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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    AZ: Top officials put careers on the line on immigration iss

    Top officials put careers on the line on immigration issue
    The Arizona Republic
    May. 18, 2008 12:00 AM

    Gov. Janet Napolitano came closer than ever last week to a full-blown conflict with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over their differing approaches to illegal immigration. The governor ordered $1.6 million in state money to be redirected from Arpaio's operations to a state-led task force charged with arresting many of the state's 60,000 fugitives. Arpaio and other Republican leaders reacted with outrage. Napolitano responded by saying her move wasn't aimed at the sheriff, but at protecting the public from dangerous felons.

    In recent weeks, Napolitano, Arpaio, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and other top state and local officials have offered starkly different views on how to deal with immigration in the Valley. Here's what several of them stand to gain or lose from the conflicts.

    Gov. Janet Napolitano
    At stake: Her national reputation as a Democratic Party leader in the fight against illegal immigration.

    A report this month by the national Democratic Leadership Council described her as "one progressive leader who has firmly grasped" the issue of illegal immigration and cited several Arizona policies "that demonstrate how strong border security can work even in a state with a long international border." Nationally, a split with Arpaio could enhance her reputation among Democrats. A policy aimed at arresting fugitives, many of them presumably in the country illegally, could fit well with a Democratic platform trying to present a get-tough image.

    What could go wrong: Politically, Napolitano has been virtually immune to the criticism of most Arizona Republicans. But Arpaio could be a different story: An all-out confrontation with the popular sheriff could become an obstacle to any long-term political goals that require the support of a majority of Arizonans. A 2010 run for U.S. Senate, for example.

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio
    At stake: His chance to have a significant, practical effect on illegal immigration in Arizona.

    Arpaio has such formidable political skills that the public is likely to hold him in high esteem regardless of controversies surrounding his immigration policies or opposition from other Arizona authorities. But his sources of funding seem to be drying up. First, Napolitano took away the state money for his immigration sweeps. Now, Maricopa County officials are saying his office faces substantial budget cuts in the coming fiscal year. Arpaio says he will find ways to continue his battle against illegal immigration no matter what happens with the budget. The question will be whether, considering the restraints, his sweeps can make a real difference.

    What could go wrong:Will Arpaio take his illegal-immigration enforcement a step too far, offending a majority of his constituency? If public polling is to be believed, he hasn't done it yet. In the long term, the question will be whether Arpaio becomes known as the official who generated headlines and national TV face-time with his enforcement tactics but little in the way of results on the ground.

    Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
    At stake: His future as one of the state's top political leaders.

    To many who support Gordon, he has become a voice of conscience who has stood up to Arpaio and others accused of potential civil-rights violations stemming from "saturation patrols" of heavily Latino neighborhoods. In doing so, Gordon has improved his statewide prominence, especially among Democrats. He has also gained enemies among hard-core anti-illegal-immigration advocates.

    What could go wrong: Safely re-elected last year, Gordon likely isn't going anywhere for now. But his gambit against Arpaio is high stakes. A public-relations loss with the sheriff over the combustible issue of illegal immigration could dampen any further political aspirations.

    State Rep. Russell Pearce
    At stake: Pearce's reputation as Arizona's leader in the fight against illegal immigration.

    No matter what national Democrats say about Napolitano, Pearce has been the architect of most of Arizona's statewide policies against illegal immigration. Practically speaking, he also has achieved more than Arpaio when it comes to immigration, despite the headlines responding to the sheriff's words and actions. For example, Pearce was the force behind the state's landmark employer-sanctions law, and helped broker changes this year that made the law more palatable to Arizona businesses. But as Napolitano, Arpaio and Gordon have increasingly taken the spotlight, Pearce has begun to fade into the background.

    What could go wrong: Pearce faces what could be a difficult primary election this fall when he runs for state Senate against Kevin Gibbons, brother-in-law to Republican Congressman Jeff Flake. Already, there is talk that Pearce's past exploits (advocacy of immigration roundups, forwarding anti-Semitic literature, etc.) could come back to haunt him with voters. Of course, there has been that talk before, too, and Pearce has always seemingly emerged stronger. If elected to the Senate, expect to see Pearce remain at the forefront on the immigration issue.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member tencz57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Houston we have a problem !
    Gov. Janet Napolitano
    At stake: Her national reputation as a Democratic Party leader in the fight against illegal immigration.

    I'ld say the "Party" got to her . She sure isn't the leader now .Fact , she's become a pita to many cops trying to do their job . I think the old timers would say bout the governoris "People will remember her as a leader in Law Enforcement", built your rep then slowly slip back to the camber of commerce status quo' Cheap Labor
    Nam vet 1967/1970 Skull & Bones can KMA .Bless our Brothers that gave their all ..It also gives me the right to Vote for Chuck Baldwin 2008 POTUS . NOW or never*

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