Why We Need the DREAM Act and What You Can Do: Steve Li’s Story

Steve Li, 20, a nursing student and on-campus leader, was to be separated from his family and deported to Peru earlier this month after discovering that he is an undocumented immigrant.

I’m way late on this story, but thankfully there are others in the APIA blogosphere who have covered it well.

Here in my home turf of Arizona, a nursing student from California named Steve Li was detained in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility for two months, pending deportation. It turns out that Li, unbeknownst to him, was an illegal immigrant. Li’s family left China in protest of China’s “One Child Policy”. After being denied political asylum in the States, the family moved to Peru.

When Li was twelve years old, his family brought him to the United States from Peru without documentation. He was raised in California, with no knowledge of his illegal status. However, following an ICE raid, ICE officials initiated deportation proceedings against Li and his family. Li was to be deported to Peru, a country where he would be separated from friends and family, and where he has no roots; by contrast, his family is to be deported to China.

Li spent two months in an ICE deportation center in Arizona as community leaders rallied on his behalf. Last Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a rare “private bill of support” halting Li’s deportation proceedings temporarily, so that the DREAM Act, which is being introduced separately by the Democrats in the current Legislative session, can be voted upon.

I decided to introduce a private bill on Steve’s behalf because I believe his removal would be unjust before the Senate gets a chance to vote on the DREAM Act,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Last week, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid stated that they intended to bring the DREAM Act to a vote on November 29.

Currently, Steve Li has been released from Arizona’s ICE detention facilities, and is scheduled for a press conference tomorrow to thank all the leaders who rallied in his support for the last two months. However, presumably, if the DREAM Act fails later this month, Li’s deportation proceedings will proceed, and he will be sent to Peru by ICE officials.

Steve Li’s case is a single — but by no means the only — example of why the DREAM Act is critical. There are countless young people who are not aware of their immigration status, and who are poised to make themselves into contributing, hard-working, and productive members of this society. America is the land of opportunity, built upon the ideal that this land is a place where all people, regardless of the circumstances of their birth and their background, can work to better themselves. At the base of the Statue of Liberty, the “New Colossus” sonnet proclaims: “From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome.” When did this country lose sight of those principles?

Steve Li wants to be a nurse. He wants to dedicate his life to helping others. What does it say about America if we would turn a person like that away? And, worse still, that we would do so by depositing him on the sidewalk of a foreign country where he has no family, no friends, no resources, and no life?

The DREAM Act gives young people who discover that they are illegal immigrants a way to become some of the best of America. The DREAM Act promises a pathway to citizenship if these young people enroll in higher education or commit themselves to military service — in short, to give back to America more than we expect native-born American citizens to do. And, for what it’s worth, these youth want to do it.

Act Now! The DREAM Act needs your help to be passed later this month. Last time the DREAM Act was considered, it was included as part of a Department of Defense bill, and still the Republicans voted in a bloc to defeat it. This time around, we need to strongly lobby Republican senators, and gain their support in order to pass the DREAM Act. The Wonk Room has a break-down of Republican senators who may vote to support the DREAM Act… if they face sufficient constituent pressure to vote in favour of this bill.

Please join me in sending a letter in support of the DREAM Act to the following Republican senators:

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

Waking Up on November 3, 2010 Wanting a Return to Progressivism

Chris Coons provides a look at how Democrats could be...

Was it all some horrible nightmare?

This was the hope I woke up to this morning after a long, bleary-eyed night of gut-wrenching election results coverage. Republicans swept the House, and came very close to taking the Senate. Jan Brewer and her protege Ken Bennett were popularly elected. There’s not a single African-American senator in the new Senate. Ballot measures ending affirmative action and combatting federal healthcare reform passed in Arizona. John Huppenthal, who has declared it his mission to eradicate ethnic studies in Arizona, was elected to the top education post. Rand Paul — fucking Rand Paul — is a U.S. Senator. A “Tea Party Caucus” will be a reality.

I found myself desperate this morning to consider the silver lining. And, as obfuscated as that lining is by Rand Paul’s self-satisfied smirk, I found it.

Things were bad last night, but they could have been much, much worse.

John Raese’s senatorial loss in West Virginia was a huge upset that, in my mind, dismissed any doubts that Democrats would retain majority control in the Senate. Raese was polling well against Joe Manchin, with most polls actually putting him ahead of his opponent. Harry Reid won his re-election bid against Sharron Angle, even though polls also placed Angle with an advantage. And California did not disappoint me: Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown bested their Right-wing opponents in tight races.

Last night’s election results demonstrated that money cannot always buy an election. Linda McMahon, who reportedly spent $20 million of her own money, lost by several points. And Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO running in California, apparently funnelled $140 million of her personal wealth into her campaign. This wasn’t enough to topple Jerry Brown, who was vastly out-spent by Whitman in the race. Here in Arizona, the recent Citizens United Supreme Court case invited an unprecedented amount of money by out-of-state third-party groups to attack Democratic incumbents Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva. Attack television ads were on every channel, and blistering campaign signs on every street corner. In a recent debate, Giffords lamented the difficulty of attempting to match the spending power of those groups with her campaign budget. Yet, as we saw last night, Giffords and Grijalva prevailed in the face of two Tea Party candidates, each backed by third-party money from corporate interests.

And for me, the best silver lining is Chris Coons’ election in Delaware, despite his surprisingly unabashed progressive politics.

For several election cycles now, Democrats have gotten used to the DNC strategy of putting up moderate, right-leaning Democrats to try and cater to the middle. For several years, progressives have been told, by both sides of the aisle, that progressive politics are untenable, and that progressive candidates are unelectable. The words “liberal” and “left-wing” have become dirty words.

Progressives are told to hold our noses and vote for Blue Dog Democrats because the “D” behind their names ensure that they are better than the other guy. We are told that this strategy guarantees a Democratic majority, and real change in Washington. We are told that a progressive agenda will be helped by electing conservative Democrats. We are chided when, as progressives, we point out how this marginalizes actual, left-wing ideas. We are told that the Democratic party is a big tent — never mind, that the tent fabric is stretched over Blue Dogs leaving progressives standing out in the rain.

Well, last night was the coming home to roost of Rahm Emanuel’s push to back conservative Democrats. It’s true: in 2006 and 2008, Emanuel’s strategy resulted in a massive Democratic take-over of swing-districts. But, in the subsequent years, have Democrats been able to pass the kind of liberal, left-wing legislation that such a takeover should mean?

Yes, healthcare reform passed — but with such political wrangling as to largely invite the hateful tenor of the elections this year. President Obama commented a few minutes ago:

Yesterday’s vote confirmed what I heard from folks all across America,” he said. “People are frustrated; they’re deeply frustrated by the pace of our recovery.

“Over the last two years, we have made progress, but clearly too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday.”

Democrats were hamstrung in more progressive legislation because they struggled to keep their own caucus in check; every major vote seemed to include the story of a Blue Dog Democrat crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans.

To me, conservative Democrats have violated their bargain with the Democratic Party. Republicans wield such political power in D.C. right now because it’s rare for a Republican to stray too far from the fold. One wonders whether the benefits of Blue Dog Democrats outweigh the energy that must be spent to keep them voting with the party that helped them get elected.

So, then, we look again at Chris Coons, an avowed liberal who bested the national poster-child of the Tea Party. Coons did not compromise his progressive ideology while campaigning, but stuck to a message of more government, and better government because he knew that his ideas were simply better. Coons’ victory provides the example we need: perhaps it’s time for Democrats to take a second look at helping to fund intelligent, loyal, progressive Democrats who won’t stray from the Democratic party if elected. As other examples of progressives who prevailed last night: Jerry Brown in California and Raul Grijalva here in Arizona.

For all the losses that Democrats sustained last night, for all the regressive ballot measures that passed in states around the country, and for all the gridlock we will suffer through in Washington in the next two years, perhaps it will all be worth it if the DNC gets the wake-up call it needs to reconsider its strategy of trying to out-Republican the Republicans. Perhaps it will all be worth it if, in the next cycle, Democrats look towards providing a real progressive choice for left-wing Democrats to not only vote for, but to be energized for.

Perhaps it will all be worth it if, this morning, Tim Kaine (head of the DNC) woke up feeling exactly the same way that I do, and announce, tomorrow morning, a return for the Democrats to real, left-wing politics, politicians, and legislation.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

Yes on 107: Voters Shouldn’t Hear the Ramifications of this Ballot Measure?

Please vote No on 107, if you haven't already done so. I promise, the chances of nuclear war are pretty slim, but the chances of targeted programs like battered women's shelters coming under assault are pretty high.

Two hours ago, Intellectual Conservative Arizona, who is blogging on behalf of Yes on 107, posted a little “clap back” on their Tucson Citizen blog in response to me:

The left wing Blog for Arizona/Reappropriate has a post claiming that “Yes on 107 wouldn’t mind if battered women’s shelters and breast cancer screenings closed their doors.” How does the author come to this bizarre conclusion? We pointed out that those services will NOT have to close their doors if Prop. 107 passes, it is a scare tactic used by the left in order to frighten people from voting

(Please note that I changed the title of my post this morning after realizing that the first one was super-long and unwieldy. Apparently IC Arizona did not refresh their cache.)

The logic is fairly straightforward, and in fact taken from Yes on 107’s own words.

Bascially, Yes on 107 says that programs that currently target their services… simply have to open their doors to men. Here’s their quote:

Secondly, any program in risk of being eliminated just has to open its services up to men. 

Yes on 107 then goes on to defend the rights of “men’s rights” groups to file lawsuits against battered women’s shelters, presuming that judges will throw them out. Yes on 107 ignores the political and financial costs of such lawsuits against battered women’s shelters, let alone the sheer inhumanity of their argument.

What Yes on 107 fails to acknowledge is that California specifically protects funding for women’s health in their statutes, and that was the basis for the rejection of these lawsuits in California. Arizona, to my knowledge, does not have such protections.

So, if men’s rights groups filed lawsuits against battered women’s shelters in this state, judges could not turn to similar protections to defend shelters in this state. And, as for criticism that this is all hypothetical, I ask: what makes one think that “men’s rights” groups wouldn’t file such lawsuits? This is what men’s rights groups do. Just Google “NCFM” to see the long history of lawsuits they have filed around the country on a wide range of topics.

Bottom line, I say that Yes on 107 appears to not mind the closing of battered women’s shelters because they offered only two options for shelters: accept men, or be ready for lawsuits to determine their status under Proposition 107. Both options are punitively damaging to battered women’s shelters and their very day-to-day operation, but Yes on 107 simply doesn’t acknowledge this fact. Yes on 107 doesn’t acknowledge that battered women’s shelters cannot operate optimally when being sued, or having to accept men. Yes on 107 basically doesn’t care about those concerns, or the thousands of women who do care.

Meanwhile, Yes on 107 deftly side-steps the bulk of my argument: which is the long litany of lawsuits that the state will be needed to establish scope. They haven’t denied their group’s involvement in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board, or that Proposition 107 is carefully worded in order to help support a lawsuit that will expand the scope of this ballot measure against the voters’ wishes. Reams of digital ink have been used defending themselves in regards to battered women’s shelters, but on the subject of whether a lawsuit will be filed to expand the scope of this ballot measure? Silence.

Hmm, I wonder why that is?

Instead, Yes on 107 chides me for exploring the end-game of Proposition 107. The title of their post: “Since there’s a remote chance of a nuclear war if Proposition 107 passes, you must be in favor of nuclear war if you support it.” Apparently Yes on 107 doesn’t believe that voters should actually think through what happens with the passage of a ballot measure, including weighing all the possible consequences of their vote.

If there’s a chance that voting on a ballot measure could threaten battered women’s shelters, shouldn’t voters have a right to know how that will happen? Apparently, Yes on 107 doesn’t think so. They would rather that voters vote, dumbly and without appropriate education and awareness.

I also wonder why Yes on 107 continues to call the chances  “remote” that battered women’s shelters would be targeted. 1) I’m actually drawing on legal precedent in California, and 2) Yes on 107, themselves, argue that battered women’s shelters should open their doors to men in order to remain in compliance with state law should Propostion 107 pass.

Yet, in the same post, Yes on 107 argues that battered women’s shelters are unlikely to be threatened by Proposition 107 because: “Well, it happened once in California, so the chances are unlikely that it’ll happen again.” Really, now, don’t you think that Arizona voters are smarter than that?

If you’re still deciding your vote, please Vote No on Proposition 107.

Cross-posted:  Blog for Arizona

PS: Gee, Intellectual Conservative Arizona, you call me “left-wing” like it’s a bad thing…

Jenn’s 2010 Voting Guide

Today is election day!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that today is election day. And, I’m urging you — please, take some time out of your schedule to go vote.

I’ve heard so many excuses about why people don’t vote. There’s only one good one: I can’t (because I’m not a citizen or I’m a former felon). Strangely, these are some of the most dedicated and passionate folks when it comes to politics; those who can’t vote know exactly how valuable a single vote is. But, there are so many people who can vote, who are registered to vote, who simply don’t vote. They simply don’t care enough.

Please care, and please take the hour today to vote. If every one of my daily readers were not a regular voter, but took the time to vote, they could decide a local election. Asian Americans may be a small community, but we can help to sway the margins of a big race, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed. We have so little political representation as it is — it’s time we stood up and were counted.

To that end, I’m putting up a short Voter’s Guide. It’s a little haphazard with some contested national races I’ve been following, and predominantly Arizona-focused because of where I live. Hopefully, it will help you decide some races.

Arizona

Governor
Terry Goddard (D) is squaring off against Jan Brewer (R). While I’ve been disappointed with how mediocre the Goddard campaign has been, I simply cannot abide another term of Jan Brewer, who seems hell-bent on running this state into the ground. Brewer has failed to balance the state budget, and she is in large part responsible for SB 1070. The better question we must ask is what Brewer has done right for this state. So, I’m asking you to please choose Terry Goddard.

Congresspersons
Gabrielle Giffords (D) is running against Jesse Kelly (R). Raul Grijalva (D) is running against Ruth McClung (R). Now, I’m not a huge fan of either Democrat in these races — Gabby is too moderate for my tastes, and I opposed Grijalva’s stance on the boycott (I don’t think a sitting Congressperson should advocate a boycott of his own constituents). But, Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung are Crazy with a capital C. Just on women’s rights alone: neither candidate supports abortion, even under conditions of rape or incest. That’s enough for me: vote Giffords and Grijalva to help preserve women’s rights over their own bodies.

Attorney General
Felicia Rotellini (D) has run a great campaign, focusing on her legal background. Her opponent, Tom Horne (R), is prevented from trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission because he committed fraud. I think it’s clear which choice for the state’s top lawyer would be better.

Superintendent of Public Instruction
John Huppenthal (R) recently told us that his top priority would be to wipe out ethnic studies programs throughout the state, including at the university’s public universities. Meanwhile, Penny Kotterman (D) has had a long history of teaching and setting education policy. Although I supported Penny’s Democratic opponent, I also said that both of the Democratic candidates were far better candidates than the woefully unqualified Republicans. No matter how you stand on ethnic studies, please choose Penny Kotterman, even if only because she is actually campaigning on a platform of fixing education in this state, not on a wedge issue.

Propositions

  • NO on 106: This ballot measure attempts to reverse federal healthcare reform and is probably unconstitutional.
  • NO on 107: This is a no-brainer. I’ve talked about how this proposition will negatively affect the state’s economy, higher education, and battered women’s shelters. No, no, no!
  • NO on 109: This ballot measure does some sleight of hand with the Department of Game and Fish that is absolutely unnecessary and probably harmful to both hunting and wildlifeconservation efforts.
  • YES on 110: This measure appears to help conservation efforts and is endorsed by the Sierra Club
  • NO on 111: This measure gets rid of run-off elections. ‘Nuff said.
  • YES on 112: There’s both good and bad on this one. It moves the deadline for signatures up a month, to give the Secretary of State’s office more time to verify those signatures. It reduces fraud, but also makes it difficult on grassroots efforts. I tend to favour less fraud, because I think grassroots efforts will adapt.
  • NO on 113: This measure makes union participation more difficult.
  • NO on 203: This is medical marijuana. I don’t use pot, never have and probably never will. I’m unconvinced by the medical benefits of marijuana, hemp, or any oils made from them. I don’t like how this measure is a smokescreen for legalizing pot, and wish its supporters would be honest — this is the gateway legislation for the “gateway drug”. But, this is one of those polarized ballot measures where people know exactly where they stand already. So vote as you will.
  • NO on 301: Preserve the Land Conservation Fund!
  • NO on 302: This measure keeps the tax on cigarettes and gets rid of the children’s programs they fund. Heck no!

Nation-Wide

California (Governor)
Both Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) have been actively pursuing the Asian American vote this year. Brown is endorsed by several top Asian American community leaders, including Congressman Mike Honda. Meg Whitman has picked up 80/20’s endorsement. I worry, however, that Whitman’s seeking of the APIA vote is mere pandering, and that her support of our community is only as deep as the votes she thinks she needs to win. Threfore, I support Jerry Brown, because I think he has a demonstrated history of helping our community.

Delaware (Senate)
I know, I know — Christine O’Donnell (R) is not a witch. She’s crazy. She’s polling terribly. She’s not going to win. But, please vote Chris Coons (D). He’s not just the anti-O’Donnell vote, he’s actually a great, intelligent, reasoned progressive candidate. I’ve been pleasantly shocked with how well Coons has carried himself in such a “silly season” race. I would vote for him (if I lived in Delaware) just because I haven’t seen such a great representative of progressive politics in such a long time.

Nevada (Senate)
Please vote Harry Reid (D) over Sharron “Some of you look a little more Asian” Angle (R). I can’t understand how Angle is doing so well — she’s just plain psychotic.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

“Yes On 107”: Battered Women’s Shelters Should Be Open to Men

Yes on 107 reveals their true colours on battered women's shelters. (Sorry for the crappy Photoshop job above.)

Things that disturb me definitely include having a registered ballot proposition group follow my blogging actions so closely as to post not one, but two, response pieces to my writing within 24 hours of their publication. Me? Really? Shouldn’t you be canvassing or fund-raising or something remotely — I don’t know — political on the night before Election Day, and not fanatically pestering some random blogger with attempts to start blog beef?

In this case, in response to my piece on Proposition 107 and battered women’s shelters, Yes on 107 (aka Intellectual Conservative Arizona) labels me a “Chicken Little” for laying out exactly how battered women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs are threatened by Proposition 107.

Let’s lay this one out, shall we?

Yes on 107 trots out the same tired argument that I originally, and explicitly addressed in my post:

First of all, the language only bans government preferences in hiring, contracting and higher education. Domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screening programs do not fall within those areas. 

Hmm, arguing against my post by simply re-stating your position? This is the blogging equivalent of repeating your argument, only louder, as if the increase in volume suddenly adds logic to your point. My post, How Proposition 107 Threatens Battered Women’s Shelters and Breast Cancer Screening Programs, already laid out how in California, expansion of the scope of Prop 209 beyond “hiring, contracting and higher education” opened the gates up to other state-funded programs. I wrote how it’s true that the language of Prop 107 doesn’t relate to public services, but I also explained how because its language is vague and subject to legal interpretation, that a lawsuit would be necessary to establish the law’s true scope. In California, that lawsuit was Connerly vs. State Personnel Board.

 Yes on 107 dismisses the fact that lawsuits will need to be filed to establish scope, hanging their entire “Chicken Little” characterization on this bizarre assertion. Yet, any scholar of state law knows that lawsuits that establish scope of new legislation is par for the course. Yes on 107 should be particularly well-versed on this fact: it was their leader, Ward Connerly, who filed Connerly vs. State Personnel Board

Then, Yes on 107 says:

Secondly, any program in risk of being eliminated just has to open its services up to men. 

Which, again, is true. If shelters for battered women opened their doors to men, they absolutely wouldn’t be threatened by Proposition 209 or Proposition 107.

The argument almost makes sense — if you have no understanding of the plight of abused women, who have been raped, assaulted and otherwise psychologically and emotionally tormented by their male partners, and who are seeking a male-free safe space to recover from their trauma. It almost makes sense, if you ignore the fact that the very male-free nature of these shelters is what makes them a viable option for women who have recently been raped and assaulted by men. But, sure, Yes on 107: you’re welcome to claim the “Pro-Psychologically Torturing Battered Women” side of this particular argument. Have at it.

Heck, Yes on 107 even reveals their true colours when it comes to battered women’s shelters:

Would it be unfortunate if some men’s rights groups filed lawsuits to attempt to stop these kinds of services from operating? It might not even cost taxpayers any money, since a judge could choose to require the men’s groups when they inevitably lose to pay costs and fees, based on them losing in the past in California.

Y’know, I — honestly — wouldn’t have even thought to accuse any side of this argument of not being interested in protecting battered women’s shelters from damaging lawsuits. But, you really can’t make so damning and so cavalier a statement up.

For the record, I do think that supporting a men’s rights group’s actions to stop the operation of battered women’s shelters is “unfortunate”. Also, I would say “devastating” to the many silent victims of domestic violence who look to these shelters as their last hope for escape and recovery. I think it’s immoral and unprincipled to even suggest that these shelters — which save lives of abused women every day — aren’t important to our community.

By contrast, Yes on 107 apparently doesn’t find it all that “unfortunate” if men’s rights groups threatened battered women’s shelters with lawsuits, even if they “inevitably” (or not so inevitably: there’s no guarantee that Arizona judges will decide as California judges did in a similar case) lose.

Yes on 107 also supports the National Coalition of Free Men’s argument that breast cancer screening programs should also provide preventative screening services to the same degree for men as they do for women. Never mind that men make up less than two percent of all breast cancer cases, Yes on 107 and NCFM sees prejudice in public screening programs that focus on the women who make up 98% of breast cancer diagnoses, and would rather that these programs shut down than to continue targeting women for prevention and treatment. 

(Also, never mind that Proposition 107 doesn’t provide additional funding to either battered women’s shelters or to breast cancer screening programs in order to handle the additional case loads introduced by catering to both genders. I guess Yes on 107 thinks that money grows on trees — which, if you’re financially backed by a wealthy Northern California political action fund, is pretty close to the truth, I suppose.)

Yes on 107 asserts that breast cancer screening programs might constitute an example of a bona fide sex difference. Yet, even in their very post, they underscore the basic problem of Proposition 107: we have no real idea what the true scope of Proposition 107 actually is. Yes on 107 writes:

Same goes for breast cancer screening programs, and those would probably have even more likelihood of being permitted to remain as women-only, since they likely constitute a bona fide sex difference between men and women. 

Note the words “probably” and “likely”. There is no certainty there. This is, in a nutshell, the problem with Proposition 107: there is deliberate vagueness in the wording of the proposition. If public services programs are outside of the scope of Proposition 107, why the quibbling over whether or not breast cancer screening programs might, or might not, constitute a “bona fide sex difference”? Better yet, how can people who authored this piece of legislation, who call it “carefully crafted and precisely worded”, not really know whether a breast cancer screening program constitute a bona fide sex difference?

The truth is that proponents of Proposition 107 know exactly how vague the wording of this ballot measure are. They know that passage of this ballot proposition is only step one; and that step two is to file a lawsuit, as they did in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board to expand the scope of the ballot proposition beyond the voters’ original intention. They know this, because this is exactly what happened in California.

Finally, Yes on 107 argues that the costs of such lawsuits isn’t so great.

It might not even cost taxpayers any money, since a judge could choose to require the men’s groups when they inevitably lose to pay costs and fees, based on them losing in the past in California. The men’s groups may file lawsuits like this anyway, with or without Prop. 107 being in existence, citing other parts of the Constitution, as they did in the California lawsuits. 

It’s true that NCFM lost their lawsuit, and that a frivolous lawsuit might cost a group like NCFM the cost of legal fees for both sides. Yet, what Yes on 107 isn’t telling you is that in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board, Ward Connerly successfully lobbied to have the state agencies pay the legal fees associated with this case. This decision was upheld by the California Court of Appeals. I couldn’t find the total amount that Connerly vs. State Personnel Board cost the state of California, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the ball park of “a lot”.

Why isn’t Yes on 107 letting you know about that cost to taxpayers, let alone the strain that this will put on Arizona’s legal system?

In addition, Yes on 107 complains that my original post depended on a fair amount of “if’s” — yet, this is the very argument that they use to suggest that the lawsuits won’t cost taxpayers money. In fact, my “if’s” aren’t if’s at all; they are based on verifiable legal precedent that took place in California. On the other hand, Yes on 107 relies on an “if” statement to suggest that taxpayers won’t be saddled with a hefty bill with Proposition 107’s passage: IF a group files a lawsuit that fails to win, and IF a judge elects to penalize that group with attorney fees, only then will taxpayers not have to pony up. But, what about all those lawsuits that actually find a state agency or program in violation of the ballot measure? Proposition 107 doesn’t inform you that, as taxpayers, you will be paying for the inevitable lawsuits that will be sorting those issues out, and nothing but tax money will be able to cover the costs of hearing those cases.

Yes on 107 spuriously says:

This time the left wing  Blog for Arizona is claiming that domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screening programs for women could possibly be eliminated. 

[…]

This is just another Chicken Little “sky is falling” attempt to come up with the absolute worst possible case scenario, which isn’t going to happen based on prior history in states where this initiative has passed. 

But, my post was not based in wild conjecture, nor do I even suggest that women’s shelters will actually be eliminated. In fact, in my post, I explicitly state:

It would be non-factual to say that with passage of Proposition 107, women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs would cease to exist in Arizona; this is not the argument I am making, nor would such an argument be supported by the fact that California statutes, independent of Proposition 209, protect funding for women’s health. Let’s be clear: California still has domestic women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs.

As I write in my post, Proposition 107 threatens women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs by targeting them with punitive legal fights that strain the resources of that otherwise allow them to operate. The financial and political costs to these programs are high, as are the dangers to women who might be discouraged from seeking out the services of these programs as a result of the legal battle. And, as Yes on 107 so kindly pointed out for us, supporters of Proposition 107 really don’t mind if battered women’s shelters close their doors as a result.

Nowhere do I “imagine” a “worst case scenario”. I present to you, as readers, the actual history of lawsuits that has taken place in California as a result of Proposition 209’s passage. You, the voter, deserve to hear all the facts surrounding this ballot measure, which includes simple facts from California like: after Proposition 209 passed, several key lawsuits were filed that threatened the funding of breast cancer screening programs and domestic violence prevention programs and shelters.

The worst case scenario, in this case, is not make-believe: it’s documented. We have the case law from California to prove that the worst case scenario is exactly what supporters of Proposition 107 want to have happen here in Arizona.

Oh, and as an aside —  in the many assertions that Yes on 107 gets wrong in their rebuttal, they got another big one wrong. I am not “the Proposition 107 opposition”. I am not, in fact, affiliated with any No on 107 group. I am not part of some blogosphere-wide conspiracy to launch some “last-minute” effort. I’m just a concerned Arizona resident who writes about politics. So, just so you know — it’s not one great big conspiracy: bloggers really just don’t like Proposition 107, and they’re writing about it.

Please vote No tomorrow on Proposition 107, because apparently the other side just doesn’t believe battered women’s shelters should be protected. And no, I wouldn’t have even made that shit up, but sometimes the other side just hands you a quote you can’t pass up.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona