When the AZGOP dropped SB1070 onto the heads of migrant and Latino communities, there were immediate calls for a boycott. Rep. Raúl Grijalva bravely joined the movement, putting his political future at risk but ultimately won his reelection in November 2010. Unfortunately, that election also saw a huge wave of conservatism sweep a veto-proof GOP supermajority into both the state House & Senate chambers. The agenda is now driven by the author of SB1070 himself, Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance), who was installed as Senate President in January.
When Pearce took the reins, he declared that Arizona would have the country's first Tea Party Senate.
A blog from Pearce picked up by the Sonoran Alliance website is signed “Russell Pearce…Tea Party Senate President-Elect.” He said in the blog, “I consider this to be the Tea Party Senate and we intend to take back America one state at a time.” - AZCentral.com
That threat - and it is a threat - is becoming reality. Yesterday, the state's Senate Appropriations Committee became the first in the nation to advance a repeal of birthright citizenship for a full vote.
After a rocky start, the birthright legislation finally received committee approval on Feb. 22, overcoming the initial hurdle before the full Senate can debate and vote on the measure that is stirring so much raw emotion and is solidifying Arizona’s reputation as ground zero in the struggle to confront illegal immigration.
By an 8-to-5 vote that hewed nearly along party lines, the Senate Appropriations Committee gave the green light to a two-bill proposal whose ultimate aim is to get the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the issue of American citizenship, though critics question whether the judiciary would actually answer this exact issue and not dismiss the legislation on some other grounds. - AZ Capitol Times
Yesterday's hearing was packed with a passionate audience on both sides. Interestingly enough, the Chamber spoke out against the bill because they fear an even worse backlash than the one from SB1070, proving that the boycott is working. There's an opportunity to drive a wedge between them if an economic populist message starts entering the conversation as to why voters should reject the AZGOP's extremist agenda.
"Russell Pearce's vision for Arizona is killing jobs, etc etc" ...because it's clear that the moral argument falls on deaf ears in this state. Of course, it's vital that it continues to be made strongly, and it will.
There's really no end in sight to what these Tea Party bigots have planned for the state. From banning race-based abortions to saving the republic from the threat of healthcare for the poor, it's no wonder that Baja Arizona is starting to organize a secession of its own.