latino politics

American Bridge And People For the American Way Release New Video On The GOP's Offensive Immigration Rhetoric

Ahead of President Obama's immigration reform announcement tonight, American Bridge and People For the American Way are releasing a new video highlighting the continued offensive rhetoric from Congressional Republicans against immigrants and immigration reform.

"While Democrats have offered repeated olive branches to pass balanced, bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans have refused to take action. Instead, Republicans have shown their true colors by spending their time playing obstructionist games and making distasteful comments about immigrants in this country," said American Bridge Vice President Eddie Vale.

“Time and again, Republicans have resorted to offensive, dehumanizing rhetoric about the Latino community,” said People For the American Way President Michael Keegan. “Instead of listening to the majority of Americans and working to fix our broken immigration system, GOP leaders continue to cater to their anti-Latino, anti-immigrant base.”

After losing a second landslide election to President Obama in 2012, the GOP commissioned an autopsy on how to win future national elections, which stressed the Party's need to broaden its appeal. Specifically, the report recommended that, "on issues like immigration, the RNC needs to carefully craft a tone that takes into consideration the unique perspective of the Hispanic community."

A mere glance at Republican rhetoric on immigration shows many have not taken those findings to heart. Watch the new video from American Bridge and People For the American Way and see for yourself: http://youtu.be/XT-l4yKxvf4

New PFAW and NextGen Climate Spanish-Language Ad Challenges Gardner in Colorado

People For the American Way and NextGen Climate today released a new Spanish-language TV ad challenging Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner on his record of standing on the side of polluters and wealthy donors. The ad will air in Denver and Colorado Springs.

“Cory Gardner has made clear who he’s fighting for, and it sure isn’t Colorado families,” said Randy Borntrager, Political Director of People For the American Way. “From supporting those who want to pollute the environment to prioritizing the agendas of wealthy donors, Gardner has an alarming track record. Latino voters deserve to know what’s at stake here.”

“Congressman Gardner denies the basic science of climate change and would allow corporate polluters to continue putting Colorado’s families and communities at risk,” said Abby Leeper, NextGen Climate Colorado spokesperson. “His views run counter to the views of a majority of Coloradans, including those in our Latino communities. We need a leader who will act on climate change now—not deny the facts."

This ad push is the latest step in People For the American Way’s multi-year, nationwide campaign to engage Latino voters in key states by shedding light on the agendas of GOP candidates on issues ranging from immigration to education to the environment. NextGen Climate Colorado is working on the ground in Colorado’s communities to expose Gardner’s extreme positions on critical issues like climate change, and empower voters to hold him accountable at the ballot box.

The script of the TV ad reads:

El republicano Cory Gardner nos quiere engañar.

Dice que valora a nuestra comunidad, pero apoya a contaminadores que envenenan nuestro aire y el agua, contaminan nuestros vecindarios, y ponen en peligro la salud de nuestros hijos.

¿Valores? Por favor. La campaña de Gardner aceptó miles de dolares de republicanos ricos y solo hace lo mejor para ellos.

Pero, no nos engaña. ¡Por eso votaremos contra Cory Gardner!

VO DISCLAIMER:

People For the American Way y NextGen Climate Action Comite son responsables por el contenido de este anuncio.

English translation:

Republican Cory Gardner wants to deceive us.  

He says he values our community, but he supports polluters who poison our air and water, pollute our neighborhoods, and put our children’s health in danger.

Values? Please. Gardner's campaign accepted thousands of dollars from rich Republicans and he does what's best for them.

But, we aren’t fooled. That’s why we’re voting against Cory Gardner.

VO: People For the American Way and NextGen Climate Action Committee are responsible for the content of this advertising.

PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager and PFAW Coordinator of Political Campaigns Carlos Sanchez are available for interviews with the press. To arrange an interview, please contact Layne Amerikaner at media@pfaw.org / 202-467-4999.

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PFAW’s Spanish-Language TV Ad Challenges Deal and Perdue in Georgia

Today People For the American Way launched its latest Spanish-language TV ad, this one challenging Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Senate candidate David Perdue on their dangerous agendas on education, minimum wage, workers’ rights, and immigration reform. The ad will air starting today in Atlanta. (An English translation of the ad is available below.)

“Governor Deal and David Perdue are both too extreme for Georgia,” said Carlos Sanchez, Coordinator of Political Campaigns at People For the American Way. “They’ve both positioned themselves against policies that support and empower working families, including Latinos. They want to slash support for education, make it harder to obtain health care, and keep wages low. We’re going to make sure Latino voters know about their track record and agenda.”

This ad is the latest in PFAW’s campaign to highlight the extreme views of GOP candidates for Latino voters in key states. Georgia’s growing Latino population, which increased by more than 110 percent since 2000, can have a major impact in this close election. Latinos now represent more than 9 percent of the state’s population.

This is the third ad of the election in PFAW’s multi-state Spanish language campaign. Earlier this cycle, PFAW launched ads challenging Perdue as well as North Carolina senate candidate Thom Tillis on his own extreme views.

The script of the ad reads:

¡Los republicanos de Georgia quieren destruir nuestro futuro!

El gobernador Deal no quiere que nuestros DREAMers vayan a las mejores universidades y votó para negarle la ciudadanía a niños inmigrantes nacidos aquí.

Y el candidato para el senado David Perdue, también está en contra nosotros. ¡No quiere aumentar el sueldo mínimo!

Tenemos que votar contra estos republicanos, para lograr un futuro mejor.

VO DISCLAIMER:
People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio.


English translation:

Georgia Republicans want to destroy our future.

Governor Nathan Deal wants to prevent our DREAMers from attending the top colleges, and he’s voted to deny citizenship to immigrant children born here.

And the candidate for Senate, David Perdue is also against us.  He doesn’t want to increase the minimum wage!

We must vote against these Republicans to achieve a better future.

VO DISCLAIMER:
People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising.

People For the American Way, a national group protecting civil rights and civil liberties, has worked in multiple local, state, and federal campaigns to engage Latino voters.

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Koch Brothers’ Libre Initiative Aims To Increase Conservatives’ Share of the Latino Vote

While President Obama announced a delay in taking executive action on immigration reform until after the 2014 elections, conservatives are pushing to expand their footprint in the Latino community. As Ed Morales wrote in this month’s The Progressive magazine, the Libre Initiative — which promotes itself as a nonprofit that provides social services and talks about helping Latinos achieve the American Dream, ensuring economic  freedoms, and promoting a “market-based” solution to immigration reform — is making it its mission to build ties between the conservative movement and the Latino community.

“On its website, the Libre Initiative tries to soften its image with a series of gauzy and polished short videos called "Share the Dream." They feature a New Mexico preacher named Pastor Mike Naranjo, who overcame alcoholism with self-reliance and religion. They also feature Libre's national spokesperson Rachel Campos-Duffy and [Daniel] Garza himself.

“With string music playing behind her and a picture of the sun shining on the Washington Monument, Campos-Duffy tells her family's personal story. Then she adds: "I'm worried that government programs that are supposed to help Hispanics are actually doing harm. . . . A sense of entitlement and dependency on government is starting to take over." (Campos-Duffy is married to GOP Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.)

“Garza's three-and-a-half-minute video tells of how he and his family worked in the fields. "My father never took welfare," he says, but got ahead because of self-reliance. Garza warns that folks are "caught in dependency that government offers," which, he says, has "condemned their children to a life of mediocrity and subsistence. This is not the American dream. This is an American nightmare." Garza says: "Advancing economic freedom is the best way to improve human well-being, especially for those at the bottom." Taking an evangelical tone, he concludes: "The Libre Initiative is reaching the Hispanic community before they are lost forever."”

But as Morales also points out, Libre is funded by the Koch brothers, who actively work to prevent the advancement of causes that would greatly help Latinos by fighting against them, like voting rights protections, raising the minimum wage, and expanding access to healthcare.

“And when you look at Libre's funding, you see the tentacles of the Koch brothers, who have spent millions of dollars funding rightwing groups through intermediaries like Freedom Partners and an outfit called the "TC4 Trust." Libre is one of the recipients.

"Libre received $3.8 million from TC4 and Freedom Partners" in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And Yahoo News reported that Libre's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters "also shares a floor in the same office building as Freedom Partners."”

“Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics says this type of funding arrangement is typical of the Koch brothers. "The Koch network is unique because of the concentration of money and the lengths that they go to make the flows of money as complex as possible," he says.

“Two of the main issues on Libre's agenda are denouncing the Affordable Care Act and opposing increases to the minimum wage. Ironically, Latinos stand to benefit more from expanding access to health care and raising the minimum wage than many other groups.”

Despite the challenges, Libre’s access to the bottomless bank accounts of the Koch brothers means it’s a player progressives should take seriously — and a reminder that the votes of Latino citizens are not to be taken for granted.
 

PFAW

Yes, Latino Vote Can Have Big Impact This Election

The Latino population is growing, and with it a bloc of eligible Latino voters. From 2000 to 2010, the Latino population grew by 43% according to the Census bureau. That population has continued to grow from 2010 until today, making up over 16% of the total population, which means more Latinos than ever are becoming eligible to vote each year. Despite this growth, Nate Cohn argued in his New York Times column last week that this voting bloc won’t make a difference in the November elections:

“Yet the vote is unlikely to deal a severe blow to the [Republican] party’s chances in November’s midterm elections. Hispanic voters may be flexing their growing political muscles in presidential elections, but they have far less sway over the composition of the House or the Senate, particularly in 2014.”

While it is true that many of this year’s most critical Senate races aren’t in the states with the largest Latino populations, there are races in states where the growing Latino population can exercise major muscle and make a critical difference. Cohn’s argument fails to consider how this growing population coupled with the anti-immigrant rhetoric fueled by the Republican party can drive up Latino voter turnout this year. This can make a big difference in states with tight races.

In Colorado, for example, where the number of Latinos has grown significantly — by 41% between 2000 and 2010, now making up over 20% of the population —  this voting bloc can play a big role in a close race. Similarly, in states with tight races like Georgia and North Carolina, even though Latinos make up around 9% of the population, that population grew by 96% and 111% respectively since 2000. This dramatic growth makes this a voting bloc that can have a major impact in what are expected to be two very close elections.
 

PFAW

PFAW Challenges Perdue’s Record in New Spanish-Language Radio Ad

Following David Perdue’s win last week in the Georgia GOP Senate runoff, People For the American Way released a Spanish-language radio ad today challenging Perdue’s history on jobs, workers’ rights, and immigration. The ad exposes Perdue’s record of exploiting workers in the private sector and his careless attitude about immigration reform, addressing issues important to voters.

This is the latest effort of PFAW’s award-winning Latino vote program working to mobilize Latino voters in key states, a constituency that can have a significant impact on elections, by highlighting the extreme views of GOP candidates.

Latinos currently make up more than 9 percent of Georgia’s population—enough to play a critical role in choosing the state’s next senator and governor.

The ad is running in Atlanta starting today until August 6. You can hear the Spanish version of the ad here.

PFAW

PFAW’s Latino Vote Program: Spanish-Language Radio Ad Challenges Perdue in Georgia

People For the American Way today launched its second Spanish-language radio ad of the cycle, challenging Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue and his extreme stances on jobs, workers’ rights, and immigration. The ad will air starting today in Atlanta. (An English translation of the ad is available below. You can hear an English version of the ad here.)

“David Perdue has an extreme agenda and he’s way out of step with Georgia’s Latino voters,” said Randy Borntrager of People For the American Way. “As a private citizen, he demanded profits at the expense of American workers. Now, as a Senate candidate, he wants to maintain low wages, outsource jobs, hand out tax breaks to corporations, and continue to ignore our broken immigration system. These are the real issues at stake in this election. This is why Latino voters deserve to know about Perdue’s twisted priorities when going into the voting booth this fall.”

This ad is the latest in PFAW’s campaign to highlight the extreme views of GOP candidates to Latino voters in key states. Georgia’s Latino population has grown rapidly in recent years, increasing by more than 110% since 2000. Latinos now represent more than 9% of the state’s population.

“Latino voters hold a tremendous amount of power in this election,” said Borntrager. “We’re making sure that this critical community understands what’s at stake in 2014 and that the Latino voice is heard loud and clear on Election Day.”

This is the second ad of the election in PFAW’s multi-state Spanish language campaign. Early this cycle, PFAW launched an ad challenging North Carolina senate candidate Thom Tillis on his own extreme views.

The script of the ad reads:

RODRIGO: Mientras más conozco del republicano David Perdue más miedo me da y más me doy cuenta que debemos unirnos en nuestro voto contra él este noviembre.
Desde que estaba en el sector privado, el republicano Perdue ha explotado a los trabajadores.
¡Y ahora como candidato al senado quiere seguir con lo mismo: quiere dejar que las empresas manden trabajos al extranjero, donde pagan sueldos tan bajos que son ridículos!
¡Aquí, se opone al aumento del salario mínimo pero está de acuerdo en subirle los impuestos a los trabajadores!
¿Y saben qué dice de la reforma migratoria? Que es una pérdida de tiempo.
¡El republicano David Perdue no lucha por los trabajadores y no luchará por nosotros!
¡Por eso tenemos que unirnos y defender nuestros trabajos, nuestra comunidad, y votar en contra de David Perdue y los republicanos!

VO DISCLAIMER:
Este mensaje es pagado por People For the American Way, (www.pfaw.org) y no está autorizado por ningún candidato o comité de candidato. People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio.

In English:

RODRIGO: The more I learn about Republican David Perdue the more scared I am and the more I realize that we need to be united on our vote against him this coming November.
Since working in the private sector, David Perdue has been exploiting workers.
And now as a candidate to the Senate, he wants to do the same: He wants to allow companies to send jobs abroad, where they pay salaries so low, they are ridiculous!
Here, he opposes an increase to the minimum wage but he agrees to raise taxes for workers!
And do you know what he says about immigration reform? That it's a waste of time.
The Republican David Perdue does not fight for workers and won’t fight for us!
That's why we have to unite and defend our jobs, our community, and vote against David Perdue and the Republicans!

VO DISCLAIMER:
Paid for by People For the American Way (www.pfaw.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising.

PFAW, a national group protecting civil rights and civil liberties, has worked in multiple local, state, and federal campaigns to engage Latino voters.

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How the Shifting Cuban Vote Can Change History

The Pew Research Center reported last week that the partisan affiliations of Cuban Americans are shifting dramatically as the younger generation coming of age in the United States is affiliating with the Democratic party rather than the GOP.

The shift in the Cuban population — which long leaned Republican — is helping to create a larger shift to the left among Latino voters. Studies of the Cuban population in Florida mark 2004 as the turning point when the number of registered Republicans in Miami-Dade County began declining dramatically. In 2000, 75 percent of Florida Cubans voted for George W. Bush; in 2004, 71 percent voted for Bush; and in 2008, 65 percent voted for McCain. But in 2012, Obama won 49 percent of the Cuban vote in Florida, compared to Romney’s 47 percent, the first time in recent history that a Democratic presidential candidate has outpolled the Republican in that demographic.

This shift provides a powerful example of the increasingly pivotal role of the Latino community in national elections. If Cuban Americans had voted in 2000 in the same patterns as they vote now, the outcome of the 2000 presidential election — which was decided by a handful of votes in Florida (and a bad Supreme Court decision) — could very well have been different, as would our history.

These changes are reflected in the larger Hispanic/Latino community. While the percentage of Latinos may be small, this community is growing fast and increasingly provides the margin to put progressive candidates over the top.

That’s why it makes such a dramatic difference when progressives reach out to the community and hold Republicans accountable for their anti-Latino, anti-immigrant rhetoric. Watch below some of PFAW’s ads that have engaged Latino communities in recent elections.

PFAW

North Carolina GOP Senate Candidate Thom Tillis Marginalizes Minority Communities

In an interview recorded in September 2012, North Carolina Speaker of the House and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis compared the growing population of African Americans and Latinos to a stagnant “traditional population of North Carolina and the United States.”

In an interview highlighted by Talking Points Memo, which first spotted the 2012 interview, a spokesman for Tillis claimed that “traditional North Carolinians refers to North Carolinians who have been here for a few generations.”

If you listen to the full context of Tillis’ remarks, however, it is clear that he was referring to the “traditional population” as a group distinct from the “Latino population” and the “African American population.”

Right Wing Watch points out that “traditional population” and “traditional Americans” are frequently used by anti-immigrant extremists as euphemisms for “white population.” For instance, in The Social Contract, a journal founded by an influential anti-immigrant leader, the term is used in a 2012 essay by Brenda Walker when she says, “Traditional Americans are assailed by affirmative action and benefits for illegal aliens, which are not available to citizens.”

In speaking of the “traditional population,” Tillis stands alongside people like William Gheen, founder of anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, who said that immigration reform would create a situation in which “traditional Americans, like those who that have been here for hundreds of years in descendancy, will no longer govern our own nation.”

It is true that North Carolina’s African American, Latino, and Asian American populations are growing faster than its white population. For instance, the Latino population in North Carolina grew by 111.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, increasing from 4.7 percent of the population to 8.4 percent. Yet Tillis has consistently worked to marginalize Latinos, by cutting spending on education, opposing healthcare reform, and supporting a restrictive voter identification law ironically called “VIVA.” That’s why People for the American Way is working in North Carolina this year to make sure Latino voters know the threat posed by Tillis’ extreme agenda.

Last year PFAW’s Spanish-language advertising helped spur turnout among Latinos in Virginia’s gubernatorial elections, and did the same in many 2012 battleground contests. As we look to the 2014 elections, Tillis’ actions and statements marginalizing the Latino community will represent a real challenge to his standing in an increasingly powerful voting bloc.

PFAW

People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Lucy Flores for Nevada Lieutenant Governor

Today People For the American Way Action Fund announced its endorsement of Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores for Lieutenant Governor.

Flores, one of the first Latinas to serve in the Nevada legislature, rose rapidly into leadership. By 2013, she was already serving as Assistant Majority Whip, and she now serves as vice chair of the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus.

“Lucy Flores is exactly the kind of young, dynamic, progressive leader that Nevada needs,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “Her story of overcoming adversity puts her in a unique position to fight for women’s rights and minority rights from a place of personal experience. I am confident she will continue to fight for equal protection under the law for all Nevadans.”

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Flores grew up as one of 13 siblings and struggled as a teenager, ultimately dropping out of high school. But with encouragement and support, Flores put her troubled years behind her, received a GED, and became the first in her family to go to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and later a law degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In 2008, Flores served on the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs, where she was an advocate for the renewal of the state’s ombudsman for minority consumer affairs, ensuring equal protection under Nevada’s consumer protection laws. In the legislature, she passed landmark legislation improving high school testing, protecting consumers from predatory unauthorized practice of law, and protecting survivors of domestic violence from their abusers.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to support Flores’ quest to “bring a vision and voice to Nevada that hasn’t been heard before.”  Learn more about her campaign for Lieutenant Governor at http://www.lucyflores.com.

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Texas Republican Highlights How GOP Should Face the Changing Electorate

In the famously red state of Texas, Republican state legislator Jason Villalba of Dallas last week offered a frank assessment of the crossroads at which his party finds itself.

[T]he time has come closer when we will see the sleeping giant [of the Hispanic electorate] awaken and it will make a tremendous difference in our ability to win elections if we cannot win the votes of our fellow Hispanics.

Even as the country rapidly becomes more diverse, the GOP has clung to its strategy of alienating Latinos, African Americans, women, and LGBT people with an endless barrage of outrageous statements and discriminatory policies.

As some Republican leaders, like Villalba in Texas, are noting, this tactic isn’t good for the GOP. Demographic changes, though small on the surface, could have major political impacts, particularly in swing states, that will make it harder and harder for Republicans to win important elections.

In Texas alone, analysts are projecting a two percent increase in the Latino electorate for the 2016 election cycle compared to 2012. That kind of increase is still relatively minor in Texas, but a similar shift could make a crucial difference in swing states like Florida, Colorado, and Nevada. As GOP pollster Whit Ayres notes

Changing the demographics of the state by two percentage points puts a finger on the scale in each of the swing states for the party that’s doing well among Hispanics. This underscores the critical importance for Republican candidates to do better among nonwhite Americans, particularly among Hispanics, if Republicans ever hope to elect another president.

Some far right activists argue that the GOP can win by increasing its share of the white vote, but the numbers don’t bear that out. As Resurgent Republic noted, “every month for the next two decades, 50,000 Hispanics will turn 18.” Without appealing to those voters, Republicans face a steep climb to victory in any national race—and a quick journey to minority party status.

No wonder the party is so fond of strict voter ID laws, restricted early voting opportunities, and proof of citizenship laws to deter certain people from coming out to vote.

PFAW

Inaction on Immigration Reform Leaves Families Hanging by a Thread

The following is a guest post by Cairo Mendes, a 2013 Fellow of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For (YP4) program.

When I came to the U.S. in 2002, I remember being told on the way home from the airport that I was undocumented. I was told that if anyone knew this, our whole family would be deported and we would lose out on the “American Dream.” That was over ten years ago, but as I write this I cannot help but hold back emotions – a mixture of anger, sadness, and confusion. I feel this way because ten years later, millions of people in our country – including my mother – continue to live in limbo, in the shadows. We continue to be treated as second class citizens.

When I recently received a call informing me that I would be covered under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, I was working at a factory, recycling wire. I remember the joy and relief I felt at that moment. For the first time I would be able to have a social security card and a work permit. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I too could be “normal” and get a driver’s license. Yet later that day, my happiness became bittersweet. My mom – my strong, heroic, single mother – would not be able to receive those same benefits. Still, when I got home later that day I realized how happy she was for me. It was then that I told her, looking straight into her eyes: “Mom, we will figure a way out of this. We will fight, we will march, and we will organize – we are going to figure out a way.”

When President Obama won reelection in 2012 after receiving 71 percent of the Latino vote (compared to Romney’s 27 percent), I felt for the first time that we were on the offensive. From the rhetoric coming from Washington to the energy within the immigrant rights movement in the weeks following the elections, immigration reform was finally a real possibility. But it has not been an easy road. Even though we were able to push the Senate to pass an immigration reform bill through our lobbying, organizing, and advocacy efforts, House leadership has – until very recently – been closed off to the calls for reforms, ignoring the cries of families throughout the country.

As a result, we ended 2013 with no bill delivered. The extreme right – small but loud faction of the Republican Party – managed to derail any efforts involving citizenship, and Speaker Boehner avoided putting the Senate bill up for a vote. His inaction could cost the Republican Party in the 2016 elections, since immigration reform is a top issue for Latino voters.

The Senate immigration reform bill is not perfect, but as families struggle to live day by day, comprehensive immigration reform is still a light at the end of the tunnel. It will make legalization – and hopefully citizenship – possible for many who have lived in the shadows until now, like my family.

This debate goes beyond stats about how many billions of dollars could be added to the economy as a result of reform. This is a moral issue. And it’s one that – if not resolved soon – will result in more deportations and more family separations that damage individual lives and diminish our country as a whole.

Because of Congress’ inaction, mothers and fathers are still being separated from their children and loved ones as 2014 begins.  We cannot wait – our communities need relief now.
 

PFAW

PFAW Takes On Cuccinelli With Spanish-Language Ads

With the election in Virginia less than two weeks away, PFAW is holding Cuccinelli accountable for his record of extreme views and hateful comments.
PFAW
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