Latino GOP Groups Produce a Significant Rift Due to Immigration Stance

Blogging attracts like-minded folks just as much as dissenting foes. It is part of the game, and in my own experience, the criticism I have received (of any kind) is always better than indifference. Yes, I have been criticized by Latinos from all sides with much of the criticism and/or disagreement ending up in a mutual respect. After all, the ultimate goal is to find a voice within our community and make a statement. However, there are those whose attacks on each other are solely based on partisan politics, even when ranking within the same party. Such is the case of Bob Quasius and Rev. Howard Dotson when it comes to immigration.

Mr. Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe con Leche Republicans (CCLR), a website "dedicated to making America and the GOP a friendly place for immigrants". Recently he has been attacked by Rev. Howard Dotson who stated in his article "Step Aside, Latinas and Latinos can Lead Themselves!  " that Quasius' group is "a Republican Latino advocacy group that hedged his bets on whether Gov. Romney is anti-immigrant " .  

We reached out to Bob Quasius to go on record about his opinion on Dotson's support for Somos Republican's ("SR") and their statement "we will not align with Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans any longer, except when there are clear mutual interests', also on the account of differing immigration SR stated that  "Mexican Americans no longer consider themselves represented within the party by Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans."

Quasius: "CCLR has never defined itself as a Latino Republican organization. We are a Republican group that supports immigration reform and immigrants. You can find this in our mission statement and guiding principles. I also blogged about this several weeks ago (read Defining Cafe Con Leche Republicans).CCLR has never endorsed Mitt Romney either and we have been critical of Mitt Romney for his ties to Chris Kobach and harsh immigration positionWe have formally endorsed Newt Gingrich, though we took exception to some of his immigration positions."

"Howard Dotson is a friend of Shirl Mora James, co-president of the Tequila Party (along with DeeDee Blase). I worked with Shirl and Howard last year to defeat Nebraska anti-immigrant legislation. I don’t know his motivation for attacking CCLR, but needless to say I’m disappointed. He apparently didn’t bother to check his facts, and I’m not sure whether he even wrote this hit piece himself."

Rev. Dotson, ended his article by stating that "Latinas and Latinos will lead themselves" but then goes on to endorse an organization that publicly promotes segregation within Latinos, in this case Latinos within the GOP that do not share the same view on immigration. Thus, I call it like I see it. The more divisions we have the less successful we would be. This is true regardless of the political affiliations we have.

Somos Republicans and the Tequila Party were founded by DeeDee Blase. 

The Latinization of Newt Gingrich: Don’t Believe the Hype

With recent news that a Latino GOP group has endorsed Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination as the race heads down to Florida (where the demographic US Latino voter is complex and not monolithic), the Latinization of Gingrich is moving in full force. Before Latino Republicans jump on the Gingrich Train, a more detailed discussion of his record should be considered. Here are just a few issues that they might want to consider:

 

Gingrich Supports Controversial South Carolina Immigration Law

and Will Address “Birth Tourism” if Elected

We ran that piece in December and it is a theme that Gingrich repeated during the last GOP Debate last Thursday. In addition, even though Gingrich might be perceived as the most "moderate" of GOP candidates when it comes to immigration reform, his stance to stop the federal lawsuits towards Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama immigration laws seems to send a double message. As Gingrich said in December:

Gingrich told a gathering of business and community leaders that on the day he’s inaugurated, he will sign an executive order dropping lawsuits against South Carolina, Alabama and Arizona “because I think the federal government should be stopping illegal immigration, not stopping the states from enforcing the laws.”

Gingrich also said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from Seneca, will introduce a measure, possibly as a constitutional amendment, to address “birth tourism,” referring to people who come to the U.S. on a tourist visa to have children, who then can be considered Americans.

“That’s clearly not what the 14th Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) implied, and I think it’s inaccurate to interpret that way,” Gingrich said, referring to the provision that persons born or naturalized in the United States are U.S. citizens.

A spokesman confirmed Graham is examining two approaches, including a constitutional amendment. The other would seek a new Supreme Court interpretation of a century-old case.

Another story that we reported in November, 2011 is also an issue that Latino Republicans should consider.

 

Gingrich’s 2007 Comment About Spanish

as the “Language of Living in a Ghetto” Resurfaces

Last Thursday at the GOP debate, Gingrich's push for moderate immigration reform was also mixed with his call to make English the official language of the United States. In a country that many think will become the LARGEST Spanish-speaking country in the world by 2050, Gingrich's seems to be missing the point. His stance on language and culture reeks of neo-nativism. Instead of promoting diversity and change, and respecting Spanish-speaking US Latino voters (side note: Gingrich needs a better translator), Gingrich is basically saying that they don't matter because they don't speak English. That is not the way to gain votes, Mr. Speaker.

We did reach out to Somos Republicans for this piece to ask why they would continue to endorse Gingrich. We asked them three questions on their Facebook wall, but as of this post getting published, we have received no comment from them. We seriously question an organization that claims to support candidates that speak against Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama laws, especially when the candidate they are endorsing has already gone on record twice to say that he supports those laws.

Tequila Party Founder García Blase Accused of Harassing Radio Guests

The political saga of Tequila Party founder and former head of Somos Republicans Dee Dee García Blase continued this weekend as Arizona's The Lou Show followed up with information that García Blase had letters sent by lawyers to radio guests who had shared opinions about her recent actions.

This is a segment from the show.



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The Shark Tank, a Conservative Political Blog, Says “Tequila Party is Over”

As we begin to learn more about the political motives of Republican activist Dee Dee García Blase, founder of Somos Republicans and the Tequila Party, our staff has come across several blogs posted over the summer that question the essence of the Tequila Party movement, which to this date claims about only less than 2,000 members on their combined Twitter and Facebook sites.

The Shark Tank, a conservative political blog out of Florida, has been having it run-ins with the Tequila Party to the point that the Tank claims that García Blase, Somos Republicans and the Tequila Party are actually "factually challenged amnesty hacks." This excerpt, from a Shark Tank post, explains:

 

So now that it’s clear that Blase/Somos Republicans are factually challenged amnesty hacks, let’s get back to finding out who exactly this ‘Somos Republicans’ group really is.  Dee Dee Blase, who is likely the author of the article, is also affiliated with an organization that identifies itself as the ‘Tequila Party’, a group that can best be described as a political flash mob, not an actual political party or other readily identifiable political organization.  First and foremost, why does this group use the word ‘Tequila’ to name their Hispanic political organization?  Is their purpose to lobby government for the increased consumption of tequila?  Much more likely is the probability that the group’s name is an obvious race-baiting tactic that seeks to call attention to itself in hopes of eliciting responses that the group will label as racist- regardless of whether these responses are actually racist ones or not.

It is very unfortunate that Blase and others like her continue to create discord amongst Latinos by attempting to frame the illegal immigration issue in a manner that paints those who support enforcement of our immigration laws as racist, and the Mexican nationals who cross our southern border as defenseless victims who are not breaking the law.  As a Colombian-American myself, I am truly embarrassed by Blase and others like her that marginalize themselves with these arguments- ‘all’ Latinos do NOT support their version of “comprehensive immigration reform.”  These immigration extremists conveniently categorize all Latinos as pro-illegal immigration as it suits their purposes.

In fact, the ‘Tequila Party” was previously identified by the publication The Week as being comprised of many disenchanted individuals who are considering severing their ties to the Democratic Party and forming an independent, grassroots group called the “Tequila Party,” most likely because their conveniently identified flash mob has much more radical aims than establishment Democrats.

Here’s some more dubious activity from this group- it wasn’t that long ago when the “Tequila Party” was bragging how “Latino voters demonstrated their power in Nevada by putting Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid over the top in a close race against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.”  But wait- I thought Blase and Somos Republicans were Republicans??  Did they not support Angle in 2010?  How about John McCain in 2008, did she support him, or was he too extreme for her tastes as well?

The more we learn about this organization, the more it becomes apparent that Dee Dee Blase, “Somos Republicans”, and the “Tequila Party” are lying about where their real political loyalties are- but I’m not going to be holding my breath for any public apology from Dee Dee Blase or whomever actually authored this blatant piece of propaganda.