Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Immigration Policy the Wong Way (Sorry)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:55 PM

In The Arizona Republic, Barry Wong talks up a proposal he wants to bring up if chosen by voters to return to the Arizona Corporation Commission: If you're an illegal immigrant living in Arizona ... no power, water, natural-gas or phone service for you.

The Range is tired of this anti-immigration campaign strategy.

Wong made an unsuccessful run for the office in 2008; let's see if this works for him this year:

One immigrant advocate quickly cast the statement as political posturing, a bid for votes in an election season already charged by the immigration issue. But Wong insisted he has a financial motivation.

"There is a cost ratepayers shouldn't have to bear because of the illegal-immigrant population," Wong said.

Although the Corporation Commission elections are usually mired in arcane policy discussions, the state's hot-button immigration debate has now twice found its way into the 2010 campaign. This time, the discussion could lead to action.

When the Los Angeles City Council voted in May to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law, Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, who is running for re-election, sent a sarcastic letter to the LA mayor suggesting his city stop taking power from Arizona power plants. It was an empty threat because Arizona regulators can't shut off power to Los Angeles.

But if Wong were elected, it would take only his request to begin a study of the idea and put the issue before the commission. And it would take two other votes on the five-member board to implement such a proposal

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