Who Benefits the Most from SB 1070?

To answer the question as to who has the most to win from the passage of SB 1070, we really don’t need to dig our Sherlock Holmes caps out from the closet.  It certainly isn’t the Accidental Governor, Jan Brewer, who let the bill fester on her desk for a week before she was compelled by forces unknown to sign it into law.  This was not her issue, and it does not help her politically.  Jan Brewer is a competent public official, but she’s not a leader.  I’d elect her to the HOA Board, but as governor, she’s in way over her head.  And she knows it.  She’s facing an election in November, an election she is very unlikely to win.  Especially after having galvanized the “vote for anybody but Brewer” crowd with her signage of SB 1070.

Okay, how about Russell Pearce, the sponsor of SB 1070?  What does Russell Pearce have to gain?  I say the answer is:  a sense of grandeur.  And very little else.  His raison d’etre is promoting his racist, anti-immigrant agenda.  And he is gaining ground.  There’s no doubt about that.  He’s moving the ball down the field.  He got 1070 passed and signed, and then he got another bill that banned the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona public schools passed.  But, at the end of the day, Russell Pearce is nothing more than an ambitious racist, bigoted blowhard.  And the political winds are changing here in Arizona, and I think that Senator Pearce will find himself out of work and seeking employment at some AM radio talk show sooner rather than later.

Which brings us to door number three.  Obviously, it’s not the people of Arizona.  Arizona presently has eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.  We were hoping to pick up two more seats once the current census numbers come in and the nation’s districts are re-aligned, but thanks to anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic rhetoric and actual legal measures that have been taken to drive Hispanics from our state, we will likely only pick up one.  Additionally, Arizona has what most Americans would consider a peculiar way of raising public funds.  We have a very low state income tax, much lower than average property taxes, but an incredibly high sales tax.  It varies on where you shop.  There is the state sales tax, the county sales tax, and then the municipal sales tax.  If I shop locally, I’m paying about 11%.  We depend on tourism.  And we also depend on our friends from south of the border.  They may or may not be undocumented, but they have to spend money here.  And the built-in logic of our tax policy is dependent upon Mexicans spending money here in Arizona.

So, who is the mystery man behind door number three?  None other than Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” the jefe of the MCSO (that’s the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office).  I really must hand it to Joe on this one.  He has deftly kept his hands off of SB 1070.  He let his friend and former Deputy Sheriff, Russell Pearce, do all the dirty work.  He manipulated Acting Governor Brewer to sign it by threatening to run against her in a Republican primary.  He’s an awful, awful man, but in a Machiavellian way, he’s a great politician.  And he’s not to be underestimated.

All Politics Are Local

Sheriff Joe is facing so many lawsuits that it’s difficult to keep track of them.  But he’s dealt with them in the past and has had no compunction whatsoever with passing the bill to the Maricopa County taxpayer.  I’m not sure if we’ve reached the $100 million mark yet, but we’re well into the $10 millions.  That’s how much we’ve had to pay over the years for his bigotry and arrogance.  But now it is different.

Sheriff Joe is a former fed.  Ex-DEA.  Was stationed in Mexico City, and it was there, for some unknown reason, his career as a federal law enforcement officer started to flag.  He was transferred to the border, and soon after, Joe got one of those “it is best that you resign before we fire you” memos.

And that is what fascinates me about Sheriff Joe.  One would think that, as a former DEA agent, he would have a passion for busting drug dealers, and as an agent who has lived in Mexico, he would be more sympathetic to the honest, hard-working Mexicans and would understand how difficult it is to live amongst the drug cartels.  Instead, he pursues people like Maria, the woman who cleans the toilets at the Holiday Inn and Juan, who picks the oranges at the local orange grove.  The Sinaloa cartel is operating in Arizona, it is operating right here in Maricopa County!  But Sheriff Joe does nothing to make a move against these sociopathic gangsters.  In practical terms, Sheriff Joe is giving the Sinaloa cartel a free pass to do whatever it wants within his jurisdiction.  But poor ol’ Maria and poor ol’ Juan, they had better watch out.  Sheriff Joe is coming after you.

Which brings us to 287 (g).  That’s a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1995 that allows the federal government to authorize local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal law regarding immigration.  In Arizona, the following institutions have that right:  the Arizona Dept of Corrections, the Arizona Dept of Public Safety (that’s the State Police), the Phoenix Police Department, the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.  Notice who is missing?  Sheriff Joe and his MCSO did have 287 (g) status, once upon a time, but it was revoked because repeated and credible accusations of racial profiling.

Additionally, four different US Congressional committees held hearings last year which resulted in a unanimous recommendation that the US Attorney General’s office investigate Arpaio and the MCSO. He’s on the hot seat, for racial profiling and a whole lot of other improprieties which border on both sides the criminal.  Sheriff Joe is looking at Federal jail time.  SB 1070 just may be his “get out of prison” card.

The purpose of SB 1070 is not to stop illegal immigration, it’s purpose is to put pressure on the Federal government to stop the investigation into the crimes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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