Here are some of the people you can "thank" for this cockamamy scheme: Arizona Sen. Steve Smith, who thought up the plan and introduced the legislation that allowed Arizona to accept donations to build a border fence; Gov. Jan Brewer, who endorsed the idea and signed the bill with a flourish; Sen. Sylvia Allen, who saw the border fence as an important cog in her state-funded militia; and of course Sheriff Joe Arpaio and then-Sen. Russell Pearce, who support anything intended to keep Latinos out of Arizona.
When Sen. Smith kicked off his website with a lot of media fanfare back in July 2011, he declared they would raise $50 million and build 200 miles of fence. After the website had raked in an impressive $40,000 on its first day, I wrote:
Here's betting that by this time next week the site is pulling in a couple grand, by this time next month it'll be drawing less than I got for weekly allowance, and by this time next year people will be asking, "What border fence website? Oh, you mean those couple hundred thousand bucks they used to build that 20-foot-long wall near Naco?""... couple hundred thousand bucks." Well, I was pretty much spot on.
The committee has raised just 10 percent of the $2.8 million needed to complete a mile of fencing. The ultimate goal is to build 200 miles of border fencing. KOLD NewsThing is, they haven't even raised that. I just checked their piece-of-crap website, and it says the total is $193,162, which means they can build about 7 percent of a mile, or roughly 370 feet—leaving them only 199 miles, 4910 feet short of their goal.
But Sen. Smith is "sure" contributions will flow in once construction begins, just like he was "sure" he could raise $50 million for his fence of hate. Smith's committee of goonballs never thought through the tough ecological issues, the many geographical challenges, or the fact the planned 200 miles includes federal, state, and private land, not to mention sacred indigenous sites. Oh, and there's this:
The committee also has failed to meet state law requirements that it file monthly status reports, and it hasn't met since April... "Reporting once a month becomes cumbersome," [Russ Jones, R-Yuma] said. "We don't have enough new information to go through the bureaucracy."They don't have enough information, they don't have enough money, and immigration crossings and crime are down considerably. Aside from that ... let's get that 370 feet of fence up! Surely immigrants won't be able to find their way around it.
Back in Sept. Sen. Smith said he's "in contact with a fencing company about possible donation or sale at a low price several miles of welded wire fencing." Heck, combine that donated fence with inmate labor, and they might be able to stretch that 370 feet to a tenth of a mile!
Some days you just want a giant facepalm that'll cover the Arizona Capitol.