Trying To Win An Election In Arizona? Propose Tent Cities

By Julianne Hing Jun 11, 2010

The Arizona gubernatorial primaries aren’t till August, but GOP candidates hoping to best current frontrunner Governor Jan Brewer need to start picking up the pace if they want to make a dent in her solid polling numbers.

Enter Dean Martin, Arizona’s state treasurer who’s one of at least three Republicans running for governor. He announced Tuesday that he’d like to create tent cities á la the ones pioneered by his friend, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose use of them to house immigrant detainees in Arizona has been well-documented.

According to Martin and Arpaio, tent cities don’t represent a dehumanizing, gratuitously harsh tactic. Rather, they’re a practical, money saving alternative that offers "inexpensive temporary housing," freeing up resources to further militarize the border.

Martin made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference when he announced the rest of his border security plan, which he’s dubbed the "Zero Tolerance" plan. Arpaio has endorsed Martin’s plan. During the press conference, Martin slammed Jan Brewer, who he said only started paying attention to border issues when she started doing election polling. Too bad for Martin, Brewer’s a quick study. She already became a hero to the radical right and immigration restrictionists for signing SB 1070.

Arizona primaries happen August 24.