"[CA] Latino caucus calls GOP ads racist"
Accusing the Republican Party and business groups of stoking "anti-immigrant, anti-Latino" fervor, the Legislature's Democratic Latino Caucus on Tuesday urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to denounce "racist" GOP campaign ads mailed during recent Assembly races.
Members of the 27-member caucus also called on the Republican governor to speak out against a campaign to qualify a ballot measure that would deny benefits - including driver's licenses - to illegal immigrants.
"I would hope that the governor will make a response to these (campaign) tactics," said state Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Whittier, the new chairwoman of the caucus...
..."All I can assume, as a lawyer, is it was temporary insanity," Escutia said. "But I can tell you, as a Latina, that these types of attacks will not ever happen again on my watch..."
Based on the description of the ads, they don't sound "racist," but I guess we could have figured out that they weren't racist based solely on the people who were making the charge.
The anti-Arambula mailer may have some merit, even if it was out of date. From November 1's AP report "Democrats accuse GOP of using racist mailers in Assembly races" (yes, this isn't the first time they've played this specific card):
...Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, charged that the mailers aimed at Arambula, a Fresno County supervisor, "crossed the line of racism.
"It is an outrage that racism is being utilized by the California Republican Party to wage a campaign against one of the most creditable candidates running," he said.
The Arambula mailers have a photo of the Mexican border in the background and quote a 1991 Fresno Bee article in which Arambula says he found non-citizens voting an "intriguing idea" that could "encourage participation in school-related matters by parents that have not really had much say."
The mailers also state that Arambula belongs to Mexican government organization that "lobbies the United States to increase taxpayer benefits to Mexicans living in the U.S."
Arambula said he attended no more than two meetings of the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior and resigned a year ago. He also said he had rejected the idea of allowing noncitizens to vote in school board elections...
"I just attended a couple meetings." Hey, it's been tried before. In his case it might even be true, and it might indicate that he sees a problem with that group.
For an idea of what the Democratic Latino Caucus would consider normal, see "California legislators ask Mexican Senate to intervene [in driver's licenses for illegal aliens]":
Mexico City - Members of the Assembly of California have asked the Mexican Senate (sic) to beseech Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign the bill so that almost 2 million undocumented Mexicans can obtain driver's licenses that would serve as identification...
...Marco Antonio Firebaugh, said that the governor "is the one who has the ability to make it law, to give this right to Mexicans, whether they have settled in California or not... We want the Mexican people to know that the measure is on his desk... However it is now September and he has not responded whatsoever, although we will insist on approval of the bill, basically so that illegal migrants can have access to education and health services in the U.S..."
Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez, from the San Fernando Valley, said that it is vital for Mexico to ask Schwarzenegger to approve this legislation "so that he would know that not only people of California, but an entire country is asking that he sign the bill."
If we're going to call what appear to be fact-based mailers "racist," what would we call the above? And, will any prosecutor dare to file charges?