MLB All-Star Game Boycott Bad Idea Says State Representative Ruben Gallego

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Arizona state Representative Ruben Gallego opposes a boycott of the upcoming All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Ever since Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law, pro-immigrant activists and politicians have had different perspectives on how to best show disapproval of the controversial immigration statute.         

Organizations such as the Phoenix-based human-rights organization Puente have called for a boycott of the state. U.S. Representative from Tucson Raul Grijalva agreed with an Arizona boycott initially, but has since backed away from it. 

Now, state Representative Ruben Gallego says organizations focusing on a boycott should focus more on registering Latinos to vote.

In a recent blog post for News Taco, a Latino news Website, Gallego argues that boycotting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, scheduled for July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix, is not a good idea because it is inevitably going to "hurt working Latino families," especially those with jobs at the stadium.

"I don't think a boycott is going to hurt [pro-SB 1070 politicians]," Gallego told New Times. "The way you actually affect the Pearces... and Brewers of the world is by getting the Latino vote [to the ballot box]."

Tupac Enriquez, a Puente member, admits that not everyone is going to agree with the boycott as a tactic, but it will send a message to supporters of what he says are oppressive laws.

"Justice is always compelling, but it is not always popular," Enriquez says. 

Earlier this year, 60 local business owners and CEOs signed a letter to state Senate President Russell Pearce asking him to abandon his anti-immigrant agenda, in part because of the negative economic impact of SB 1070, and the boycott that resulted from it.

"Arizona's lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration," the letter reads. "But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur."

Those consequences have included cancellations of national conferences scheduled to be held in Arizona. 

More recently Puente has targeted entertainment events such as Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez's concert at US Airways Center and a Mexican soccer match between Club America and Morelia, scheduled for this Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

It's unclear how much revenue Arizona has lost because of SB 1070, but if that letter to Pearce is any indicator, business leaders are feeling the boycott's sting.

Gallego insists that anti-immigrant politicians are dealt with more effectively by a powerful Latino electorate than by asking musicians not to perform in Phoenix.

"If you turn out Latinos to vote and they vote out people who have an anti-Hispanic platform, then it's going to start teaching [politicians] a lesson that you can not just pass [anti-immigrant] laws without there being any political repercussions," Gallego explains.

Enriquez counters that registering Latinos to vote is only part of the answer.

"The people most affected by this type of legislation are never going to have the opportunity to become electors," Enriquez claims. "So it's not just a matter of registering people who are eligible to vote. Of course that's part of the response, but we have to go beyond that."

Gallego concedes it's going to take a major effort for Hispanics to gain political clout, something they have been missing in Arizona history. So far the state has had only one Latino governor, Raul Castro. Few Hispanic politicians have had any real political muscle since then.

Gallego explains that Republicans in Arizona seem oblivious toward Latinos, which why it is key for Latinos to vote in 2012.

"That way we can sneak up on them," he says.

Even though Gallego disagrees with a boycott, he understands why Puente and other organizations are calling for one.

"They have a good heart and good intentions, but I think they are going about it the wrong way," he says.


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17 comments
Ortegz
Ortegz

What boycott are they talking about? None of the players are boycotting. The game is already sold out. Fans from all over the country will pack the downtown area and spend tons of $$$ at bars and restuarants. Are they talking about not watching the game on TV? boycotting Fox Sports? How could that possibly hurt Arizona if a tv network based in new york has a few thousand less viewers?  

Guest
Guest

Hot dogs, baseball, apple pie and Illegal Immigrants protest the All Star Game?  Hellllloooooo.  Major League Baseball is not a political group, and if anything has fostered more opportunities for ethnic participation in the sport and management for 5 or 7 decades......the All-Star Game means jobs, tourists, spending, positive media coverage for Phoenix and the state.  Take your political fight elsewhere.

Bobby
Bobby

Not these fanatics. Destroying Arizona is nearest to their hearts-by any f-ing means. That's the motto of people like Mistalee, and others on this blog.

Guest23
Guest23

"Destroying Arizona..." Total bullshit rhetoric that is based on your delusional thinking. I seriously doubt this anyone but very very small fringe fanatical groups thinking as it serves no real purpose. Putting words in others mouths is a cheap tactic of cowards spouting unsubtantiated crap.

Bobby
Bobby

How come these same people you and others in Arizona claim are so damn bad, keep getting elected, over and over and over?

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

How could we possibly further damage a state which has had 26+ yrs of continuous republiCon rule? Az is the armpit you conservatives have made it. Want proof????????

Look no further than the leadership? YOU elected.

Bobby
Bobby

I don't have to live there to see what you OPEN BORDERS A-HOLES are doing to the state. YOU WON'T SUCCEED. Your'e in a dream world. People Support Arizona across the U.S. Europeans, Orientals, Americans, choose it as a vacation destinition.etc. The state is doing something right, in spite of your agitation.

Mistalee
Mistalee

"I didn't elect anyone shadeaux14." Of course you didn't, because you don't live in Arizona and never have. Consequently, you have no fucking idea what you are talking about.

Bobby
Bobby

I didn't elect anyone shadeaux14. But seriously, hasn't it ever occured to you, that if all those Arizonans, did elect these people, they must have done so for a reason. Could the only reason have been that ALL OF THEM ARE FLAMING ANTI-MEXICAN/HISPANIC, racists? I'm not so sure. Those folks see the danger coming from Mexico in the form of drug dealers, and all kinds of people that so non-chalantly come across that border, WHOM THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, NOTHING AT ALL.

All lot of people who blog here are offended because they refer to Europeans being allowed to come here by the millions at a different time, but when those folks were found to have criminal records in their home nations, or illnesses, or a background of poltical activity unacceptable to the American authorities, they were not allowed to enter this country. If they didn't have papers clearing them, they weren't allowed in. This was all for basically sound reasons. Why not give the judgement of citizens of Arizona some credit, rather than immediately framing their motives a certain way, like the ethinic activists and open borders people do. Unless of course, your'e one of them. Then the whole arguement is moot..

Mistalee
Mistalee

"Now, state Representative Ruben Gallego says organizations focusing on a boycott should focus more on registering Latinos to vote."

Jeez, a Latino politician advocates registering Latinos to vote, but does not support the 1070 boycott.

I wonder why?

Registering Latinos gets him votes. Publicly endorsing the boycott may cost him votes.

Gallegos is the same politico who took campaign contributions from the anti-immigrant cop group, "PLEA."

I think Ruben Gallego is a vendido.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Lee, I disagree with your assessment. I don't know what motivates Gallego and if he is doing this to simply get votes, but I DO agree with him that the boycott is a bad idea.

Folks, the initial boycott impact has outlived it's usefulness and now is nothing more that cutting off your nose to spite your face. Any effect will just be financially hurting those who  really need the income today. The All Star game events will be well attended and it's not likely any of the players will actually 'participate', including wearing of any armbands to signify support.

SB-1070 is being tied up in appeal and likely WILL NOT even be heard by the SCOTUS, thus the result will be the castration of the 'law'. The law which actually has already been on the books in federal statute for a very long time, and has been enforced in every state for a very long time.

I agree that registering Latinos is important, but not just because of SB-1070. They should be willing and able to vote on all the causes and candidates and not rely on the other voters to shape the future of Arizona.

Stacy
Stacy

Arpaio plans to put the Chain Gang outside the All Star Game.  What a media whore, couldn't resist that there was some major media coming to town and they weren't here to interview him..so he has to get a piece of the action. 

Venonacables
Venonacables

Here is an interesting news flash.  David Duke is back on the radar screen.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Mistalee
Mistalee

I'm sure he can count on your vote. 

Gus
Gus

I'm sure we can count on your tongue being firmly and irretrievably placed in Obama's asshole.

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