Embattled East Haven Mayor Tells Local Connecticut TV: “I’ll Be a Better Leader”

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, who this week became known on the Internet as the "Taco Mayor" for comments he made in the wake of four town police officers getting arrested by the FBI for racial profiling, taped an interview yesterday with Hartford's WFSB station where said that he will be a "better leader.'

The original incident that sparked the controversy can be seen here:

Maturo's upcoming interview, part of Dennis House's "State of the State" segment, will run this Sunday morning at 11 EST on Channel 3 in Hartford. House published details of the interview on his blog tonight. Here is an excerpt: 

Embattled East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo says it is time to move on from his taco comment that made headlines across the country. During a taping of Face the State with Dennis House on WFSB, Maturo said  acknowledged what he said was a mistake, but said he had obligation to the town and would not resign.

“I was voted in for my 11th year.  I have an obligation as the leader of our community to do what is right for our community.”

 ”I’m going to be a better leader and we are going to heal.   We are going to make East Haven a great place to live.”

Maturo agreed to come on Face the State this morning and arrived here as an immigration group was delivering 500 tacos to his office. He was followed to our studios by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, who was interviewing Maturo when the mayor made the infamous taco comment earlier this week. Maturo told me it is time to move on, and when the media continues to air the video of the comment, it hurts the town.

Senator Marco Rubio Tells GOP To Tone Down Immigration Rhetoric

Today, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio spoke at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami and basically told the GOP that the anti-immigration rhetoric needs to stop.

“We must admit that there are those among us that have used rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable and inexcusable,” Rubio said. “And we must admit — myself included — that sometimes we’ve been too slow to condemn that language for what it is."

But before anyone starts anointing Rubio as the Next Great Latino Leader, the senator and Tea Party darling said the following:

“But at the same time, on the left there are those that are using this issue for pure politics creating unrealistic and unreasonable expectations among those in the Latino community across this country.”

And don't expect Rubio to be a DREAMer any time soon.

“There is broad support in America that for those people brought here at a very young age by their parents, through no fault of their own, who have grown up here their entire lives and now want to serve in the military or are high academic achievers and want to go to school and contribute to America's future…we should figure out away to accommodate them. Figure out a way to accommodate them that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future."

Yet then he said this:

 “I challenge the Republican nominees and all Republicans to not just be the anti-illegal immigration party,” he said. “That’s not who we are and that’s not who we should be we should be the pro-legal immigration party.”

LULAC proporciona testimonio sobre la controvertida ley floridana de votación HB 1355


Brent Wilkes, director ejecutivo de LULAC, proporcionó testimonio oral al Comité Judicial sobre el efecto adverso de la ley en la población hispana

TAMPA, Florida, 27 de enero de 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Hoy, a las 13 horas, el Subcomité Judicial de Constitución, Derechos Civiles y Derechos Humanos celebró una audiencia para examinar el impacto que tendría la nueva ley de votación HB 1355 en la comunidad hispana, la cual restringe la votación anticipada y obstaculiza los esfuerzos de organizaciones que representan los intereses hispanos por registrar nuevos votantes.  La sesión abierta fue presidida por el senador Dick Durbing (D-IL), líder asistente de la mayoría en el senado, y peticionada por el senador Bill Nelson (D-FL), el senador mayor de Florida.  Brent Wilkes, director ejecutivo de LULAC, testificó acerca de los efectos perjudiciales de HB 1355 sobre los latinos en Florida.

"Esta ley paralizaría la misión de organizaciones cívicas como LULAC, ya que parte de nuestra misión es atraer a la comunidad hispana al proceso democrático", dijo Brent Wilkes. "Más de un tercio de los votantes que se registraron a través de campañas no partidistas e independientes fueron minorías raciales en el 2008, lo que confirma que las iniciativas comunitarias de registro son fundamentales para ayudar a que la comunidad latina vote."

HB 1355 reduce el número de días para la votación anticipada de 14 a 8 y prohíbe la votación anticipada el domingo antes de la elección.  La ley requiere que las organizaciones independientes que registran votantes entreguen sus solicitudes de registro dentro de las 48 horas después haberlas recibido, en lugar de los 10 días que estipula la ley actual, y además impone una multa de $50 dólares por cada incumplimiento con la fecha límite, así como multas de hasta $1,000 dólares si no se cumple con otras provisiones. 

Dichas limitaciones al proceso de registro han impedido que grupos locales de Florida promuevan el compromiso cívico y la participación electoral.  La nueva ley ha llevado a organizaciones no partidistas como Rock the Vote y la League of Women Voters a suspender indefinidamente todo esfuerzo por registrar votantes en Florida.  Este tipo de leyes hace que sea casi imposible que decenas de miles de floridanos ancianos, discapacitados, en minoría, jóvenes, campesinos y de bajo ingreso se registren y ejerzan su derecho a votar.  La ley no toma en consideración la crisis de ejecución hipotecaria, que podría decirse que está en su peor fase en Florida, ya que según HB 1355 los votantes que se mudan de un condado de Florida a otro son incapaces de realizar un cambio de dirección en las urnas el día de la elección y utilizar una boleta regular.

La nueva ley requiere que los Supervisores de Elecciones nieguen las solicitudes de boleta de ausencia si hay alguna discrepancia respecto a la firma del individuo.  Los ancianos hispanos confían en la boleta de ausencia para ejercer su derecho a votar.  Puesto que por tradición no son hábiles en el idioma inglés, su escritura puede malinterpretarse fácilmente, y esto invalida sus solicitudes para votar. 

Los defensores de HB 1355 afirman que la ley reducirá el fraude en el registro de votantes y que ahorrará recursos; con todo, los costos de su ejecución amenazan a 1.1 millones de votantes latinos elegibles que aún no están registrados.

La Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC, por sus siglas en inglés), la organización más grande y antigua de afiliación hispana en el país, fomenta los derechos a la condición económica, el logro educativo, la influencia política, la vivienda, la salud y otros derechos civiles de hispanoamericanos mediante programas comunitarios que operan a través de 880 consejos LULAC en todo el país.

FUENTE   League of United Latin American Citizens


No Somos Rubios

Is the US Latino community going to educate the rest of the nation that Florida Senator Marco Rubio does NOT represent the views of Latino voters?

The Miami Herald reported that the NO SOMOS RUBIOS campaign protested Rubio's appearance today in Miami. Here is an excerpt:


In the lead-up to Rubio's speech, critics from a group called Presente Action had a propeller plane circling the Doral Golf Resort & Spa with a banner reading, Hey Marco: No Somos Rubios, which translates to "We aren't Rubios." It's a play on words on the word rubio, which in Spanish means blond or fair. The group is attacking Rubio largely over immigration, protesting that the senator doesn't support the pro-immigrant DREAM Act.

For updates on Rubio's speech once it begins, refresh this blog post.

After saying a few words in Spanish, Rubio, who was greeted by a standing ovation, said he got a text message froma friend telling him about the airplane banner. "Marco, we're not blond," he said, translating the banner. "Which, by coincidence, neither am I — although if I'm in the Senate for another year, I may start being a little bit more gray."

The crowd laughed. Then Rubio immediately went into the issue of immigration — and a couple of suit-clad protesters stood up, raised signs that said "Marco Rubio — Latino or Tea-Partino" and asked Rubio why he isn't helping them. "You're an immigrant yourself!" they yelled.

Rubio appeared unfazed. Security approached the protesters while Rubio said, "I ask that you guys let them stay, because I think that they're going to be interested in what I'm going to say." Rubio got a standing ovation. "I don't want them to leave," he repeated. "I want them to stay."

"Let them stay!" chanted the crowd. 

But the protesters were escorted out.

"They came here to a crowd that they know may not be friendly," Rubio said. "I think God that I'm in a country where they can do that.

"I'm not who they think I am," he said. "I don't stand for what they claim I stand for."

Then, speaking without notes, an energized Rubio launched into a 20-minute speech his supporters said afterwards was one of the best they have heard throughout the presidential campaign.

"Our country has a broken legal immigration system," he began. "The status quo is unsustainable."

Rubio spoke of bipartisan support for a guest worker system and making it easier for people to obtain U.S. visas. But the policies haven't moved forward, he said, because of politics.

"We must admit that there are those among us that have used rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable and inexcusable," Rubio said. "And we must admit — myself included — that sometimes we've been too slow to condemn that language for what it is."

On the left of the political spectrum, politicians too have been guilty, Rubio said, of setting "unrealistic expectations" to appeal to Hispanic voters.

"It's not realistic to expect that you're going to deport 11 million people," he acknowledged. He added later, "No, we cannot legalize 11 million people."

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/01/marco-rubio-speaks-to-jeb-bushs-hispanic-leadership-network.html#storylink=c

Is the GOP even going to listen? Only time will tell. Here is what Act.Presente.Org produced:

“Gingrich’s Plan: Court Hispanics While Bashing Blacks” GUEST POST by @Raul_Ramos


Do not underestimate Newt Gingrich. He is a cunning political strategist who understands the demographic death spiral facing the Republican party — and he clearly has a plan.

Gingrich knows the Republican candidate in the November election will fail without support from U.S. minorities. Yet the GOP base will not nominate a candidate who supports issues popular in Latino and Black communities like immigration reform or affirmative action. So Newt's course will be to split the difference. He plans to court the Latino vote and brazenly bash Blacks to placate the base. 

As we saw in the South Carolina debate, Gingrich dispensed with the dog whistle code used by Republicans pandering for the anti-Black vote in the south and went for the jugular. His attacks on Obama as the "food stamp president" and calls for Blacks to "demand jobs, not welfare" were the most bluntly racist comments uttered by a U.S. politician since George Wallace.

Meanwhile, as shown in the Univision video with Jorge Ramos below, Gingrich offered more concessions to immigration reform than any other GOP candidate. These include: 1) Supporting the DREAM Act for youth who volunteer for military service, 2) a guest worker program for undocumented workers and 3) a path to citizenship for the undocumented who have resided in the U.S. for 20-25 years, have a family and an American sponsor.

Gingrich is so confident of his strategy, he even boasted to Ramos about his prospects with the Latino vote. "I have a hunch that by this fall, we may do better than any Republican except maybe Reagan."

From Gingrich's perspective, the plan to court Latino votes has no downside. He knows congressional Republicans will not approve any of these election year promises if he is elected.  

This may not be Newt's only attempt at dabbling in the witches brew of racial politics. As I mentioned in an earlier article, the GOP may attempt to drive a wedge between the Black and Latino communities, further weakening President Obama's chance for re-election. 

It's important for the entire electorate to be aware of Newt's apparent plan. Divisive tactics may serve the interests of a particular candidate or party. But they do not serve the interest of the nation or the world.

For more information about Raul Ramos y Sanchez and his award-winning novels, visit RaulRamos.com

Nike Founder Phil Knight Defends Paterno’s Actions at Coach’s Memorial

Yesterday, the Penn State community held a memorial for the late Joe Paterno, who died earlier this week and was recently fired by PSU for his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal that sent shock waves throughout the world.

At the memorial, Nike founder and Paterno friend Phil Knight addressed the elephant in the room, and called out the PSU administration for mishandling the case and not JoePa.


''If there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation and not in Joe Paterno's response,'' Knight said. Paterno's widow, Sue, was among those rising to their feet.

Later, Paterno's son Jay received a standing ovation when he declared: ''Joe Paterno left this world with a clear conscience.''

Here is a video of what Knight said:

<a data-cke-saved-href='http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=a4f05d91-a347-4968-93eb-60b3c15e5069&src=v5:embed::' href='http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=a4f05d91-a347-4968-93eb-60b3c15e5069&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Nike's Knight rips PSU Trustees' >Video: Nike's Knight rips PSU Trustees</a>