POLITICS
05/14/2014 12:49 pm ET

GOP Accuses Eva Longoria's Latino Initiative Of Shilling For Democrats

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

The Republican National Committee is accusing Eva Longoria and her new Latino political initiative of working expressly for the Democratic Party.

The actress and political activist recently launched the Latino Victory Project with Henry Muñoz III, a Texas philanthropist and Democratic National Committee (DNC) finance chair, as a nationwide initiative meant to boost Hispanic participation in local, state and national elections. But the RNC is crying foul over the group's association with the DNC official and a recent interview with Longoria in which she neglected to name any Republicans worthy of the group's support.

"You didn’t highlight the leadership of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who are two of only three Hispanic U.S. senators," the RNC wrote in a letter obtained by Buzzfeed. "Nor did you mention either of the nation’s Latino governors -- Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Susana Martinez of New Mexico -- both of whom are Republicans."

Longoria has long been a vocal supporter of President Barack Obama, serving as a "bundler" for his 2012 reelection campaign and even speaking at the Democratic National Convention. But new initiative maintains that candidates it chooses to support are selected not by party affiliation but by their positions on issues critical to the Latino community.

Cristobal Alex, the Latino Victory Project’s president, dismissed the RNC's letter to BuzzFeed and blasted the GOP for working to "diminish Latino voting power":

“It’s ridiculous that the RNC would question our mission to raise the political participation among Latinos,” Alex said. “This sense of justice doesn’t seem to affect them” when it comes to other conservative groups like Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, or the Libre Initiative, he argued, listing several outside conservative groups that are de facto partisan groups.

“At the same time the RNC is working to restrict the right to vote and diminish Latino voting power,” Alex said of controversial voter ID laws pushed by conservatives. “Instead of attacking organizations such as ours, they should be looking at ways to attack these disparities.”

Alex said the candidates the group supports are selected without regard to party but are chosen if they reflect the core values he said the Latino community cares about like a clean environment, changes to U.S. immigration policy, education, and health care.

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