Watching Outside of Washington: Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Embracing Arizona…But Can They Be Trusted?

With Barack Obama in the

White House
, it is unlikely that any progress will
be made on the federal level to secure our borders,

crack down on illegal immigration
, or cut legal
immigration. On the national level, the best patriotic
immigration reformers can do is block amnesties and
associated increases of legal immigration—which,
however, is easier than it would have been if a RINO
like John McCain was President.

Still, a great deal of progress is
being made on the

state level
—with Arizona`s

SB 1070
singlehandedly putting immigration back in
the national consciousness.

There are numerous ways that state
leaders can fight immigration—mandating


sanctuary cities,
entering in

287(g) contracts
with the federal government, and
blocking federal benefits to illegal immigrants.

Eventually, these state leaders
will become national leaders. Arizona Governor

Jan Brewer
is already being

widely touted
as a presidential candidate for 2012.
There are reasons to be skeptical of her patriotic
immigration reform credentials. But the fact remains
that when governors take a stand against illegal
immigration, the American people are ready to stand
beside them.

So how immigration is playing in
gubernatorial races this year?

Of course, we can`t talk about
immigration and the gubernatorial elections without
mentioning former Congressman Tom Tancredo`s

announcement on Monday
that he will run for Governor
on the

Constitution Party
ticket. This comes virtually out
of the blue. Many people are shocked to see him run on a

Third Party

Tancredo`s name had been thrown
around as a potential Republican gubernatorial
candidate. But he opted not to run and eventually
endorsed former Congressman Scott McInnis who was
opposed only by Dan Maes, a complete political novice
who was not considered a serious candidate.

McInnis was all but guaranteed the
nomination—until July 13 when the
Denver Post
published an exposé detailing his alleged plagiarism. .[McInnis`
articles for foundation lift ideas, words from
20-year-old essay
, By Karen E. Crummy]

In 2005, McInnis wrote a number of
brief items
about water policy totaling 150 pages for
outfit called the

Hasan Family Foundation.
Denver Post
detailed massive

of his work.
 McInnis tried to
blame his 82-year old researcher who

fired back
that McInnis hand lied to him and said
that the work was not for publication and simply
background information.

troublesome than the plagiarism or McInnis` attempt to
throw an 82 year-old man

under the bus
was the enormous sum of 300,000
dollars he received for such little work. McInnis was
working full time at the

DC law firm Hogan and Hartson
while he was making
this money. 
Ali Hasan is the


Muslims for Bush
and has run for state office a
number of times—suggesting that McInnis` phony job was
made up for

political reasons

Republican Governors Association called upon McInnis to
step down. And shortly after the scandal, a

Denver Post poll
found that Republicans strongly supported
Tancredo over McInnis.

But neither
McInnis nor Maes had any intention of dropping out. With
the primary on August 10, Tancredo could not have
collected the signatures to get on the ballot.

This caused
Tancredo to issue an ultimatum on Thursday requiring
that the candidates both drop out and let the GOP select
a more electable candidate. Tancredo wrote in his
World Net Daily

“The solution I proposed has two parts, each of which is moral, legal
and politically doable. The winner of the Aug. 10
primary should announce the following day that he is
withdrawing from the race and asking the state
Republican Party vacancy committee to select a new
candidate who is capable of winning the election.
That committee could draw from a list of four or five

Republicans, all of whom would have a better chance in
November than either McInnis or Maes.

“And here`s the second part of the political solution to this
unprecedented problem. If the two candidates do not
agree to withdraw and let the party select a new
candidate, I will run for governor of Colorado on the American Constitution Party

“I would much prefer
that the victor in the Aug. 10 primary turn to the state
Republican Party and allow the selection of a new
candidate. Yes, I might be one of the half-dozen
candidates considered in that process, but I am willing
to abide by the choice whoever it is and fully support
the individual selected.”
dangers call for unconventional solutions
Tom Tancredo,
World Net Daily,
July 24 2010]

McInnis and Maes are staying in the race. Tancredo now
says he`s in it to win.

As you can
imagine, the Republican Party establishment of Colorado
is not happy with Tancredo. A number of Tea Party groups
are also urging him to work within the Republican Party.

According to GOP State Chair and
Karl Rove lackey Dick Wadhams:

"If Tom Tancredo carries through on his threat to run as a third party
candidate, he will be responsible for the election of
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor and for other
races that will be imperiled as well
." [Tom
Tancredo, foe of illegal immigrants, to run for Colo.
USA Today
, July 23, 2010]

However, Tancredo`s reason for
running is that McGinnis`s scandals and Maes` complete
lack of political experience will doom the Republicans
to defeat anyway.

It is difficult to imagine Tancredo
winning the general election unless his run prompts the
Republican nominee to drop out, which is what he has
stated is his goal.

This is a very gutsy move from
Tancredo, but that`s what we`ve come to expect from him.

It is a pretty safe bet to assume
that Tancredo will make immigration the centerpiece of
his campaign. And he cannot be ignored.

Outside of Colorado, there are a
number of other gubernatorial candidates with strong
records on immigration.

  • In Georgia, former Congressman Nathan Deal is
    currently facing former Georgia Secretary of State
    Karen Handel in a run-off election on August 10.

While in Congress, Deal had been
one of the strongest leaders on the immigration issue.
He had not just voted well, but taken initiative. He was
the primary sponsor of half a dozen bills to end
birthright citizenship and co-sponsored

Tancredo`s moratorium bill.

Deal had been running in third place polling at or
around 10% until he began making illegal immigration the
center piece of his campaign. Deal received a last
minute endorsement by Tom Tancredo. He ran ads saying

"Liberals won`t like it when I
empower local law enforcement to help deport illegal
aliens…But it must be done, because the federal
government has failed to secure our borders and illegal
aliens are costing Georgia taxpayers over a billion
dollars every single year."
is focus of new Deal ad
, Shira Toeplitz,
Politico, July 7, 2010]

Both Deal and Handel have stated they support Arizona`s law. Handel has received the
support of Jan Brewer as well as

Sarah Palin.
Handel vocally defended some of Georgia`s immigration
laws against the Justice Department as Georgia Secretary
of State, she does not have as much of a record as Deal.

Opposition to illegal immigration is so strong in
Georgia that the presumed Democratic nominee, former
governor Roy Barnes, has already

that he would sign an Arizona-style bill.

  • In South Carolina, the run-off between Gresham
    Barrett and Nikki Haley was eerily similar to
    Georgia`s Deal-Handel run-off

Like Deal, Gresham Barrett had a
near perfect

voting record
in Congress with a career A+ grade
from Numbers USA. Both he and Haley supported Arizona`s
immigration law. But just like in Georgia, Haley did not
have much of a record to back it up, though she did vote
for the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act,
which was a watered-down anti-illegal immigration

As with Handel, Sarah Palin came in
on the side of the female candidate. It propelled her to

Needless to say, as the daughter of
Sikh immigrants, Haley is being paraded around by the
usual panderers as

part of the brand new diverse GOP
Weekly Standard
contributing editor Noemie Emery called her
“the face of the modern Republican Party,
which will be much
more female, much younger, and brown

Writing of Haley and Louisiana

Governor Bobby Jindal,

Emery went on:

“In Nixon`s

`southern strategy`
meant a coded appeal to fear and
resentment, but this was before Indian power swept
through the home of Calhoun and the Cajuns.
 It now means
something quite new and different — the diverse and
improved GOP.”

defeats death by diversifying
, Noemie Emery,
The Examiner, June 17, 2010]

Haley cannot be blamed by her
politically correct supporters—and her victory was based
largely on White Evangelicals who liked her conversion
to their faith, not on imaginary minority Republican
voters. To Haley`s credit, she has largely avoided
touting her own ethnic identity.

However politicians are seen as
symbols. Through no fault of her own, if Haley becomes
governor and follows through with her promises to bring
Arizona`s law to South Carolina, it will have the
unfortunate side effect of reinforcing the

“legal immigration si, illegal immigration no”


  • In Tennessee, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam has a 12
    point edge over Congressman Zach Wamp and an even
    greater lead over Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey for the
    August 2 primary.

All three candidates claim to
support Arizona`s law and are running ads on
immigration. Ramsey ad states:
“Washington refuses to secure our border … and now President Obama`s
filed suit to stop Arizona from enforcing immigration
laws. Liberals want amnesty. Even though 10 percent of

are out of work. As governor, Ron Ramsey
will require police to check the citizenship of everyone
they arrest.”
Haslam, Ramsey ads support Arizona-style immigration law
by Andy Sher,
Chattanooga Times Free Press
, July 12, 2010]

Zach Wamp has an A+ career rating
from Numbers USA and is a

of its 5 for 5 club for co-sponsoring bills
against 1) Birthright Citizenship, 2) Chain Migration,
3) the Diversity Lottery, and for 4) E-Verify and 5)
Assist Local Law and Enforcement.

Handel, Haley, and Haslam have all
said the right things. But we will not know where they
truly stand until if and when they take office.

Of course, it is excellent to see
that in many states support for the Arizona law is a
prerequisite for even being considered for statewide

But the record shows that
candidates cannot even be trusted to stick to their
campaign promises after merely winning the Republican

Tom Tancredo has documented California Republican
gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman`s 180 on

“During the primary, Whitman ran ads saying she is `tough as nails on
illegal immigration` and is `100% against amnesty.` She
continued, `As governor, I will crack down on so-called
sanctuary cities like San Francisco who thumb their nose
at our laws. Illegal immigrants should not expect
benefits from the State of
. No driver`s license
and no admission to state-funded institutions of higher
education. `Republican voters took the bait and gave her
the nomination. She immediately turned her back on them
and started running ads in Spanish stating `se
opone a ley de Arizona y proposición 187
` meaning
`She opposed Arizona`s law and proposition 187.`”
Establishment Republicans` Amazing Immigration Flip
, Tom Tancredo, July 9, 2010]

Numbers USA`s congressional

report cards
make it very easy to find out if a
Congressman running for office has put his vote where
his mouth is. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult
to find the records of state level politicians—if they
have a record at all. There is no good comprehensive
list of passed and proposed state level immigration
legislation available online, and it is difficult to
find vote tallies for many states. Some states do not
even put their roll calls online. NumbersUSA has

candidate surveys for state level races
, but very
few gubernatorial candidates have filled out.

Check to see if candidates in your
state have responded, and if not, contact them and send
the survey. If you are in a candidate forum, don`t just
ask them about the Arizona bill. Ask them specifically
if they would E-Verify across the state, if they will
defund sanctuary cities, and if they would cut off all
non-federally mandated government services to illegal
aliens. does not endorse
candidates. The strong voting records of some of these
congressmen do not mean they will be the best governors.

But the politicians know where the
American people stand on immigration. The American
people need to know where the politicians stand.

"Washington Watcher" [email
] is an anonymous source Inside The