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Golden State Tea Partiers Play Anti-Immigrant Card

Golden State Tea Partiers Play Anti-Immigrant Card: Is An Arizona 1070-Style Initiative Headed to California?

By Bill Berkowitz,

November 29, 2010

On Election Day in California, the Republican Party and their Tea Party allies went down in flames. Democrats were elected to every significant statewide office, including governor, despite the Republican candidate, Meg Whitman, having spent more than $140 million of her own money on the campaign. The Democratic congressional delegation held serve, and Senator Barbara Boxer handily defeated GOP challenger Carly Fiorina. Republicans lost the minority vote -- including Latinos -- by large margins.

So what might you expect from a Party and a movement that is in need of some serious navel gazing? The answer: Come out of the gate with an Arizona-style anti-immigrant initiative.

Just before Thanksgiving Day, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen authorized a signature drive that would, if successful, place an Arizona-style immigration law before California voters in 2012.
The proposal, called the "Support Federal Immigration Law Act," was submitted to state authorities in September by Michael Erickson, a Tea Party activist in the Bay Area city of Belmont. Erickson is the former chair of the Sonoma County Republican Party, a Priest in the Anglican Catholic Church, and is currently the chairman of Republicans for the National Interest, and the Support Federal Immigration Law Committee. According to The San Mateo Daily Journal, Erickson is also "writing a book about the tea party."

The Sacramento Bee recently reported that "Erickson, speaking at a videotaped rally on his initiative's website, said he worked with a legal team to draft a version of Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, which requires that police investigate a person's legal status if an office has reasonable suspicion of that status. 'Since we're never going to get something like this passed through the Democrat-controlled Legislature, it's going to be we the people who are going to make it happen,' Erickson said."

More Here


Berkowitz is a freelance writer and longtime observer of the conservative movement who documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the U.S. Right. In addition to BuzzFlash, his work -- which has been cited in a number of books -- has appeared in Alternet, Inter Press Service, The Nation, Religion Dispatches, Z Magazine, and numerous other online and print publications.

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