Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Show us the money: can bribes... er, incentives... combat calls for Arizona boycott?
Arizona continued to be in the media spotlight today with multiple stories about the recent passage of the anti-illegal immigration bill (SB1070) and related boycotts.
This morning, the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio (NPR) devoted a full hour to Arizona and immigration. You can listen to the show here. In a nutshell (no pun intended), even the most conservative commentators said that with the passage of SB1070 Arizona's Republican governor and legislature have gone to far.
Reuters, NPR, and USA Today-- all say that the Arizona boycotts have begun.
According to Reuters, the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association reported six organizations had canceled conventions in the state. This includes the 11,000-member Immigration Lawyers Association, which had planned a fall annual meeting in Scottsdale. In addition, Reuters eported that the California Senate voted to "cut ties with companies based in neighboring Arizona". Reuters also said that immigration rights advocates have called for boycotts Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games.
NPR's All Things Considered reported that the city of San Francisco passed a resolution to boycott Arizona and all Arizona-based businesses because of SB1070, which they called "un-American." NPR also reported that a Tucson icon-- the Arizona Inn-- is losing long-time customers who "love the Inn but won't come back to Arizona."
According to USA Today, Mexico has issued a "travel alert" warning citizens not to go to Arizona. On the surface, you may think that this is what Arizona legislators wanted, but in reality, Mexicans often shop across the border in Arizona. A travel alert and unhospitable attitude could hurt commerce in Arizona border towns like Nogales.
Lastly, to counter all of this-- at least a little-- Arizona Public Media reported today that the Arizona government is offering incentives for motion picture companies that want to do business in Arizona.
Will economic incentives help Arizona buy its way out of boycott threats? I don't think so.
In the meantime, according to NPR, Governor Jan Brewer is "not worried about the boycotts" and believes that they will not hurt businesses in the state.
This article originally appeared in my Progressive Examiner column.