I couldn’t believe what I was reading. In a letter from Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: “If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.” Southern California currently receives about 25 percent of its electrical power from Arizona.

Though Commissioner Pierce has no authority to renegotiate any such agreements, his irresponsible remarks illustrate the new low that Arizona has reached in its relations with our California neighbors. In fact, the next day it was learned that California actually owns the power plants in Arizona that produce this power. Oh well, a lot of bark and no bite.

In addition to Los Angeles the West Coast cities of San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle have joined in with the economic boycott of Arizona over the passage of Senate Bill 1070.

More than $250 million in convention-related revenue has been lost, including the National Republican Party Presidential Convention in 2012. Now when Arizona’s Republican Party becomes too extreme to qualify for the National Republican Party convention we have a problem.

Not only have leaders from around the country decried Arizona SB 1070 but so have leaders of foreign countries. It’s almost as if we declared war on Mexico itself. Well, maybe we have. SB 1070 certainly declares war on the minds, the hearts, the souls, the families and their sense of belonging.

Arizona has been put on other countries’ “travel warnings” of places to avoid. President Obama refers to SB 1070 as a “misdirected expression of frustration.” We need comprehensive immigration reform and, yes, that includes a path to citizenship and not a bus to the border.

Not only has this Republican-controlled state brought us SB 1070, it has also banned ethnic studies, filed a frivolous lawsuit over our new National Health Care Reform, voted to allow Arizona residents to opt out of this same reform and voted for the citizen’s right to carry concealed weapons without a permit or a waiting period, in addition to other lame-brained ideas.

People around the country and around the world are questioning out loud what is wrong with Arizona. I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Arizona: Right-wing extremists. The Arizona Republican Party has allowed itself to be taken over by the Randy Pullen, Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce, Joe Arpaio and John Kavanaugh, to name a few.

It may take a decade to right the wrongs of this Republican-controlled Legislature, and that assumes that we vote these extremists out of office now.

Arizona can ill afford to become isolated from neighboring states notwithstanding neighboring nations. We are still one of the United States of America.

Viva Obama….Los Suns and Senor Goddard!


Chandler resident Jon Beydler is a 33-year Valley resident and former mayor of Fountain Hills.

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