Meg Whitman's gubernatorial campaign launched a new Spanish-language TV ad yesterday telling voters she opposes Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law despite claims to the contrary.
The Arizona law has dogged Whitman throughout her bid for governor. During the Republican primary, conservative businessman Steve Poizner, a supporter of SB 1070, hit Whitman repeatedly for her stated opposition, making the law a focal point of his TV campaign. Poizner spent more than $23 million in total running against her.
While Whitman has consistently said SB 1070--or a law like it--would be wrong for California, she has not opposed its implementation (delayed by a federal court case) in Arizona, saying instead that she would let the law stand, if given the opportunity.
"I don't think the Arizona law makes sense for California, because we have a much bigger state with a much bigger geography," Whitman said during a July 28 appearance on a conservative talk radio station. "I would say the states have got to be able to decide what is right for their state...so I would let the Arizona law stand for Arizona."
As Whitman's campaign has pointed out, the former eBay CEO is running for governor of California and is concerned with policies for the Golden State, not Arizona. Were such a law to be passed by the California legislature, Whitman would veto it.
So Whitman's stance on Arizona's law is nuanced. She opposes it in that she opposes implementation of such policy in California--though not the implementation of the Arizona law itself.
Whitman has used Spanish-language advertising throughout the campaign to highlight her opposition to implementing such a policy in California. She aired another Spanish-language ad on the topic in June, and the Whitman campaign has placed billboards around the state proclaiming, "No a la Proposition 187 y No a la Ley da Arizona"--or, as translated into English, "No on Proposition 187 and No on the Arizona law"--referencing, along with SB 1070, the controversial state-run citizenship screening proposition that passed in 1994 and was found unconstitutional in federal court, damaging Republicans' standing with Latino voters in California for years to come.
See the new ad below:
And the transcript, translated into English:
Don't be fooled by Jerry Brown. Meg Whitman stood up against the AZ law. She stood by us. Why is Brown lying? To fool us. Meg is the only candidate with a good plan to create jobs. The only one who can fix our public schools. The choice? Better jobs and Better schools. Or the same old failures from Jerry Brown. We lost jobs when he was Governor.
Don't be fooled by Jerry Brown.