Shadegg’s ally.

     Sonoran Alliance and Espresso Pundit have both noted that Representative John Shadegg assisted in the defeat of the senate immigration bill by supporting a House Republican caucus resolution opposing the senate bill. Thanks to EP we can view the document that brought forth the house resolution. Look at the right side of the second to last line and you will notice the signature of another member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona, The Hon. Trent Franks.

     I wonder if Congressman Kyl will soon be blaming Representatives Shadegg and Franks for the failure of the bill like he did the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party in a story published June 29th? It is sad to see Kyl continue the spat with Pullen. Even worse Kyl has now joined Mississippi Congressman Trent Lott in blaming and attacking talk radio.

“At the end of the day, Republicans failed to deliver as many votes as we needed to deliver,” he said, “mostly due to the hue and cry from talk radio and TV.”

     Kyl and Lott are missing the fact that Talk Radio is simply a conduit for the citizenry. Unlike senators, who receive a 6-year license to pontificate, Talk Radio hosts must earn their keep each day. They must constantly attract and retain an audience. Advertisers do not care what the audience share was 3 years ago; they care about today and tomorrow. Therefore Talk Radio must reflect the mood of the audience or the audience will quickly and easily go elsewhere. Is Rush Limbaugh on over 600 stations because he was elected to a 6-year term after misleading the electorate about his stand on amnesty for illegal immigrants with no method for recall? No. He attracts millions of listeners each day because on some level they identify with what he is saying. When Kyl and Lott are attacking Talk Radio they are really attacking the listeners. It is a sad day when a senator blames the opinion of the citizenry for the failure of a bill.

     Sorry Congressman Kyl but we live in a Constitutional Republican not Plato’s Republic.

     Hopefully someone within the Arizona congressional delegation will step forward to make peace with the chairman of the state party. The incessant bickering will only serve to weaken the party’s efforts to win in ’08. My guess is that the olive branch is more likely to come from someone who has to answer to the voters every two years instead of every six.

     Let the record show that Sonoran Alliance was not in strong opposition to the senate immigration bill until first reading analysis from The Heritage Foundation. Will Republican senators now be attacking Heritage for informing the citizens?

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, weighs in on the failure of the senate immigration bill. The clarity of his words speak for themselves.

Click here to read his analysis.

Fallout …

     The senate immigration bill is dead for now. The contentiousness of the debate will reverberate for some time, especially through the Republican Party. John McCain’s presidential aspirations continue to fade into the ether.

     Senator Kyl’s senate seat is quite secure with 5 years left in his term but his status as a leader within the Arizona Republican Party has sadly been compromised. I say sadly because we really needed him as a unifying force to help us regain congressional and legislative seats. If he were to show up at an event now it would be more of a distraction than a help.

     Kyl did at least avoid going off the deep end like Senators Graham (NC) and Lott (MS). Graham played the race card several times too many and Lott’s attack on Talk Radio was idiotic.

     Due to his adept handling of the issue the state Republican Party may be entering the post-Kyl era and heading quickly to the Shadegg era. Congressman John Shadegg carefully avoided attacking others within the party while making clear he did not support the senate immigration bill. His performance over the past 30 days may have assured that he receives his party’s nomination for McCain’s senate seat.

     President Bush does not have to visit Yuma any more for his sham photo ops. Results are the only thing we want to see out of him and he seems to have a problem producing them. The hit on President Clinton was that he left a trail of dead people behind him. For Bush it is just a trail of people in jail, from Border Patrol agents, to Army enlisted trying to extract intelligence for his War on Terror, to members of his own administration trying to defend his War on Terror. The Anti-Truman. It’s like the buck never stops until some underling is in jail. His new name is George (Lord Kitchener) Bush. He is not a lame duck, just lame. (It is not fair to insult ducks like that.)

Update: Espresso Pundit further confirms that the Republican Party in Arizona will soon be entering the Shadegg era.

George Bush has even lost the pro-amnesty conservatives.

Kyl’s new friends.

     The senate immigration bill went down by a vote of 53 nays to 46 yeas. It was a cloture vote requiring a super-majority of 60 yeas. Amazingly it did not even reach a simple majority. The floor proceedings were contentious for the senate.

     Sadly Senator Kyl joined with 12 other Republicans in voting for cloture. He allied with such stalwarts as Lindsey “Just shut up” Graham, Trent “shut down talk radio” Lott, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, and the open borders duo of Mel Martinez and former presidential candidate John McCain.

     The Democrats were really the ones that killed the bill. While 12 Republicans voted for cloture, 15 Democrats plus Independent (Socialist) Bernie Sanders voted against cloture. It is an interesting day when Byrd, Dorgan, Rockefeller, and Sanders vote the same as Coburn, DeMint, Ensign, Inhofe, and Thune.

Goddard retaliating against Arpaio for bribery investigation

Red State Arizona notes an article published in the paper recently by one of Arpaio’s attorneys explaining how former state treasurer David Petersen claimed he didn’t owe the AG $1.9 million until Goddard began investigating him – then suddenly he paid him and his felony charges were reduced to a misdemeanor by the AG. This all came out recently when current state treasurer Dean Martin came across a tape-recorded conversation revealing the exchange, and turned it over to Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas for investigation. Now, Goddard is trying to thwart the bribery investigation by deliberately transferring big-money cases involving the Sheriff’s office to Pima County instead of to Arpaio & Thomas. It looks like Goddard is trying to influence the investigation against him by withholding this money from the county attorney & sheriff – effectively taking money that should go to Maricopa County government and sending it to Pima County government instead. It’s either retaliation or an attempt to force Arpaio & Thomas to back down on the investigation in order to get the big-money cases back – both clearly unethical, particularly for an attorney like Goddard who is subject to strict ethical rules under the Arizona state bar. The State Republican Party just came out with a strongly worded piece attacking Goddard yesterday. Goddard’s political career is going down, down, down. It looks like this may also be a political maneuver by Goddard, since Arpaio & Thomas are Republicans, and Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall is a known feminist Democrat.

Beyond hypocrisy!

Update: Senate immigration bill goes down in defeat. Vote was not even close. Reid promises to bring back the subject.

elian.jpg     Today on the senate floor Ted Kennedy said that enforcing U.S. law would amount to Gestapo tactics. He is correct but off by about 7 years. The forced return to Cuba of Elian Gonzalez was a Gestapo tactic employed by Janet Reno and Bill Clinton. Wonder what Kennedy had to say about it at the time?

Shadegg vs. Kyl

            If the Senate bill fails, it will be in part because of the work on Congressman John Shadegg.  (Who has an excellent piece on National Review Online today.)

            Many pundits and hill staff have speculated that the vote by the House Republican Conference disapproving of the Senate bill will have an impact on the cloture vote in the Senate.  After seeing so much opposition among House Republicans, some Senators are realizing that a yes vote may have serious consequences.

            There is more information coming from the Hill about the inside story on the Conference Resolution passed Tuesday night.  It turns out that it was Congressman Shadegg’s idea and he had circulated resolution text two weeks ago.  According to Conference rules, for a resolution to be brought before the conference, it must have 25 signatures.  According to insiders, Shadegg collected the 25 signatures in one afternoon and when he went to leadership they decided to get out in front of the mob and call it a parade.

       As is typical, the leadership resolution isn’t as good as what Shadegg originally circulated for signature.  And, leadership officially gave the revised resolution to Rep. Peter Hoekstra to carry in the conference.  You can bet Republican Whip Roy Blunt didn’t want to give Shadegg any credit.  Here is the text of the original resolution:

Republican Conference Resolution
on the Senate’s Immigration Legislation
 June __, 2007Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;

Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;Whereas the U.S. House of Representatives is constitutionally the House closest to the people;

Whereas Members of the Republican Conference represent diverse constituencies and hold many different concerns and viewpoints about immigration reform;

Whereas the problem of illegal immigration has been developing for decades, and the two previous legislative initiatives promised border security and no future amnesty, but failed to deliver what was promised;

Whereas the Senate immigration bill has been drafted and negotiated without a public hearing process;

Whereas the Senate forced a “take it or leave it” immigration bill of more than 300 pages in an expedited fashion;

Whereas this legislation contains items that cannot be implemented for years, including border enforcement, secure identification, overstay plans, employer enforcement and certainly includes inadequate funding to implement the procedures, while at the same time offering immediate legal status for at least 12 million illegal aliens

Whereas the lack of realistic, funded, border and enforcement strategies combined with past immigration law failures – especially when combined with the lack of hearings, unwillingness to compromise, and forced speed with which the Senate bill was considered – has resulted in a general perception in America that Congress has ignored the public will; and

Whereas the Senate immigration bill is deeply flawed in a number of ways including:

(1) allowing illegal aliens to obtain probationary benefits of the so-called Z-visa the business day following their application for such benefits even if their background check is not complete;

(2) not allowing employers to use the Employment Eligibility Verification System to verify the work eligibility of a prospective employee until after hiring the employee and, if the employee is deemed not eligible, the employer cannot fire the employee if the employee pursues an appeal process;

(3) allowing illegal aliens who have repeatedly violated U.S. law and engaged in identity fraud to gain legal status;

(4) treating illegal aliens significantly more favorably and with much greater benefits than guest workers.

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the House Republican Conference –

(1)   opposes the Senate immigration bill in its present form;

(2)   will continue to oppose the legislation until, at a minimum, there has been a full and open process of subcommittee and full committee hearings and mark-ups in the House, and the legislation comes to the House floor for a full, open and deliberate debate to address the flaws in the current bill.

 

Shadegg working against the Senate immigration bill that Kyl negotiated is probably one of the most significant splits between the two in the last 15 years.  People say they have a good relationship, but I have to believe the strain is on right now. 

Maricopa County Pays Off Stadium Debt

Here’s something you rarely see. Maricopa County has paid off the debt it accrued on the baseball stadium – 19 years ahead of schedule.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal,

“The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the final payment of $15 million, including more than $9 million in interest. The final payment was not expected for 19 years. By taking care of the payment early, the county saved taxpayers more than $9.5 million in additional interest.”

Considering all the controversy over Maricopa County’s role in the creation of this massive project, its quite a feat to walk away from the debt and tax burden this created for Maricopa taxpayers.

Read the original press release – Maricopa County Press Release – Stadium Debt.

Governor cannot weasel out of signing employer sanctions bill

Arizona Political Heat has compiled a list of 7 statements Napolitano has made in the past indicating her strong support for employer sanctions. For her to try and weasel out of signing the bill now would reveal an arrogant disdain for the citizens of Arizona who voted for her and her promises. According to the article, Napolitano has a policy of not commenting on pending bills in order to leave wiggle room for herself later in case she decides to veto the bill. She can then point to some small part of the bill later and pretend that is the reason she is vetoing the bill.

Napolitano vetoed an employer sanctions bill in the past because she said it wasn’t tough enough. I’m not kidding, she really said that, it’s #2 in the article. So here we have a governor who talks as tough as Russell Pearce on a key illegal immigration issue, yet will do everything in her power to avoid actually putting any enforcement in this area into effect, spinning reasons so twisted you have to think about them twice to make sure you comprehend them.

All hands on deck! – updated

Update II: According to Hot Air the senate immigration bill (S.1639) is in big trouble. The final cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday (6-28-07) and the clay pigeon maneuver did not go well today. Sonoran Alliance recommends adopting Senator John Ensign of Nevada. If you have a friend or relative in Nevada urge them to contact his D.C. office early Thursday morning. Phone would be best due to time constraints. Better yet call yourself. If they ask you where you are from tell them that you have adopted Ensign due to the John McCain’s dismissive attitude toward the law-abiding, hard-working residents of his state.

John Ensign:
(202) 224-6244 D.C. phone
(202) 228-2193 D.C. fax
Online contact form

If works better for you to adopt NM Senator Domenici here is his contact page.

Senators who have said they will switch their vote to no: Bond (R-MO), Burr (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), and Nelson (D-NE.) Close to voting no (in addition to our newly adopted Ensign): Bingaman (D-NM), Gregg (R-NH), Menendez (D-NJ), Murkowski (R-AK), Pryor (D-AR), Stevens (R-AK), and Webb (D-VA.)

     National Review has confirmed our understanding that the senate immigration bill (now S.1639) will undergo one more cloture vote before it can pass. The vote will probably take place this Thursday.

     Cloture is the senate term for ending debate and proceeding. The importance of cloture is that it requires a super-majority (3/5) in order to pass. That means that if less than 60 senators vote yes the bill does not proceed. Given Tuesday’s vote on the immigration bill we only need 5 senators to switch in order to stop the bill.

     If you have any questions about how bad this bill is or you are distracted by the White House double talk please visit The Heritage Foundation for some very clear and reasoned information about the real effects that this bill would bring.

     National Review has an article on 8 senators who might change their votes on cloture. They are Senators Kit Bond (R., Mo.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.), Norm Coleman (R. Minn), John Ensign (R. Nev.), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Jim Webb (D., Va.)

     Since this is an Arizona blog we encourage our readers to contact Senator Kyl one more time. There is not much point talking to McCain.

     If you would like to contact one more senator there are two great choices. Senator John Ensign (R) is right next-door in Nevada. Senator Norm Coleman (R) is up for re-election in 2008. Just call and say that you have been abandoned by one of your senators and that you are counting on them to do the right thing.

Jon Kyl:
Washington (202) 224-4521
Phoenix (602) 840-1891
Tucson (520) 575-8633

John Ensign:
Washington (202) 224-6244
Las Vegas (877) 894-7711

Norm Coleman:
Washington (202) 224-5641
St. Paul (800) 642-6041

Update: Michelle Malkin is providing minute-by-minute coverage of the senate proceedings.

A taxpayer bill of rights

From Bob Robb’s tidbits:

Arizona has a relatively high corporate income tax rate, particularly compared to its personal income tax rate. Yet the Senate Republican leadership showed utterly no interest in shaving it a bit, as House Republicans proposed.

The excuse was that Napolitano opposed it. However, Napolitano has a very consistent record on tax cuts. She opposes them until they are passed. Then she signs them and takes credit for them.

The Senate Republican leadership, particularly President Tim Bee, clearly didn’t have the stomach to fight for meaningful tax cuts in the context of tight revenues.

Robb’s point is a good one: State spending is up about 70% since Napolitano took over as governor.  We need a spending limit that curb’s the growth of government.  Let’s hope the legislative leadership has the smarts to place this on the ballot and give its Republican candidates something to run on in 2008.

Tax hikes for the rich

Remember this next liberals howl about tax cuts:

The average federal worker made $59,864 in 2005, compared with the average salary of $40,505 in the private sector, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Arizona, the average annual salary for federal employees is $56,510, compared with the average annual private-sector pay of $37,706.

The gap may be driven by increased competition in the private sector, where globalization and technological advances have held salaries down.

Meanwhile, the federal workforce has no harsh business realities to face, said James Sherk, a labor policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“We have two parallel economies: one is hyper-capitalism, and one is from the Eisenhower administration,” [Harvard economist] Donahue said. “Government pays everybody the same, no matter their level of productivity. But the private sector pays people differently.”

Bush’s 2003 tax cut gave me a bigger raise than my employer had for the previous 3 years.

Not over yet – part deux.

     Tuesday’s cloture vote on the senate immigration bill (now S.1639) was only a procedural move to begin discussing the bill (officially called the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider S.1639.) The more traditional cloture vote to begin voting on the actual bill should be later this week.

     The same procedure happened in late May when the immigration bill (then S.1348) was first brought to the floor of the senate. That cloture vote to begin debate was on May 21st. Then 69 voted for cloture and 23 voted against. This week’s vote of 64 for, 35 against is a great improvement over May 21st.

     June 7th was the cloture vote to close debate and vote on the bill (the one that really mattered.) That vote failed with 34 for cloture and 61 against (Kyl voted against cloture thus helping to stop the bill at that point.)

     Looking at this Tuesdays vote in perspective makes it clear that there is still a chance to kill the immigration bill in the senate before it even gets to the house. We will have more updates but do not give up and be ready for action later this week!

URGENT ACTION NOTICE!

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., second from right, meets with House Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2007, that are opposed to immigration reform legislation being considered in the Senate. Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., is second from left, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., is at center, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. is at right. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

 Word from Capital Hill is that the House Republicans are holding a special Conference meeting at 5:30 p.m. today (2:30 AZ time) to vote on the following resolution: “Resolved the House Republican Conference disapproves of the Senate immigration bill.”

 In a Conference meeting this morning, a quorum was not present, so when Intelliegence Committee Ranking Member Peter Hoekstra (MI) introduced the resolution, they debated it, but no action was taken.  Insiders say that the Hoekstra, Arizona’s own John Shadegg and Indiana’s Mark Souder spoke in favor of the resolution.  You can reach any member of Congress by dialing (202) 225-3121 and asking for their office.

Following the conference meeting this morning, Hoekstra, Shadegg, Souder and some other House Republicans held a press conference and were joined by Senators Tom Coburn (OK) and Jim DeMint (SC), both of whom have been leading the fight in the Senate against the bill.

Politico.com covers the story here.

You action needed now!

UPDATE:

The House Republican Conference passed the resolution 114-23!  Still awaiting word on who the 23 were (we may never know).  Also interesting that more than 60 Republican members did not vote.

Not over yet.

     The Senate has voted to proceed on the immigration bill. Senator Kyl and former presidential candidate McCain both voted to proceed with the immigration bill.

     (Too bad Bush never lobbied this hard when he had a chance to get social security reform through the Republican congress.)

Lord on Kyl

The Senator and the Anchor
By Jeffrey Lord
Friday, June 15, 2007

It isn’t hard to see why they lose.

The other day Arizona’s Republican Senator Jon Kyl sat down with the Wall Street Journal for a discussion about all the heat he’s taken for what the paper termed Kyl’s “efforts to forge an immigration compromise.” Several days later, ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather unloaded on his old network, weighing in on Katie Couric’s dismal ratings in Rather’s old job.

What do these two seemingly disparate subjects have in common? What could possibly connect Arizona’s junior Senator, Ms. Couric, the losing immigration bill and tanking television ratings?

In two words: conservative principles, or more accurately, the lack thereof.

Reading the Kyl interview is a vivid exercise in understanding exactly what spending too much time in Washington can do to even someone generally viewed as a conservative. Here is Mr. Kyl attacking the concept that he and his fellow Senators (including his Arizona seat mate, presidential candidate John McCain) actually support an amnesty bill. “It’s impossible to make the existing system work so we have to change the law, and changing the law requires Democratic votes, so you have to make concessions to Democrats.”

In a blink Kyl reveals the mindset for which Washington is so notorious. He is not in the Senate to represent the conservative principles which he presented to Arizona voters. No, he is in the Senate to “make concessions to Democrats.” Kyl goes on to say that “[t]here is only one reason to do what I am trying to here, and that is to get a problem solved that has got to be solved.”

The thought that the way to solve the problem is to have candidates go to the American people in the next elections, or the next and the next and the next, to win a majority of votes to secure the border — when in fact this authority and the money to do it is already in place — simply is not considered to be dealing with reality. Executing the law as it is now written and, failing that, winning back control of the Senate in 2008 and electing the next president to do precisely that, is automatically ruled out.

We have been here before. When Ronald Reagan gave that famous October, 1964 televised speech for GOP nominee Senator Barry Goldwater, he outlined an entire conservative platform based on conservative principles and the reality of what liberal New Deal policies had already done to the country. Goldwater lost in a landslide. Neither Reagan nor the gathering conservative movement gave up. For years afterwards, in every successive election in which his own name was on the ballot for Governor of California or president, Reagan was attacked as an extremist who simply was unwillingly to acknowledge reality. His response was to re-double his efforts, to take his principles to the country and campaign for like-minded candidates. He did not always win. But he in fact was able to turn the debate from the automatic assumption that the answer to all problems was to enlarge government, continually raise taxes, appoint liberal judges, and accommodate the Soviet Union.

The critical difference between Reagan and Establishment Republicans who believed, just as Jon Kyl believes today, that their job in Washington was to “make concessions to Democrats” was that Reagan believed it was his job to represent America in Washington. Kyl and his GOP colleagues clearly believe the reverse — that it is their job to represent Washington to America. Representing America to Washington meant Reagan said and did things that made Washington insiders cringe. From tax cuts to the military build-up to the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court to his speech demanding the Soviets tear down the Berlin Wall, Reagan was consistently advised by those in the grip of the Washington fevers that he was wrong, ill-advised, and that X,Y or Z Reagan initiative was just not the way things were done.

By the time he left the presidency, and certainly by the time of his death, millions of Americans had come to realize that Reagan’s conservative principles did in fact work. They also understood that the liberal subtext of the media and Washington insiders had been exposed, that it could in fact be overcome. Reagan had become the very embodiment of the American “can do” attitude that is such a critical component of understanding the American people and American culture. So it doesn’t take much for Americans to look at the Kyl-supported immigration “compromise” to understand that it is Kyl — and others including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham — who simply don’t “get it.” When Kyl says in a remarkable statement that “Democrats won’t allow” a policy of “enforcement first,” he epitomizes the idea that it is a Senator’s job to represent the Senate and Washington to America instead of the reverse. It is no wonder that conservatives’ instinctive response is to go out, change the debate, and get votes to change Senators. They feel not the slightest obligation to “work with” Ted Kennedy. To the contrary, they believe their job is to get more votes in the Senate to defeat Ted Kennedy. It is a fundamentally different approach to the idea of leadership in Washington than that of Mr. Kyl.

LAST FALL, I WROTE A PIECE in this space discussing Ronald Reagan’s view of losing elections, mentioning in passing that while conservative principles were now part of the bedrock of America they would never surface in that citadel of elite American liberalism — The CBS Evening News. “The philosophical presentation of the new CBS News hasn’t changed a whit…” I said, pointing out what is now a seriously hard-to-accept fact over at CBS that is truer now then when I wrote it: the high point of Katie Couric’s ratings career at CBS was the night she had Rush Limbaugh on-air for a brief segment featuring Limbaugh delivering his own opinion. It was easy to see that it would be all down hill from there for Katie — and it has been. While Rush Limbaugh has a well-known buoyantly warm-and-fuzzy on-air manner, it is a serious mistake to think that he spiked Katie’s ratings because of his personality. This is akin to thinking Reagan won two presidential landslides because he was “genial” or had that ready smile. The success of both is tied unmistakably to their clear understanding and articulation of conservative principles.

Yet quite predictably, even now, floundering around in the television ratings basement, CBS has not a clue about its problems. Infighting among the troops has broken out. Hilariously, Dan Rather pops up to charge CBS with “tarting” up the news, drawing instant wrath from CBS executive Les Moonves and Katie’s boss, Clinton friend, and veteran Mainstream Media honcho Rick Kaplan. In the middle of the war of words Rather, unsurprisingly and doubtless unconsciously, put the traditional liberal bias on display. “We have enormous life-or-death issues and challenges facing us in this country and the world today,” he told the Washington Post’s Tom Shales. “Everything from the dismantling of civil rights enforcement within the Justice Department to the war in Iraq to news of secret prisons in Europe and, of course, the next presidential election.”

There isn’t enough space to deal with all of Rather’s liberal assumptions, but let’s take his civil rights charge. Abigail Thernstrom, a vice-chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, long ago asked another question altogether about the behavior of Justice Department career employees in this area, accusing them of rank liberal partisanship in the making of civil rights policy. Would CBS ever dream of following up on Ms. Thernstrom’s premise? Are you kidding? CBS, as with other liberal institutions, is wedded to rigid liberal doctrine that insists among other things that career Justice lawyers (i.e., liberals) are always right, any American Southern state in their sights is always wrong and racist to boot. They look at George W. Bush (as they looked at Reagan and Goldwater) and see Bull Connor. So intent are they on fulfilling their stereotypes they see no contradiction (and certainly no bigotry!) in simultaneously demanding civil rights for Mexican-Americans while they insist on getting the political head of the first Mexican-American Attorney General.

The problem for CBS is that in 2007 most Americans view the 1960s as ancient history. In a post-Reagan era, listening to Rush Limbaugh and his conservative talk-radio compatriots, creating and contributing conservative videos all over the Internet, Americans understand the implicit story line of liberal news organizations. They understand that exchanging Dan for Katie is a meaningless exchange — the new boss same as the old boss, “tarted up” or not.

And so — Americans don’t watch CBS. And they won’t accept the idea of an immigration bill that is cobbled together because of a felt need on the part of various Senators to appease Ted Kennedy. They know instinctively that when they see lines of Americans whose travel plans have been screwed up because they can’t get a U.S. passport to travel to Mexico or Canada, when they realize 3 of the Fort Dix plotters were not only illegal aliens but were stopped 75 times (!!!) by various police authorities and never once had their status questioned, the very notion that a Washingtonized-immigration bill is going to “solve the problem” of immigration is hilarious nonsense.

So take your pick. The immigration bill or lousy ratings for CBS News. Jon Kyl’s idea of what it means to be a Senator or Katie/Dan’s idea of what it means to report the “news.” It’s the same old, same old.

For different versions of the same reason, both the bill and the newscast are in trouble. But don’t expect this to change either Senator Kyl or Anchor Couric.

And don’t lay odds on a President McCain, either.

For the same reason.

Jeffrey Lord is the creator, president and CEO of QubeTV, a conservative online video sharing and networking website. A former Reagan White House political director and author, he writes from Pennsylvania.

Hewitt on Kyl

In Defense Of Jon Kyl
By Hugh Hewitt
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Arizona’s Jon Kyl, perhaps the single most effective and principled conservative in the United States Senate, is the model of what every senator should be –smart, hard working, humble about his occupying the office, and aware of the obligations of that office. He is also a gentleman and a scholar –a genuine authority on Constitutional law, and a man of genuine character. Kyl’s also a fighter for conservative causes, especially the fortunes of President Bush’s judicial nominees.

Jon Kyl is also the workhorse for the GOP caucus on the immigration bill, doing his best to make the bill as workable as possible from the position as point man of the minority party.

This unenviable task has earned Senator Kyl an enormous amount of enmity from very vocal opponents of the bill, especially those for whom the issue is the single most important piece of legislation. Suddenly Jon Kyl’s impeccable record on the war, cutting taxes, the life of the unborn, spending restraint, and of course judges matters not at all, and the airwaves are full of spleen. The attacks on Kyl haven’t just been harsh, they have been full of the sort of venom usually seen in the fever swamps of the left directed at George Bush for waging the war against the Islamist jihadists.

If I was a member of the United States Senate I would not vote for cloture on the immigration bill, even though this version is bound to be much better than the version that failed to gain enough votes on the last go around. I wouldn’t vote for it because the border fence “trigger” is only 375 miles instead of the 700 authorized by last year’s border security bill. There may be other reasons to oppose the bill, but in an on-air conversation yesterday with Senator Kyl –the transcript is here —the senator indicated that many of the other major problems in the bill are being worked on. Whether those fixes are sufficient to remove some of those concerns –such as the treatment of illegal immigrants from countries with deep jihadist networks in the same fashion as illegal immigrants from Mexico—remains to be seen. Senator Kyl is clearly working to improve the bill as much as is possible.

For this effort he deserves thanks. This will evoke many comments denouncing Kyl as a turncoat and a traitor, but the obvious utility of making the best of a bad situation needs to be mentioned here, and more than merely mentioned, praised.

If the bill is going to pass the Senate, I want it to be the least bad bill possible.

If the bill is going to pass the Senate, I want as many of the drafting errors corrected and loopholes closed as possible.

If a GOP senator has to lead the effort to put lipstick on the pig, I want that senator to be the smartest, most principled senator available.

I am grateful to Senators DeMint and Sessions and Thune and others for blasting away at the bill and forcing the debate to be serious and sustained. But I am also grateful that Jon Kyl has the spine necessary to stay in there and take the heat so as to keep the improvements coming. It would have been far easier for him to side with the conservative critics of the bill and leave the negotiations and drafting to, say, Lindsey Graham. Instead he is doing the conservatives and border security advocates a great, great –if completely unappreciated– service, and doing so without any of the outbursts that have marked other proponents of the bill.

Kyl isn’t complaining in the least. He isn’t whining. He isn’t attempting to deflect or dodge, and –and for this I am greatly appreciative—he isn’t ducking or dissembling. He answers the questions candidly and repeatedly, and when told that he hasn’t persuaded, he acknowledges his regret but doesn’t get angry or testy or even combative.

Kyl has not branded opponents of the bill as racists or nativists. He hasn’t condemned talk radio. He hasn’t refused interviews with critics. Kyl is taking the pounding like a senator should be willing to do when he’s opposite many of the folks who sent him to Washington.

I don’t expect many among the bill’s opponents to accept this perspective, but it makes it no less true. Jon Kyl is doing the hardest thing in politics –standing against his base for reasons of personal conviction and perhaps against his every political instinct in order to do his job as best he sees fit. I appreciate him for the manner in which he has done so, even if I can’t agree that the end result deserves to become the law of the United States.

I really, really wish I and others had persuaded Senator Kyl and through him the majority of the Senate of the absolute necessity of building all 700 miles asap, regardless of expense. When the I-10 Freeway collapsed in the aftermath of an earthquake in California, then Governor Pete Wilson didn’t worry about bidding rules and costs, he let a contract with a huge premium for early completion. And the job got done early.

A broken border is much more important than a broken freeway, but there is none of the urgency that should attend the construction effort. Senator Kyl, Secretary Chertoff, President Bush and other supporters of the bill just don’t see the great upside that I and others do in getting that fencing erected and the Border patrol expanded in record time.

But when the debate is over and the bill either passes or is defeated, Jon Kyl is the same guy who stood rock solid since the war began in defense of the prosecution of that war and in support of the troops, in defense of Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito and scores of other judicial nominees, and on the side of countless other conservative causes over a dozen years in the Senate and eight years in the House. He deserves much better than he is getting. When he writes that “If I were the only one writing this bill, it would be very different,” he has earned our trust in his good faith.

We don’t owe Senator Kyl our agreement or our silence, of course, but we do owe him a hearing and a respectful though vigorous and full-throated dissent, one that is coupled with a recognition of his past, present and future service. If you have trouble giving him both, then you have lost track of the central proposition that distinguishes conservatives from the far and sometimes not-so-far reaches of the left: Justice.

Hugh Hewitt is a law professor, broadcast journalist, and author of several books including A Mormon in the White House?: 110 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney.

Back to its Roots

Lets give a little credit to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Their 2007 Awards Luncheon was a big change.  Back in 2003, the COC Awards Dinner was a love fest with speakers drooling about the “public-private partnership”.  This translates into Big Business publicly backing tax hikes and spending programs that win praises from liberal editorial boards, while they privately lobby for government handouts for themselves.

The 2007 fete featured speaker after speaker praising the free markets and the need to reduce tax and regulatory burdens.  They even had a Milton Friedman Award! Refreshing. 

I’m not sure if the credit goes to outgoing chairman Steve Twist or the COC’s executive director Glenn Hammer.  Either way, congratulations and hopefully COC will stay focused on creating a fair playing field for all businesses, not one that favors a priviledged few.

Three of our state legislators received awards.  Representative of the Year Kirk Adams (R-Mesa), Senator of the Year Jim Waring (R-Phoenix) and Freshman of the Year Doug Clark (R-Anthem).  Good job guys.