Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Se Puede, Republicanos

Look who's talking now. Desperate to look "moderate", Dean Heller is smearing Vaseline on the camera in hopes of deceiving Nevada Latinos. And guess who he's following down this path?

The Dean Heller and Mitt Romney campaigns seem to be taking their Hispanic voter outreach strategies from the same playbook.

Mitt Romney’s Hispanic supporter coalition is called “Juntos con Romney” (Together with Romney), and Heller’s is “Juntos con Heller.”

In July the Romney campaign released an ad featuring Craig Romney, the GOP presidential candidate’s son who spent time in Chile, addressing voters in Spanish about his father’s character.

On Friday, the Heller campaign came out with its own Spanish-language ad with a family member’s testimonial on the candidate’s core values. Heller’s wife, Lynne, in a similar style to the Craig Romney ad, speaks in Spanish directly to the camera.

So why are Dean Heller and Mitt Romney doing this? Look at their record.

In the past, Heller has sponsored legislation to limit election ballots to English-only, to mandate that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid only be filled out in English and to make English the official national language. He also previously supported a bill to end birthright citizenship.

Despite what his campaign spins, the fact of the matter is that Dean Heller has never really cared about Nevada's Latin@ communities. It's bad enough that he wants to take away many Americans' Constitutional right of birthright citizenship. It's even worse that he's often played to "tea party" xenophobia by pushing "ENGLISH ONLY!!!" nonsense. He's even gone out of his way to oppose the DREAM Act!

But again, it's not just Heller. And it's not just about immigration. Really, Mitt Romney has led the way for the entire G-O-TEA in setting an agenda that's downright hostile to Latin@ families. And unfortunately for him, the Obama campaign isn't letting him get away with it.

And what's even worse for Romney and Heller is that their own party continues to remind all of us of their true agenda. Joe Heck has continually worked against the best interest of all Nevada working families by voting to undermine Medicare, Medicaid, college student aid, and more. And in case that wasn't enough, he's declined to endorse the DREAM Act while speaking in support of Arizona's discriminatory SB 1070.

Oh, and that's not even the end of it for the Nevada G-O-TEA. Danny Tarkanian has actually tried to distance himself from his own record, but he only embarrassed himself further because he had earned the endorsement of the virulently anti-immigrant Minutemen in his last campaign for Congress (when he ran for US Senate in 2010). And just weeks ago, NV-01 G-O-TEA sacrificial lamb nominee Chris Edwards blew his own anti-immigrant cover after inartfully trying to smear Dina Titus as such.

All in all, there's really nothing about Mitt Romney, the leading Nevada Republicans, or their party's platform that's attractive to Latin@ voters. That's why they must deceive and distract. Yet despite all that Vaseline they want to smear onto the cameras, they can't fool an entire community to vote against their own best interest by voting for a party keen on xenophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria.

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