UPDATE: The Associated Press is now reporting, but remember, friends…you read it here first.
UPDATE #3: FOX31’s Eli Stokols:
Three of the legislature’s most conservative senators, Dave Schultheis of Colorado Springs, Scott Renfroe of Greeley and Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, are part of the 11-member travel group, which includes most of the “Republican Study Committee of Colorado”. State Rep. Kent Lambert, who’s running to replace the term-limited Schultheis in the senate, is also in Arizona.
Reps. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, Laura Bradford, R-Grand Junction, and Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, are also making the trip, along with three Republicans running for statehouse seats. [Pols emphasis]
UPDATE #2: The Denver Daily News’ Peter Marcus reports:
The Republicans, members of the conservative Republican Study Committee of Colorado, plan on holding a news conference Wednesday in Arizona to discuss their visit with Arizona lawmakers.
Senator-elect Kent Lambert, formerly Rep. Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, told the Denver Daily News today that Republican state lawmakers are planning legislation that would mirror Arizona’s new controversial immigration law. The law requires local police there to verify the legal status of suspected illegal immigrants.
Critics of the law say it will lead to racial profiling and harassment. A federal judge last month blocked major parts of the law from taking effect just one day before the legislation was set to become law.
We’ve just learned that numerous GOP Colorado state legislators have traveled to Arizona (including most of the ultra-right wing “Republican Study Committee of Colorado” members) to plot the introduction of an equivalent to that state’s controversial anti-immigration law, SB1070. We have heard that as many as a dozen lawmakers and top strategists are in Arizona right now, and will announce plans for legislation as a major electoral plank in the next week.
The story is that Republican strategists are trying to capitalize on momentum from Tom Tancredo’s insurgent campaign, and perhaps minimize downticket damage, with an electoral platform designed to cater to his supporters in particular: we have made the point in this space about both the short- and long-term demographic peril of this approach. But facing disaster at the top of the ticket, it’s easy to see why some legislators are trying to grab what attention they can.
This issue has done a lot of good for the re-election chances of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, but Colorado’s immigration problem isn’t really comparable to a border state. Depending on what they come up with (ie, assuming they don’t overreach), Republicans could gain from this in November. The question remains as to whether those gains would be offset by the losses they would incur by angering Hispanic voters.
This story is reportedly developing rapidly, we’ll continue to update.