by John Hill
Stand With Arizona
The National Council of La Raza recently called for their boycott of Arizona over S.B. 1070 to end. There was a ton of media hype about this boycott last year, and the threat sparked some big “BUYcott” efforts by Stand With Arizona and others (here, here, here and many more) to urge like-minded Americans to support the state’s economy against what was expected to be a major coordinated attack.
Indeed, La Raza, the AFL-CIO, SEIU and others spent a ton of time and money to push their boycott. We pushed our efforts too. So how did it all work out? Well, SWA’s AZBuycott page and site has received over 8 million visits since it launched on May 15, 2010. We urged people to buy Arizona products and most importantly, to come to Arizona with their families, associations and businesses. We don’t know how much it helped, but we do know we got million of hits and tens of thousands of supportive emails.
So how much did La Raza’s high profile boycott hurt the state?
La Raza’s first high-profile objective: to cancel the MLB All-Star Game, was an epic failure. La Raza spent a lot of money and press trying to browbeat Bud Selig to yank the game from Phoenix. They even got 110,000 petition signatures signed, and dramatically tried to deliver them to Bud Selig and MLB owners. Result? Nada. The All-Star Game was held at Chase Field in Phoenix and was sold out.
La Raza’s next and biggest target was to pressure all its fellow left-wing non-profits, major corporations and associations to cancel their conventions in Arizona, and for cities such as L.A. and S.F. to cancel all travel there. Surely that must have had a big impact, right? Uh, not quite. Arizona’s tourism and convention business was worth $16 billion in direct spending in 2009, and almost $18 billion in 2010. And even at the peak of the boycott, the occupancy rate was higher in 2010 than in 2009, leading Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to conclude, “fundamentally, the boycotts have been unsuccessful.”
And this year, the tourism industry in Arizona is experiencing growth. “While the nation and Arizona struggle to add new jobs, the state tourism industry may see as many as 20,000 new jobs in 2011. After two years of declines, more people are traveling and many of them are headed to the Grand Canyon State,” noted KOLD-Tucson in their report.
So, given that its attempt to damage Arizona’s economy has apparently failed miserably, what exactly does La Raza claim it DID accomplish with its boycott?
The National Council of La Raza said it was canceling its boycott because it successfully discouraged other states from enacting similar laws, and the boycott imposed a hardship on the workers, businesses and organizations it aimed to help.
“Successfully discouraged other states”? Oh, really. I guess La Raza missed the action this year in Georgia, Alabama, Indiana and South Carolina – all of whom passed Arizona-style enforcement against illegals, to one degree or another – with states like Kentucky, Louisiana, and even Pennsylvania taking up the mantle this fall.
Sorry to disappoint you, La Raza, but Stand With Arizona has activists and attorneys in 22 states lined up to push Arizona-style laws between now and the 2012 election. We have boots on the ground, and the ear of key legislators in state after state.
And if the results of your boycott is any indication, very few people are listening to you at all.
PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION of $10.70 to Stand With Arizona in honor of SB1070, to help us continue to fight against illegal alien amnesty and push for Arizona-style enforcement laws nationwide: DONATE link. Thank you.