Co-published by Newsweek
The deepening fractures among Arizona Republicans, worsened by President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, bode ill for the state’s GOP in coming elections, especially if Trump’s popularity continues to decline alongside that of extremists like Arpaio.
Co-published by The Nation
Ordinary working people, especially the young and people of color, have been so much and for so long exploited in Arizona that for many, labor and political activism have become lifelong governing passions, not just a matter of phone-banking on a weekend or two in an election season. Their long misfortunes have galvanized labor into becoming a voter registration powerhouse and a formidable organizer in the fielding of candidates.
Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know: Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 law was born in a Walmart.
Yes, the inspiration for the most draconian anti-immigrant legislation in the nation, a measure that permits law enforcement to ask about immigration status, one that swings the door wide open for racial profiling—SB 1070—reportedly sprang from a moment of inspiration at a Walmart checkstand.
This origins story is brought to you courtesy of the Ministry of Citizenship, a faux MinuteMan-style group that purports to be a fan of the legislation. According to the Ministry, it happened this way: state representative Russell Pearce, the measure’s sponsor, “hatched the idea for SB 1070 late one night while waiting in the checkout line at Walmart.”
“Here I was just trying to buy some Cheetos and cat litter, and the crowds were just horrendous,” the Ministry quotes Pearce as saying.
Economic development in Arizona is now by corporations for corporations and the public is left to in the dark as to how its tax dollars are spent. Last year the state’s Department of Commerce was replaced by the public-private Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), steered by a board of mostly corporate representatives. The ACA’s website picture shows the board of directors as Governor Jan Brewer with 18 corporate titans. The bottom of the page mentions a smaller number of “ex-officio” public officials associated with the board who aren’t named or pictured.
Though not listed on the website, the ACA also depends on corporate donations for its office space, its corporate-sized CEO salary, and much of its operating budget. The arrangement would pose unsettling conflict-of-interest problems for any authority that performs a public function.
But this isn’t just any agency. Its task is to try boosting the state economy by handing out taxpayer-financed subsidies to individual companies of its choosing.