Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All Aboard The Nativist Railroad!!

Looks like the few Republican candidates who weren't already riding the anti-immigrant train are looking to follow the lead of Jan "all undocumented immigrants are drug mules" Brewer and are buying tickets.

The latest is Barry Wong, a candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission. 

He has proposed requiring utilities to check the immigration status of customers before turning on power/water/etc., and denying the same to those who are unable to prove their presence in the country is legal.

It's somewhat surprising that Wong would come up with something as punitive as this.  Prior to this, he was considered intelligent, thoughtful, and hard-working.

From an AZ Republic editorial on Wong's proposal -
We don't think Wong thought this through. But in his willingness to jump on the bandwagon, he has joined the campaign to demonize illegal immigrants: If your electric bill is high, it's all their fault. It is disturbing that someone like Wong, who has had a reputation as reasoned and thoughtful, would end up playing into the current hysteria.
Even a partisan hack like me (writing two years ago during the last race for ACC) thought Wong was very conservative but that he "occasionally show[s] an understanding of issues that went beyond the usual Republican knee-jerk talking points."

Lobbyist Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, writing an open letter to Wong in the Arizona Capitol Times, took Wong to task for his proposal -
To say that I was shocked and dismayed to read in Wednesday’s Arizona Republic of your proposal to deny utility services to illegal immigrants would be an understatement. Your cynical attempt to ratchet up the rhetoric over immigration to score cheap political points in a bid for office marks a new low in our state’s immigration debate.
It's a rare day indeed when I agree with one of the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce wing of the AZGOP (literally, in Hamer's case! :) ), but in this instance, he is spot on.


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