Will The Next Arizona Senator Be The Anti-McCain?
One of the biggest disappointments of 2010 was
unquestionably John McCain`s defeat of
in the GOP Senate primary in Arizona. After the passage
of SB 1070, Arizona has become synonymous with
But having one of
the most pro-amnesty Republicans
re-elected as the state`s senior Senator has seriously
negative implications. The fact that McCain campaigned
in a spectacularly unprincipled way, supporting SB 1070,
border security, and even
hinting at abolishing birthright citizenship,
will soon be dispatched down the Memory Hole, courtesy
of the MSM. McCain has already met with President Obama
to discuss "immigration. "
Obama meets with John McCain at White House
, Los Angeles
Times, February 2, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli]
So we are stuck with McCain for another six years—but
Arizona`s junior Senator,
minority whip Jon Kyl,
is retiring. His seat will be up for grabs in 2012.
On immigration, Kyl has been relatively better than John
McCain with a career B grade from NumbersUSA. However,
he has been a fervent McCain supporter and voted for his
amnesties in 2006 and 2007.
Democrats were routed across Arizona in 2010 in large
part due to the
popularity of SB 1070.
Now the Democrats seem to be pinning their Senate hopes
on the possibility that
will recover and be able to
win sympathy votes.
But even if Giffords recovers and runs, unless the
political climate changes dramatically, the race is the
Republicans` to lose.
So how do the potential GOP candidates look on
Thus far, the only candidate who has declared is Jeff
Flake, 49. Without a doubt Flake has the most pro-mass
immigration record. He has a career C rating from
NumbersUSA, but he has an F- on amnesty, chain
migration, and increasing legal immigration. Flake
sponsored or voted for amnesty six times. He has often
taken the lead being the primary sponsor with
of the STRIVE Act in 2007. (The
would have granted amnesty to
virtually every single illegal alien in the country.
Additionally, it would have created a massive new
that would allow 400,000-600,000 additional foreign
workers and unlimited spouses and dependents to sign up
for a six year visa during which time they could apply
for permanent residency.) Flake opposed Arizona`s
although he claimed to be against
Obama`s subsequent lawsuit
(as did Giffords).
Flake already cognizant know that this record will be a
huge liability in the Republican primary, as evidenced
by the fact that he
voted against the DREAM Act.
But as of yet, he has not been willing to do a complete
McCain-style 180 on the issue.
In February, the left-wing
magazine positively profiled Flake as a
“moderate” on immigration. Flake reportedly claimed:
"I`ve always felt that, like
I said, nearly half of those who are here illegally
sneak across the
They came legally and have
So border security is the number one item, but you`ve
got to do other things as well."
“When pressed to clarify
whether such measures would include a pathway for
legalization, Flake agreed that `some mechanism` was
necessary. `We`ve dealt with it before with a provision
that required [undocumented
immigrants] to go
home and register,`
Flake said, appearing to refer to a provision in the
STRIVE Act that would give qualified undocumented
workers a six-year work visa—but also required them to
`touch back` and return to their home countries before
being able to become legal residents. The congressman
emphasized, however, that `nothing else is going to
move` until Congress does more to strengthen border
Flake`s immigration problem,
by Suzy Khimm, February 16, 2011]
88% of Arizona Republicans supporting SB 1070,
Flake`s immigration record will be a tough sell.
Congressman Trent Franks:
Although Trent Franks is probably best known for his
social conservative views, he has amassed a solid
immigration record with a career
NumbersUSA A- grade.
Franks has As in
every subject including Birthright Citizenship, Amnesty,
Visa Lottery, and Chain Migration—except Foreign
Workers, where he has an F-.
However, this last blemish is misleading. Franks voted
for a seasonal worker program (I`m not in favor of this,
but these people actually go home most of the time) and
trade agreements that had guest workers provisions.
But what really killed Frank`s score was s that he
cosponsored J. D. Hayworth`s
Enforcement First Immigration Reform Act of 2005
,along with most of the best immigration patriots in
Congress at the time, such as
Steve King, and
Hayworth`s bill cracked down on illegal immigration and
abolished the Diversity Lottery, ended chain migration,
and (most bravely) imposed a moratorium on Mexican
These are without
a doubt the sources of most of the problematic legal
immigration. However Hayworth`s bill shifted some of the
family visas to work visas, so while it did raise family
visas, it did not raise total legal immigration levels.
So while Franks has never taken any action to stop
employer visas, he hasn`t done anything particularly
Franks has shown some independence and leadership as
well. He was the only member of the Arizona
Congressional delegation (that`s
including J. D. Hayworth)
to support Prop 200. After its passage, he
the country with Tom Tancredo and Russell Pearce in
support of cracking down on immigration. In 1996, he
as a consultant to
Former Congressman J. D. Hayworth:
Whatever his flaws, J. D. Hayworth, 52, was one of the
leaders in the fight against illegal immigration in
had the courage to take on the McCain Machine.
I blame the Republican Party and conservative
Establishment`s failure to challenge McCain as the
primary cause of Hayworth`s 24-percentage point loss.
But many people believe that he had his chance.
Of course, this time Hayworth won`t be up against an
entrenched incumbent with a $20+ million dollars war
chest. But it will still be an uphill battle if he
chooses to run.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu
as a tough Sheriff in the Joe Arpaio mode. However, he
lost a lot of credibility by stumping for John McCain
against Hayworth. Franks supported McCain too, but,
while it does not fully excuse him, he faced a lot of
pressure to support the incumbent as a member of the
same Congressional Delegation, and he did not do much
more than give his endorsement. In contrast, Sheriffs
are not always expected to get involved in politics—and
Sheriff Arpaio campaigned for J. D. Hayworth. Babeu
actively campaigned for McCain and appeared in the
“Senator, you`re one of us.”
No one has any doubt that Babeu chose to support the
clear favorite in hopes of advancing his political
future. But he misplayed his hand here. By siding with
McCain, Babeu alienated the hard-core immigration
patriots and Tea Partiers in Arizona—yet his duplicity
will not help him with the McCain establishment, who
will all likely support Flake. If Babeu does run for
higher office, he is more likely to go for Flake`s
State Commissioner Gary Pierce:
Pierce`s name has been thrown around as a possible
candidate. He does not have much of a record on
immigration. While in the State Legislature Pierce, 58,
for mandatory E-Verify. As commissioner, he
called Los Angeles` bluff
when the city boycotted Arizona and offered to
cut off its power from Arizona energy plants.
However, when energy commissioner candidate Barry Wong
advocated an admittedly creative idea of cutting power
off to illegal aliens, he
President of the Arizona Senate, Russell Pearce
Russell Pearce should need no introduction to VDARE
readers. He is without any doubt the most effective
state legislator in the country fighting illegal
immigration. He was the primary force behind
Prop 200, the Legal Arizona Workers Act, and SB 1070.
He keeps pushing the envelope and this year backed
end birthright citizenship
Pearce has no problem bucking the Establishment—he was
one of the few politicians in the state to support J. D.
Hayworth over McCain. Pearce also campaigned for Pat
Buchanan and Tom Tancredo.
Pearce has strong
name recognition and popularity across the state. But he
does not have the financial and campaign infrastructure
that Congressmen have. Under Arizona law, he would have
to resign as State Senator if he chose to run for
federal office. He is doing
so much great work in the State Legislature
that it might not be worth resigning for a risky
It is also possible that Pearce could run for Jeff
Flake`s congressional seat, in which case he will likely
win. However, the question again becomes if he does more
for the cause of patriotic immigration reform in the
State Legislature or in Washington, DC?
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
The other hero to patriotic immigration reformers in
Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has gone
on whether or not he will run. The self-proclaimed
toughest Sheriff in America, he has been a steadfast
opponent of illegal immigration. Using the
Maricopa County is responsible for
one-quarter of all deportations since 2006.
This speaks a great deal of Arpaio`s effectiveness, as
well as the failure of ICE under Obama and Bush. Arpaio
stood his ground against the Justice Department`s
lawsuits against him, and campaigned for J. D. Hayworth
and Tom Tancredo.
Arpaio says he is
a Senate Run, and he would have a number of advantages
entering the race. He has almost universal name
recognition in the state, 2-1 favorability in most
polls, and millions of dollars in his campaign coffers.
(He hasn`t been deliberately raising money—Americans
from all over the country just sent it to him
Like Russell Pearce, Arpaio would have to resign as
Sheriff to run for Senate. He loves what he does and is
doing a great job of it, so this could seriously affect
his decision. Additionally, Arpaio will be 80 years old
Thus far, the
of Republican voters, on February 14, 2011, gave the
options of Joe Arpaio, Jeff Flake, J. D. Hayworth,
and Congressman Ben Quayle (the latter two
they would not run.)
Arpaio led with 21%, followed by Jeff Flake with 16.8%,
J. D. Hayworth with 16.6%, John Shadegg at 12%, Ben
Quayle at 6%, and 27.5% undecided.
We could fairly group Hayworth and Arpaio as the
hardcore restrictionists, Shadegg and Quayle as moderate
restrictionists, and Flake as the only pro-amnesty
candidate. This puts hardcore restrictionists with
37.6%, moderate restrictionists at 18%, amnesty
supporters at 16.8% and 27.5% undecided. (And the
situation may be even more skewered against Flake. In my
travels to Arizona, most of the people I speak to have
absolutely no clue
that Flake supported amnesty. Assuming this can get
exposed, his numbers could dwindle even further.)
The bottom line: patriotic immigration reformers have
the Republican voters.
Absent an extremely weak candidate, or two or more good
candidates splitting the vote, there`s a great chance
that the next Senator from Arizona to be the
It can`t happen a moment too soon.
"Washington Watcher" [email
him] is an anonymous source Inside The