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John DeStefano linked to Mexico collaborators (CT governor race)

New Haven mayor and Democrat John DeStefano [1] is running for governor of Connecticut against Republican incumbent M. Jodi Rell. DeStefano has several links to a New Haven group called "JUNTA for Progressive Action" [2], a group which is collaborating with the Mexican government. [3] That group also has links to several other organizations and community leaders.

Perhaps the closest link is that DeStefano's campaign manager is married to the head of JUNTA [4]:

The headquarters of Mayor John DeStefano Jr.'s gubernatorial campaign is beginning to resemble City Hall, with the announcement Monday that another former City Hall staffer will be joining the campaign... Henry Fernandez LAW '94 will become the mayor's campaign manager, after his resignation in March from his position as New Haven's economic development administrator, a position he had held for seven years. Fernandez joins Derek Slap, who in February switched from serving as the mayor's spokesman in City Hall to become the mayor's campaign trail spokesman... [...Fernandez] also helped bring IKEA to the city and was responsible in part for the expansion of Tweed-New Haven Airport. His wife, Kica Matos, is executive director of Junta for Progressive Action, an antipoverty agency based in Fair Haven...

From the Yale Daily News (link) (April 27, 2006, "Candidates court growing Hispanic vote"):

DeStefano's campaign has formed a group named Amigos de DeStefano, whose first house party at the home of Kica Matos, the director of New Haven's JUNTA for Progressive Action, drew 90 guests... the DeStefano-led City Hall is generally considered responsive to the needs of the city's Latino population, Yale professor Alicia Schmidt Camacho said. Camacho, who teaches in the American Studies Department, also serves on the board of Junta, a local Latino service agency... Camacho said her colleagues at Junta appreciate that the mayor is working on a plan to give municipal identification cards to all city residents. New Haven also launched "Hablamos Espanol" last year, a program that translates city documents into Spanish...

From this city page:

The New Haven Economic Security Coalition (NHESC) was formed in 2002 in partnership with Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., the IRS, and local organizations to provide free tax preparation and raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit. Partners include: Community Action Agency, JUNTA for Progressive Action, Yale University, Spanish American Merchants Association, Empower New Haven, National Student Partnerships, and NewAlliance Bank.

More groups are listed here:

The New Haven Economic Security Coalition (NHESC) is a coalition of the Office of the Mayor of the City of New Haven [DeStefano's office], the Internal Revenue Service, Fleet Bank, Yale Law School, Quinnipiac Law School, Community Action Agency of New Haven, Student Health OUTreach, JUNTA for Progressive Action, Community Builders, the Spanish American Merchants Association, with support from the City of New Haven, Empower New Haven, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

JUNTA also received a $25,000 grant from Citizens Bank of Connecticut and WTNH-News Channel 8 [5]

From the New Haven Register [6]:

Junta is working with city police and Mayor John DeStefano Jr.'s administration on convincing banks to allow the undocumented to open savings accounts so they won’t be such easy prey for thieves.

He also spoke an illegal immigration rally in New Haven on 4/10/06 [7]:

"Amnistia para todos" — "Amnesty for All" — read a sign affixed to the onstage public address system as an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people, many of them Latin American immigrants, listened to Latin-Ka, a Latino rock band, a Mexican-American mariachi band and dozens of speakers ranging from immigrant rights and union leaders to Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to Auxiliary Bishop Peter Rosazza of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

His plan to give city IDs to illegal aliens was announced, withdrawn, and then studied [8]:

Over the past year or two, Junta has worked with Unidad Latina to promote rights for the undocumented, encouraging Mayor John DeStefano to issue a municipal identity card, among other ideas... That proposal slipped out "prematurely" last year, said Rob Smuts, DeStefano's deputy chief of staff and another member of last night's panel. He promised that the mayor is still planning to issue the cards, once the administration works out some of the bureaucratic kinks involved, because DeStefano believes it's not good to have a shadow population...

That proposal continues [9]:

...Immigrant rights groups, such as Fair Haven-based Junta for Progressive Action, are working with the city's police department to establish a policy that would forbid police from asking about the legal status of immigrants who are crime victims or turning over any such information to federal immigration authorities. And City Hall has spent the past year slowly developing a plan to provide all New Haven residents with city ID cards, which would allow immigrants to open bank accounts and avoid carrying the large amounts of cash that often make them targets of violent crime... [... "Danbury Eleven" matter...] ...The plan to provide ID cards is still being developed, as are plans, also announced last year, to develop an order for the New Haven Police Department that would forbid officers from asking individuals about their immigration status, according to officials in City Hall who have been working on the proposals. The police policy is already practiced, for the most part, by officers, said John Buturla, the city's chief administrative officer, and the challenge now is just to clarify it and put it in writing... [Matos] said Junta is also working on a program with Southern Bank, located just down the street from the organization's Fair Haven headquarters, on a program to offer financial literacy education to immigrants and help them open accounts... DeStefano policy analyst Kate McAdams worked on the project until she left New Haven three weeks ago; since then, the mayor's legislative assistant, Paul Nunez, picked up where McAdams left off, though [John Buturla, the city's chief administrative officer] said no meetings have yet been held on the subject. Nunez said he is planning to meet with the city's new budget director at the end of this week to discuss funding options, and he hopes that the program will be in place by January... Chief Franciso Ortiz was unavailable for comment, but NHPD spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester confirmed that Ortiz is working on the proposal...

Junta also advises or funds the Tides Foundation's "Death Penalty Mobilization Fund" [10]

[1] destefanoforct.com
[2] juntainc.org
[3] From newhavenindependent.org/archives/2006/10/id_for_life.php ...Laura Huizar, the program coordinator for economic development at JUNTA, greeted one of the nearly 100 people who came to the auditorium of the Fair Haven Middle School on Thursday night for a meeting with Mexican consular officials... Mexican consular official Eduardo Penalosa presented a kind of workshop in how to obtain the MCAS. The MCAS (Spanish initials for matricula consular de alta seguridad), Huizar, explained, is recognized by hundreds of cities, police departments, and financial institutions across the country as a valid ID. It's the Mexican government's official ID for its nationals living abroad, incorporating holograms and other embedded technology designed to prevent forgery. Which is why JUNTA has been cultivating a relationship with the Mexican Consulate; in past visits to Fair Haven in 2004 and 2005 the consulate provided approximately 400 Mexican nationals with these consular IDs. However, many other applicants were turned away. After such informational sessions, Huizar hopes the consulate will return in the months ahead and many more consular IDs can be issued...
[4] "DeStefano names campaign manager", 4/4/06, Sarah Mishkin, link
[5] From citizensbank.com/au/news/ctz/2005/07_08_05_ct_champion.aspx Citizens Bank of Connecticut and WTNH-News Channel 8 today named Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. (JUNTA) as its first Champion In Action the new name given to the program formerly known as the Community Champions Program. As a champion, JUNTA will receive a $25,000 grant, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work in the area of youth support programs... As the Champion in Action, JUNTA will receive... A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation... Media coverage from WTNH-News Channel 8, including public service announcements and television profiles... Volunteer support from Citizens and WTNH-News Channel 8 employees... Extensive public relations support... Promotional support, highlighting the "Champion in Action" in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs; and... Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WTNH-News Channel 8 Web sites... Citizens Bank of Connecticut is a $4 billion bank with 48 branches and 60 ATMs in Connecticut It is headquartered in New London. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $137 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.
[6] "City aldermen hear of immigrants' needs", 9/19/2005, Mary E. O'Leary, NH Register: juntainc.org/en/news/Register_09.19.05.php
[7] "Politicians, Residents, Bishop Rally for Immigrant Rights", 4/11/06, Mark Zaretsky, NH Register: juntainc.org/en/news/PoliticiansResidentsBishopRallyforImmigrantRights.php
[8] "Living in the Shadows" juntainc.org/en/news/LivingintheShadows.php
[9] "Activists lobby for immigrants", 10/4/06, Sarah Mishkin, Yale Daily News: juntainc.org/en/ActivistsLobbyforImmigrants-10.2006.php
[10] link

Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:12 · Importance: 4

Sun, 10/29/2006 - 06:42
eh

IOW how to get JUNTA's hands on the money awarded in block grants to illegals.

Yes, but also to the poor (of whom there is no shortage in New Haven), a kind of wealth transfer scheme that, among other things, boosts local purchasing power, e.g. so people can buy stuff at IKEA.

As I tried to show with my comment in the other thread about this guy, New Haven has an ideal democratic constituency -- largely minority and poverty-ridden. How else can you explain the fact that getting an IKEA store -- which brings primarily only low-wage retail jobs -- is seen as some kind of triumph in economic development? So naturally along with that you get this kind of semi-corrupt club of mutually backscratching, affirmative action based representative-of-the-population clique of minority hangers-on who in turn pander to that same constituency -- non-whites.

Sat, 10/28/2006 - 06:35
Pat

"...raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit."

IOW how to get JUNTA's hands on the money awarded in block grants to illegals. I really think the Mexican government is getting its cut somewhere--the Earned Income Tax Credit "awareness campaign" is an organized movement.