Friday, August 11, 2006

Still Frustrated with the AZ Republican Party

I'm not sure if I feel better or more frustrated. I while ago I ranted that the Arizona Republican Party created an immigration law with an employer enforcement section that was a joke. Well, I spoke with both of my state representatives (who I like and respect) about what happened with that bill. I was informed that what started out as a good bill was amended into its worthless state in order for it to get passed at all. They also let me know that the main proponent of gutting the effectiveness out of the employer enforcement section was the chamber of commerce (I don't remember if it was the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, local chambers of commerce, or some combination).

I had always heard about the power of special interests but to see it first hand was kind of a shock. What is going on here? Where do the loyalties of our politicians lie? What is their stand on illegal immigration? They claim to be against it but will gut legislation aimed at stopping it because the chamber of commerce told them to. Sure it's bad for business. Any business dependant on illegal labor would suffer. The question is: Is that a bad thing? What will hurt the state of Arizona more: a huge drop in the supply of low-wage labor (coupled with a huge drop in crime, strain on ERs and other medical services, less crowding at some of our public schools, less strain on our charities and social services, etc.) or the statu quo?

Well, we know what it's like with them here; what would it be like with them gone? Then comes the real question: Where do our elected representatives really stand?


Mom said...

I think it is all about money. Interest groups are more powerful than I ever imagined. Some politicians purposely cater to the demands of interest groups. Some politicians honestly want to do things a different way but are blocked at every turn. Somehow this "fourth" arm of government has developed an iron grip on legislation. There again it is all about money AND power.

Jeff said...

Unfortunately, I think you're right. A couple days ago I saw a thing on PBS about the Jack Abramoff scandal and it illustrated how deep the corruption in our government really goes. I think the problem is that Congress is self-regulating; so how do you get them to forbid themselves from getting so much money and attention? It's quite a pickle.