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Archive for June 14th, 2010

The Lone Star State GOP just wrapped up their state convention this weekend with a platform whack job on Latino voters.  Check out Gary Scharrer’s (from the SA Express News) story:  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7050170.html.

Here is the headline: Texas GOP gets tougher on immigration/Some say platform adopted at convention could deter Latino voters.

Here is some of the piece:  Texas Republicans adopted another get-tough policy on immigration and bilingual education Saturday that some say will make it hard for the party to attract Hispanic voters at a time when the Texas population is turning increasingly Latino.

The platform encourages state lawmakers to create a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense “for an illegal alien to intentionally or knowingly be within the State of Texas,” and to “oppose amnesty in any form leading to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

Texas Republicans also want to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a U.S. citizen “with no exceptions.” The platform calls for the end of day-labor work centers and emphasizes border security, encouraging “all means … (to) immediately prevent illegal aliens.”

Of course, this was fully expected and it makes it tougher for Governor Rick Perry to garner Latino votes this November but more on that later.  Democrats can’t just sit on this and think the Latino votes are in their pockets just because they have been dissed in the GOP Platform.  It looks like both Perry and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will be aggressively going after the Latino vote.

On chron.com this weekend was a take on Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s appearance before the Lone Star State GOP Platform Committee meeting.  Here’s the piece.

County Judge Ed Emmett told a Republican Party of Texas platform committee this week that rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them back to their home countries is not a realistic or politically astute immigration policy.

"One of the things we have to do as a party is make sure that we don’t drive off Latino voters," Emmett said in a YouTube video recorded by Texas GOP Vote after his testimony and posted on its Web site.

Emmett campaign manager Ryan Walsh said Emmett favors a path to legalization for the millions of people living in the United States illegally, but that path begins with them returning to their home countries and going through legal U.S. immigration procedures.

"We need to have a long-term strategy for solving the immigration issue, and that long-term strategy includes those millions of people who are here and working and some of them have been here for generations, even though they were brought here illegally," Emmett said.

It looks like Judge Emmett wants to put some distance between his reelection campaign and his state party’s position on this issue that could potentially be a passionate factor within the Latino community in Harris County this November.   At some point in the near future, expect Judge Emmett to trot out an impressive list of local Latinos that are endorsing his candidacy.  His immigration reform position will make it easier for Latinos to stand with him.

Gilbert Garcia from the SA Express news penned this piece called “Perry’s Latino Strategy.”  Check it out: http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2010/06/perrys_latino_s.html.

Here it is:

It’s always been hard to resist the obvious parallels between Gov. Rick Perry and the man he succeeded: George W. Bush.

Both of them have cultivated folksy images, stressed simple messages, and found themselves repeatedly underestimated by political pundits.

Another key connection between the two came to the fore Friday morning at the GOP state convention. Perry, like Bush, has committed himself to breaking the Democratic Party’s grip on the state’s Latino voters.

At Friday’s Hispanic Leadership breakfast, Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson trumpeted a Baselice & Associates poll of 411 Texas Hispanics, commissioned by the Perry campaign and conducted May 15-28. Johnson said the poll found that the number-one issue for Texas Hispanics is "strengthening our state’s economy and creating more jobs," two cornerstones of every Perry stump speech.

Johnson noted that Perry drew 35 percent of the Latino vote in 2002 against a Latino opponent, Tony Sanchez. He said 30 percent of the Latino vote signals a likely win for Republicans; 35 percent should yield a comfortable victory; 40 percent, he said, "changes the dynamics of Texas politics for a generation."

Alejandro Garcia, press secretary for the Perry campaign, said Perry’s organization would ramp up its Hispanic outreach efforts this year, using bilingual social media, Hispanic Perry supporters serving as "surrogate speakers" in their communities, and the marketing efforts of Austin-based advertising agency, Latin Works.

Manny Flores, the firm’s CEO, is essentially a new-generation Lionel Sosa, helping corporate giants – and Republican politicians – build a cultural bridge to the Latino community.
Garcia said Perry was not "tailoring his message" to Latinos, but simply trying to make sure they heard his message.

For his part, Perry told the breakfast audience that his party and the Latino community have "shared military backgrounds," and described Latinos as "people who understand the meaning of the church."

In a twist on a famous Ronald Reagan line that Hispanics are Republicans, but they don’t know it yet, Perry concluded: "This is the home of the Hispanic in America: The Republican Party."

Commentary is impressed with the Perry campaign move to bring in Latin Works.  I really don’t know much about their experience working in political campaigns but they certainly have a successful history of marketing and advertising in the state’s Latino community.   This signals that the Perry campaign is going to invest some serious dollars trying to get a significant share of the Latino vote.  This is substantiated by a Perry Latino staffer saying they were going to make sure that their message was heard by the Latino community.  In campaign speak – they have them a Latino budget.

It also means that in all likelihood Latin Works will have a creative and production budget to develop TV and radio ads as well as slick mailers.  It won’t be the same old deal of just translating the English speaking ads and doing a Spanish language voice over.  Perry’s campaign is deadly serious about getting a chunk of the state’s Latino vote.  They are going to take a sophisticated approach and it is going to be interesting to see how the Democrats counter.

You have to figure that when it comes to the Latino vote, Judge Emmett is certainly not going to hunker down.   Knowing Judge Emmett, he’s never been known as an immigrant basher and he’s smart enough to know that he has to have Latino votes if he wants to stick around.

You have to hand it to both Perry and Judge Emmett to being aggressive when it comes to the Latino vote.   Of course, they have to be aggressive to counter their own party’s anti-immigrant incendiary platform language.    

The Lone Star State Democrats better have more in store other than holding press conferences and handing out talking points  on the GOP immigrant bashing….to be continued!

‘Stros players Kevin Cash, Hunter Pence, and Numero 45 had dingers in New Yankee Stadium this past weekend joining three ‘Stros that had dingers in Old Yankee Stadium in 2003.  Who were the three in 2003?

If you tuned in to the World Cup this past weekend you learned about the existence of “vuvuzelas.”  Commentary watched a little of El Tri Friday and the U.S. of A. on Saturday and was wondering what that constant buzzing background noise was.  It turns out the buzz is generated by nonstop blowing by folks into some plastic horn gizmos called “vuvuzelas.”

The Texas House of Representatives’ Higher Education Committee is going to hold a hearing Wednesday to find out what is going on with UT, A&M, and Texas Tech football plans.  I don’t know why they have to have hearings if you ask me.  They just ought to go read the sports page.

B-G-O, Morgan Ensberg, and The Big Puma of course had dingers in Old Yankee Stadium in 2003.

The ‘Stros got overwhelmed at New Yankee Stadium this past weekend as most of our pitching collapsed.  They kicked our arse pretty good.   We looked intimidated.   We didn’t look like we belonged on the same field if you ask me.

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