Ariz. regulator weighs retaliation for LA boycott - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ariz. regulator weighs retaliation for LA boycott

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PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona utility regulator has suggested there could be payback for the Los Angeles city council's vote to boycott Arizona businesses because of the state's new law targeting illegal immigration.

Arizona Corporation Commission member Gary Pierce responded to the Los Angeles council's vote on May 12 by sending a letter Tuesday to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The letter cited the mayor's support for the boycott, which doesn't cover airport, port and energy services.

"If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation," Pierce wrote.

Los Angeles should reconsider its boycott decision if the city "lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power," Pierce added.

Pierce, a Republican former legislator, concluded his letter by saying that people of goodwill can disagree over the Arizona law's merits. But "a statewide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill," he said.

Villaraigosa's office on Wednesday issued a statement saying he supports the council's stance and that he "will not respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic civil rights."

The Los Angeles council's resolution claimed that Arizona's law encourages racial profiling and is unconstitutional. Arizona officials who support the law dispute both claims.

The law, which is set to take effect July 29 unless blocked by a court, requires police to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the United States illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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