The Los Angeles City Council got national headlines when it voted to enact an economic boycott Arizona over the state's controversial immigration law. Problem is, the boycott has been toothless. Every time an exception to the move has come before the body, the exception has been granted.
Case in point: On Tuesday the council gave unanimous final approval to a plan to continue buying Tasers from Scottsdale-based Taser International.
Backers of the exemption said there was only one other choice for Tasers, and that the Scottsdale company's products are superior.
Fair enough. In every case an exemption to the Arizona boycott has come up — with American Traffic Solutions, the operator of the city's red light cameras, and with Blue Van Joint Venture, which runs the SuperShuttle vans at LAX — there have been fair, reasonable arguments why a boycott wouldn't work.
Cool. So why the f— did the council vote to boycott Arizona in the first place? Are council members saying they had no idea that these crucial contracts would come up?
Here's an answer: They wanted the easy headlines. The hard work — actually boycotting Arizona businesses — would be swept under a rug of excuses.
(The one time the council threatened to stand its ground — when some LAPD officers were scheduled to go to Arizona for training — the Los Angeles police union found private funding for the trip).
And they wonder why we call this a do-nothing council.