In the latest rift to open up among Democrats over the immigration issue, Attorney General Terry Goddard is asking Congressman Raúl Grijalva to withdraw his support for an economic boycott.
In a letter to the Congressman, who called for a limited boycott to put pressure on state leaders to retract the new immigration law, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate noted unemployment still hovers at 9.6 percent.
“You have told the media that you would like to change minds here in Arizona through a boycott,” Goddard wrote in the letter. “From what I have seen, the Governor and the Legislature don't seem to care about Arizona's economic life blood. A boycott would only hurt Arizona.”
He implored Grijalva to join with him “in calling on businesses across America to give Arizona a chance, and help us to rebuild our economy instead of engaging in hurtful boycotts.”
Grijalva, who was in town for an event this morning to draw more local artists to the state to serve as social change agents, countered that it was unfair to single him out as the reason organizations have opted out of Arizona.
“By indicating I’m the sole person responsible, kind of leaves the legislative leadership and the governor off the hook,” he said, adding those opposed to the legislation would have sought other venues anyway. And, he added, he's not the one who's hurting tourism by claiming "everyone coming here is a dope fiend or that this state is festering with crime and violence" — a reference to recent assertions by Gov. Jan Brewer that most illegal immigrants are running drugs.
Saying he understands “Terry’s concern about the economic well-being of the state,” Grijalva said there is room for carving out boycotts to target groups that have supported the immigration policy, while rewarding cities, such as Tucson, that have publicly stated their opposition.