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Kruzan Won’t Back Down on Arizona Boycott

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.

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