Tucson and Arizona and our race problems, from immigration to racial profiling, continue to be supremely important issues defining the national discussion of leaders in Washington, D.C.
Attorney General Eric Holder knows this all too well.
Paul Gosar, the current Congressman in Arizona’s CD-1 which will extend into northern Tucson after redistricting maps are approved, has been in the news a lot lately going after the nation’s first black Attorney General, Eric Holder, blaming him for the “Fast and the Furious” fiasco.
The “Fast and the Furious” program was run not out of Washington or the Justice Department but under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) under their Phoenix division. The plan was to give guns out to cartels and somehow track them and therefore able to map out drug cartel something or another… it is not exactly sure what or how anything would be accomplished.
Then Brian Terry was killed one year ago, December 14th, 2010, in the Tucson Border Patrol sector.
The Tucson Citizen was actually a huge source of information on this case. All of a sudden the news went silent on the death of the Border Patrol agent and at least two writers here wondered what was going on.
There were rumors surfacing that he may have been killed by friendly fire trying to protect immigrants from being shot at. Why were the feds being so quiet, and why was the media following along in being completely silent?
Then we find out two weapons found at the crime scene were part of the “Fast and Furious” program, and were knowingly sold to drug cartels.
Somehow the Second Amendment contradictions are ignored here. If people want to buy guns then they are allowed to, especially in Arizona which has the most lax guns laws in the nation. Does it matter if the ATF was tracking these guns or if they were just completely anonymous? The cartels would have just gotten guns from elsewhere, perhaps the huge Gun Shows at the TCC held multiple times a year.
So now a Phoenix ATF issue was now the fault of Eric Holder, and Paul Gosar has been leading the charge against him.
Then we find out about Sheriff Arpaio’s severe lapses of law enforcement locally, and the blame is more direct with his office involved in knowingly ignoring hundreds of child molestation and sexual abuse cases.
Why is Paul Gosar ignoring Arizona?
Then we recall that Gosar was endorsed by not only the strongly anti-immigrant Sheriff Arpaio, but white-supremacist radio guest Sheriff Paul Babeu, trying to hide his swinging both ways by appearing with Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick who supported him when she was in power, but then realized he did not have to support a right-wing Democrat, aka “Blue Dog” when he could support the TEA Party directly.
Paul Gosar was even able to pull Ann Kirkpatrick even more to the right on the immigration issue:
Dr. Paul Gosar, CD1 republican primary frontrunner, issued a challenge to President Obama and Representative Kirkpatrick to “Secure our border, don’t sue Arizona” and specifically to Kirkpatrick, “I call on you to stand with me and with Sheriff Babeu, Sheriff Arpaio, former Coconino County Sheriff Joe Richards and with the vast majority of Arizonans and denounce this administration’s challenge to SB 1070.”
Just three days later, Kirkpatrick’s office issued the following statement in a June 21st, 2010 press release, “I am calling on the President and the Attorney General,” said Kirkpatrick, “to abandon preparations for a lawsuit against Arizona, and to recommit to finding a national solution to fixing this national problem.”
Ann Kirkpatrick followed the TEA Party’s lead and called for the nation’s first black President and first black Attorney General to back off of Arizona’s attack on Latinos. Racism exists in the Democratic Party too, which is why she is being shunned this time around.
Why is Paul Gosar leading the charge?
Congressman Gosar seems to have no problem ignoring local issues and local law enforcement leaders, but why is he so vocal against Eric Holder who was a few levels removed from the Phoenix field office issue?
Maybe it was because Holder’s lawsuit against Arizona is what stopped SB1070 from fully being implemented, but that didn’t seem like a good enough reason to me, but part of the reason nonetheless.
How was Eric Holder directly affecting Paul Gosar to the point that he would invest so much time and energy on him?
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Then I found a connection.
Eric Holder has been a strong supporter of the historic Voting Rights Act and is threatening to stop any racist politician’s attempts to go against it. Arizona is filled with them, including our own Attorney General Tom Horne.
Why does this matter?
Arizona has 2 minority-majority districts (Grijalva and Pastor). The current CD-1 which is Gosar’s district:
According to a 2006-2008 American Community Survey (ACS), the 725,229 residents of Arizona’s 1st Congressional District fall into the following groups: 66.8 percent white, 1.6 percent black, 0.7 percent Asian, 20.4 percent American Indian or Alaska native, 0.1 percent native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander and 7.8 percent other.
The Cook Partisan Voting Index of registered voters gives AZ-1 an R+6 rating, indicating a relatively strong Republican lean in this district.
Under the current maps, the district is 67% white with a Republican lean. Under the new maps, the district will be only 50.7% white, with a 22% Native American and 20% Latino population, and this state’s a-changing. Just ask Russell Pearce.
The Congressional districts are still mostly Republican and they should still hold a majority in this state, but CD-1 is the most minority and Democrat of the non-minority-majority districts.
In other words, CD-1 is a-changing just as the demographics of this state are changing, and the Native Americans and Latinos and Progressives and Unions are all uniting behind Wenona Benally Baldenegro, Gosar’s formidable opponent in 2012.
But Tom Horne has tried to stop this. The Russell Pearce Senate tried to stop this, working with Jan Brewer to impeach the independent redistricting chair.
Eric Holder had to put the smack-down on Arizona, starting with SB1070, continuing with Arizona’s ban on teachers with accents, and now with a renewed promise today to defend the Voting Rights Act.
Attorney General Eric Holder vowed Tuesday to fully enforce civil rights protections in next year’s elections amid a flurry of activity by states to redraw political boundaries and impose requirements that could reduce voting by minorities who enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election.
Giving his most expansive speech on civil rights since taking office, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer declared that “we need election systems that are free from fraud, discrimination and partisan influence — and that are more, not less, accessible to the citizens of this country.”
He urged the country to “call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success.”
It is Paul Gosar’s seat that is most in danger of being lost to a new leader with fresh new ideas, Wenona Benally Baldenegro who is appealing to people all over the district as people grow disillusioned with Sarah Palin’s choice in Paul Gosar, who had to appoint her Wasilla friends to lead his staff.
So it makes sense that Gosar, who is in most danger, would be most in support of the attempts to violate the Voting Rights Act and suppress the minority vote.
This may be why he is ignoring the problems in Arizona, the racism and xenophobia being led by his endorsers Sheriff Arpaio and Babeu, and going after the number one top person who will defend minority rights, Eric Holder.
If Holder is struck down, then perhaps Arizona can get away with violating the Voting Rights Act, and maybe Paul Gosar’s district won’t run the danger of going from 67% white TEA Party down to 50.7%.
He might actually have to stop ignoring Native Americans and minorities, which will be tough since he has already thrown them under the bus with his support of dangerous mining projects, including uranium mining by the Grand Canyon.
Paul Gosar will be like his predecessor, a one-termer, and new leaders are emerging, including the first Native American woman who will ever be elected to the US Congress.