Immigration Insider | One Week Out: Attacks Backfire, Latinos Energized; New GOTV Ads

10/26/2010 06:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Frank Sharry Founder and executive director, America's Voice

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Immigration Insider | Election 2010

With one week to go, Angle backtracks on the border. Voter guide shows immigration a key issue in 54 races.  Spanish language ad blitz hits NV and CO to turn out Latinos in wake of Republican attacks.  Illinois’ Kirk a nightmare on DREAM.  DNC announces major Spanish ad buy. 

Welcome to Immigration Insider | 1 Week to Election 2010

NV-Sen: It’s clear whose “side” Sharron Angle is on… I’ve run out of ways to describe Sharron Angle’s audacity in her immigration ads. Not only does her latest continue to pit mug shots and menacing images of Latinos in backward caps against struggling white families and innocent white schoolchildren, but it ends with an image of Reid’s face half in shadow and the words, “Harry Reid. It’s clear whose side he’s on, and it’s not yours.” No race-baiting there. Not to mention that despite Angle’s absurd claim last week that her ads weren’t about the southern border, there’s a shot of a border patrol station clearly labeled “El Paso, Texas.” Border backtracking aside, those scary Latinos might have “looked a little Asian” to her.

These tactics could backfire:

In contrast to other voters, Latino Democrats are more energized than their Republican counterparts… The latest Latino Decisions tracking poll shows “Enthusiasm continues to grow”:“As election day draws near, and early voting is in full swing, Latinos are reportedly showing more and more interest and enthusiasm.” And, that effort to suppress the Latino vote from “Latinos for Reform” has backfired.  Writes Latino Decisions: “In response to the ‘don’t vote’ campaign, Univision and Telemundo are both increasing their get-out-the-vote public service announcements, and Latino civic groups such as NALEO, NCLR, Mi Familia Vota and others are doubling their efforts to mobilize Latino voters down the stretch.”  On a conference call with AV yesterday, Matt Barreto reported that the most enthusiastic Latino voters are planning to vote Democratic.  GOP-leaning Latinos aren’t as motivated.  Apparently, telling voters that they and their loved ones are criminals who don’t belong here doesn’t go over so well.

And groups are working to make sure that energy takes them all the way to the polls…  If we’re talking about attempts to marginalize Latinos that have ended up boosting their enthusiasm, last week’s TV ad by a Republican-linked interest group urging Latinos not to vote might be Exhibit A. To make sure that tactic backfires, Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign, Campaign for Community Change, and America’s Voice are running ads in NV and CO urging Latino voters to “show the power of your voice to those who want to silence it.”

View the ads here:

CAP, NALEO, AV highlight impact Latino voters will have on 2010 races… In the past week America’s Voice, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and NALEO Educational Fund have all released reports about the role Latino voters will play this cycle and the races they are going to influence.  The top finding?  Latino voters aren’t just poised to decide winners in “safe” Democratic seats, but also more than fifty close races in nineteen states.  Yesterday, America’s Voice released its Voter Guide to the Candidates on Immigration Reform, which reviews the candidates’ positions on immigration in some of the tightest races in the country, including the contests for Governor in California, Colorado and Florida.  In the Senate, the top battles are in California, Colorado, Illinois and, of course, Nevada.

IL-Sen heats up, Mark Kirk says it’s “not the time” for DREAM... GOP candidate Mark Kirk said of the DREAM Act: “This is not the time to do that."  In Illinois, the theme for this week is: “Vote Dream”, a joint effort of Illinois Immigrant Action and America’s Voice. You won’t want to miss it.

GA: The most extreme policy suggestion to date?... In Georgia, State Rep. John Yates proposed one of the harshest immigration policies we’ve heard to date: the National Guard should be given “shoot to kill” orders.  As if that’s not bad enough, Yates somehow managed to compare immigrants to fighting Nazis during WWII.  No joke, he invoked Hitler.

And in case anyone’s still wondering what issues motivate the Latino base… When President Obama appeared on Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo’s Spanish-language radio show yesterday morning, Piolin gave the President a menu of conversation topics: OBAMA: We can talk about anything you want, Piolín. // PIOLIN: I'm gonna give you options. Multiple choice. Are you ready? // OBAMA: I am. // PIOLIN: A.) Immigration reform B.) Immigration reform, C.) Immigration reform or D.) All of the above.

And, the DNC is doing Spanish language GOTV ads…Also last week, we learned that the Democratic National Committee is investing resources in Spanish-language media – to the tune of $1 million.  The DNC reports that its ads feature President Obama, who speaks Spanish in one radio spot.  We’re also told that the ad buy “is its largest ever in Hispanic paid media.”

Representative Luis Gutierrez isn’t running for Mayor of Chicago, but…he did lay out what’s at stake in the elections through a post at La Plaza titled, “On Immigration, Are You a Lamar Smith-John Boehner-Steve King Republican?”  Gutierrez explained the dangers of that crowd setting immigration policy, “When it comes down to it, putting people like Smith-Boehner-King at the helm of national immigration policy is a guarantee of more gridlock and chaos.  Rep. Steve King of Iowa — who makes Jim Sensenbrenner look like Dolores Huerta by comparison — has called for electrified fencing on the border because he has found it effective for controlling ‘livestock.’  And if the recent past is any indication, we can expect any number of anti-Latino voter intimidation dirty tricks in the coming weeks in addition to the ads telling Latinos not to vote.”


@RealSheriffJoe: I just got done welcoming Sarah Palin to our County. Had a nice chat and gave her a pair of pink underwear.

@MattOrtega: Angle goes full metal bandana, plaid wearin', criminal cholo. Just throwing stereotypes against the wall

@jorgeramosnews: After the elections, Obama will consult with Hispanics about the Dream Act (Piolin/Univision Radio) Should it be voted before January 2011?

@CrooksandLiars: New At C&L: BREAKING: 'Hazardous substance' mailing shuts down Rep. Raul Grijalva's office

@LatinaLista: For Latino voters, 2010 election may prove to be even more historic than 2008 —

@RI4A: Great video from @PromiseArizona about why voting is important next Tuesday. #whyivote

---> Immigration Insider is a new, weekly immigration update by America's Voice, leading up to the Nov 2nd election.

Cross-Posted at America's Voice and Daily Kos.