American Action Network to begin major amnesty push; "350,000" activists (Carlos Gutierrez, Malek, Coleman)
Per Politico ( peekURL.com/zGvxuFM ), the American Action Network and their associated groups Hispanic Leadership Network and Congressional Leadership Fund will begin a major push for comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) among conservative-leaning voters. See their names' links for the background on those groups.
Their effort will take the form of advertising, but more ominously they claim to have a "National Grassroots Network" with 350,000 people who could contact Congress. That's the type of activism that Numbers USA engages in and that helped block amnesty in 1997; AAN's efforts might undercut the efforts of anti-amnesty groups.
The immigration effort will begin this weekend with a six-figure television buy featuring former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez urging voters to support fixing "a broken system." It is branded as a message from the Hispanic Leadership Network, an arm of AAN that has spent several years reaching out to Hispanic voters from the right.
...The Gutierrez commercial will run nationally in both English and Spanish, on programs including ABC's "This Week," "Fox News Sunday" and the network Univision. There will also be a digital component to the advertising in targeted markets...
In interviews, AAN leaders described the push for immigration reform as a long-term commitment on the part of the organization. AAN's think-tank affiliate, the American Action Forum, plans to put out a study in March, authored by former Congressional Budget Office head Douglas Holtz-Eakin and emphasizing the potential economic benefits of immigration reform.
...Strategists said that Gutierrez is only the first HLN supporter who will be featured in television ads; the group's national advisory committee includes other Republicans as prominent as Jeb Bush and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. (Gutierrez recently resigned from a senior position at Citigroup to helm a super PAC focused on immigration.)
AAN president Brian Walsh said the focus on immigration reflects "our desire to see this problem solved and a real bill make it through the House and the Senate this year, or at least this Congress."
...As a registered nonprofit, AAN does not have to disclose its donors; the CLF super PAC does disclose and received money in 2012 from pillars of the Republican donor community such as gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson, Texas homebuilder Bob Perry and the oil company Chevron.
...Republican pollster Whit Ayres, the author of the HLN study on the party's weakness among Hispanics, argued that there is an opening now to win popular support for immigration measures with voters who may have been more skeptical in the past.
Sheldon Adelson spent over $100 million trying to get Mitt Romney elected; on the night of the election, a Tea Parties group (the "Teaparty News Network") broadcast Romney's loss from his Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.
Bob Perry (no relation to Rick Perry) is, of course, in an industry that benefits monetarily from massive immigration, whether of construction workers or home buyers.
If AAN can move some portion of their supporters to action, that's bad news for blocking amnesty. Lawmakers might get five FAXes from AAN supporters and five from NumbersUSA supporters and decide that voting for amnesty wouldn't be such a bad decision.
The only real way to block amnesty in such a case is how this site does it: by challenging and working to discredit amnesty supporters. Unfortunately, few others are willing or able to do that. If you want to help block amnesty, donate using the link near the top of this page or see the things you can do below that. Because, Numbers USA sending FAXes might not be enough this time.