Party loyalty & political fear wins, small business loses…again

The S.C. House voted 69 to 43 along party lines with one exception yesterday to force every small business in the state to only use E-Verify when hiring a worker to prove immigration status. Starting in 2012, regardless of a small business’s ability to access the internet, employers in the state are now required to treat a drivers license or social security card as worthless documentation of citizenship. Only the federal government can give permission to hire a worker (oh, and instantaneously keep track of who you are hiring).

No amount of common sense espoused by numerous Democratic speakers, our small business arguments against E-Verify or the principled opposition by numerous leaders of the state’s Tea Party organizations could overcome the Republican chant—“The U.S. Supreme Court is making us do it”.

If that sounds too simplistic and silly of an explanation, it is. It wasn’t just the recent Supreme Court ruling. It was Governor Haley, Attorney General Wilson and Haley’s Labor, Licensing and Regulation agency insisting that the state kowtow to the Supreme Court or our immigration reform law would be challenged in court. Then it was the Republican leadership in the Senate who bowed to the Haley interpretation of the Court ruling. In the House, not even the “state’s rights” GOP reps put up any objections or even words of caution just as their counterparts in the Senate had failed to do.

The House Republicans just let the Dems point out over and over the impracticality of implementing the E-Verify system in a poor state with limited internet access in our rural counties. It was the Dems that spoke about the dangers of the big federal government dictating the hiring process of private business. It was the Dems that complained about the state adding more and more costly bureaucratic regulations on small businesses. It was the Dems that argued that there were other ways of addressing the court ruling on immigration that wouldn’t burden small businesses.

Ironically it was the Dems that were articulating Tea Party principles to the point that the House Minority Leader, Harry Ott, told the chamber that he felt like a member of the organization.

But yesterday the rank and file Tea Party folks were mislead by Roan Garcia-Quintana, the self-proclaimed executive director of the cyber-group “Americans Have Had Enough Coalition”.

Mr. Garcia-Quintana takes pride in pointing out that he is an “American Citizen of Spanish Heritage”. He does this not because he is actually proud of his heritage but because he feels it gives him a higher moral authority to oppose others with the same heritage who are in the country illegally. Of course it doesn’t but it looks good on his political resume.

Ahhh, yes. There is that issue of a political resume that explains why Mr. Garcia-Quintana was so willing to lead his minions to bombard House members with demands to violate basic Tea Party principles.

You see Mr. Garcia-Quintana is a political consultant to Republican Party candidates. His passionate beating of the email drum to stir up his subscribers had more to do with supporting Republican clients than serving the Tea Party cause. It is also entirely possible that Mr. Garcia-Quintana wanted to open up a business opportunity for one of his political clients, something that he acknowledged in one of his misleading emails (“a small business that simply cannot perform the E-Verify function for itself can designate a 3rd party administrator such as an accountant to do it”).

Mr. Garcia-Quintana is a political hack who has disguised himself as an upstate Tea Party leader in order to put fear into Republican officeholders who don’t tow the party line. His GOP masters expect him to deliver and he did for them yesterday while throwing small businesses and the real Tea Party under the bus.

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