10/05/2010 01:43 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Immigration Insider | 4 Weeks Out: Whitman in Hot Seat, Murdoch For Reform, Latino Vote Rising

Immigration Insider

Election 2010

CA-Gov debate highlights Whitman's immigration hypocrisy following housekeeper kerfuffle. Poll shows DREAM debate helped Dems with Latino voters. Murdoch, Bloomberg latest to lobby Congress for immigration reform.  Menendez introduces comprehensive bill; Hatch fires back with enforcement-only. DREAM Act helps spur unprecedented GOTV efforts across the country.

CA-Gov: Whitman’s housekeeper controversy reveals history of “talking out of both sides of her mouth” on immigration. Immigration became the hottest issue in the California gubernatorial race last week, as controversy raged over Republican candidate Meg Whitman’s treatment of undocumented former housekeeper Nicky Díaz Santillan, and Whitman and Democratic nominee Jerry Brown squared off in a Univisión-sponsored debate at California State University-Fresno. During the debate, Brown accused Whitman of “talking out of both sides of her mouth” on the immigration issue, echoing a Spanish-language SEIU ad which hit the airwaves last week saying she “says one thing in Spanish, and something else when speaking English.” The ad points to her history of doubletalk and flip-flopping on immigration. A Los Angeles Times/USC/Latino Decisions poll conducted before the scandal broke showed that Latino voters favored Brown by a 19-point margin—but that many newly naturalized voters were undecided.  Now, Latino Decisions wonders: will they make up their minds after last week?

More on Whitman's immigration kerfuffle:

NV-Sen: Sharron Angle spokesperson condemns her own candidate’s immigration ad. Tibi Ellis, the chairwoman of the Nevada Hispanic Republican Caucus and a spokesperson for Sharron Angle’s campaign, had strong words last Monday about an Angle campaign ad attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on immigration. “I condemned this type of propaganda, no matter who is running them,” Ellis told reporters. Angle is the second GOP candidate this cycle to upset Hispanic allies by playing to the base on immigration; maybe she should ask Florida’s Bill McCollum why he lost his Senate primary

FL-Sen: Rubio’s Spanish-language ad doesn’t mention his English-only platform. I mentioned Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio’s first Spanish-language TV ad in last week’s Insider, but forgot to point out that Rubio wants English to be the official language of the United States. The irony of this didn’t escape Independent Charlie Crist, who remarked to the New York Times about Rubio’s outreach strategy, “It’s almost a masking of policy with a stylistic approach.”

Experts talk Latino vote. As voter registration deadlines close in many states, America’s Voice held a press conference call with Matt Barreto of the polling firm Latino Decisions and Ben Monterroso of Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign to discuss the factors that will influence Latino voter turnout this cycle.  According to Latino Decisions’ weekly tracking poll, Senate Democrats’ efforts to attach the DREAM Act to the Defense bill in September won them some points with Latino voters, although for some it may be too little too late.  As Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions said on the call: “However, possibly because of the DREAM Act, Democrats are slowly recovering ground that they had lost – not to Republicans, but to unenthusiastic and undecided Latino voters.”

All this and more on recent Latino polling:

In other civic engagement news, check out the Voto Latino and United We Dream PSA's, including “Vote 4 Me,” which builds off of support for the DREAM Act.  These efforts follow last week’s $300,000 DREAM Act ad buy by America's Voice, SEIU and the Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign.

On the airwaves: Utah Governor Gary Herbert, solutions-minded Republican. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, whose state made news this summer as it considered both an Arizona-like immigration enforcement bill and a state-based “comprehensive immigration bill,” put an ad on the airwaves last week that couldn’t be further from typical “wedge” posturing on the issue. In the ad, Herbert calls for a “Utah solution” that is “firm, fair, compassionate” and that respects taxpayers. The ad isn’t up on YouTube, but it’s an interesting—one might even say promising—move from a member of the party that generally finds itself between a rock and a hard place on the issue. 

On the Hill: Senate Dems serve up CIR, with Bloomberg and Murdoch on the House (side); Hatch reheats old enforcement proposals.  Following up on its Colbert-tastic AgJOBS hearing, the House Immigration Subcommittee brought New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch to the Hill to explain why comprehensive immigration reform will aid the American economy.  In the Senate, Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a strong comprehensive immigration reform bill; Orrin Hatch (R-UT), in response, introduced a bill whose enforcement-only policies look suspiciously similar to the status quo.

No wonder more Latinos think Democrats are “working on” immigration reform, and Republicans are “blocking” it:


@Ralston: The Hispanic Institute, on ground in NV for months, claims to have registered 10K new Latino voters. Now about getting them to the polls...

@jneriRI4A: Tucson voter reg team #ri4a #promiseaz over 100 reg for the 2nd day in a row

@ddayen: I'm going to go ahead and say @jerrybrown destroyed eMeg on Nickygate in the debate today

@VivirLatino: Use a right others DREAM of having! LAST day to register to vote in many states. Text VOTE4ME to 30644 or visit

@ElMati7: My PSA with @MGM1987 about #vote4me and why you should "vote for us": #dreamact #p2

@LatinaLista: Latina Lista teaming w/journo @newsgus 2 provide coverage of fed murder trial of #luisramirez - 2 teens killed him but were acquitted prior

@douglasrivlin: Deepak Bhargava on One Nation: @communitychange He's joining @RepGutierrez + a ton of other folks @ #ONWT tomorrow #p2

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

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

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