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Arizona punches back, threatens L.A.'s power

May 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Debate over Arizona's new immigration law has reached a boiling point.Arizona's corporation commission threatened to turn off the lights in Los Angeles if the city goes ahead with its boycott of the state.

Most people are unaware 25 percent of electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

The Arizona corporation commission sent a stern letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa threatening to turn off L.A. lights if Los Angeles boycott's Arizona businesses.

"And certainly Los Angeles, which depends on Arizona for 25 percent of their power, ought to be cognizant that, you can't call a boycott on the candy store and then decide to go in an pick and choose candy you really do want," Arizona Corporation Commission member Gary Pierce said.

It was just last week the Los Angeles City Council approved the boycott in response to Arizona's new immigration law.

The decision could cost the state $52 million in canceled contracts.

To make matters worse, Villaraigosa tried to bring a little humor to the issue on Monday by placing a friendly bet over the phone with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon over Monday night's Lakers-Suns matchup.

Both mayors oppose Arizona's immigration law.

"He's agreed that if the Suns win, they'll send us Sheriff Arpaio, and if the Suns win we'll send them Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman," Villraigosa said.

But Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner was not laughing, and neither is Arizona.

From business to basketball to now L.A.'s electricity, the immigration debate has become an all out battle with both sides now standing to lose.

"We need to have this mediated," L.A. resident Tyron King said. "And if someone needs to step in from the government that's a higher official, it needs to be done because it's getting out of hand."


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