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Much has been said in the wake of this year's election about the depth of the problem Republicans face with Latino voters.  As the Hispanic electorate is expected to double by 2030, political professionals on the left and right tend to agree that the GOP's future is bleak without Latino voter support.

While immigration is not the only issue that is important to Latino voters, it is the single most unifying political issue in the Latino community.  As Republicans continue to toe the waters of what has been one of the most angry and divisive debates in American politics, below are three ways the GOP can lead on immigration reform.  

1. Embrace ‘Amnesty’

Republicans already own the term ‘amnesty’, but for all the wrong reasons with current and future Latino voters.  During the GOP’s dramatic uprising against immigration reform in 2010, ‘amnesty’ became such a poisonous political term that the language of the debate quickly shifted from ‘amnesty’ to ‘path to citizenship’; then ‘earned citizenship’; and finally, as hope for reform dwindled on Capitol Hill, ‘back of the line citizenship.’
This time the GOP should embrace amnesty, both as an endearing political term and essential public policy agenda. Ronald Reagan was not afraid to call a path to citizenship ‘amnesty’.  

“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots here,” he told the American people during the 1984 presidential race.  Two years later, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act and 3 million unauthorized immigrants received an amnesty.  

2.  Amplify Christian Messaging

It is unsurprising that over 150 prominent Evangelical leaders recently published an open letter calling for the White House and Capitol Hill to support a path to citizenship for America’s undocumented immigrant population.  A 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life showed that 15% of the booming Latino population self-identified as evangelicals.  The survey also found that “among eligible Latino voters, evangelicals are twice as likely as Latino Catholics to identify with the Republican Party.”  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also supports “earned citizenship” for undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  

Few organizations have the political clout and media reach wielded by America’s Christian churches.  This is especially true of the influence of Christian messaging via local radio and television.  The GOP should collaborate with Evangelical and Catholic networks to amplify Christian, pro-immigrant messaging beyond local broadcast media and into the national debate.  Jesus Christ was an immigrant.  Millions of current and future Latino voters and Latino families are immigrants, too.

3.  Be Fully Bilingual

Unilingual advocacy in Spanish or English will not suffice to demonstrate to Latino voters that the Republican Party understands and cares about immigration reform. To avoid appearing out of touch with Latinos as the drive toward immigration reform continues in Washington and across the country, all of the GOP’s immigration messaging should be made available in Spanish and English.  Relevant social media, websites, surrogates, and so on, should be bilingual.  

The GOP should also immediately work to build sincere, enduring relationships with Latino media in English and Spanish.  This is especially true of the Republican Party’s relationship with Univision, as the Spanish-language broadcast giant continues to grow in key stateside media markets where English-language competitors have seen ratings decline.  

Finally, any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants should require that successful applicants demonstrate English-language proficiency.  However, millions of undocumented immigrants still live in Spanish-language shadows.  They will become eligible to vote if Congress passes the comprehensive immigration reform bill that fairness requires and Latino voters demand from Republicans and Democrats.  The GOP should speak to them directly in both languages of immigration reform.  This will demonstrate to current and future Latino voters that the GOP is still a party of Karl Rove’s multicultural political aptitude and Ronald Reagan’s conservative compassion.  


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Last week I attended the Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. I'm just now reading the HIP research from last year (pdf). The stagnant trend of philanthropic giving to Hispanic organizations is interesting, especially as I am not in Chicago, where my little brother has been accepted to law school and now needs to find ways to pay or it.

I'll write more on Hispanics and philanthropy in later posts. For now, here are some of the key data on the issue:

  • “Over the past decade, U.S. foundation dollars explicitly designated to benefit Latinos have remained steady, comprising about 1 percent of total foundation funding.”
  • "From 2007 to 2009, an average of $206 million in grants per year was directed to Latinos by large U.S. foundations."
  • "Among the major areas of activity, human services and health captured the largest shares of grant dollars intended to benefit Latinos, receiving 27 percent and 26 percent, respectively."
  • "Recipient organizations in the Western region of the United States received the largest share (42 percent) of foundation dollars intended to benefit Hispanics. The vast majority of this funding went to organizations in California."
  • "Among U.S. metropolitan areas, the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area received the largest share of grant dollars (17 percent) and number of grants (13 percent). Over the three-year period, this metropolitan area received more than 1,000 grants from sampled foundations totaling $107.3 million."
  • "Between 2007 and 2009, more than $1 billion was directed toward Latin American countries. On average, large U.S. foundations gave $350 million per year for Latin America. Just under half of these funds went to organizations based in Latin American countries, while just over half went to U.S–based international programs."
  • "Of the funding targeting Latin America between 2007 and 2009, environmental giving captured the largest share of grant dollars (33 percent), followed by international affairs (20 percent) and health (14 percent)."
  • "Of the $620.6 million explicitly designated to benefit Latinos from 2007 to 2009, $233.5 million (38 percent) went for social justice–related causes."



Do you think philanthropic giving to Hispanic organizations is important?

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On Sunday, I asked Latina organized labor legend Dolores Huerta who will be traveling to the White House with her to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Probably some of my children. They say that we only have 5 slots. I don't know. It's going to be hard.

How will you choose between your 11 children?

It's going to be a big issue with my kids, you know.

I know. Maybe the White House can afford to allocate you 6 additional slots.

Well, I have other people who have asked me if they can come, too. People I work with are like, What's going on? And I tell them, I'm not even going to have spots for my own kids.

While I would never presume to make statements on Sra. Huerta's behalf, it sounded to me like she needs about 20 tickets to her Presidential Medal of Freedom award ceremony at the White House later this spring.  I hope President Obama can help her out, if only with the 6 additional tickets needed so that Dolores Huerta avoids having to choose which of her children gets to accompany her to receive our nation's highest civilian honor.


Early last month the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) released a study with grim findings for my fellow Latino affairs wonks and I to mull over.  Troubling trends in Latino voter registration during the 2010 midterm led WCVI to conclude the following --

Previous national projections for Latino voter growth to 15 million registered voters now appear overly ambitious given that the 2011-12 mobilization started from a 2010 baseline of about 11 million voters instead of the projected 12 million voters. That is, the Latino vote shrank by 5% nationally during 2009-10 instead of growing by 5% (the average Latino voter registration off year growth from 1991 to 2006) -a swing of 10%!

Therefore, WCVI's national Latino voter growth projections will be revised downward to a ceiling of 13 million (from our previous projection of 14-15 million) registered Latinos, and national Latino turnout is projected to be no higher than 10.5 million votes cast (from our previous projection of 11-12 million).

It is up to Latino leadership, their allies, and other "interested" forces to quickly mobilize significant resources into "problem states" to reverse this worrisome trend by hyper-mobilizing the Latino vote in 2012.

How can the Latino vote 'hyper-mobilized'?  The study doesn't say.  Latino advocacy organizations like NCLR and Latino voter advocacy organizations -- most-notably, VOTO LATINO -- have done a tremendous job of reaching out to Latino voters and, when necessary, guiding unregistered voters through the ugly political proclivities of state voter laws that often seem designed to discourage Latino voters from participating in the most-quintessential moment in American civic life on election day at the polls.  But what more can they do?  My hope is that solutions are the focus of the upcoming VOTO LATINO Power Summit in Los Angeles, and not he usual professional back rubs that too often are the leverage needed to encourage high-falootin' Latino and non-Latino participation in these sorts of events.

Whether or not Latinos actually vote is a personal decision for registered voters to make on Election Day.  Whether or not Latinos register to vote is the difference between whether or not we matter at all to politicos in Washington until the next national election cycle.


By endorsing Mitt Romney former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, hermanito of disgraced ex-President George W. Bush, upends perhaps the last political career in America still brimming with Republican credibility with Latino voters.

Candidate Romney's characteristically oafish policy position on the illegal immigration crisis insults the self-evident truth "that all men are created equal." As national political pollsters and the nation of political professionals they conduct harmonize on Romney's Republican nomination for president of United States, note that Pres. Romney promises to be a catastrophe for stateside Latino affairs.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach consults Mitt Romney as an unpaid adviser.  "To Kobach," POLITICO reports, "a Romney administration would mean the implementation of the Arizona and Alabama principles nationwide, which he says might spur the self-deportation of half of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants by the end of Romney's first term."

"I have articulated those ideas -- I expressed many of these views to the candidate," Kobach said when asked whether Romney had signed off on that policy. "I don't want to speak for him, but yes, I think his support of attrition through enforcement speaks for itself."
The Republican Party's "Arizona and Alabama principles" with regards to Latino affairs are the same "principles" that scorned our wise Latina Supreme Court Justice nominee and stooped to terminology like "Anchor Babies".  They are the same anti-Latino and anti-immigrant principles that now endorse Mick Romney as their candidate.  

By endorsing a President Romney, Jeb Bush endorses an policy of immigrant doom targeted at the Latino community.

Note: Latino Voices would't publish this.


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A national survey by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that by "a ratio of more than two-to-one (59% versus 27%), Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants."  This should come as no surprise to anyone following Latino affairs under Obama.  Unfortunately, Pew Hispanic's latest report reveals that "not all Latinos are aware that the Obama administration has stepped up deportations of unauthorized immigrants."

Slightly more than a third (36%) say the two administrations have deported about the same number of immigrants. And one-in-ten (10%) Latinos say the Obama administration has deported fewer unauthorized immigrants than the Bush administration.

In fact, Obama has overseen a 30% increase in deportations over the George W. Bush White House, up to nearly 400,000 during each of the last 2 years.  In the first 6 months of 2011, la migra de Obama "deported more than 46,000 parents of U.S. citizen children."  Furthermore, while an estimated 81% of illegals are Latino Americans, 97% of the deported have been brown men and brown women.

To recap --

Seizing on President Obama's failure to keep his campaign promises of comprehensive immigration reform, the Republican Party quickly moved to score political points with excitable bigots and chronically jobless white people.  What began on Capitol Hill as an ordinary, baseless rally by both parties "to secure our nation's borders" by allocating multimillion dollar contracts in public funds to political allies through lucrative "defense" and construction contracts quickly mutated into a cowardly GOP chorus railing against children they called Anchor Babies.  Soon the 14th Amendment was under fire and GOP buffoons and bigots at the state- and local-level were emboldened from sea to shining sea.  First came SB1070, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's wholesale rape of Latino civil rights for little more than "15 minutes" of political super-stardom and the usual multimillions of dollars in public funds for political allies.  Now, 80% of Alabama's Latino children are absent from Alabama's schools from a year ago. Georgia's Latino exodus cost the state's agriculture sector an estimated $140 million last spring and summer as 11,080 farm jobs went unfilled.  And a quiet and largely unquantifiable internal refugee crisis unfolds across America as undocumented millions of Latino Americans flee from the shadows to other shadows.

Mitt Romney's success this week in New Hampshire is a predictable lockstep closer to a 2012 election in which Latinos have no viable ally on the national ballot.  This means Latino voters must decide for themselves which candidate to vote against.  Obama failed us, sure, but his administration's sickening fondness for suddenly, permanently removing brown, Christian parents from the lives of their children is not just failure.  It is cruelty.  And when 97 of every 100 victims of Obama's deportations are Latino, it is not just a civil liberties issue.  It is a hate crime.  So it would behoove our Nobel Peace Prize President, who spoke so perfectly of "slaves and abolitionists" when he last applied for the job Latinos hired him to do, to revisit an unsympathetic truth Fredrick Douglas articulates thusly:

"The American people have this lesson to learn: that where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:45 PM PST

6 Bomb Ass Vaclav Havel Quotes

by Pablo Manriquez

Czechoslovakian playright-turned-emancipator-turned statesman died this weekend.  In short, Havel wrote plays; totalitarian commies banned his plays and also wouldn't let him leave the country to watch foreign plays.  So Havel drops a manifesto on their commie bitch asses hyping immediate liberty for Plastic People of the Universe (you srsly could not make this shit up). Havel's manifesto, Charter 77, got his ass locked up by the commie regime, sometimes for years.  In prison, Havel prose-styled immortal essays that got his ass thrown back in prison often in the '80s.  But the decade ended with a Velvet Revolution which Havel described recalled thusly to a to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on 21 February 1990:

The last time they arrested me, on October 27 of last year, I didn't know whether it was for two days or two years. Exactly one month later, when rock musician Michael Kocab told me that I would probably be proposed as a presidential candidate, I thought it was one of his usual jokes.

On the 10th of December 1989, when my actor friend Jiri Bartoska, in the name of the Civic Forum, nominated me as a candidate for the office of the president of the republic, I thought it was out of the question that the Parliament we had inherited from the previous regime would elect me.

Twelve days later, when I was unanimously elected president of my country, I had no idea that in two months I would be speaking in front of this famous and powerful assembly, and that I would be heard by millions of people who have never heard of me and that hundreds of politicians and political scientists would study every word I say.

When they arrested me on October 27, I was living in a country ruled by the most conservative Communist government in Europe, and our society slumbered beneath the pall of a totalitarian system. Today, less than four months later, I am speaking to you as the representative of a country which has complete freedom of speech, which is preparing for free elections, and which seeks to establish a prosperous market economy and its own foreign policy.

The rest of the speech is available here & below are 6 quotes from what Jacob Weisberg hypes as "the most inspiring political speech I have ever heard."

1.  The main thing is, it seems to me, that these revolutionary changes will enable us to escape from the rather antiquated straitjacket of this bipolar view of the world, and to enter at last into an era of multipolarity. That is, into an era in which all of us, large and small, former slaves and former masters, will be able to create what your great President Lincoln called “the family of man”

The main thing is, it seems to me, that these revolutionary changes will enable us to escape from the rather antiquated straitjacket of this bipolar view of the world, and to enter at last into an era of multipolarity. That is, into an era in which all of us, large and small, former slaves and former masters, will be able to create what your great President Lincoln called “the family of man”

2.  What I am trying to say is this: We must all learn many things from you, from how to educate our offspring, how to elect our representatives, all the way to how to organize our economic life so that it will lead to prosperity and not poverty. But it doesn’t have to be merely assistance from the well-educated, the powerful and the wealthy to someone who has nothing to offer in return.  We too can offer something to you: our experience and the knowledge that has come from it.

3.  As long as people are people, democracy in the full sense of the word will always be no more than an ideal; one may approach it as one would a horizon, in ways that may be better or worse, but it can never be fully attained. In this sense you are also merely approaching democracy. You have thousands of problems of all kinds, as other countries do. But you have one great advantage: You have been approaching democracy uninterruptedly for more than 200 years, and your journey toward that horizon has never been disrupted by a totalitarian system.

4.  A person who cannot move and live a normal life because he is pinned under a boulder has more time to think about his hopes than someone who is not trapped in this way.

5.  My only school was life itself. 

6.  Vaclav Havel cannot make decisions about things it is not proper for him to decide. He is merely putting in a good word for genuine peace, and for achieving it quickly.



Happy Rockefeller  points out  the leaked HB Gary email that describes 'persona management', a black glove digital technique that creates "not just the deconfliction of persona artifacts such as names, email addresses, landing pages, and associated content.  It also requires providing the human actors technology that takes the decision process out of the loop when using a specific persona.  For this purpose we custom developed either virtual machines or thumb drives for each persona.  This allowed the human actor to open a virtual machine or thumb drive with an associated persona and have all the appropriate email accounts, associations, web pages, social media accounts, etc. pre-established and configured with visual cues to remind the actor which persona he/she is using so as not to accidentally cross-contaminate personas during use."

Creating digital  herds  of social media sheep administered to graze or stampede through low-maintenance, centrally-administered triggers is shady to be sure.  What's more, it could work.  In fact, it is no doubt already working all over the Internets.  This post, for all you know, is typed by a digital sockpuppet algorithmically translating and outputting these words into an apocalypse of global languages and dialects.  Bots crawling for interchangeable grammar patterns, vocabularies with algorithms for placing regional slang variations into common sentence structures.  One author typing one post on one laptop.  Click 'Publish'.  Hundreds (thousands?) of pieces of content are blasted at intervals carefully designed to mimic an sudden, organic, "netroots" global discussion via tweets, GMails, blogs, and Facebook Pokes...all automated in a cleverly randomized lockstep.

And it gets worse.  Wait 'til you get a grip on Twitter bombing (pdf.).

Can Twitter-bombing be stopped?  Sure.  Twitter could shut down the Twitter bombers.  Google  could deemphasize incoming traffic from Twitter bombed links.  

But add Truth and what is a Twitter bomb?  News?  History?  Art?   Antoine Dobson ?  

Content bombing up the Google indices due to sudden influxes of traffic from Twitter isn't necessarily a Twitter-bomb.  It could just be an  assassination , a  bong rip , or  hamster on a piano...eating popcorn...on a piano...

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