Summer is finally here. To me, that means three things: sunshine, flip-flops, and baseball. In an unbelievable coincidence, it happens to mean the exact same thing for the Republican Party, the state of Arizona and its brainchild: Senate Bill 1070. It’s no secret that there’s been quite the hoopla made of Senate Bill 1070. The immigration reform bill has garnered the attention of everyone from the National Council of La Raza, college students (both in Arizona and abroad), Los Angeles City Council members, and even The Phoenix Suns. Now that it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue, it’s time to watch politicians waffle as they seek political seats of power and witness the overall backlash.
For political junkies, like me, the hot ball of gas that is Senate Bill 1070, has shed some interesting sunlight on the Republican primary races. What was expected to be a basic “Democrats aren’t getting anything done” campaign across the country, developed some interesting sun spots and gave rise to inner-party wavering. The party that once coined the phrase “flip flop” while campaigning diligently against Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in the 2004 Presidential Election, has now caught a bad case of summer fever and broke out their own pair of stylish summer footwear.
In an attempt to attract the Latin demographic vote, while still maintaining their predominantly Caucasian backing, many Republicans have flipped from favoring the Senate Bill to opposing it, and vice versa. This issue has Republicans carefully tip-toeing the razor thin line that will accumulate the most votes. For example, In the California race for Governor, a Republican candidate’s opposition on the immigration bill has reportedly cost her a significant amount of her lead over her own Republican foe. Clearly, an extreme immigration plan that was once trendy to oppose has managed to gain some fearful support from the Republican Party and now seems to have a solid defense system.
Leading the defenses of SB 1070 is, of course, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer who has called opposition to the law “inappropriate and misguided.” Of course she is referring to public cries for a boycott of the state in all facets, even sporting events like the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. She has denounced these pleas as being punishment to citizens who have been punished enough by illegal immigration. Also on her side is the Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, who has inadvertently threatened to cut off the estimated 25% of power supplied to the city of Los Angeles by the state of Arizona. Interestingly enough, this threat seems impossible considering that the city of Los Angeles owns a majority share in the Arizona company who supplies the power. This may strike some as contradictory, considering that the city has already pledged to boycott all business ventures with the state of Arizona. It is unclear how Los Angeles is truly following through on its boycott threat if it still maintains holdings on businesses within the Arizona borders, but nonetheless, the upcoming clash between the two entities ought to produce quite the game of hardball.
It should come as no surprise that the state of Arizona is softly pleading for outside governments and the public to stop talking about SB 1070 and stop taking action against the law. This is most assuredly done in the name of maintaining what meek economic stability they still have. The state clearly cannot afford to lose an estimated $56 million in business with surrounding cities, nor can it afford to lose the (positive) national attention and influx of money that comes with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Believe it or not, this is hardly the first time the state has come off as controversial and spurred boycott. During the 1990’s the state was under heavy backlash from the public for refusing to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday. In response boycotts and public action was taken including the removal of an NFL Super Bowl.
Much like sunshine, although hardly anything to be giddy about, Senate Bill 1070 seems to have been quite the catalyst for summer action. This summer looks to be packed with a dynamic and ever-changing opinion in regards to Senate Bill 1070. Federal, State, and City Governments along with news columnists, politicians, and even Sports Commissioners all seem to be locked in an intense game of hardball, with each side desperately attempting to strike the other out. With that being said, summer looks to be pretty busy.