National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) “Stands by Senator Menendez”

In response to several news stories and allegations surrounding Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) issued a statement today to “urge news outlets to report facts, not innuendo,” saying that it “stands with New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez as some in the ‘news’ media use unsubstantiated allegations to smear him. The Senator has devoted his life to serving the public and deserves to be judged based on facts, not hearsay.”


“Senator Menendez has earned, through an entire career of public service, the respect of our community and the nation. He has been a true champion for both Latinos and non-Latinos on a host of issues and has worked tirelessly to protect and advance the well being of families in New Jersey and across the country. While the allegations are unfortunate, nobody is able to pass judgment until all of the facts come to light. However, it has come to my attention that some in the so-called ‘news’ media have taken this opportunity to assassinate the Senator’s character, using salacious innuendo in place of facts, while other important stories go untold. Surely the Senator, and the public, deserves better than that,” said Alex Nogales, President & CEO of NHMC.

We followed up with NHMC to get more clarification about the “so-called ‘news’ media” that Nogales’ quote was referring to, and NHMC told us that it was “conservative websites such as The Daily Caller and also Bill O’Reilly.” The Daily Caller was the first outlet to report about allegations of a sex scandal in November, but since the offices of Menendez friend and VOXXI founder/chairman Salomon Melgen were raided by the FBI last week, many national outlets, including NBC News, The Miami Herald, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, have been exploring several angles of the story, including allegations of influence peddling by Menendez. Some parts of the story, however, have indeed bordered on the ridiculous, especially when Univision and The Miami Herald played a media battle of “Find the Dominican prostitute” a few days ago.


The attention of the Menendez-Melgen relationship has moved away from alleged stories of underage prostitutes and private jet trips to the Dominican Republic, and has begun to focus on Menendez’s actions regarding an overseas port contract that would have benefited Melgen, and now, as some outlets are reporting, one of Menendez’s former top aides. Here is what The New York Times reported:

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — It turns out that the lucrative port security contract pushed by Senator Robert Menendez would enrich more than just a major benefactor.

The contract could also benefit one of the senator’s former top aides, people connected to the deal said.

Mr. Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, has pushed United States government officials to help enforce a contract that a company owned in part by one of his major donors, Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, has with the Dominican government, which has refused to honor it.

A top executive at Dr. Melgen’s security company will be Pedro Pablo Permuy, a former national security adviser and senior legislative aide to Mr. Menendez, according to a cousin of Dr. Melgen. Mr. Permuy’s ties to the senator go back at least 20 years.

Mr. Permuy did not respond to requests for interviews on Monday, but said in an e-mail that he was neither a board member nor an employee of the border security company.

You can rest of the Times story here.

The Miami Herald published the following today:

Even by Washington standards, Sen. Bob Menendez’s ties to a former aide, a South Florida donor and an overseas port deal that could benefit the two looks unusually cozy, ethics watchdogs say.

Menendez’s relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen drew national scrutiny after federal agents last week raided the West Palm Beach eye clinic of Melgen, the senator’s longtime friend and donor.

Last year, as Melgen poured money into Menendez’s reelection efforts, the New Jersey Democrat advocated for a mammoth Dominican Republic port-security contract held by one of Melgen’s companies, called ICSSI.

A former Menendez aide, one-time Miami resident Pedro Pablo Permuy, is slated to be a top officer for ICSSI, Melgen’s cousin has said.

Permuy also runs a business advocacy group, the United States-Spain Council, which Menendez co-chairs. It’s supported by another Melgen company and a host of well-heeled special interests on Capitol Hill.

“This web of relations raises eyebrows,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Washington-based nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

McGhee said it’s fairly typical for a former Congress member and aide to work closely together when both leave Congress.

“But what distinguishes this relationship is that the senator is still in office,” McGehee said. “And there’s not just one link. There are many: Menendez, the former staffer, the donor, the business and the nonprofit business group.”

You can read the rest of the Herald story here.


A #SoyRebelde Moment: Native American Man Confronts Anti-Illegal Immigration Protest in Arizona

Talk about taking the fight right to the core.


The following video (and its different variations and sources) has gone viral on the Internet.

Here is what Latino Voices reported:

A Native American told a group of anti-illegal immigrants protesters in Arizona, who “the real illegal immigrants are.”

“You are all fucking illegal! You’re all illegal,” screamed the unidentified man to the rally demonstrators in a recent YouTube video. “We didn’t invite none of you here. We’re the only native Americans here.”

Appealing to the history of Europeans appropriating native lands after arriving to the new world, the man kept challenging the group who, with insignias and American flags, started to dissipate one by one until the area was cleared.

“Get on with your bogus arguments. We’re the only legal ones here,” he said referring to the Native American community, many of who are also of Central American descent. “Yeah, we should have put that sign up when you son of a bitches came. That represents blood spilled by Native Americans protecting this land from the invaders!” he said while pushing a stroller with a child.

The protestors mostly ignored the man though some responded by informing him that they too were of Native American descent, and yet others simply suggested he’d had too much to drink.

VIDEO: House Judicial Committee’s Immigration Policy Hearing

In case you missed it, here is full video from yesterday’s House Judicial Committee immigration hearing in Washington.


Video 1

Video 2

The last part of the panel is not embeddable right now, but you can catch it here: Panel 2 video.


The Ram Trucks “So God Made Farmer Redo” Video by Cuéntame & Latino Rebels Featured on MSNBC

Who said you can’t get an opinion across through social media and not get noticed? Case in point: The Ram Trucks “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl commercial that we wrote about late Sunday night after a few of our fans posted their opinions on our Facebook wall and asked us to share our thoughts. We did. The story went viral.

The next day, our founder wrote an op-ed piece for NBC Latino. That went viral, too.


In addition, we received several user-generated videos that wanted to show Ram Trucks another perspective of farming in the United States. Those went viral as well, especially the one video we co-branded with our friends at Cuéntame.

Last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word, that video we did with Cuéntame led a segment on Eric Cantor and the GOP’s rebranding. Here it is.

Ridiculously Racist Asian-Themed Fraternity Party Sparks Outrage at Duke University

The Duke Chronicle provide the following update this afternoon: The operations of the Eta Prime chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity have been suspended, Mitch Wilson, executive director of the Kappa Sigma national organization confirmed. The fraternity will undergo an investigation to determine the status of its charter, but all activities and events are now prohibited.

Here we go again. But instead of Mexicans and sorority sisters, it is now Asians and a fraternity at Duke University.


CREDIT: The Chronicle

This is what Duke’s Chronicle is reporting:

A Kappa Sigma theme party held Friday has drawn major backlash from the Asian community and others at the University.

At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday several students including seniors Ashley Tsai, Tong Xiang and Ting-Ting Zhou posted flyers across Duke’s campus protesting a Kappa Sigma party that took place Feb. 1. The flyers included emails sent out to party invitees as well as photographs of students at the party, which were taken from Facebook.

Here is a copy of the original email invitation with the protest comments added:

KSig Emails

According to The Chronicle, “the party was originally called ‘Kappa Sigma Asia Prime’ before a report was filed with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, after which a second email was then sent to invitees. The message said Asia Prime was canceled and a new party ‘International Relations’ would instead take place.”

The story said that after the protest flyers were posted on Tuesday morning, “members of Kappa Sigma were seen removing them.”

The story continues:

“This is not just about Asians, one party or one frat,” Tsai said. “This is a consistent thing happening. We want serious things to be done by the student body and the University so that this never happens again.”

Although Zhou is the sitting president of the Asian Students Association, she made it clear that the distribution of flyers was not affiliated with any particular organization. She said that undergraduate students of all races participated in the flyering.

Later in the day, the Chronicle reported that Kappa Sigma’s president Luke Koehane issued an apology:

“Upon learning of the deeply damaging effects of our email to our fellow students, we should have completely canceled the aforementioned party. The Duke Community in which we exist is one that we see too often as divided, and while our actions have brought attention to and widened that divide, it is our sincere intention to work to contribute to a United Duke.”

The Chronicle also wrote the following:

Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said he met with Kappa Sigma leadership on Tuesday morning, expressing his disappointment that the party occurred despite encouragement from the University administration to cancel it.

A protest against the party is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the West Campus bus stop, and more than 560 people had responded on Facebook as “Going” by the time of publication.