In the rankings posted today, the liberal website Daily Kos predicts Pedro Rios (R) will win an open seat for the California State Assembly. Democrats are especially unpopular in the Central Valley because of stringent regulations which have restricted the water supply. The Daily Kos says it will be very difficult for a Democrat to overcome Rios’ 60 to 40 advantage.
This is a 69% Hispanic district and there are currently no Latino Republicans in the state legislature.
In 2010, the main accusation of Valley Democrats was that Republicans were anti-immigrant. They will have a hard time making that case against this year’s GOP nominee. Rios was born in Mexico and immigrated when he was nine years old. He has lived in Delano for the last 25 years.
Rios understands agriculture because along with his family, he’s picked grapes, pruned almonds, and cultivated tomatoes, squash, bell peppers and green peas. He graduated from California State University at Bakersfield, joined the Army National Guard, and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.
From personal experience he knew his business idea would be a success, and he was correct. He established Rios Portable Toilets to provide restroom facilities for agricultural workers.
In 2000, he was elected to the Delano City Council (population 53,000), and went on to serve as Vice Mayor and Mayor. Delano is best known as the birthplace of the United Farm Workers, and it is still closely identified with the late labor leader Cesar Chavez. Chavez was a liberal on all fiscal issues but his union strongly advocated restricting immigration.
Rios has gone from farm worker to farm owner. He says “The American dream is still alive, but it is being hampered by the heavy hand of government, taxes and regulation. The once great state of California has been driven to the brink of failure.
“Businesses are leaving in droves and taxes are being raised. Higher taxes are not the answer. We must focus on decreasing the size and scope of government. Spending cuts should be made across the board. I do not support any new taxes, and I do not support Governor Brown’s tax proposal.”
He also has a strong anti-Obama message. The administration has had a major role in restricting water to the Central Valley and Rios says “We need water, not a $100 billion train. Water is the life-blood of our families’ future. It will be my number one job.”
California has experienced large budget shortfalls for the last decade and today faces a $16 billion budget gap. Liberal Democrats are in complete control of the state.
As usual, their solution is increased taxes, regulations and more spending. As a result, businesses are continuing to flee the state. This week began their new fiscal year, and what did the California legislature do to address the financial crisis?
The lawmakers are still refusing to make meaningful budget cuts, but new spending is always fine with them. On Thursday, the State Senate passed a bill that would block local law enforcement from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation, unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony. California will not be cooperating with federal immigration enforcement in this area. The so-called Trust Act will force local police to release individuals without conducting a thorough background check.
It lets dangerous people slip through the cracks. The Center for Immigration Studies says the Trust Act “benefits illegal aliens who are committing crimes. It makes it much harder for federal and local law enforcement agencies.
“The local law enforcement agency will not know what convictions are on a person’s record unless they hold them long enough for a DHS check.”
The same day, the State Assembly passed $8 billion in funding for high-speed rail and other projects, sending the bill back to the state Senate for final approval. Republicans are united in their opposition to the rail project.
The legislature has also approved “financial aid” for undocumented students, and they voted to reduce impoundment fees of vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. This means the cost of driving with no insurance in California is greatly reduced.
In January they thought the deficit would be $9.2 billion, but it jumped to $16 billion as tax revenues declined. One reason is that business owners are fleeing the state. The tax base is shrinking, so lawmakers keep raising taxes on everyone else.
The top destinations for the California business departures are Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and a tie for Utah and Florida. They are all right-to-work states, except Colorado. California has the second highest state unemployment rate in the country, and raising taxes on employers will not reduce the problem.
Leslie Sanchez, 40, is the former RNC press secretary who developed the successful Hispanic outreach program for the 2000 Bush campaign. He received 37% of the Hispanic vote and it clearly provided the former President’s margin of victory.
It is an electorate which had been largely ignored in the past. Univision said Republicans had never approached them before Sanchez. She has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and “Hispanic Business” magazine lists her as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics.” Her op-ed articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and US News & World Report.
She is probably best known for appearing on 10 episodes of “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” in 2005. Sanchez is an admirable success story and had to work her way through high school to help support her mother and grandmother.
Her book “Los Republicanos: Why Republicans and Hispanics Need Each Other,” received excellent reviews. It emphasizes that most Hispanics share core beliefs with the GOP. She wants Republicans to appeal to this community “not as Hispanics or immigrants but as Americans with an equal stake in the future of the country.”
Sanchez says “As Republicans, we need to win at least 35 percent of the Hispanic vote to win the presidency. In 2008, John McCain got 31 percent. Our high point was Bush in 2004 with 44%, and the low point was Bob Dole in 1996 with 21%.
“Research demonstrates that another 25% of Hispanics are voting Democratic on the generic presidential ballot question but would be interested in voting for a Republican who offered a campaign agenda focused on family, education and job-creation issues. So it is mystifying to me to hear the ongoing references to the party’s need to find “a new way” to speak to the nation’s largest minority bloc. It’s like being asked to reinvent the wheel.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was first elected in 1976 but has never authored any legislation to stop illegal immigration. This has occurred despite the fact he represents Texas which has the nation’s longest border with Mexico.
He is against the E-Verify program to stop employers from hiring illegal aliens. In fact, he is against all laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal aliens. He opposes Arizona’s get tough policies and the deportation of people who are here illegally. If a state wants open borders that is fine with him. NumbersUSA gives him an “F” rating on immigration.
When he ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian, Paul advocated the official policy of his party. He said, “As in our country’s first 150 years, there shouldn’t be any immigration policy at all. We should welcome everyone who wants to come here and work.” At the same time he advocated the complete elimination of the Border Patrol, which he said was unconstitutional. Continue reading
One of the top GOP challengers this year is former Arizona House Majority Whip David Schweikert. He is intelligent, articulate and effective, and would instantly assume a leadership role on Capitol Hill. In 2008 he was defeated by Congressman Harry Mitchell (D) by a 53% to 44% margin. He is running again and in a poll out today he is trailing the incumbent by just 1% (45 to 44 percent). This is J.D. Hayworth’s old Congressional seat. Continue reading
PHOTO: Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) wants a requirement for a civics and literacy test before people are allowed to vote. He told the First National Tea Party Convention last week he “intensely dislikes” John McCain and is glad he lost. Tancredo has also called for the bombing of the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina in retaliation for a future terrorist attack in America.
After the passage of 46 years there is now a small movement to bring back Jim Crow Laws. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) believes this is a good idea, and is now actively promoting the concept. Jim Crow Laws were literacy tests adopted by Southern states after blacks were granted citizenship rights under the 15th Amendment.
Potential black registrants had to answer difficult questions and were also confronted with a poll tax. Both practices were banned by the Voting Rights Act of 1964, and African American turnout increased by a huge percentage after the restrictions were lifted.
Tancredo does not use the phrase Jim Crow Laws, but instead talks of a literacy and civics test requirement for voters. This was part of Tancredo’s platform when he sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, and says “This is our country. Let’s take it back. . . The race for America is on right now.”
Tancredo spoke about the tests at last week’s First National Tea Party Convention and is actively lobbying for the proposal in the Colorado legislature. He received enthusiastic applause in saying, “If you can’t answer the same questions an immigrant has to answer in order to become a citizen, what the hell right do you have to vote? . . . People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama.”
According to Tancredo, the President was elected “mostly because I think that we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.” He outlined the proposal in a letter to Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll (D-Denver), “To suggest that any civics literacy test will necessarily be discriminatory is absurd on its face. Ignorance comes in all sizes, colors and flavors.”
The former Congressman included “a list of 100 sample civics questions used by the federal government for the naturalization civics test,” and suggested they might provide the basis for his proposed exam. Carroll is the first black Speaker in Colorado history and said Tancredo should know “how hateful those tests were and how hateful that period of history was.” The former Congressman responded by saying “the left has an obsession with race”, and says his call for a test is to obtain participation only from voters who understand the government.
An increased focus on the study of history and government in our schools is a wonderful idea. I have cringed in watching Jay Leno ask very simple questions to people on the street and receive moronic answers. I also wish all of our voters had the ability to read, but I would be surprised if any lawmaker endorsed the return of Jim Crow Laws. The call for new literacy and civics tests at the ballot box smacks of racism and bigotry.
The Republican Party should not be identified with proposals which imply black and brown Obama voters are incapable of making informed political decisions. This is especially true because according to the 2010 Census projections, white people will be a minority in the U.S. by the year 2050.
Tancredo’s four grandparents were all immigrants from Italy, and he was the most prominent foe of illegal immigration on Capitol Hill. The illegal immigration problem is a serious concern, and many steps have been taken to address it. It continues to be a problem, and we still do not have control of our borders.
America is a nation of immigrants, but there is a legitimate debate between people wanting to come here for a better life and those who are trying to preserve their current standard of living. There are 2.5 million welfare recipients in Los Angeles County and a significant number of them immigrated to the United States in the past two decades. We have cut back on legal immigration, but many of those who are expressing concerns about immigration levels are also distancing themselves from Tancredo because his rhetoric is so caustic and appears to have racial overtones.
The former Congressman served on Capitol Hill from 1998 until his retirement in 2008, and says if there is another terrorist attack in the United States we should respond by bombing the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina. He calls La Raza “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses,” and says he “intensely dislikes John McCain.” Tancredo told the convention he was glad McCain lost because the recent GOP victories were due to public disgust with Obama.
Blacks were not the only people targeted by Jim Crow Laws. The first literacy tests were passed to depress voting among Irish-Catholic immigrants in 19th century Connecticut and Massachusetts. Does Tancredo know about the extreme discrimination which faced Italians when they came to this country in the 18th and 19th centuries? They were the second most likely ethnic group to be lynched.