Friday, November 21, 2008

Napolitano Favors National Guard Along Border

This is not change and it's not something I can believe in...
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, President-elect Barack Obama’s reported primary choice for Homeland Security secretary, says she still thinks National Guard troops should be sent back to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Napolitano says “as governor of Arizona” that’s something she has advocated with other border state governors and still believes.

Arizona Daily Star
We are not at war with Mexico. Stop treating la frontera like the Korean DMZ.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Say hello to Governor Jan Brewer

This makes me physically ill.

Gov. Janet Napolitano is President-elect Barack Obama's top choice to lead the department of Homeland Security, CNN is reporting.

Napolitano, according to reports airing this evening, has indicated she would accept the Cabinet post. The Governor's Office is not confirming the CNN report, but is not denying it, either.

Looks like I spoke too soon earlier this week when I breathed a sigh of relief that she wasn't picked for Attorney General. Arizona's current Secretary of State, Republican Jan Brewer, will now become the next governor. She will have the power to appoint a new SoS who will presumably be a member of the GOP, too.

The effect this will have in Arizona cannot be overstated. The Democrats actually lost seats in the state house on November 4th due to McCain's surprisingly strong coattails. With people like Russell Pearce licking his chops at using tuition monies to close budget gaps, this is just one example of when progressives and sane Arizonans will miss Janet Napolitano's veto pen.

PHOENIX — Lawmakers are eyeing an extra $56.7 million collected in tuition by the three public universities, possibly to help balance the state budget.

Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee refused on Thursday to support a plan by the Board of Regents to spend the funds on university needs.

Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the state's larger-than-expected deficit makes it necessary for legislators to find and use any revenues for the most critical needs in the state.

Arizona Daily Star
This move will also solidify the hostile posture of the U.S. government towards border security. I expect to see more militarization and region-wide declarations of emergencies now that Janet will head DHS, she didn't hesitate to make the same move as Governor. While not a nativist, I expect the raids to continue under her leadership, something that destroys families, since she signed a 2007 state law that enacted harsh penalties to employees and employers. Her opposition to the Real ID Act was based on funding in the past, so it's not clear where she stands if given leeway to develop budget needs on the federal level.

If I had my wish, DHS would be abolished altogether. It's a symbol of everything that Bush did wrong after 9/11.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Border Alliance Formed to Address Concerns

Border policy is just one important aspect of the need for a complete upheaval and restructuring of the overall immigration system. Unfortunately, those of us who call the FronteraLands our home in the southwest portion of the United States know that when D.C. talks about the need to secure our nation's borders, they don't really mean it. That's all just wonky code for "do all we can to keep the horde of brown people heading north from Mexico and Latin America out of our land."

Never will we see the construction of a massive wall between the U.S. and Canada as we are witnessing rise like an evil phoenix across the desert states; nor will Alaskans have to tolerate the erection of virtual sensor towers along their imaginary line with the Yukon Territory. Checkpoints with armed guards a hundred miles inland won't be commonplace in Maine, though if they were to materialize, you can bet a sack of euros that agents would still be scanning vehicles for those suspected of crossing la frontera sur. No need to worry about every guest at a Hawaiian luau being seized by gas mask-covered ICE agents wielding demands that proof of citizenship be provided on the spot.

No, no. Those types of adventures are usually reserved for us. A second helping if our skin happens to be brown. Any yet, over the past several years, the George W. Bush misAdministration has repeatedly told residents of frontera communities that our concerns were null and void in the face of Homeland Security™. Our human rights have been repeatedly ignored and violated as the region becomes more militarized, environmental protections slashed and burned, tribal burial grounds desecrated, ancestral properties seized, minority populations targeted through profiling, etc etc etc.

In the face of such adversity and oftentimes absurdity, a sliver of light shines through the crack in the doorway to true dialog. An alliance has been formed between the National Immigration Forum, the Border Network of Human Rights and the Border Action Network to give a voice to border residents. This week, members of the three groups travel to Washington, D.C. to present their collaborative report: Effective Border Policy: Security, Responsibility and Human Rights. You can view the full report and representative listings here.

This report finally addresses border policy and immigration reform with an adult mindset, instead of with a tantrum and band-aid, as we've seen repeatedly during the past eightish years. Via press release, here is an excerpt of recommendations and the mindset of collaborators:
"Border policy is not a choice between enforcement or no enforcement; it is about smart enforcement that creates national and community security," said El Paso Sheriff-elect and Task Force member, Richard Wiles. "I came to Washington because I believe that border security and community security are not mutually exclusive. Establishing and maintaining trust between local law enforcement and the immigrant community is central to the security of my county. If we trust each other, then as Sheriff I can focus on the real dangers facing our community."

The recommendations in the report are divided into several key areas: accountability and oversight, review of border operations, technology, and infrastructure, ports of entry, border walls and fencing, diluting law enforcement resources, military at the border, detention and deportation, community security and just and comprehensive development.

Specific proposals include:
  • Communities are more secure when border enforcement policies focus on the criminal element and engage immigrants in fighting the real dangers facing our country;
  • Communities are safer when we implement policies that ensure accountability and provide local oversight of enforcement activities;
  • Communities flourish when Ports of Entry are treated as vital gateways to America;
  • Communities are stronger and lives are saved when we replace border blockade operations with more sensible enforcement; and
  • Communities are safer when local law enforcement is not pressed into immigration-enforcement roles and the military is not used to enforce civilian law.
Let's see how much Change™ can be enacted with a new President and Congress next year. A bigger table for discussion with the people who actually live in the areas being affected is a decent start.

Crossposted from The Sanctuary

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Attorney General Pick Announced

It's not Janet
President-elect Obama has decided to tap Eric Holder as his attorney general, putting the veteran Washington lawyer in place to become the first African-American to head the Justice Department, according to two legal sources close to the presidential transition.

Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, still has to undergo a formal “vetting” review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified talking about the transition process. But in the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted, the source said. The announcement is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State departments.

As an Arizonan who happens to be sane (most of the time), I'm breathing a sigh of relief that Governor Napolitano wasn't selected. Don't get me wrong, I think she would be a phenomenal AG, but for selfish reasons I hope she sticks out the rest of her term through 2010. Janet's veto pen is the only thing that stands between the loons in control at the state capitol and those of us who would have to endure the wingnut gauntlet they would enact under a Governor Jan Brewer (R).

A sampling of examples from the archives here, here, and here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rest in Peace, Sister Renilde

A tireless servant of others through her faith in God. The work of Los Samaritanos will continue. Thank you for the lives you helped save and the dignity and justice you helped raise by the love you brought this world.

She was a mentor and friend to me and countless others. Rest in peace, Sister Renilde. I'm blessed to have known and worked with you over the past few years at Newman.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Georgia Steals Votes of New Citizens

Outrageous (though not surprising)

A significant number of the almost 5000 Georgia voters whose citizenship was challenged before the election will not have their ballots counted.

Last week, about 4,770 voters were told they would have to vote on paper ballots because their citizenship was in question. It was then up to them to return to their local election boards with proof of citizenship.


They're systematically victimized and officials expect new citizens to trust them? With constant headlines proclaiming the latest raid and mass deportations, it's no wonder that many of these individuals didn't voluntarily go to local election board offices when their citizenship was challenged.

And a reminder that the Republican party is batting near 1000 when it comes to serving as the villain for these types of voter and civic disenfranchisement...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some Numbers From Arizona


President (97.1% of precincts reporting)
McCain - 53.8%
Obama - 45%

In Pima County, Obama 52.07%/McCain 46.37%
In Santa Cruz County, Obama 64.81%/McCain 34.15% - great job Baja Arizona!

AZ Congressional District 01 (96.7% of precincts reporting)
Ann Kirkpatrick (D) - 55.5%
Sydney Hay (R) - 39.8%

AZ Congressional District 02 (96.7% of precincts reporting)
Thrasher (D) - 37.2%
Franks (R) -59.4%

AZ Congressional District 03 (99.2% of precincts reporting)
Lord (D) - 42.4%
Shadegg (R) - 53.8%

AZ Congressional District 04 (98.2% of precincts reporting)
Pastor (D) - 72%
Karg (R) - 21.5%

AZ Congressional District 05 (98.8% of precincts reporting)
Mitchell (D) - 53.2%
Schweikert (R) - 43.6%

AZ Congressional District 06 (100% of precincts reporting)
Schneider (D) - 35.1%
Flake (R) - 61.9%

AZ Congressional District 07 (93.9% of precincts reporting)
Grijalva (D) - 62.5%
Sweeney (R) - 33.5%

AZ Congressional District 08 (96.6% of precincts reporting)
Giffords (D) - 54.7%
Bee (R) - 42.9%

Proposition 100 - "Protect Our Homes" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 76.9%
No - 23.1%

Proposition 101 - "Medical Choice for Arizona" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 49.9%
No - 50.1%

Proposition 102 - "Marriage" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 56.4%
No - 43.6%

In Pima County - Yes 49.1%/No 50.59 - again, great job Baja Arizona!

Proposition 105 - "Majority Rules" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 34.3%
No - 65.7%

Proposition 200 - "Payday Loan Reform Act" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 40.5%
No - 59.5%

Proposition 201 - "Homeowners' Bill of Rights" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 22.1%
No - 77.9%

Proposition 202 - "Stop Illegal Hiring" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 40.9%
No - 59.1%

Proposition 300 - "State Legislator's Salaries" (97.3% reporting)
Yes - 35.5%
No - 64.5%

Maricopa County Sheriff (99.1% reporting)
Dan Saban - 41.9%
Joe Arpaio - 55.5%

Maricopa County Attorney (99.1% reporting)
Tim Nelson - 44.1%
Andrew Thomas - 51.6% (he's an Arpaio stooge)

*that website made me want to rip out my eyeballs - way past due for an upgrade

Yes We Did!

The First Family-Elect of the United States of America

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama's State-Level Effect in AZ

While the polls for the presidential contest have been tightening in recent weeks between Senators Obama and McCain in Arizona, the effect of the Democrats' ability to register, empower and organize voters will be felt more powerfully on the state level.

Tonight, we have an opportunity to flip the state House of Representatives to the Democrats by netting four seats. The sea change that will represent cannot be overstated. Governor Napolitano has been the only firewall for the past few years against a far-right, nativist led GOP caucus in both chambers of the state legislature. These are the jokers that have repeatedly put up anti-migrant and anti-latino initiatives up for vote; the same crazies who want guns in bars, restaurants and school campuses. If the Democrats get their vote out today, the era of Russell Pearce-dominated politics under the capital dome will be at an end.

On the federal level, 2006 brought an even parity of Democrats and Republicans to the congressional delegation with Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords earning seats to represent Arizona. Ann Kirpatrick will almost undoubtedly become the newest face to the scene in CD01. She's run a fantastic campaign and probably worn out several pairs of walking shoes from all the visits she's made around the huge district (it's bigger than the state of Illinois); and if a tsunami strikes the GOP tonight, we can also say hello to Congressmen Bob Lord in CD03 - we'll see what happens.

Ballot initiatives will be a mixed bag. I fully expect the anti-migrant proposition 202 to pass as it gives nativists and haters a chance to take out their agression since the issue has been largely absent from the national dialog. The "Bigotry with a Smile" proposition 102 that will amend the state constitution to define marriage between a man and woman only is hopefully going down to defeat (again!), but have to admit that the Yes people have been very visible with signs and commercials this cycle. As I said before, if there is a progressive wave from all the work the Obama campaign has done in the past few months, we'll see it in ballot lines like these.

Polls are open until 7PM local time (9pm Eastern).
Don't forget your ID.
Acceptable forms of identification with photograph, name, and address of the elector
  • Valid Arizona driver license
  • Valid Arizona nonoperating identification license
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification
An identification is "valid" unless it can be determined on its face that it has expired.

Acceptable forms of identification without a photograph that bear the name and address of the elector (two required)
  • Utility bill of the elector that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
  • Bank or credit union statement that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election
  • Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
  • Indian census card
  • Property tax statement of the elector's residence
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
  • Recorder's Certificate
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the county recorder
An identification is "valid" unless it can be determined on its face that it has expired.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gov. Dean in Tucson Today for GOTV Rally

From the mailbag:
Washington, DC - On Monday, November 3rd DNC Chairman Howard Dean will spend the last full day of the 2008 presidential election helping to get out the vote for Democrats in John McCain's home state of Arizona. Dean will headline a Get Out the Vote Rally with local Democrats in Tucson, Arizona on the heels of Arizona being moved from "Leaning McCain" to "Toss Up" by Real Clear Politics.


Tucson, AZ
Pima County Coordinated Campaign Office, Outdoor Parking Lot
4639 E 1st Street
Tucson, AZ

Event Time: 12:00 PM Local Time