legislating for Arizona.
Arizona’s lawmakers rant and rave about the cost of Immigrants to Arizona, yet any law created to date, meant to be used as an attrition tool, has been an unfunded mandate.
I interviewed Sheriff Ralph Ogden (R) Yuma, he generated a report many years before the passing of SB1070 that used specific numbers to explain the cost involved with trying to implement an SB1070 type law in his county. Taking his costs from thousands to millions based on the need to incarcerate, prosecute, and further incarcerate post conviction, and that’s only for a misdemeanor charge. Utilizing mandates within SB1070 a second arrest for unlawful presence would require felonious charges therefore creating an exorbitant amount in to the hundreds of millions to incarcerate, adjudicate and subsequently imprison these immigrants whose original intent in Arizona was simply to fill those much needed low skilled labor jobs.
Where is the hypocrisy you may ask? It’s clear that if you preface the “do you support SB1070″ question with, do you consider yourself a fiscal conservative, time, and time again, these legislators and most “conservative” Arizonans will quickly confirm both. Yet, if you follow up with the fact that SB1070 is an unfunded mandate, their blanket response is one that lends credence to the belief that these are racists whose only intent is to eliminate people who come from a cultural background that they simply cannot accept as equals.
The average Republican and legislator in Arizona will consistently respond by saying, “I don’t care what it costs, we just have to get rid of the “illegals” in Arizona.” Fiscal conservative? I truly doubt that! Multiply the “Yuma County factor” by fifteen counties in Arizona and you have a financial dilemma like one never before seen in Arizona.
Now you may be quick to spit out the usual conservative rhetoric or repeat the well known Arizona Republican mantra that was for years promoted by the now disgraced Russell Pearce. “It costs millions to medicate, educate and incarcerate illegals.” If that was even remotely true, consider the costs added from an unfunded state mandate.
There is absolutely no doubt, and as I previously pointed out, there is no refute to the argument that Arizona’s politicians are not interested in making Arizona a more sound state, but in fact are more interested in performing political stunts that will cause their reelection time and again at the expense of a deeply divided and broke Arizona.
I recently became aware of a “Recall Jan Brewer” campaign that was launched by a group of activists that are looking for a change in Arizona. Unfortunately, I know that a recall of Jan Brewer is an uphill battle, especially since you’re looking at a statewide movement that would need thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars to pull off. Believe me, the recall Pearce effort was a cake walk compared to what would be required to recall Arizona’s inept and damning governor, Janice K. Brewer. I wish them well, at least they’re doing something other than complaining.
Given Arizona’s apathetic voters and failed leadership on both the right and the left, perhaps Arizona has what they deserve. The way I see it, most of the legislature and the governor should all be recalled, yes even most on the left who utilize the pro immigrant topic to get reelected, yet lack the political mountain oysters to propose and push for sweeping changes.
Carlos E. Galindo is a radio talk show host & political analyst conducting radio shows in both English and Spanish on four radio stations in Arizona. Mr. Galindo is a weekly contributor to KPFK 98.7 FM Los Angeles and W60 AM Radio, Los Angeles, San Diego and has appeared on CNN, Univision and Telemundo as a political analyst. Mr. Galindo is also an Op-Ed columnist on Prensa Hispana and the Tucson Citizen in Arizona.