Last night I posted a diary entitled "Behind the scenes video from Eric Cantor's 'Victory' Party" which focused on the reactions of Cantor's supporters to the news of his loss and Cantor's concession speech. Many of the commenters noted that there had also been a protest at the Cantor "victory" party after Cantor's departure. I shot some footage of that protest and, as promised, I am posting that footage tonight.
The group that protested is named CASA de Virginia, and here is their press release about their protest.
Cantor Lost Election Because He Ignored District
- Poll today shows that Republicans in 7th District Overwhelmingly Support Immigration Reform -
(RICHMOND, VA)—More than seventy Virginia activists this evening disrupted the “victory” celebration of Congressman Eric Cantor (VA 7). Frustrated about his lack of action to resolve the immigration crisis, activists told the crowd that Cantor lost because he was inattentive to the district and that people in Virginia demand reform of the immigration crisis.
The protest came at the end of a day in which activists spanned out across the highest voter turn-out precincts in the district to ask the question: SHOULD CONGRESSMAN ERIC CANTOR INITIATE ACTION TO RESOLVE THE IMMIGRATION CRISIS? And overwhelmingly in a primary election attracting solely Republican voters to the polls for a passion play challenge from the hard right, people answering the question responded with a resounding yes.
“Congressman Cantor should have listened to his constituents and this is why he lost,” said 7th District resident Raul Benitez. “Although Brat may be anti-immigrant, all the evidence shows that this is a vote against Cantor, not a vote against immigrants.”
Pollsters covered the 4pm to 7 hours at polls located at Robious Elementary School and the Church of the Redeemer in Midlothian, Atlee High School and the Christian Center in Mechanicsville, and Glen Allen High School, Hungary Creek Middle School, and Cantor’s own home precinct of Rivers Edge Elementary School in Glen Allen. After reading the phrase: “Whether you agree with its provisions or not, it has been almost a year since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill. In that same amount of time, the US House of Representatives has taken no action at all to move a bill. Republican leaders in the House from John Boehner to Paul Ryan have gone on record that debate should start in the House on how to resolve the immigration crisis. The one Republican leader who has refused is Congressman Eric Cantor. Representative Cantor has the power to schedule a vote tomorrow and resolve the immigration crisis yet he has refused to act.” Across the seven precincts today, 89% of voters urged Cantor to move a vote on immigration.
The 7th District results are not surprising. A poll conducted in October 2013 by Harper Polling and sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy, Republicans for Immigration Reform, and Compete America showed that 70% of Virginians favor immigration reform and that more than half of Virginians – 51 percent – were less likely to support an elected official who opposed reform, compared with just 17% who were more likely to support a reform opponent.
Last month, a national poll of Republican Primary Voters who identify with the Tea Party was sponsored by Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Tea Party Express. Seventy-one percent of respondents said it is important that Congress act on immigration reform this year, including 69 percent who strongly identify with the Tea Party and 71 percent who identify as conservative Republicans. Respondents supported a plan in line with Speaker Boehner’s standards: 76 percent support a plan that would include both improved border security and enforcement as well as a way for undocumented immigrants who are already in this country to stay if they pay penalties, pay back taxes, pass a criminal background check, and learn English and American civics, including 73 percent who strongly identify with the Tea Party and 76 percent who identify as conservative Republicans.
“Eric Cantor lost because he was a pretend tea partier,” said Lindolfo Carballo, Lead Organizer for CASA de Virginia and leader of this evening’s protest. “But voters, faith and business leaders, and more all agree that we need a real leader to end the suffering of our families.”