Arizona to LA: End Boycott or Lights Out!
May 19, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Arizona is taking lessons from Tony Soprano. A state official threatened to condemn a quarter of the Los Angeles population into darkness, by turning out the lights, unless the city ended its boycott over Arizona’s harsh anti-immigration law that permits racial profiling.
Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the Arizona Corporate Commission, sent a strongly worded letter to LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa threatening to cut off a quarter of the city’s electricity, as payback for the boycott of the “show your papers” law. Pierce pointed out that twenty-five percent of LA’s electricity comes from Arizona-based power plants:
“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. [...] If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy,” wrote Pierce.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has been doubling down in defense of the draconian and discriminatory law, teaming up with half gov. Sarah Palin and taking jabs at President Obama. But, as the saying goes, you can put “lipstick on a pig,” but it’s still a pig. And the stink of SB 1070 can’t be glossed over with false assurances that racial profiling is against the law.
Since passage of the anti-immigration law, Gov. Brewer also signed a bill banning ethnic studies in public schools. The xenophobic bill is based on nativist fears that the Hispanic culture classes “radicalized” students and promoted violent action to “smash the gringo.”
(Update: Los Angeles tells Arizona to stuff it! Guess what? Commissioner Pierce neglected to mention in his attempt at intimidation that LA owns half of the power plants in question. Austin Beutner, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power responded to Pierce’s threat, stressing that he supports the city’s boycott of Arizona over SB 1070. Oh, and by-the-way, LA would be happy to host any events canceled in Arizona over the racist law:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
General Manager’s Statement Regarding
LADWP Power Generation Assets in Arizona
I want to make clear that we support the City position regarding the recent law enacted in Arizona and the resolution adopted by the Los Angeles City Council.
On any given day, we receive 20 – 25% of our power from two power plants located in Arizona: Navajo, a coal-fired plant, and Palo Verde, a nuclear plant.
We are part owner of both power plants, which are generating assets of the Department. As such, nothing in the City’s resolution is inconsistent with our continuing to receive power from those LADWP-owned assets.
I might add that, as the City’s Job Czar, I certainly would welcome any conventions or meetings that were going to be held in Arizona to come to Los Angeles. We have fantastic facilities and incomparable weather and we’d welcome them to the City of Angels.”
- Austin Beutner, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water”