Of course the answer is Republicans will attempt to drive down the number of Latino voters through suppression, intimidation, and baiting Democratic politicians to echo right wing talking points on immigration so that voters get disgusted and stay home.
Too risky. You never know what might happen once something gets on the ballot. I remember everyone telling themselves the anti-gay rights amendment in 1992 would never pass but then it did. And this isn't worded the same way as the South Dakota initiative. It is phrased as a declaration about when life begins as opposed to a ban on abortions (even though the ultimate outcome would be the same).
Another reason not to hope this is on the ballot is that it will put an uncomfortable spotlight on the anti-choice position of our Democratic governor, who might feel forced to support the measure to show that he is not afraid to take unpopular positions.
The Republicans are doing plenty to hand the state over anyway, starting with having as their only Senate candidate a declared ultraconservative who has something like one quarter the COH of Mark Udall.
I didn't read EBW as implying that the unions are bigoted so much as pointing out that the unions' position on this issue hurts members of the Native American tribes with whom they are dealing. But why not ask him on his own blog?
On the issue of Oropeza and the tribal casinos, I commend to you EBW's analysis at Wampum, which specifies that the issue is unions not wanting to agree to tribal-preference provisions that sovereign tribes usually prefer in their contracts. So Oropeza's position can be viewed positively as an affirmation of tribal sovereignty and not merely as a "swipe at labor."
Whatever. I've done my homework and I know this is a tired old right wing talking point, the Latino equivalent of saying Martin Luther King would oppose affirmative action. The UFW today supports immigration reform. And when a crackdown cut off the supply of undocumented workers, California growers made the business calculation to let the crops die and charge more per unit instead of increasing wages.
What's dishonest is pretending this is a legality-illegality issue. The hardcore anti-immigrant rights movement wants to cut back legal immigration to zero and has supported laws like the one passed by Colorado Republicans that made legal immigrants ineligible for Medicare. You are spreading dishonest propaganda.
You are correct when you say "Big business wants cheap labor, and the cheapest labor is composed of undocumented immigrants who have no labor or legal rights, and thus no leverage."
Why then, would big business want immigration reform that has a path to citizenship and legal status for workers? That would only make it easier for them to organize, demand fair pay, compliance with OSHA standards, etc. etc.
One possibility is that business really doesn't want immigration reform. (If I had all the time in the world, I'd be looking up who are Tancredo and Hunter's donors.) But there is plenty of evidence that they do, at least some business.
I think business wants immigration reform not because of "cheap labor" but as a market. Undocumented immigrants are likely to send money back to the home country, not buy homes and spend it here. It's the purchasing power. For business as well as for progressives, legalizing the 10 million or whatever current undocumented is a much bigger piece than 200,000 or 400,000 guest workers (that piece is just your basic sop to Big Agriculture).
Unfortunately the debate on the left has ignored this in favor of falling into two stereotypes: the evil boss who wants only to shaft the employees, and the docile Latino who works hard and does not talk back.
The truth is that like anyone else, Latino employees will stand up when empowered. The dilemma for the right is that the empowerment to become full American consumers also gives them power to stand up for their rights.
That might be Attorney General John Suthers, who has really been carrying partisan water for Wadhams lately. Are he and Wadhams in some kind of delicate dance about a run? Schaffer is associated with the religious right, which I think the GOP correctly assesses as being more toxic in Colorado than being a proverbial "Boulder liberal" (which Udall is not, although they will say he is). So, we could be looking at a replay of the Coors-Schaffer primary, with Suthers in the Coors role of designated champion of the country club set.
What's really shortsighted about this is that the Republicans are not going to be dominated by the Tancredo types. Remember, whenever there is an internal struggle within the GOP, the moneyed interests win, and they are looking to Latinos as future consumers (really more so than as workers) and as potential Republicans (because they have to recruit some people of color, and the track record of Republicans with African-Americans isn't something that can be overcome quickly).
Hillary could find herself up against a candidate who supports some version of responsible immigration reform (McCain, if he survives the primary?) and get absolutely killed in the southwestern states that the Dems will need to win the presidency.
What's bizarre about this whole thing is that if Allard believes this kind of amendment is fine now that he is not running for re-election, why not issue a press release? Isn't the point to show how Republicans are ideologically different from Democrats?
The even larger issue than California emigration is just the population turnover in AZ, CO, NV (and to a lesser extent NM and UT) that makes politics much more volatile -- the electorate just isn't the same from election to election as large numbers of people move in and out. The portion of the populations of UT and NM that don't move make those two states relatively predictable, but so long as the high turnover continues AZ, CO and NV should never be considered reliably Republican or Democratic regardless of how blue Colorado (in particular) starts to look in the next few years.
Also, it's good to see some recognition of the fact that the rightward swing in Colo. in the '90s was just that -- a swing, one caused by the historic migration of religious wingnuts from Orange County to Colorado Springs and not some homegrown movement. At the time, the passage of the anti-gay amendment was considered a shock and a wake up call about the new power of the religious right in Colorado; we had always been considered a "live and let live" state.