Milwaukee Politician Forgets That Arizona Borders Mexico

A story has been making the rounds today about Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West who, during a public hearing on a proposed boycott of Arizona, had this to say:

There was an odd moment during the debate when Supervisor Peggy West stood up and seemed to be confused about her geography. “If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this saying that they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding their borders, I would have to look twice at this. But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border,” West said during debate.

Her colleague, Joe Rice, quickly corrected her, “I just want to assure my colleague that Arizona does in fact share a border with the country of Mexico.”

While speaking at the meeting, West did go on to talk about National Guard troops on the border in Arizona. West points to that as she tells us that she simply misspoke.

“I did get a passing grade in Geography in high school and in college and I do obviously know that Arizona is on the border,” West said in an interview after today’s meeting.

Here’s the video:

There’s been no small degree of amusement over this on the right, especially among proponents of Arizona’s immigration law, but the best response comes from Senator Jon Kyl, who wrote a letter to Ms. West that said:

“You will be interested to learn that Arizona does indeed share a border with Mexico. I have enclosed a map for your convenience.”


FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Never let a few pesky facts get in the way of a perfectly good rant.

  2. Oh dear.

    I also do not get the relevance of “if you Google Arizona and SB1070 you get a picture of Obama talking to Brewer” bit. Huh?

  3. If she’s going to try to explain herself, she should just blame acohol IMO

  4. Deb says:

    an excellent example of public education at its best!!!

  5. Juneau: says:

    Definitely public school…

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Yes of course, because homeschooling produces so many more intelligent people…

  7. Juneau: says:

    Yes of course, because homeschooling produces so many more intelligent people

    Not more intelligent, just better informed and educated. Hands down.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    “Not more intelligent, just better informed and educated. Hands down.”

    A nice fantasy to hold, especially if you don’t/can’t prove it…

  9. hcantrall says:

    Is it still called homeschooling if my son goes to school at home through an online academy? He has high functioning autism – makes traditional school a real problem. Just so you know AIP – I also would be willing to bet his IQ is superior to yours, of course that has nothing to do with the quality of his education.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Anything’s possible, hcantrall…good for your son…I’m so sorry that I hurt your feelings with my statement…I assume you would hold in equal contempt blanket statements made about public schools? Or is that acceptable…

  11. hcantrall says:

    My husband and I both attended public schools and we’ve managed to do alright. I don’t have anything against public schools as a whole, as far as my son is concerned it didn’t work for him and we tried many schools.
    I apologize for lashing out due to my hurt feelings – I find myself having to defend my decision to keep my son at home for his education and I hate having to do that. On top of the fact that if you tell just about anyone that you homeschool they automatically think you’re some kind of right wing loon who keeps their kids at home for religious purposes. I’m not religious and socially liberal, the only thing I’m conservative about is my wallet so I don’t like to be lumped in with religious extremists.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    I understand completely, hcantrall…certainly I meant no personal malice with my above statement…it’s just that when I see foolish blanket statements like a few of those above, I think they deserve contempt and snark…the fact of the matter is that, of course, any type of education delivery, whether it be public or private schools, or homeschooling, can work for children depending on the particular circumstances…you shouldn’t be made to feel defensive because of how you are educating your son…I wish him all the best with his education…

  13. Juneau: says:

    the fact of the matter is that, of course, any type of education delivery, whether it be public or private schools, or homeschooling, can work for children depending on the particular circumstances

    But it doesn’t really work, does it? 50% high school graduation rates from public school, on average. And the biggest problem is folks that insist there is nothing wrong. Because then, of course, nothing need be done any differently.

  14. hcantrall says:

    Thank you AIP, I appreciate that.

    Juneau, I still believe public schools work, and it really depends on where you live. I’ve got friends in places who say their schools are wonderful so if it’s working for them that’s fantastic. The problems I’ve run into is that my kid doesn’t fit in the box they want to put all of the kids into. With autism spectrum disorders affecting more and more children, they’re going to have to learn how to teach these kids without putting them into the special education programs. This was our only option in traditional schools, he has no problems academically so to us having that special ed label on him and in his transcript to follow him for the rest of his life was not an ideal situation. Luckily I’m in a position where my husband makes enough money that I can be in charge of our sons education. Most people these days aren’t able to do that.
    So I certainly don’t think they’re perfect, I think some schools are getting it right and if you’re a kid with no issues or problems and you fit into their box then everything works fine.

  15. Franklin says:

    I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Wow, Franklin, that was the best impersonation of G.A.Phillips that I’ve ever seen…the only thing that would have improved it would have been by adding a few “LOL”s…

  17. Mark Gibson says:

    A couple of years ago I judged a Forensics contest for home schooled children; apparently the public school forensics teams would not compete with them here in Tennessee so they have formed thier own league & compete across the state. I was a judge at the state finals.

    And I can state unequivocally that the home school kids were so far advanced from public school kids that it was embarrisingly clear that the main reason the home school kids weren’t allowed to compete is that the they would eat the public school kids’ lunch. I have learned that elite schools such as Harvard & Yale have put quotas on the home school kids because as a group, they score so well on the SAT & ACT that if allowed they would take over those fine institutions.

    A little Googling gave me this statistic: “The average SAT scores of home-schooled students were 568 Verbal and 532 Math, above the national averages of 505 Verbal and 514 Math.”

    Are those numbers statistically significant & do they hold up year to year? I don’t know.

    But I hypothesize that if you look at a child that has been tutored & fed material at the fastest rate he can absorb it versus a kid who is forced to plod along at the rate of the slowest children in his cohort, then I would predict that the tutored children will show much higher gains.

    It is important to get statistics to see if they match my hypothesis (i.e. can I reject the null hypothesis in statistic-speak), but I suspect that anyone who gives it much thought will realize that if home tutored children are not far advanced over the public school groups, that would be so surprising that I think it would indeed invalidate home schooling as a good choice, and I believe that if the Teachers’ Unions could get away with making that claim, they would, so the lack of that argument is, to my mind, credible evidence for the efficacy of home schooling.