Terry Goddard gets ir right: taking on human, gun, drug smugglers

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

While Republicans pretend to do something about border security by posturing on SB 1070, Arizona's "show me your papers law," Attorney General Terry Goddard is actually doing something constructive about border security.

In an editorial opinion in the Arizona Daily Star today, the editors give credit where credit is due. Good plan: taking on human, gun, drug smugglers:

'Securing the border" is an amorphous political phrase that, without definition, means little. The Arizona Attorney General's Office is providing a definition with its newly launched, $50 million grant program that will allocate money to fight the cross-border smuggling of people, drugs, money or weapons.

The grant fund will provide needed assistance to local agencies to combat what are highly organized criminal enterprises. By casting the net wide but giving the efforts a scope, the program has the potential to jump-start some efforts and support ongoing actions.

"Border security" is too broad a label to be meaningful. Stopping smugglers from trafficking drugs and people into the U.S., while taking weapons and money south into Mexico, is the key to taking down the organizations that drive much of the crime along the border, Attorney General Terry Goddard told the Star on Monday.

The grants are available to state and local law enforcement agencies in Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico.

The money flows from a $94 million settlement the Attorney General's Office came to with Western Union after a lengthy investigation into criminals' use of wire transfers to move money across borders.

Goddard, who is the Democratic candidate for governor, said that each of the four eligible states will receive at least $7 million, which will allow local agencies to develop solid plans instead of rushing to beat others to the money. The funds can be spent on joint operations with Mexican authorities.

"We won't give it to Mexican agencies directly but will encourage border law enforcement to work with their counterparts," Goddard said.

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[T]this new fund can be used to hire employees, and to support investigations and prosecutions. Arizona law enforcement agencies should use this grant program to strengthen their efforts to fight border-related crime.

Border security cannot happen until the nation figures out a workable immigration policy that takes removes the financial gold mine that motivates criminals to smuggle people across the border. Until then – and it looks like "then" could be far off – Goddard is correct to focus efforts on fighting the cartels by going after their business operations.

Compare Goddard's constructive action to that of the "petulant" Accidental Governor. Conservative columnist Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic, with whom I almost never agree, actually got it right the other day. Terry Goddard shows class on SB 1070 fight:

Attorney General Terry Goddard did the right thing by stepping aside and letting Gov. Jan Brewer take the lead on defending Arizona's new immigration law. To do so, he had to swallow a lot, given Brewer's petulant mishandling of the situation.

Early last week, Brewer sent Goddard a letter demanding that he butt out of the case, claiming that the new state law gave her control of the litigation, including the right to appoint counsel other than the attorney general, which she had done.

There's one rather huge and insurmountable problem with the governor's claim. The law giving her that authority doesn't go into effect until July 29. Right now, she has zero authority to make the legal decisions on behalf of the state or appoint outside legal counsel to represent the state.

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Goddard had actually made a constructive offer to work with the governor's outside counsel during this period. Rather than accept this bridge across the legal limbo, Brewer sent her demand letter asserting fictitious authority and threatening to sue to oust Goddard if he didn't get out of the case.

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During this dispute, Brewer's staff has also bad-mouthed the legal capabilities of Goddard's office. This was unfair and unwarranted. Goddard's Solicitor General's Office has generally done a good job during his tenure.

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Regardless, Goddard ultimately acted like a statesman in this dispute. Brewer acted like a petulant and disingenuous politician.

In fact, Terry Goddard was honored with an award by his peers last week at the same time the Brewer campaign was bad-mouthing him, which speaks volumes about Jan Brewer's lack of character and class. Terry Goddard honored with Kelley-Wyman Award from the National Association of Attorneys General

0 responses to “Terry Goddard gets ir right: taking on human, gun, drug smugglers

  1. Francine Shacter

    Well said, Benito, well said!

  2. I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

    I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

    Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.