Latinos are in Center Stage

Latino voters take center stage in both presidential campaigns

By Karen Tumulty, Published: April 17 – Washington Post/Politics

With the GOP presidential nomination no longer in doubt, President Obama and Mitt Romney this week are urgently turning their focus to Hispanic voters — a group whose alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency.

Sensing a chance to exploit the disconnect, the Obama reelection campaign is accelerating its efforts to reignite the intensity that brought out Latino voters in record numbers four years ago.

The Republican nominee-to-be and his party are looking to repair relations by dispatching organizers to critical states and by reminding Hispanics that the administration has not lived up to its promises on immigration reform.

At a private fundraiser Sunday night in Palm Beach, Fla., Romney told supporters that “we have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party” and warned that a big win of that group by Obama “spells doom for us.”

His comments were overheard and reported by journalists for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

For the Obama team, the new push begins Wednesday, when the campaign announces its first round of Spanish-language television and radio ads. The initial spots — to be aired in Colorado, Nevada and Florida — will feature Latino Obama volunteers promoting the president’s education policies.

In one, Daniella Urbina, a Harvard University graduate raised by her mother and grandmother, says: “Financial aid is very important to the Latino community. I was the first in the family that was going to go to college. I think President Obama understands us.”

In coming weeks, Obama’s campaign will intensify its Latino phone-banking operation and send canvassers door to door to find even relatively small pockets of Hispanic voters in states such as New Hampshire.

Its Web site features a Spanish-language calculator on which voters can compare their tax rate with Romney’s. And the president has become a regular presence on Spanish-language media, having done 15 interviews since his inauguration on the Univision Network alone.

The stakes for both sides are heightened by the math and the map. Hispanics are the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority, accounting for more than 16 percent of the population. They also make up crucial voting blocs in two-thirds of the swing states where the presidential election is likely to be decided.

The urgency is being felt most intensely in the battleground states.“The key to this thing is what percentage of Hispanic votes we get in Florida or Virginia or Ohio or Colorado or Nevada or New Mexico,” said Al Cardenas, the former Florida GOP chairman who is advising the Romney campaign on how to reach out to Hispanics. “He needs to get close to 40 percent in six states.”

On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced that it has appointed state directors to drum up Hispanic support in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia and North Carolina.

“In order to win their hearts and minds and votes, we’re going to have to share our own vision for a better tomorrow,” Cardenas said, “and we’re going to have to do it in a way where the community feels they are part of us.”

A Political battle with the old boys’ network

By Raisa Camargo / VOXXI News Tuesday, February 7, 2012. 5 hours ago ¦

Read more: For Latinas in higher office, it’s lonely at the top

It’s been said that women need to be asked to run for office, but that’s not always the case.

Sylvana Tabares is running for state representative in Springfield, Illinois. She’s a Democrat who left a managing editor position at a bilingual community newspaper for what she considers a compelling reason to campaign.

“I definitely broke out of my shell doing this,” said Tabares. “It tests how strongly do you really want to represent the district because people are worried about losing their jobs and trying to pay their mortgage. So, their concern is my concern.”

Tabares’s mother came from Mexico and was a factory worker; an experience she believes is relatable to the working class community. She has knocked door-to-door in search of support and contributions.

Campaign financing is synonymous with any candidate aspiring to office, yet research suggests it’s an even tougher gamble for women.

The old boys’ network mentality in political parties remains the largest roadblock on women’s path to public office, according to director Debbie Walsh and Kathy Kleeman, senior communications officer, at the Center for American Women and Politics.

The numbers are staggering for Hispanic women. In the 112th Congress of a total of 90 women serving, seven are Latina. In statewide executive office, there are only four Latinas and of 1,750 women state legislators serving nationwide, 63 are Latina, according to CAWP.

“It’s not for the faint of heart,” said Francine Busby, executive director, of Run Women Run a San Diego-based network, and a 2004, 2006 and 2010 Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“There’s a lot of negativity. There were $15 million dollars spent in the race I ran in about 10 months and I would say about $5 million of that was directed at me through negative ads…”

Busby said national parties would only take a candidate running for federal office seriously unless they have raised more than $200,000. And for women of color, the gender gap isn’t the only challenge. There are cultural and generational distinctions.

Some of the primary challenges for Latinas running for office in California are the traditional beliefs by their parents that women don’t belong in politics, the age factor, and stereotypical assumptions if they’re educated. The political male Latino network, although gaining momentum, is not as inclusive of Latinas. There are also not enough Hispanic women networks, said Bettina Duval, founder and president of the California List.

“We’ve had a couple races here in California where they promised this woman Cindy Motne’s position and then Alex Padilla decided to run against her and then all the guys went on Alex’s side,” said Duval.

Political parties remain obstacles because they’re reluctant to groom and promote women to run, said Christine Marie Sierra, political science professor at the University of New Mexico. Although, she also said that research indicates it can vary state by state.

Sierra found in her own findings through the The Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project (GMCL) a mixed account of successful women public officials, indicating that political parties were either obstacles or helpful resources.

She indicates that the rate of increase of women of color to hold office is also faster than their male counterparts.

In states where traditionalistic and individualistic subculture dominates, such as Texas, women are less likely to run for office and get elected, particularly to state legislatures, according to research cited by “Politicas: Latina public officials in Texas.”

Despite the bleak assertions, that’s not discouraging women from breaking in. National organizations such as the 2012 Project are hoping to turn the tide this election year as redistricting paves the way for new seats, retiring incumbents and a shifting constituency. The last wave offemale candidates occurred in 1992, another post-census election.

Olga Diaz, 35, city council member of Escondido, Calif. attests to her own experience. She was the first Hispanic elected in official in 2006 and will run again in November. Diaz had no prior experience or support network, so she began looking up phone book numbers and compiling her own campaign strategy.

She said she’s never shied away from being outspoken, but considering the city’s recent controversy, she still receives hate mail from people claiming she’s not American enough.

Her main motivation to run was in reference to an anti-Latino ordinance that was being debated. Escondido currently holds 49 percent of the Latino population, yet there are hardly any Hispanic elected officials.

“As a woman, I’ve been asked to explain how I get everything done considering the fact that I have children…I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary women multitask,” said Diaz. “Politics isn’t something I do for fun. It’s something I was introduced to out of necessity again after a social justice issue that really got my attention.”

Election 2012, Pure Voxxi / 2012election, 2012project, California List, Census, Center for American Women and Politics,Christine Sierra, Latinas, Olga Diaz, redistricting, Run women run, women running for office

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AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL – ARIZONA LEGISLATORS WITH ALEC TIES

THE AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL KNOWN AS ALEC IS A PRIVATE/PUBLIC COUNCIL MADE UP OF STATE LEGISLATORS AND GLOBAL/LARGE CORPORATIONS THAT MEET SECRETLY TO DRAFT LEGISLATION THAT BENEFITS THE CORPORATIONS BOTTOMLINE OR PROMOTES A CONSERVATIVE RIGHT WING AGENDA. THESE “MODEL BILLS” ARE THEN APPROVED BY ALEC AND GIVEN TO STATE LEGISLATORS TO IMPLEMENT UNDER THEIR OWN NAMES. CORPORATIONS THUS HAVE MORE ACCESS TO STATE LEGISLATORS THAN THEIR OWN CONSTITUENTS. HAVE VOTERS LOST THEIR RIGHTS? ARE OUR STATE LEGISLATORS DOING THE WORK THEY ARE PAID TO DO OR ARE THEY JUST “PUPPETS” INTRODUCING ALEC’S MODEL BILLS? WHAT DO YOU THINK? ALL ARE COMING UP FOR RE-ELECTION. SEE BELOW.

House of Representatives
Rep. Kirk D. Adams (R-19, vacated seat 4-28-2011); International Relations Task Force
Rep. Cecil P. Ash (R-18)[16]; Health and Human Services Task Force
Rep. Nancy Barto (R-7)[16], Health and Human Services Task Force member and 2011 ALEC State Legislator of the Year[1]
Rep. Brenda Barton (R-5); Health and Human Services Task Force
Rep. Judy M. Burges (R-4)
Rep. Steve Court (R-18, Majority Leader); Education Task Force
Rep. Chester Crandell (R-5); Education Task Force
Rep. Jeff Dial (R-20); Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
Rep. Karen Fann (R-1)
Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R-22); Civil Justice Task Force
Rep. John Fillmore (R-23); Education Task Force
Rep. Thomas Forese (R-21); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Rep. Doris Goodale (R-3); Education Task Force
Rep. David M. Gowan, Sr. (R-30); Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Rep. Rick Gray (R-9); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Rep. Jack W. Harper (R-4)[16]; International Relations Task Force
Rep. Russell L. Jones (R-24)
Rep. Peggy Judd (R-25); Health and Human Services Task Force
Rep. John Kavanagh (R-8)[16]; Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-9, Majority Whip)[16], ALEC State Chairman[24][25] and International Relations Task Force member[26]
Rep. Kate Brophy McGee (R-11)
Rep. Nancy McLain (R-3)
Rep. Richard Miranda (D-13), membership exp. 12-31-2010; Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Rep. Justin D. Olson (R-19); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Rep. Frank Pratt (R-23)
Rep. Rep. Terri Proud (R-26)); Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
Rep. Amanda A. Reeve (R-6); Education Task Force
Rep. Bob Robson (R-20); Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
Rep. David Burnell Smith (R-7); Civil Justice Task Force
Rep. David W. Stevens (R-25); Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
Rep. Andy M. Tobin (R-1, Speaker of the House); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Rep. Steve R. Urie (R-22); Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Rep. J. Ted Vogt (R-30); Civil Justice Task Force
Rep. James P. Weiers (R-12)[16]
Rep. Kimberly Yee (R-10); Health and Human Services Task Force

Senate
Sen. Sylvia Tenney Allen (R-5, President Pro Tempore), membership exp. 12-31-2010; Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
Sen. Andy Biggs (R-22, Majority Leader), membership exp. 12-31-2010; Civil Justice Task Force
Sen. Scott Bundgaard (R-4); Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force
Sen. Rich Crandall (R-19), ALEC Education Task Force and Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force member[27]
Sen. Adam Driggs (R-11), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force[28];
Sen. Gail Griffin (R-25); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Sen. Lori Klein (R-6); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Sen. John McComish (R-20)[19][16]; Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Sen. Albert Anthony Melvin (R-26), membership exp. 12-31-2010; Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Sen. Rick Murphy (R-9); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Former Sen. Russell Pearce (R-18, Senate President)[16], ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Executive Committee member[29] (lost his seat in a recall election 11/8/11[30])
Sen. Steve Pierce (R-1, Majority Whip), membership exp. 12-31-2010; Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
Sen. Michele Reagan (R-8)
Sen. Don Shooter (R-24); Civil Justice Task Force
Sen. Steve M. Smith (R-23)
Sen. Steven B. Yarbrough (R-21)[16]; Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force

11 ARIZONA STATE LEGISLATORS RATED LOW REGARDING CHILDREN

eLatinaVoices identified 11 elected officials that received low ratings from a study conducted by the Children’s Action Alliance. To read the names of the legislators, please go to Children’s Rights and scroll to the bottom of the page marked “A Fight for Children”. Each legislator listed received a letter on September 14, 2011 regarding their legislative votes regardingt children and request an explanation. We recommend you contact these Senators and Representatives and request an explanation of their votes. Go the Arizona Children’s Action Alliance website and look at the study “Who’s for Kids and Who is Just Kidding”. The study will give you the information you need to make that call. The following Districts and Senators are included:

District 5 – Sylvia Allen

District 9 – Rick Murphy

District 23 – Steve Smith

District 24 – Don Shooter

District 25 – Gail Griffin

District 26 – Al Melvin

Additionally two representatives were also rated low. They did not vote.