Tonight, I had a choice.
I could have attended a charity screening of the movie "Serenity" to benefit local charities GIFT (Growth Improvement for Female Teens) and The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona or I could have gone to a meeting of the Community Council of South Scottsdale.
Since I watched, over a 5-day period a couple of weeks ago, the entire Firefly series as well as 'Serenity,' the movie based on the series (something I recommend for anyone - it's a great series and holds together well with the movie), I elected to attend the community group meeting.
Damn, I'm glad I made that choice.
Tonight's meeting, held at the Granite Reef Senior Center, was an immigration forum with state Rep. John Kavanagh (R-LD8) and Alexis Tameron, Congressman Harry Mitchell's district director. Both were there to give updates on immigration-related activity at their respective levels of government.
Ms. Tameron discussed Congressman Mitchell's positions regarding the immigration issue and also about the recently-revived immigration 'reform' measure in the U.S. Senate. She acknowledged a lack of specific information regarding individual provisions in the bill because it is still subject to negotiation, amendment, and debate in the Senate. She offered to contact interested folks when the Senate finalizes and passes its bill.
In short, it was pretty standard stuff.
John Kavanagh, however, was a revelation.
Tonight was the first time I had seen him up close since I attended a couple of LD8 candidate forums last year.
During those forums, he came across as a far-right Republican; an intelligent, educated, and well-spoken one (he's an instructor at Scottsdale Community College), but not a hard-line bigot.
Well, apparently, while he was *running* for the office, he was on his best behavior.
Now that he *in* the office, it's a different story.
He blamed immigrants for all that ails society - rising crime, failing schools, diseases (TB and leprosy were his favorites there), potential terrorism, and more.
He also has no use for the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (the one that says that babies born in the U.S. are automatically U.S. citizens), but he admitted that getting another Constitutional amendment passed to 'correct' the 14th is unlikely.
In short, he's an intelligent, educated, well-spoken version of Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance), only with a 'Noo Yawk' accent.
Some of his choicer quotes tonight [with my responses] -
"They come here for the benefits." [No, they come here to work in lousy jobs.]
Arizona cities that have 'sanctuary' policies are "shameful." [Only if considers 'shameful' to be a synonym of 'humane.']
Jon Kyl is a "disappointment." [OK, so anybody can get *one* right.]
Regarding the Minutemen - "good people." [ROTFLMAO - watch the film Crossing Arizona.]
After citing a (unverified) statistic that 1/5 of the residents of Arizona are illegal immigrants, he looked around the room and said "everybody in this room looks OK." [Good freakin' God...]
And my personal favorite:
"Russell Pearce is my close friend." [With friends like that, who needs jackboots....]
Here's to hoping that the LD8 Democrats can find a good candidate to run against him next year, and that the LD8 Republicans can see past the polish and understand that Kavanagh isn't there to represent them.