I have begun to write a column for the Arizona Republic's East Valley community sections. My first column addresses the ugly scene last week outside Sen. Jon Kyl's Phoenix office and the other negative things said about him by state GOP officials. Click here to read the column on the Arizona Republic's website.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - Arizona Republic
Sen. Kyl unfairly criticized on immigration reform
By Farrell Quinlan
An alarming number of leading Arizona Republican Party officials recently made outrageous attacks on Sen. Jon Kyl for his courageous leadership on the difficult issue of immigration reform.
Adding embarrassment to a once "grand old party," some party leaders backed anti-immigrant protesters who picketed Sen. Kyl's Phoenix office with poisonous and vulgar slogans.
Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, a group promoting the protest, demanded Sen. Kyl's immediate resignation because he "has betrayed his state of Arizona and the mothers of America!" They called him a "sellout" and "bagman and/or water boy" for "the White House treason."
Protest signs called him a "liar," "two-faced" and "traitor."
The protesters also held signs with lewd images and messages in full view of children on busy Camelback Road.
Such extremism and ugliness ought to be ignored, except these protesters pretend to speak for my party and me while they slander an honorable public servant.
Sen. Kyl has done more for the Republican Party and the conservative movement than all of these political posers combined.
He has been a stalwart defender of conservative principles since he was first elected to Congress in 1986.
On the Senate's Finance, Judiciary and Intelligence committees, Jon Kyl has been a bulwark against liberal assaults on our wallets, Constitution and national security.
His lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 97 percent. The Center for Security Policy scores him at 94 percent. The National Rifle Association and the National Taxpayers Union consistently give him "A" grades. He has a perfect right-to-life voting record.
The respected National Journal ranks him the third most conservative senator and the most conservative Arizonan in our delegation.
Jon Kyl takes a backseat to no one in conservative credentials.
He is also one of the most respected leaders in Washington. Time recognized him as one of the 10 best senators.
Political friend and foe alike agree that Jon Kyl is one of the most intelligent, humble and hardworking lawmakers ever to serve.
He is just the kind of man his Senate Republican colleagues can trust to tackle an issue like our chaotic and incomprehensible immigration system.
He agrees with the overwhelming majority of Americans that we are is in the midst of an illegal immigration crisis and Congress must act to secure our borders and protect our economic future.
Sen. Kyl wants to ensure that any legislation that passes a Democratic-controlled Congress includes tough new border control, employment verification and a temporary worker program that is truly temporary and settles the status of 12 million undocumented migrants without amnesty.
The compromise plan is not perfect and must be improved. But if a good bill can be crafted, leaders like Sen. Kyl will need to be part of the negotiations.
Support the compromise or not, Sen. Kyl is acting in good faith to help end the rampant lawlessness on the border.
Sen. Kyl remains true to his conservative principles and the Republican Party.
He deserve better than taunts and derision from the likes of those who protested outside his office.
Farrell Quinlan is a public affairs consultant from Chandler. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.