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Kruzan Won’t Back Down on Arizona Boycott

Bloomington's mayor says he will not consider rescinding his position on an Arizona boycott, despite a call to do so from the Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber of Commerce

Photo: Daniel Robison

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan says he stands behind a city boycott of Arizona, despite opposition from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.

Bloomington’s mayor says he will not consider rescinding his position that the city will boycott products and services from Arizona following passage of that state’s new immigration law.

Last week, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce issued a statement asking that city leaders take back a letter sent to Arizona officials explaining why Bloomington plans to stop officially funneling money to Arizona companies.  In the letter, Chamber CEO Christy Gillenwater says some 40 letters have been received saying the city will suffer economically if the boycott persists.

“It was a sad but predictable placement of profit before principle by the Chamber,” Kruzan said. “[The Chamber] got the calls.  It doesn’t mean that it’s reality.  Did the Chamber ask any one of those letter writers or callers or e-mailers — and I know some of it was e-mail because I was copied on it — ‘Where was it that you were going to shop?  What reservation was did you have that you canceled?’  They were taking based on 40 contacts among 3000 businesses in the city and making headlines out of it.”

Kruzan says of the 150 or so responses he’s received to the city’s letter, only a handful have originated locally.  Most, the mayor contends, are from a national group which supports the Arizona law and has made a point of critizing groups which do not.  Speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor,” Kruzan says he is aware of one business — a local hotel — which has had reservations for a meeting pulled because of the city’s stance.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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  • Dogmeat

    It is odd that there has been this big spike in right wing idiocy coming out of Arizona though. Texas has a higher background level of crazy and right now Arizona is like a supernova taking the attention. I wonder how long it will last.

    Actually it isn't that strange. Arizona has been moving gradually towards the middle over the last twenty years. The population has doubled in that time and a big part of that spike wasn't old retirees who tended to be conservative, but a lot of younger families moving from blue states, etc. In 2008 McCain only received 53.4% of the vote here in Arizona, his sixth lowest vote total among the states he won. Now think about that, his home state was one of his least supportive states. Had McCain been from Texas, Florida, etc., he likely would have lost Arizona.

    This state has a long history of very conservative, often racist politics and the supporters of those policies aren't happy that they are consistently losing ground to moderates and liberals (simply termed as liberals in their tirades). Because of how the state legislature is set up conservatives still have a major majority in both houses but, when Napolitano was governor, she vetoed a lot of their stupidity. In fact she set the record for vetoes in the history of the state. You take her away, bring in Brewer who is a wing-nut's wing-nut, and you see incredibly stupid legislation that was shut down by a reasonable governor make it out of the state house. At the same time you see an increase in non-conservative population as well as an increase in non-white population and the far white err, right is freaking out.

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