Jeb Bush Endorses Romney: Will It Matter to US Latino Voters?

Today former Florida governor and GOP moderate Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney's candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination. The Romney campaign immediately released the following statement on its website:

“Jeb Bush is synonymous with good government and with conservative policies that yield results. He has long demonstrated an outstanding ability to bring people together. I therefore take tremendous pride in having earned his endorsement. This is a key moment in the presidential contest and Jeb’s counsel and support will be critical in the coming months in my effort to defeat Barack Obama and turn around our country.”

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Bush, who actually kind of has a clue about the importance of the US Latino vote, immigration reform, and is fully bilingual to boot, issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney on his win last night [in Illinois] and to all the candidates for a hard fought, thoughtful debate and primary season. Primary elections have been held in thirty-four states, and now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall.

“I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our party’s nomination. We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.” also ran a response to the endorsement from Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigrant-rights group America’s Voice:

“Say it ain’t so, Jeb. It’s bad enough that Florida Republicans who have fought bravely for immigration reform, such as Mel Martinez, Carlos Gutierrez, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart, embraced and endorsed Romney. Now you, too?”

Of course, the DNC was quick to respond about Bush's endorsement, focusing on Bush's history on immigration.

In response, DNC Hispanic Caucus Chair Iris Y. Martinez released the following statement:

“Jeb Bush used to be a leader in favor of sensible immigration proposals who was willing to work with Democrats on practical solutions for Hispanic families. But today he decided to endorse a candidate who would be the most extreme presidential nominee of our time on immigration and is wrong on every matter of importance to Hispanics. In doing so, Jeb Bush has picked politics and turned his back on the Latino priorities he once sought to bolster. 

“By fully putting his weight behind Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush is endorsing his call for immigrant families to self deport, his threat to veto the DREAM Act, his attack on DREAM Act students as ‘looking for a handout,’ his plan to nationalize the extreme Arizona anti-immigrant law, his attacks on Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and his wrong-headed approach on every other issue of importance to the community. 

“Jeb Bush’s statement sends the message that it’s permissible for sensible Republican leaders to turn their backs on priorities of the Hispanic community as long as it’s politically convenient, and that it is acceptable for Republican leaders to scapegoat a group of Americans if it scores them a point with the far right. What Latinos are looking for in this election is not leadership of convenience, but of conviction – and that’s why they are looking to reelect President Obama.”

The DNC also made sure to publish a Spanish version as well:

“Jeb Bush solía ser un líder que favorecía propuestas sensatas de inmigración y estaba dispuesto a trabajar con los demócratas en soluciones prácticas para las familias hispanas. Pero hoy ha decidido respaldar a quien sería el candidato a la presidencia más extremista de nuestros tiempos en materia de inmigración y está equivocado respecto a los asuntos de importancia para los hispanos. Al hacerlo, Jeb Bush ha escogido la política y le ha dado la espalda a las prioridades de los latinos que alguna vez trató de apoyar. 

“Al respaldar plenamente a Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush está apoyando al llamado de Romney para que las familias inmigrantes se auto deporten, su amenaza de vetar la Ley DREAM, su ataque contra los estudiantes que se beneficiarían de la Ley DREAM a quienes acusa de ‘buscar una limosna’, su plan para aplicar a nivel nacional la extrema ley de Arizona contra los inmigrantes, sus ataques contra la jueza de la Corte Suprema Sonia Sotomayor y sus perspectivas equivocadas sobre todo asunto de importancia para la comunidad. 

“Las declaraciones de Jeb Bush envían el mensaje de que se tolera que líderes republicanos sensatos les den la espalda a las prioridades de la comunidad hispana siempre y cuando sea conveniente en términos políticos. También dice que es aceptable que los líderes republicanos usen como chivos expiatorios a un grupo de estadounidenses si representa una victoria política con la ultra derecha. Lo que los latinos buscan en estas elecciones no es el liderazgo por conveniencia sino por convicción, y por eso se proponen volver a elegir al Presidente Obama”.

Louis CK: America’s Favorite Mexican Comedian

Just educate, Louis CK. Hilarious clip from 2011 by one of our all-time favorite comedians. And like Louis CK says, "I am way more Mexican than Carlos Mencia." HA! Works for us.

By the way, Louis did a decent job sharing his background with the radio hosts in this interview who are just clueless. Really? Is not that complicated, people.

Trayvon Martin Death Defense Hinges on Flimsy NRA-Backed “Stand Your Ground” Florida Law

By now, the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26 is being covered from a variety of online news outlets and mainstream media organizations. It is a case that swelled from social media, and news organizations, even though they weren't the spark plugs that gave this story national attention, have now made it a story that matters.

One of the biggest issues regarding Martin's death and how George Zimmerman might defend himself is a "Stand Your Ground Law" that is on the books in Florida and also in 19 other states. Here is the full text from Florida archives of the two laws that were passed in 2005 (boldface phrases highlighted by our editors):

Protection of Persons and Property: Authorizes a person to use force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker in a dwelling, residence, or vehicle under certain circumstances; creates a presumption that a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm exists; creates a presumption that a person acts with the intent to use force or violence; provides that a person is justified in using deadly force under certain circumstances; declares that a person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force in certain circumstances; authorizes a law enforcement agency to investigate the use of deadly force but prohibits the agency from arresting the person unless the agency determines that there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful; provides for the award of attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and other expenses to a defendant in a civil suit who was immune from prosecution for justifiable use of force.

Protection of Persons/Use of Force: authorizes person to use force, including deadly force, against intruder or attacker in dwelling, residence, or vehicle under specified circumstances; provides that person is justified in using deadly force under certain circumstances; provides immunity from criminal prosecution or civil action for using deadly force; defines term "criminal prosecution", etc. Creates 776.013,.032; amends 776.012,.031.

What is interesting to note is that BOTH of the bill's co-sponsors have gone on record this week to say that the Stand Your Ground law does not apply to George Zimmerman. This is what was reported in the Miami Herald:

But the lawmakers who crafted the legislation in 2005 — former Sen. Durell Peaden and current state Rep. Dennis Baxley — said the law doesn’t need to be changed. They believe it has been misapplied in the shooting death of Trayvon by a Sanford crime-watch captain, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has not been charged because, police said, it appears he acted in self-defense. The Seminole County state attorney’s office decided Tuesday to take the case before a grand jury.

“They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” said Peaden, a Crestview Republican who sponsored the deadly force law in 2005. “He has no protection under my law.”

Peaden and Baxley, R-Ocala, say their law is a self-defense act. It says law-abiding people have no duty to retreat from an attacker and can meet “force with force.” Nowhere does it say that a person has a right to confront another.

The 911 tapes strongly suggest Zimmerman overstepped his bounds, they say, when the Sanford neighborhood crime-watch captain said he was following Trayvon and appeared to ignore a police request to stay away.

“The guy lost his defense right then,” said Peaden. “When he said ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his defense.”

Meanwhile, NPR ran a segment that discussed the history of the Stand Your Ground law. The following is quite telling:

NPR HOST MELISSA BLOCK: Tell us more about what exactly the stand your ground law says. It was passed in 2005 in Florida.

DAVID OVALLE OF THE MIAMI HERALD: Well, prior to the passage of the law, a citizen in Florida had the duty to retreat when confronted with lethal force or with deadly force or the perception of deadly force. So they – someone had to retreat. But now, the way the law is structured, you can meet deadly force by basically standing your ground. Where you are is your castle, and you have the right to protect yourself. The problem comes with a lot of the police and prosecutors think that it basically gives carte blanche to shoot first and ask questions later. The law was also tweaked to give immunity to anyone from civil suit and from prosecution anyone deemed to have been using self-defense.

BLOCK: Well, who – at the time that the law was passed, who was in favor, and who was against?

OVALLE: Well, this was an NRA bill, and this is a Republican-dominated legislature, so, you know, it passed pretty easily. And it's been drawing complaints ever since.

BLOCK: NRA meaning the National Rifle Association, which…

OVALLE: Correct, correct.

CNN reported yesterday that Florida governor Rick Scott  will very likely review this law after the Martin case is resolved:

Gov. Rick Scott told reporters on Tuesday that, once the Sanford case is investigated, the law may need review.

"When you see any violence, it is always positive to go back and think about existing laws," Scott said. "To review the impact and its consequences. "

And "The Last Word" also weighed in last night about this law.

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