Arizona dares L.A. to carry out boycott

By Stephen Dinan

The spat over Arizona’s new immigration expanded Tuesday as a state official dared the city of Los Angeles to follow through on its new boycott by agreeing to give up the 25 percent of electricity that city gets from Arizona sources.

In a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce said a boycott war is bad for both sides, and said he would “be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements” to end the electricity flowing to Los Angeles.

“I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands,” Mr. Pierce said. “If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”

Los Angeles’s city council voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt a boycott of Arizona businesses — at least in instances where the boycott wouldn’t impose a significant economic cost to the city.

Arizona’s law requires police to ask for proof of legal residence from anyone they have reasonable suspicion is not in the country legally. In most cases a driver’s is sufficient to comply, and the law prohibits using race or ethnicity as a reason for suspicion, but critics say they expect the measure to spark racial profiling nonetheless.

Civil rights and Hispanic groups have sued to try to block the law, and the Obama administration is reviewing the legislation to see if it violates civil rights laws.

The law goes into effect in July, but already a number of municipalities have condemned or announced boycotts of Arizona. Mr. Villaraigosa said his city’s boycott was intended to hurt the Arizona economy.

Mr. Pierce, the Arizona official, said in his letter to Mr. Villaraigosa that this was the wrong way to go.

“I received your message; please receive mine,” he said.

A message left with the Mr. Villaraigosa’s office was not immediately returned.

But Mr. Villaraigosa offered his own tongue-in-cheek challenge to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon this week in a bet over the NBA playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

Mr. Villaraigosa said if Phoenix wins, Los Angeles will have to accept Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a fierce opponent of illegal immigration. If the Lakers win, Mr. Villaraigosa said Phoenix will have to accept Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman, two Republicans battling for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination in California, where illegal immigration is a major issue.

Starve the Beast?

What would happen if U.S. businesses stopped paying federal payroll taxes? What wou;d happen if we went along with the idea thrown about by Neal Boortz and allow people to understand how much money the federal government takes from them each paycheck? Would they get the idea of how great of an idea the fairtax is if they got 100% of their paycheck for a month or two? Would the federal government get the idea of how angry the American people are if they were starved from their monthly allowance from all American businesses?

Right now, we are looking at becoming Greece, or worse, Bangkok. What is the solution, civil disobedience? What are your thoughts, your ideas?

There is a facebook page: what if Businesses stopped paying federal payroll taxes?

What say you?

San Diego Faces Own Medicine as Arizona Residents Cancel Travel Following Boycott of State

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is shown here discussing her state's controversial immigration bill April 23 in Phoenix. (AP Photo)

FOXNews.com

Arizona tourists are biting back against San Diego for its city council’s decision to boycott the Grand Canyon State over its immigration law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last month.

Would-be tourists have notified the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and some hotels that they are canceling their scheduled travel to the coastal vacation destination, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

According to the newspaper, the convention bureau has received about 25-30 emails from Arizona residents, with some saying they are canceling their reservations and taking their money elsewhere.

That has tourism officials urging Arizonans to consider the resolutions as merely symbolic and local politics at work.

“We’re in a very tough environment already because of everything else going on, and we don’t need another negative impact to our industry,” ConVis President Joe Terzi told the Union-Tribune. “This affects all the hardworking men and women who count on tourism for their livelihoods, so we’re saying, don’t do something that hurts their livelihoods.”

“I’ve been approached by a number of hotels who are very concerned because they’ve received cancelations from Arizona guests,” Namara Mercer, executive director of the county Hotel-Motel Association, told the newspaper.

Roughly 2 million Arizonans visit San Diego each year but the recession has taken a toll on the hotel industry that was hoping for a comeback this year. Hotels are offering deep discounts to fill up their undersold rooms while the tourism board spends $7 million this spring and summer season to promote travel to the area.

Several councils in large cities like Los Angeles, Austin, Boston and San Francisco have approved boycotts on employee travel or future contracts with Arizona businesses as a result of the law that goes into effect on July 1. The state tourism bureau has said the losses so far have reached nearly $10 million as a result of 23 canceled meetings.

But others are cautious, noting unintended consequences. Milwaukee’s city council delayed a vote on a boycott and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he opposes such action.

On Saturday, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared with Brewer in Phoenix to criticize President Obama for not passing an immigration law and putting Arizona in the situation where it had to act on its own.

“It’s time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say ‘we’re all Arizonans now, and in clear unity, we say, Mr. President, do your job, secure our borders,’” Palin said.

Palin also has denounced a decision by Highland Park, Ill., officials who canceled the high school girls’ basketball team’s travel to the state in December. Both Highland Park Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson and the Austin City Council suggested that their decisions were less based on politics than concern their players and employees could be in harm’s way if they want to Arizona. Hebson, however, told the Chicago Tribune that she did not know if any student players were themselves illegal immigrants.

Palin, a former basketball player, said she would raise money or find other ways to get the players to the tournament.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, school board President Shelia Jackson said she is sorry people don’t want to come to her city, but she still supports her vote to boycott Arizona.

“It’s sad that people would cancel their plans to come here in reaction to that, but I still think we did the right thing,” Jackson told the Union-Tribune. “Certainly, we know how important tourism is to San Diego, and it wasn’t my intent to impact the tourism trade.”

THE ODD OPPOSITION TO THE ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW

By Neal Boortz

Now Los Angeles has decided that it is going to boycott Arizona. It looks, though, that LA will only stop doing business with Arizona companies where it is convenient to do so. LA will not, for instance, stop flights between LAX and Arizona airports nor will they forbid Arizona-based US Airways from landing at LAX. In other words, it’s all symbolic Bravo Sierra.

Remember this: Many – perhaps a majority – of Los Angeles’ Hispanic residents believe that LA belongs to Mexico, not to the United States. They consider LA to be occupied territory. Come to think of it .. maybe the United States government ought to cancel all assistance to LA until these people develop an ability to think rationally.

Here are the two questions that nobody seems to want to ask the Los Angeles City Council … two questions that the media will not ask those protesting the Arizona laws … two questions that no caller has tried to address on my show:

1. What can any Arizona law enforcement official do under the Arizona immigration law that a federal law enforcement official cannot already do?

2. What requirement does the Arizona law place on any non-citizen living in Arizona that federal law does already not place on any non-citizen living elsewhere in the United States?

Until someone can explain those differences these protests are nothing but meaningless rantings and ravings from people who have an agenda that goes far beyond idiotic concerns over racial or ethnic profiling.

San Francisco’s Unconstitutional Arizona ‘Boycott’

By Bruce Walker

San Francisco and other city governments have jumped on the bandwagon of formally “boycotting” business with Arizona in response to that border state’s new law to assist the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Boycotts are an honorable way to influence governments or citizens. When the Nazis came to power, millions of Americans boycotted German imports. Blacks in Mississippi boycotted the Montgomery Bus System for its discriminatory practices toward blacks five decades ago. American patriots boycotted British goods prior to the Revolutionary War. Conservatives prior to our toppling Saddam Hussein called for boycotts of French goods.

Boycotts have been used against conservatives like Dr. Laura and against leftists like Rosie O’Donnell. In a world in which we have enough “stuff,” there is a compelling case to be made that all of us should use our votes in the marketplace to support values we treasure instead of just getting the best economic bargain. Many of us do that. I have not watched new television programming for decades. Millions of us boycott Hollywood.

The term “boycott” derives from a British officer, Captain Charles Boycott, who zealously enforced the legal but draconian rights of British landlords against Irish tenants in 1880. The Irish people voluntarily decided to have absolutely nothing to do with Captain Boycott. They neither offered nor threatened violence. They acted as a group, but as a group of private individuals. Within a fairly short period of time, the captain and his family left Ireland and returned to England.

Those cities threatening to “boycott” Arizona, however, are not threatening a boycott at all. Instead, as governments under our Constitution, these leftist city councils are creating an embargo. This is wrong, and it is unconstitutional. Under our federal system, state governments and their political subdivisions may not impose undue burdens on interstate commerce. Moreover, states and cities have no right to punish private citizens in other states for the actions of the state governments. Citizens have the right, within our federal system, to be treated equally and fairly.

Arizona, for example, could not pass a law preventing any business with San Francisco until that city modified its ordinances on sexual relations or gun control. It would not matter if an overwhelming majority of Arizonans thought this embargo was good. Political majorities and politicians backed by those majorities may not discriminate against citizens or states which displease them.

Likewise, San Francisco could not refuse to carry merchant traffic from its port facilities to Arizona. Likewise, Arizona could not stop interstate commerce traveling from San Francisco through Arizona. If state and city governments begin to exercise an extra-constitutional power to obstruct interstate commerce by imposing political filters, then there is no logical ending point to a feud between politicians from one part of the country and those in another part of the country. State and local governments throughout the nation have duties to each other. Apolitical and open trade is one of those duties.

Who is hurt when the City of San Francisco “boycotts” (i.e., embargoes) trade with the State of Arizona? The injured parties are the citizens of San Francisco and the citizens of Arizona. Commerce between those governments would exist only if that commerce made economic sense. In other words, the only time in which the prohibitions enacted by San Francisco government would go into effect would be when it makes economic sense to do business with Arizona. Ordinary citizens — who have always had the private right to boycott those they dislike — lose.

Who wins from an embargo when leftist run cities artificially substitute politics for market value in investments? Politicians with an almost insatiable appetite for power and praise win politically — after all, it is not their businesses hurt by an economically irrational embargo against Arizona. Who wins financially? Shrewd investors who buy undervalued assets in places like Arizona! The effect of an utterly political embargo is to reward those who ignore it.

An unconstitutional embargo could also easily cause economic blowback. What if Arizona passed a retaliatory embargo on commerce with the City of San Francisco? How short a step would that government-to-government embargo be from an Arizona embargo that precluded commerce with any business licensed by the City of San Francisco? Such businesses, after all, must largely conform to San Francisco municipal laws, and those laws would formally discriminate against Arizona. What argument would there be against such a discriminatory embargo by Arizona — particularly when the underlying rationale for a San Francisco government embargo on business with Arizona is explicitly to hurt Arizona businesses?

The underlying problem reflects a concern which I expressed in a recent article: The gravest problem in America today is not government, per se, but the use of government as a sock puppet for an angry, relentless partisan or interest group movement. When those groups seize governments, then the general welfare, as opposed to the welfare of special groups, melts into limp glop. The welfare of the citizens of the several states, even the welfare of ordinary San Franciscans, is abandoned so that political bosses can kowtow to particular interests.

America has an excellent mechanism for punishing those who follow the law but behave badly. It is called the free market. Nearly all of us make our consumer choices based upon complex factors which include more than pure economics. Just as we give our money to churches and to synagogues and we give our time to charities and to community activities, so we buy goods and services, in part, because we approve of the values of those selling. The danger of substituting brute state force for persuaded consumer opinion is that there is no end to the cycle of action and reaction — and no resolution to any of the underlying problems.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.