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Phoenix mayor wants L.A. to rescind boycott

As the mayoral wager on the NBA Western Conference heats up, Phoenix's mayor says he wants the boycott lifted.
July 26, 2010 7:20:58 PM PDT
As the mayoral wager on the NBA Western Conference heats up, Phoenix's mayor says he wants the boycott lifted.A few weeks ago, a bet over basketball got political. It was initially intended to be just for laughs, but the Phoenix mayor upped the ante, and it's meant to open up dialogue regarding immigration reform.

"If the suns win, they'll send us Sheriff Arpaio and if the Lakers win, we'll send them Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Now, it's grown to be a bit more serious. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says if the Suns beat the Lakers, he wants to come to Los Angeles.

"While there, I'd like us to sit down and discuss how our cities can unite to push for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level," said Gordon.

"What we can do is weigh in on the federal government, because that's the problem here. They've created a vacuum by not addressing this issue," said Villaraigosa.

"This should be handled by the federal government in ways they're set forth to handle it. This is not a job for the local police," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

The message to Washington is to take charge of this issue. Beck met with Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday.

"He listened very well. He asked a lot of hard questions. We had a great discussion about the topic, and I have confidence that he'll make a good decision," said Beck.

Gordon would also like to address the L.A. City Council to see if the boycott can be rescinded.

"The council has taken a very strong position with respect to a boycott, and while I know that is damaging to the city of Phoenix's economy, boycotts have an effect," Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa said he thinks meeting with Gordon is a good idea so they can show the federal government how they feel about immigration reform.

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