Irresponsible boycott bandwagon

APRIL 30, 2010

The recent spate of political leaders in California calling for financial sanctions and boycotts of Arizona businesses, is irresponsible and demonstrates that none of them truly care about the people hurt along the way.

I am not just talking about the business owners, although the pain of losing business at the hands of politicians is a well-rehearsed play that most business owners are familiar with. The employees who will be lost when business slows as a result of the boycotts are not fat cats, sales reps or high-paid managers; they are waiters and busboys, maintenance, janitorial and clean-up crews, and other low-paid hourly workers. The boycott will be on the back of the little guy who has no insurance benefits and is paid by the hour – when there is work.

The ink had not dried on Arizona’s new immigration bill when California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg called for his boycott of Arizona businesses with California operations. Who exactly does Steinberg think these businesses hire to do the work? Arizonans? California politicians should be grateful that any Arizona businesses choose to conduct business in our litigious, high-tax, union dominated, prevailing-wage state. The workers compensation costs and punitive labor laws alone are enough to make out-of-state businesses think twice.

It’s California workers who will be cut from the payrolls of Arizona businesses in this state.

“I think we have a moral obligation to deliver an unequivocal message to lawmakers in Arizona that California does not condone its conduct,” state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, wrote in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday.

We have a “moral obligation” to boycott businesses? One cannot help but wonder if Steinberg was posturing on behalf of the prison guard union in an attempt to reclaim the California prisoners housed in Arizona prisons. Schwarzenegger put that notion to rest saying that he didn’t want the prisoners back.

Next, was the always-entertaining Mayor Gavin Newsom, running for lieutenant governor, who issued an immediate ban on travel by SF city employees to Arizona on business.

Not to be outdone by an opponent, also vying for the lieutenant governor seat, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn released a statement from her campaign calling for Los Angeles to end all contracts with Arizona-based companies and to stop doing business with the state.

Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that he was for the business boycott before he was against it. But he took his lead from Newsome and Hahn, posting on his blog, “I fundamentally believe Sacramento should do likewise (as California and San Francisco) severing any ties to Arizona in expression of our city’s belief that justice is not an arbitrary weapon wielded according to skin color and appearance.”

The next day Johnson retracted his call for a boycott after talking with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon who apparently asked Johnson to reconsider the economic ramifications.

Seven Los Angeles City Council members proposed a boycott by that city’s government. The council plans to take the next few months to go through contracts that Los Angeles has with the state of Arizona as well as with Arizona businesses in an attempt to get out of those contracts and has called for an end to all future contracts.

The California Department of General Services (DGS), which oversees all large state contracts, began a review this past Tuesday and identified 73 private businesses in Arizona that won contracts with California in the past year. Those contracts are worth about $10.3 million, according to DGS.

This is rich. Just last year, on an order from high up in the administration, state of California agencies had been ordered to save money on all vendor contracts, even if it meant taking business out of state. My husband’s manufacturing business was hit hard by this order, with several state agency clients explaining that because it was too expensive to do business in California, they had been ordered to take their state business anywhere else in the country.

Here we go again with irresponsible California politicians posturing for the cameras, but calling for yet another job-killing measure. Their behavior is demonstrable of leaders who do not feel the pain of their constituents who are unemployed, underemployed or working hourly jobs without benefits. Every legislator, mayor and city council member who called for the boycott of Arizona businesses should be recalled or at lease, actively campaigned against.

–Katy Grimes

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  1. Julie
    Julie 30 April, 2010, 15:39

    This will come back to bite you in the butt California.

    The rest of us in the other 49 states plan to boycott you. My boss who owns a restaurant just canceled his order for 26 cases of Napa Valley wines. It’s a start…….YOU WILL FEEL THE PAIN SOON.

    Reply this comment
  2. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 30 April, 2010, 17:33

    “The recent spate of political leaders in California calling for continued budget cuts for health and human services programs demonstrates that none of them truly care about the people hurt along the way.”

    “Here we go again with irresponsible California politicians posturing for the cameras, but calling for yet another safety net destorying measure. Their behavior is demonstrable of leaders who do not feel the pain of their constituents who are unemployed and underemployed, living in poverty or in ill-health.”

    Reply this comment
  3. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 1 May, 2010, 15:52

    This whole issue is stupid on the face of it. Why should anybody have a problem with identifying and removing criminals from our American society? That’s what an ‘illegal immigrant’ is you know. A criminal who has broken the law of this land.

    The politicians who are pretenting to be angry about Arizonas’ new law are only hoping to be re-elected with the illegal votes of non-citizens.

    Reply this comment
  4. PatsPuppies
    PatsPuppies 6 May, 2010, 13:43

    I am embarrassed to be a native California. The people running our state need to be gathered up and put in an asylum. While they’re getting shock therapy, I think I’ll look for a home in Arizona where they seem to know what illegal means.

    Reply this comment
  5. JMK
    JMK 12 May, 2010, 23:01

    Julie –
    You’re kidding, right? Boycott California?
    We’re the seventh largest economy. In the world.
    We make the movies you watch in Hollywood, and the computer you use in the Silicon Valley. Yeah, the leading high-tech sector, with your Apple, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Oh, and don’t forget eBay, Twitter, Yahoo and Google (youtube included). If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, by the way, that’s also from us. That’s just some of the tech companies we have.
    Watch TV? We have Disney, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox.
    We produce the food you buy at franchises, and the clothes people wear.
    For people that watch sports, we have four Hockey teams, four basketball teams, four football teams and five baseball teams.
    We have Berkley, Stanford, and UCLA.

    Arizona has what? P.F. Chang’s and canned green tea?
    Give me a break.

    But go ahead, try to boycott California and make us “feel the pain”. Stop seeing any movie made in Hollywood, stop using the major sites on the internet and the programs you run on your computer (assuming that computer doesn’t come from us in the first place), cut out 90% of US wine selection, and don’t get food at Safeway or get your clothes at Gap, or any of the brands based here.

    I’d be amazed if a single person, much more an entire state, could get anywhere near boycotting California.

    Oh, and while you’re at it, you’ll need to stop purchasing anything from New York city. They’re Boycotting AZ as well.

    Reply this comment
  6. JMK's Brain
    JMK's Brain 19 May, 2010, 19:02


    California is already bankrupt. Just a few less dollars from us will put you in the Pacific Ocean. Get over yourself. Government bodies have no place in boycotting private companies and citizens. It might just be illegal and it’s dangerous. Extremely dangerous to a free society.

    The nazi government did the same thing to the Jews. For just about the same atrocious reasons. This time it’s LA socialists, not german socialists. Quite analogous, IMHO.

    [Above — Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels delivers a speech to a crowd in the Berlin Lustgarten urging Germans to boycott Jewish-owned businesses. He defends the boycott as a legitimate response to the anti-German “atrocity propaganda” being spread abroad by “international Jewry.” Below — Nazi storm troopers block the entrance to a Jewish-owned store. Their signs read: “Germans, defend yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda, buy only at German shops!” and “Germans, defend yourselves, buy only at German shops!”]

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