Saturday, July 26, 2008

AZ Anti-Immigrant Ballot Update

In a possible sign that Arizonans have begun to sober up a bit from the Right's virulent anti-immigrant binge, this from the AZ Republic:

"Two voter initiatives designed to toughen Arizona illegal-immigration laws will not appear on the fall ballot, the chairman of the campaigns told supporters this week.

"Don Goldwater, a former GOP gubernatorial candidate, wrote in an e-mail that initiative campaigns working to strengthen the state's employer-sanctions law and to require police officers to enforce immigration law each failed to collect the 153,365 petition signatures required to put the proposed measures before voters on Nov. 4.

"Both Goldwater and state Rep. Russell Peace, the Republican sponsor of last year's employer-sanctions legislation, launched the initiative drives in March 2007.

"But they lacked the financial backing needed to hire paid signature gatherers."
The failure of these two measures to make it to the November ballot signals a widening fissure between far-Right Republicans and their often more moderate pro-business colleagues. Goldwater's measure would have stripped licenses from businesses for the first incident of knowingly hiring undocumented workers. Now, a more moderate pro-business measure is expected to appear on the fall ballot.
"The Stop Illegal Hiring initiative, which would provide more protections for businesses while targeting the pay-in-cash labor market and identity theft, submitted signatures to the Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday.