The Rundown J.D. Hayworth

hayworth bwBest known for this term: His strongly-worded calls for immigration reform. In 2004, Hayworth opposed Proposition 200 and told the news show Horizon that his agenda for the term would focus on national security, economic security, equal opportunity in education and balancing our fragile environment with our unique economy in Arizona.

But in the months after Proposition 200 passed, Hayworth made illegal immigration his top concern. This is an invasion to be stopped, he declared, calling it the number one issue in America and the only issue in Arizona.

Asking House leaders to block any immigration reform plan that contained a guest-worker program – which he calls amnesty and surrender Hayworth warned that migrant workers bring disease across the border, drive down wages and fail to assimilate. And in his book, Whatever It Takes, he demanded that Americans stop being defeatist wimps about how to handle them.

Furthermore, he warned Republicans in the House that theyd be voted out in November if they supported the Senates more comprehensive plan and called the President – who hoped for a guest-worker program – profoundly wrong. He also told Don Imus that he didnt want Bush to campaign for him this time around.

The House managed to pass a $21 billion border security plan on the last day before adjournment, but the issue of what to do with illegals who are already here will likely not be picked up when they return after the election. Thats probably good news for Hayworth, who doesnt have an answer for the estimated 11 million people already living in the US. He has no qualms about deporting criminal aliens and those caught overstaying their visas, but he admits that deporting the parents of citizen children would be a public relations fiasco.

Thats why he wants to stop granting citizenship to anyone born on US soil, as outlined in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. He also wants to end dual citizenship, demands official English and seeks a moratorium on visas issued to Mexico. And he claims that hes perfectly in line with his constituents on these issues.

Abramoff and the Indian Tribes

In January, a Washington Times article citing unnamed sources claimed that Hayworth was the target of a Justice Department probe into influence-peddling related to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Hayworth immediately claimed no knowledge of an investigation, though another House member named in the article (Bob Ney) eventually admitted to accepting improper gifts. It is now October and there is still no information of Hayworth being under investigation. When the New York Times brought up another supposed Abramoff connection in August, they had to run a correction a few days later.

Hayworth donated the $2,250 he received directly from Abramoff to charity, but refused to return the estimated $150,000 given to him from various Abramoff clients, all Indian tribes. He has stressed that the tribes insist that he keep the money. Hayworths wife Mary has also received flak over accepting $107,000 as the only employee of Hayworths PAC; the Congressman remarked that it was paid over the period of a decade.

Famously outspoken
In addition to strong words on illegal immigrants, Hayworth has been outspokenly critical of liberals and the media elite. This term, he went to virtual fisticuffs with Governor Napolitano, comparing her to the looters in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He circulated a letter to rescind the New York Times press credentials after the paper exposed the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. And he was a huge opponent of setting an idiotic deadline for withdrawal from Iraq. To make his point, he forced a vote to immediately bring home the troops; it was defeated, but supposedly put every member of Congress on the record.

Conservative, but open to spending
Hayworth often gives conservatives a nod and a wink, such as when he sponsored a bill to place Ronald Reagans visage on the ten dollar bill, or another bill to protect college students from liberal propaganda in academia. He also voted against funding stem cell research.

But Hayworth doesnt ignore what his base (which includes ASU) needs; he recognizes that the Valley is getting too clogged for cars and brings home federal money for light rail and other transit projects. He sees value in tapping solar energy and perennially brings it into legislation. These are not necessarily Conservatively Correct – hes been called extravagant on project spending – but they may be politically wise.

Why youd re-elect him: Hayworths views on illegal immigration turn on many voters. His willingness to take risks and say whats on his mind is admired even by Democrats. Hes used his office for some noteworthy causes, such as a sex offender database amendment, a bill to prevent tax preparation companies from selling customer data, and the exposure of a prisoner tax fraud scheme.

Why youd toss him out: Hayworths views on illegal immigration turn off many voters. His opponent, Harry Mitchell, is correct in noting that Republicans have had many years to do something about illegal immigration, but only got interested in it when it became a popular voter issue. And Hayworths book is full of aging rightist lingo that suggests hes still wistfully holding on to the mid-90s, when the biggest problem in America was political correctness. Dont we wish

J.D. Hayworth is running against Democrat Harry Mitchell and Libertarian Warren Severin.

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