Los Angeles city officials on Wednesday responded to an Arizona politician's challenge to L.A. to give up the electricity it gets from the desert state as part of City Hall's boycott of Arizona over its controversial new immigration law.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated that he's “strongly behind the City Council on this issue, and will not respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic civil rights.''

On Tuesday Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce wrote a letter to Villaraigosa daring him to give up the city's Arizona-based supply of 25 percent of the city's power. “If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation,” Pierce wrote. The corporation governs Arizona utilities.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn also responded through her campaign manager Wednesday. She co-authored the city's economic boycott ordinance:

“Commissioner Gary Pierce is the Forrest Gump of Arizona politics,” Michael Trujillo,

campaign manager for Hahn's run for lieutenant governor, wrote in a statement obtained by the Weekly. “Never mind that he is an extreme right-wing Republican who supports a racist law in Arizona that even the United Nations has condemned … “

He notes that at least one of the Arizona sources is on sovereign Native American land and that Los Angeles,along with other California cities, has part ownership in at least of one of the two power-generating stations.

As we reported yesterday, there's a lot of bark on both sides: Los Angeles is indeed deeply dependent on power from Arizona, and its boycott actually sidestepped the issue by focusing on a ban of city travel to Arizona and a clamp down on new contracts with Arizona-based businesses.

The state passed a law that encourages police to check on the legal status of people they stop who could be suspected of being in the country illegally.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.

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