Schaffer Self-Immolates

Former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer wants the Colorado U.S. Senate seat that Wayne Allard is vacating come January. Schaffer is running against Mark Udall, who’s giving up a safe seat in the House of Representatives to have a go at the Senate.

The Denver Post reports that Schaffer met last week with a group of Republican Hispanic leaders to discuss the “tricky issue” of immigration. The post article is subtitled “Senate hopeful Schaffer takes a moderate view on the subject for his race against Udall.”

If Bob is serious about portraying himself as a “moderate” on immigration, he should probably refrain from floating malodorous air biscuits such as this:

He pointed to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. protectorate that imports tens of thousands of foreign textile workers, as a successful model for a guest-worker program that could be adapted nationally.

“The concept of prequalifying foreign workers in their home country under private-sector management is a system that works very well in one place in America,” he said of the islands’ program. “I think members of Congress ought to be looking at that model and be considering it as a possible basis for a nationwide program.”

Let’s see here. “Prequalifying foreign workers” via “private sector management,” using the Marianas as the “model.” Check. Gotcha.

Marianas, eh? That rings a bell somewhere. Oh yeah, now I remember. The Marianas includes Saipan, a U.S. protectorate bristling with textile factories. Their idea of privately prequalifying guest workers consisted of allowing the textile manufacturers to import thousands of Chinese, treat them as slaves and force them to undergo compulsory abortions so that pesky pregnancies wouldn’t interfere with production. Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay were the manufacturers’ BFFs, helping to ensure that those troublesome U.S. labor laws remained inapplicable within the factories’ walls. Yep, it’s all coming back to me now.

Turns out that in 1999 then-Rep. Schaffer visited Saipan in person to “investigate” allegations of human rights abuses. Abramoff’s lobbying firm made all the arrangements, and Schaffer met with all the right people: “representatives of the Marianas Chamber of Commerce, the Saipan Banker’s Association, and the Saipan Garment Manufacturers’ Association”, all Abramoff clients.

As the Post‘s editorial staff points out today, Bob has lots of ‘splainin’ to do. (Though somehow, some way, the staff still manages to praise Schaffer from “taking a sensible, moderate approach to immigration reform[.]”) And at this point it may not matter what he has to say. The attack ads pretty much write themselves.

Meanwhile, the Schaffer campaign has propagated this touchy-feely ad featuring little kids saying “Thanks Bob” for all the wondrous works he’s done.

Progress Now responds with “Thanks Bob” ad of its own, an ad substantially more on-point than the candidate’s.

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  • TL Winslow  On July 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

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  • […] Here we discussed Schaffer’s recent statement that the Marianas Islands should serve as some sort of “model” for immigration policy. The Marianas textile manufacturing consortium was a devoted client of criminal/lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and through that connection made BFFs in Congress such as Tom DeLay. Such friendships were important to the manufacturers, who had a penchant for importing young Chinese women to work in their factories and virtually enslaving them. Employer control extended to compulsory abortions for workers who dared get pregnant. […]

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