Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jan Brewer wants to "rebrand" Arizona's image

Arizona's unelected governor, Jan Brewer, has finally realized the furor over the police-state bill that she signed into law, SB1070, won't die down. Arizona's image across the country and the world has become that of a virulently redneck place where minorities and outsiders are only welcome in our prisons and jails.

So in typical Jan fashion, she's forming a commission of business types and giving them some of the state's ever-more scarce financial resources ($250K!) to get the message out that Arizona really is a swell place to visit, gosh darn it.

From the AZ Republic article -
Acknowledging that Arizona has developed a serious image problem because of its tough new immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer and tourism-industry leaders said Thursday that they will launch a new effort to stanch the flow of lost trade and convention business in the state.

{snip}

A new task force is charged with rebranding and repositioning the state as a unique destination spot.

That is sure to be a tough task after weeks of talk-show comedians, celebrities, politicians and others making Arizona a punch line, calling the law racist and drawing comparisons to fascism and Nazi Germany.

{snip, for the big whopper of the piece}

The governor said much of the furor is caused by what she characterized as "mistruths" about the new law.

As an example, Brewer said it has been erroneously reported that the new immigration law would allow racial profiling and that visitors can't come to Arizona without ID or they'll be arrested.

"You aren't going to be asked for ID unless you first commit a crime," she said.
To address the lie first - SB1070 contains the following section:
FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON...
That section was adjusted with the passage of HB2162 with this language -
For any lawful contact STOP, DETENTION OR ARREST made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OTHER LAW OR ORDINANCE OF A COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN OR THIS STATE...

Not really an improvement that. The law has gone from "arrest immigrants and tourists for asking a police officer for directions or the time of day" to "arrest immigrants and tourists for merely being in the vicinity of a noise ordinance or sign code violation (think that there will be any of those in an election year?)".

No crime has to be committed by a person for the police to demand to see their papers, they only have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Victims, witnesses, and even completely uninvolved bystanders are at risk for arrest. And the kicker is, if the law enforcement officer understands that and doesn't demand to see the papers of everyone he has contact with, he will get sued by anybody who so desires. In short, the law is written in such a way as to condition law enforcement officers to go after everybody, even if it is counterproductive to public safety or justice.

Anyway, if Jan and her clan want to improve Arizona's image, here are a few suggestions to her from someone who is sick of starting conversations with outsiders with "Hi, I'm from Arizona, and no, we aren't all nuts" -

1. People won't boycott AZ over bigoted police state laws if you don't sign them in the first place.

Duh.

2. Quit enacting laws like the "anybody can carry a concealed weapon without training or a background check" law. Not only do outsiders think that we are bigots, they think that we are bigots who are heavily-armed and trigger-happy. And who can get our drunk on earlier than ever before.

3. Stop lying about the problem, and instead focus your energy on fixing it.

Later...

2 comments:

diaryofatiredblackman said...

Simply put, the woman is a racist.

http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/jan-brewer-is-a-racist/

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.