While GOP Parties In New York, Arizona Looks Ominous


[Recently by Bryanna Bevens:

The Rise Of The Treason Tort]

See also
Arizonans Beware—Mexico Is Watching Prop.
200
,
by Allan Wall.

Senator John McCain
(R-AZ) was the keynote speaker at the Republican
Convention in New York City Monday night. He will be
host of
“Wednesday Night Live,”

the

convention party
at

Cipriani
for which everyone is scrambling to
get tickets. He is the uncontested MVP of this year`s
convention.

But sadly, even
McCain has chosen to ignore the immigration problems

brewing
in his home state.
[Transcript
of convention speech.]

He`s a team player
and this team is trading the World Series for a fourth
round draft pick—the

hypothetical Hispanic vote.

One rookie is
never enough to win a

pennant
. Once upon a time, the Republicans
knew that.

My last Republican convention
was

San Diego in 1996.
Eight years and two presidential
elections have left the Republican Party virtually
unrecognizable and sadly unattractive.

In 1996, regardless of what
you`ve

heard
about the backlash of Prop 187, California
voters were energized by a new ballot measure, Prop

209
, which effectively

abolished affirmative action quotas
in the state
government. Candidates scrambled to add their name to
the long list of endorsements.

I traded favors with several
staff employees for the privilege of picking up

Ward Connerly
at the Fresno airport. Fetching coffee
for the leadership team was an honor.

In short, we were proud. We
were proud of our leaders, proud of our commitment to

conservative principles.

But when I looked at the RNC
website for this year`s convention and at first glance
thought I had stumbled across a recruitment brochure for
the

University of Political Correctness.
 Rather than
seizing the opportunity to cement their

core voter base
by announcing and detailing their
plan for “A Better America,” the Bush
Administration has apparently decided to direct their
efforts towards building a new
voter base. With only two months until Election Day,
it is certainly an interesting strategy.

In place of ideas for
Immigration Reform, Education or perhaps the War in
Iraq, the RNC homepage has a link named

“Convention reaches out to Hispanics.”

The link on the RNC homepage
lists the various Hispanics chosen to participate in
token convention roles such as giving the Pledge of
Allegiance before a Tuesday morning prayer breakfast,

in Spanish
of course.

In contrast, the 1996 GOP
convention took

this position
on immigration:

“Republicans believe that
by eliminating the magnet for illegal immigration,
increasing border security, enforcing our immigration
laws, and producing counterfeit-proof documents, we will
finally put an end to the illegal immigration crisis.”

Meanwhile, as the GOP
leadership scrambles for the Democrat demagogues` table
scraps, once-reliable Republican states are showing
signs of vulnerability. Case in point: Arizona.

Only one Democrat in almost
fifty years of presidential elections has won Arizona.

Bill Clinton
narrowly defeated Bob Dole there in
1996, having lost the state in 1992. Note: that was also
the first time since

FDR
that a Democrat president has been elected to a
second full term in office.

Yet, significantly, the
Kerry/Edwards team has launched a full-court press for
the ten electoral votes of this battleground state.

  • The Kerry/Edwards team is stumping, for
    the third time, in

    Arizona
    next week.

  • Governor

    Janet Napolitano
    was given a coveted, prime time
    speaker slot at the Democratic National Convention.

  • Congressman

    Raul Grijalva
    (D-AZ) was one of three people chosen
    to lead the Vice Presidential nominations at the DNC,
    also a coveted position.

These decisions
suggest the Democrats smell blood in the water in
Arizona. But why?

Well, because it
is.

If John Kerry wins
Arizona in November, it won`t necessarily be because he
is the better candidate or because Arizonans have
experienced a sudden, and large, shift in voter
registration.

It will be the
result of sheer political serendipity; the unintentional
and ancillary by-product of one critical and

controversial
ballot measure.

Protect Arizona Now
(PAN) is a citizen`s activist group that was established
for the creation of


The Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act
,
also known as Prop 200. PAN, with the help of FAIR,
gathered almost 70,000 more signatures than was required
for placement on the November ballot.

The elements of

Prop 200:

This is elementary
immigration reform and should not be a divisive and
controversial issue. But that is what it has become.

Specifically, the
Arizona Republican Party has been thrown into disarray.


  • The
    thirty state legislators who have endorsed Prop 200 are
    all Republican, but the Arizona Republican Party has
    voted to oppose the measure.

Congressmen Jim
Kolbe and Jeff Flake have been targeted because of their

support
of various guest worker and amnesty

plans
for illegal immigrants. Furthermore,
their names are noticeably absent from the Prop 200
endorsement list.

Judging from polls
and tell-tale signs of White House concern—Vice
President Cheney
should not have had to
campaign for Kolbe, a ten-term incumbent—the

challengers
, Randy Graf and Stan Barnes, may
even win.

Some experts are already
factoring the Prop 200 component into Arizona`s general
election.

"If
the initiative gets on the ballot, it will pass easily
unless there is significant organized opposition," said
Bruce Merrill, a political science professor
[and
pollster] at Arizona State University. Still, the
initiative has the potential of energizing Hispanic
voters much like it happened with Proposition 187 in
California, he added”

[Migrant
initiative stymies Latinos
Yvonne Wingett and
Elvia Díaz , The Arizona Republic Jul. 28, 2004]

A large turnout by
Hispanic voters is

damaging enough
for Bush`s campaign. The
worse problem is that, unlike Pete Wilson and
Proposition 187, the Arizona GOP has not seized on this
popular grass-roots initiative to mobilize its own base.
A split party vote could create the presidential ticket
he could not hope to survive: George W. Bush vs. Any
Democrat.

In
other words, Arizona, immigration reform has become
important enough that it may decide two Congressional
seats as well as the presidential election.

That`s
not what the GOP leadership wants to hear. But they
better get used to it.


Bryanna Bevens [email
her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff
for a member of the California State Assembly.