The degree to which Republicans will prostitute themselves to the ugliest elements of the Christofascists often knows few limits. Indeed, I often note that a tawdry whore has more integrity than most GOP legislators. With both houses of the Arizona legislature having passed a special rights for Christians, gay segregation bill that would allow Jim Crow like treatment of gays in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer will have to decide if she will join the ranks of the GOP prostitutes or do what is best for Arizona and veto the bill. Brewer is receiving huge amounts of pressure from the Arizona business community to veto the bill which business interests rightly fear will harm the state economically and prompt a raft of boycotts. Two stories in the Arizona Republic look at Brewer's dilemma. Here are highlights from the first piece on the business community blow back:
Economic-development groups and business leaders, perhaps stung by memories of the backlash from a tough anti-immigration law in 2010, expressed concern over the latest controversial bill headed to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk.
Just as the Arizona economy begins gaining momentum, the new legislation could hurt its recovery — and the state’s reputation as a place to do business — they said. In 2010, boycotts of the state hit the tourism industry especially hard after Senate Bill 1070 was passed.
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council urged a veto of the controversial legislation that would allow discrimination against gays, saying it could affect Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale and have “profound, negative” economic effects for years.
[M]any other business owners — and the Arizonans who buy from them — expressed frustration Friday over a potential law that could make the state and its people appear unwelcoming.
“The state already is known as being discriminatory,” said Howard Fleischmann, majority owner of six Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair outlets in the Valley. “This would muddy the water and give Arizona a more terrible reputation.”
The controversy comes at a time when Arizona’s economy appears to be shifting into higher gear. BMO Capital Markets, in a report this month, said Arizona’s economy is poised to grow faster than the nation both this year and next. The legislation clouds the economic picture, some business leaders said.
Representatives of Arizona’s tourism industry are especially worried, with hotel occupancy and other measures on an upswing and with the nation’s biggest sporting event scheduled in Glendale on Feb. 1, 2015. “We’re greatly concerned,” said Kristen Jarnagin, senior vice president of communications for the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. “We’ve already received countless phone calls and e-mails from people canceling trips or threatening not to return.”
Many of those raising objections Friday cited the impact of the right-to-refuse-service bill on the state’s reputation, the likelihood of the relatively affluent gay community to spend its dollars elsewhere, and the potential challenges in recruiting workers to a state that might feel less than inclusive.
“With major events approaching in the coming year, including Super Bowl XLIX, Arizona will be the center of the world’s stage,” the letter says. “This legislation has the potential of subjecting the Super Bowl, and major events surrounding it, to the threats of boycotts.
“In addition to the concerns with the growing negative attention already being portrayed across both national and social media, we have already been contacted by four companies we are working on with the Arizona Commerce Authority who will look to locate elsewhere if this legislation is signed.”
The second article looks at Brewer's double speak as she is facing sharp attacks from Christofascists if she vetoes the bill and perhaps even more dangerous attacks from the business community if she doesn't veto it. Here are excerpts:
As usual, Brewer has been tight-lipped about how she will act — she rarely comments before bills reach her desk. But she told a cable news network she planned to closely review the “controversial piece of legislation” that, among other things, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit. Gay rights activists say the law would permit outright discrimination.
The Republican governor plans to meet with advisers in and out of her office, members of the business community, lawmakers and others as she weighs whether to sign the bill into law, her advisers said.
“They’ll go over every aspect of the bill — the pros and the cons, the risks — all of it,” said one insider familiar with the inner workings of the Governor’s Office and how Brewer approaches legislation. “In this instance, you have a bill that had a party-line vote. It puts her in a difficult spot.”
Brewer was in Washington, D.C., attending a conference of governors and wasn’t expected to return until Tuesday. But some factions set to work Friday attempting to influence her decision.
Brewer’s Twitter feed blew up, with people from the business community, gay and lesbian activists and others urging her to veto the bill.
Business leaders, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, warned SB 1062 could have “profound, negative” effects on the state’s recovering economy by alienating businesses looking to relocate here and hurting tourism even as the state readies to host next year’s Super Bowl.
If the bill is not vetoed, I for one will make a point to NEVER visit the state (where I had relatives for over 60 years) or buy a product from an Arizona based business.