This morning on Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer pointed out that Arizona didn’t anticipate the economic effects of a boycott against the state when it passed its new immigration law. Arizona senatorial candidate and immigration hardliner J.D. Hayworth (R) mostly dismissed concerns over the boycott. Instead, Hayworth pointed out that “friends in California” are pushing for an economic “BUYcott” of Arizona in support of the recently approved legislation:
You spoke of a boycott, what I heard from friends in California the other day is that they want to start a buycott. Actually come to Arizona to reaffirm the fact that Arizona — all we’re doing — is enforcing federal law.
What Hayworth is referring to is a “National Arizona BUYcott” campaign that was reportedly set to be announced yesterday at the Winning Back America Conference, which was headlined by Liz Cheney, Fred Thompson, and Sarah Palin. The effort has already launched a website and a Facebook group with 1,075 members. Tennessee radio host Steve Gill is personally encouraging people to buy from the Arizona-based Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop. “We’re going to go out to Cold Stone Creamery and dish out some free samples to local listeners and let them buy some Arizona ice cream as part of our ‘buycott’ to support Arizona,” he told KTAR.
However, ice cream purchases alone may not be enough to save Arizona from the potential economic effects of a large-scale boycott of Arizona. The largest Spanish-language newspaper, La Opinion, and the popular news website Hispanic News, have each called for general boycotts of all Arizona goods and services. The American Immigration Lawyers Association moved its upcoming conference from Arizona to another state. The city councils of Washington, D.C., Oakland, and Los Angeles are considering city government boycotts of the state. In San Francisco, the city council is likely to pass a government boycott, while Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) (and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman) has temporarily barred city workers from traveling to Arizona on official business.
Tourism is one of Arizona’s biggest industries and the national “buycott” is encouraging supporters to travel to Arizona. Nonetheless, a growing number of travelers — including famed travel book author Arthur Frommer — have pledged to avoid the state. Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) has asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to revoke the awarding of the 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix, and it appears MLB is taking such demands seriously. The All-Star Game would bring in an estimated $40 million of revenue into the region.