Friday, August 31, 2012

OPINION: Lackluster media coverage of Susana Martinez RNC speech, exposes uncomfortable realities

Dr. Stephen Nuno, fellow Loyola Cub, on NBC Latino speaks about the "uncomfortable contradictions" seen at the GOP Convention!

Dr. Stephen Nuno's BLOG (CLICK HERE)

Opinion: Lackluster media coverage of Susana Martinez RNC speech, exposes uncomfortable realities

All of a sudden every Republican is an immigrant or descendant of immigrants. Paul Ryan has been invoking his Irish roots on the stump. Susana Martinez, that girl from a border town, spoke with the hometown nostalgia that is common in political discussions.
Yet sometimes this can create some uncomfortable contradictions — like Mitt Romney’s appeal to his Mexican roots.
But if you are looking for a good sign, as a Republican, that the party is succeeding in changing the image of the party, one clue can be how the media portrays it.
For instance, Condoleeza Rice was given full exposure by the media. Maybe because she is pretty. Maybe because she has a great story. Maybe because she is an authority figure.
But maybe also because she is a shining contradiction. A black lady, giving her Republican sermon to the white masses. It’s a beautiful dichotomy with great imagery and the fact that few blacks will vote for Romney only adds to the rich irony.
But if the media likes these contradictions, why didn’t Governor Susana Martinez get the type ofexposure from the media that Rice did? Is it because prominent Republicans, like Donald Trump, are good with “the blacks”. but not the Hispanics?
Maybe her story isn’t as compelling. Maybe, as a governor of a small state, she won’t resonate with a larger audience.
But maybe it’s because a Latina Republican isn’t such a contradiction in terms. Maybe the concept has life, and it is embodied by Martinez, that the GOP will recruit a Latina if they are willing to buy into the GOP vision of America.
For a group, like Hispanics, who have more flexibility in their identity, this is a possibility. A Marco Rubio has options. Ted Cruz, can stand in a room of tea partiers and not be a contradiction that lays bare the sociopathic issues of some of its Party’s members. This isn’t necessarily bad news for Latinos, but it’s certainly bad news for Democrats.
Martinez doesn’t evoke the same sense of triumphalism on the part of the Democrats because the GOP has been more successful at promoting Latinos up the ladder, and these ambassadors can be used to gain more Latino voters. But its potential is also its greatest threat. Its commonness, makes her boring. And if you are in California, or a Democrat in general, you don’t want to start encouraging the idea that this can happen.
My latest post on NBC Latino.
There are two types of people who won’t like this story, Democrats and GOP racists.
When some moron throws peanuts at a black CNN worker, that’s a story. Chanting“USA, USA!” while a Puerto Rican lady is trying to speak. That’s a story. A Latina Republican giving a stump speech. Apparently, that’s not a story. The other stories reaffirm the ugliness of the GOP, while Martinez’ story is inconsistent with it. Is this to say that the ugliness is not real? Of course not. But can it change. You bet.
If you are trying to look for a sign from the heavens, that perhaps some day the Republicans will put away the daggers and welcome more Latinos into the party, perhaps this is a clue not of its current reality, but maybe of its very real potential.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Local City Corruption....lack of voter engagement!

LA Times: "The Rise and Fall of Mr. Cudahy." (CLICK HERE)

Today's Los Angeles Times, yet had another article of local city corruption in the city of Cudahy, in the southeast Los Angeles County. The twist to this story is that it could have been a great "rags to riches" story and even a great "American Up-From-Your-Bootstraps" kind of story. Sadly enough...neither will be told.

In the center of the corruption scandal, is George Perez, otherwise know as "GP" to those who know him in the region. He started working as a janitor in 1986 for the City of Cudahy and worked his way up to become the City's city manager, with no formal education or training, but plenty of ambition. GP was the powerbroker of the City of Cudahy...he basically decided who was on or off the city council and controlled all business coming in and out.

Last year George Perez abruptly resigned from his position as city manager. Now the FBI is alleging him as the centerpiece of a large corruption scandal, which includes bribery and drug use.

This is a perfect example of  power corrupting, and the obvious vacuum of local civic engagement. When one person wields this much power and control for so long, one has to wonder where are the people of Cudahy, local law enforcement, local businesses, surrounding municipalities, etc.. in all this "wild, wild, west" fiasco? This is why we as Americans must understand that everything begins in our own homes and backyards....we have the right and responsibility, under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to engage and VOTE!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How To "Self - Deport"..Jan Brewer Style!


With Republicans adding self-deportation to the party's platform at the Republican National Convention, a 'Funny or Die' video featuring George Lopez and "Jan Brewer" takes aim at what self-deportation might actually look like.
How to "Self - Deport" Governor Jan Brewer (CLICK HERE) 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mitt Romney Lags In Latino Support, Despite Campaign Efforts

Dear Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Strategist:

Please re-read this article and should you have any questions regarding Latino strategy for your Presidential Campaign, feel free to contact "Jimmy's Politico" for some assistance in this matter.

Yours truly,

Jaime Rojas Jr

CLICK HERE for Huffington Post article:

The Mitt Romney campaign wants to earn the support of 38 percent of Latino voters in November. That may be difficult, especially given consistently bad polling numbers, including a NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo report out Wednesday that found only 28 percent of Latino voters support the presumptive Republican nominee.
Jose Fuentes, a co-chairman of Romney's Hispanic leadership team, told the Hill the campaign's target number is 38 percent, roughly consistent with 2008 nominee Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) results with Latinos. That could be a harder target for Romney, though, given his views on immigration and other issues. While McCain was a supporter of immigration reform -- a position he backed away from, but didn't drop, during the election -- Romney opposes paths to citizenship and the Dream Act, which a strong majority of Latinos support.
Thirty-eight percent is pretty far away. Nearly every poll puts Romney far behind President Barack Obama among Latino voters, 63 percent of whom support the president, according to the poll released Wednesday. That gap hasn't closed since Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll found that 28 percent of Latino voters say they are less likely to vote for Romney because of Ryan, compared with 15 percent who say the choice makes them more inclined to support him. And Ryan's views are unpopular with Latino voters, 44 percent of whom say he is "out of step," according to the poll.
The one potential trouble spot for Obama, according to the poll, is in voter enthusiasm. Consistent with other polls, the report found enthusiasm for his candidacy had decreased significantly since 2008, when a high number of Latinos helped vote Obama into office. Now, only 61 percent of Latino voters are enthusiastic about his candidacy, the organizations found.
The poll doesn't dig into immigration, but Republicans could be hurting themselves there after a Tuesday decision to toughen the party platform's stance on the issue. The platform committee approved edits proposed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the man behind Arizona immigration law S.B. 1070, abolishing sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for undocumented young people, as well as mandating E-Verify employment verification. Given Latino voters' opposition to state immigration laws, such changes could damage the Romney campaign's effort to net 38 percent of the vote.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll is based on phone calls from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20 with 300 Latino voters.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Opinion: Toure flap and GOP's language to delegitimize minorities

Here is another great piece by my good friend and fellow Loyola Cub, Dr. Stephen Nuno:

CLICK HERE for Dr. Stephen Nuno's Blog post!

My latest post on NBC Latino, also posted on The Grio.
Was Touré correct to say that, by trying to access racial stereotypes about the “angry black man,” Mitt Romney was engaging in the niggerization of President Obama? In a word: yes.
However, Touré’s violation in such a charged accusation was not that he was being candid and accurate, but that he identified the wrong culprit. The GOP has for years massaged the superior notions of whites, largely in the context of advancing the notion of inferior qualities of blacks and lately signaling the “otherness” of Latinos.
But this has a long tradition in America, undergirded by institutions which have propped up this racial order. From a legal system that gave us separate but equal, and which began with a Constitution that declared blacks as three-fifths of a human, to the social reality which gave us the era of Jim Crow, the inferiority of blacks is a normality of American thinking. That’s just a fact.
Now, when measuring the validity of Touré’s charge, and the counter argument that Joe Biden’s comment to a crowd of black folks that Romney/Ryan was trying to put them back in chainswas equally racist, one must first keep in mind this normalcy of black inferiority in America.
Does Biden’s comment sustain this normalcy? No. It was lazy, crude, and patronizing, but it wasn’t racist. Now consider Romney’s campaign, and its focus on welfare and “taking back America.” Consider the white audiences. Consider the obsession with President Obama’s citizenship by the Tea Party. Consider the constant use of President Obama’s middle name by his detractors, Barack Hussein Obama, they say. Consider the push by the GOP to drug test welfare recipients despite there being no evidence that welfare recipients use drugs at greater rates than non-welfare recipients.
The only campaign which operates under the normalcy of black inferiority is the GOP campaign. When Rick Santorum spoke to a crowd of white folks in Iowa and told them that he doesn’t want to make black folks’ lives better by giving them someone else’s money, he was appealing to that normalcy. In Romney’s terms, Rick Santorum was making a cultural connection with his audience.
The normalcy of whiteness is a constant problem for blacks, of course, but it is also one that is complicated by the growing Latino population. While there is a long record of discrimination toward Hispanics in America, Latinos could also appeal for inclusion into white society with varied success.
Legally, Hispanics are white, so other methods of exclusion became necessary. But Latinos used their legal status as whites to tear down the mechanisms of separation. For instance,Westminster v. Mendez was a desegregation case in California that sued the city of Westminster to allow Hispanic children to attend the “white schools.” This case predated Brown v. Board of Education by almost ten years.
Despite the legal victories, our socialization to accept the normalcy of whiteness is being constantly reaffirmed by framing ethnic minorities as “others.” In the case of Latinos, this socialization is often supported by the use of terms that dehumanize them. The use of the term “anchor baby” is quite literally a dehumanizing term. The almost universal acceptance by the GOP of use of the term “illegal immigrant” is another mechanism of delegitimizing Latinos.
Quite similar to our immigration laws, Congress signed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, compelling law enforcement to arrest and detain anyone suspected of being a runaway slave. This law served to put any black person under an aura of suspicion, and it was constantly used against free blacks to detain them under suspicion of violating the law of being present in public when they had no legal right to be. Since black folks had no social standing, the inconvenience this presented to free blacks was not a concern, since without the status and privilege of whiteness, they had no claims to civility.
The immigration debate does much the same thing to Latinos in the US. When Jan Brewer issued her executive order reaffirming that undocumented immigrants had no right to access any state resources, she was reminding Latinos of their second-class status in the State of Arizona. Latinos are all under suspicion. And that’s the way the GOP likes it.
It’s the normalcy of whiteness that Touré should have criticized. It’s hard to say how intentional the GOP consultants are being in making these appeals and whether Romney is consciously participating in these cultural appeals. For now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, its difficult to be conscious of the air we breathe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is Brewer Blocking The Dream For Young Immigrants?

The program that relaxes deportation for some young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, is only in its second day, but  Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wasted no time signing an executive order blocking those young people from getting state IDs and other benefits under the new federal plan. NBC Latino’s Sandra Lilley and Prof. Stephen Nuno discuss.

CLICK HERE for MSNBC video story!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Who Is REALLY Running Los Angeles?

The LA Times staff writer, Jon Healey, wrote a piece this past Monday regarding the issue of Walmart in Chinatown. I believe Jon really broke down the REAL issues facing the people of Los Angeles and Chinatown versus the mixed and sometimes erroneous statements that have been made on the project.

Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal that would put a hold on all new future chain-store development of Chinatown. As Jon Healey writes, “…a move that specifically would halt the planned construction of a Wal-Mart grocery store in the neighborhood.” Wal-Mart applied for the LA City required permits to build a grocery store in a pre-existing location, that has been sitting vacant for more than 15 years. Empty…no much needed sales tax revenue for the City of Los Angeles and even more important jobs for those residents of Los Angeles, who need them most.

What the proposed action is really telling future developers and businesses wanting to come to Los Angeles is this…EVEN IF YOU PLAY BY THE RULES…YOU ARE NOT WELCOME! This is a political platform to pick and chose who comes and stays in Los Angeles, instead of just letting the already established rules and regulations dictate that effort.

The real issue behind the outcry of this battle is organized labors’ political agenda, not the Chinatown community’s agenda, who support Wal-Mart. So it uses its major “political muscle” to move mountains and instead of creating good paying jobs…it’s actually creating controlled chaos for the benefit of a few elected officials and labor leadership. Trust me….if the people of Chinatown do not want this store in their neighborhood, they will not shop there and Wal-Mart will close shop.  So this is ALL about union dues, and not about good paying jobs.

As business advocates, let’s continue to support the laws and regulations already established by the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department and stop wasting valuable Angelino tax dollars on political drama. I put this on the table to organized labor….why have you not brought in a “unionized” market to this exact location in the past 15 years? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan understands small business!

Ryan understands small business! (CLICK here for the CNBC article)
"Congressman Ryan understands the issues of small business, the backbone of America"
....stated Jaime Rojas Jr, the immediate past CEO of the CA Hispanic Chambers of Commerce based in Sacramento.

OPINION: Romney's Running Mate, Paul Ryan: What does this mean to America and Latinos?

As many people, I was very surprised when Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, made the official announcement that his VP slot will be filled by the young and dynamic Congressman Paul Ryan. I had hedged my bets on Condi Rice or even Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico as an interesting mix to the political matchup for November.

The more I thought about the decision Romney made, the more excited I got about the Republican ticket's chances in winning the Presidential race come November. Some people have told me, "...Ryan is going to take away our Medicare as we know it..hijo de..." or even that he is "the devil in sheep's clothing!" and that he is the "darling of the conservative movement". All interesting words and phrases, but that is all they are...words.

I grew up in a Democratic household and even had the honor of working in the Clinton White House. But through experience, my ideology began to shift, like many Americans and Latinos. I could not for the life of me see my mother write checks for EVERYTHING she wanted to buy without thinking about our household budget....she is truely the coupon queen of Los Angeles! So why would I want MY government and country that I love and would die for do the same? Well I won't!

We are now playing high stakes political campaigning. The reason we see the immediate attack on Ryan regarding medicare is because we all know this little secret: seniors VOTE! That is why education "takes a backseat" because children DO NOT VOTE and will not be influential in choosing the next President of the United States....this is just the reality unfortunately. So the "fear" tactics begin immediately from the Democrats that medicare is going to be ABOLISHED! Well that is one good way of rallying up the troops and the AARP members! But this could not be further from the truth.

Remember how I brought up my mom...the coupon queen? Well Medicare how it is currently designed basically has an "open" check policy with very limits on spending. Would your household spend with out budget parameters? Then why would we let our government do the same? What Congressman Paul Ryan has outlined is this: We need to keep Medicare, BUT we need to setup financial parameters in order to have this great program for our children to eventually enjoy!

What is good for Latinos is good for America....what is good for America is good for Latinos! We NEED REFORM NOW and we need leaders who will lead and not worry about the next election cycle. Change is NOT easy but it also NOT impossible. Just remember this: For every $1 the US spends, it has to BORROW $.40 of can we maintain this craziness. Just look at my beautiful State of California...not too Golden now a days. California is coming close to a financial meltdown as we see local cities filing bankruptcy and placing tax and fee initiatives on to the November ballot to survive! AMERICA does not need needs responsible REFORM and CHANGE.

So please do me one favor...let's all educate ourselves on the issues facing us on the November ballot and let's make a first step towards change by just VOTING!

                                                                  # # #

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Picture of the Day

Jimmy's Politico  "Picture of the Day" go VOTE!! #election2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

No Ethics for Ousted Police Chief

Ousted Ex-Police Chief Sues To Get Severance Pay

LA TImes Article

In today's Los Angeles Times, the ex-Police Chief of City of Bell is suing the City in order to get his severance package. As you can all remember the embarrassing fiasco that happened in the City of Bell last year, where the leadership was found guilty of corruption. The policy chief, Randy Adams, was not prosecuted (I don't why) in participating in the delousing of the City of its finances.

Adams' salary was $457,000 annually, that is " of the highest law enforcement salaries in the nation and nearly 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is paid" quoted the Los Angeles Times. He came under fire because he was the ex-Police Chief of the City of Glendale and had "retired" due to an injury that would not allow him to do his job as a police officer. Adams was fighting the City of Glendale for past severance as well....but he supposedly is able to "work" as a Chief of Police in the small Southeast Los Angeles' City of Bell. I am assuming the new high salary and benefits made his "injury" go away!!

This is my take at this disgusting action by Randy Adams'....first that Los Angeles County Prosecutor's Office reopen the case on him regarding fraud and corruption in the City of Bell. Second, he brings a bad name to local government, local leadership, and the fine officers that wear their badges to "protect & serve" proudly through out our country!

Please send your complaints to the Los Angeles County Prosecutor's office to this contact information:

Public Integrity Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
320 West Temple St., Rm. 766
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Phone: (213) 974-6501

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OPINION: Why the GOP needs Cruz

This is a great opinion piece on NBC Latino written by a great friend and fellow blogger Dr. Stephen Nuno:

 Opinion: Why the GOP needs Cruz

A Latino won the Republican nod to run for U.S. Senate in Texas, and will likely win in the General Election in November.  Ted Cruz, the upstart former Solicitor General of Cuban descent born in Canada, easily beat the institutional home-state candidate, David Dewhurst, in last night’s Republican primary.
While this is undoubtedly a victory for the Tea Party, it is less clear that this is good news for the future of the GOP in Texas.  In a state where the Republicans are increasingly beholden to an active group like the Tea Party influenced by outside interests, the State of Texas and its surging Mexican-American electorate is going in the opposite direction.
Cruz’s victory is a sign that the Republican Party may be weaker than previously thought, unable to mount an effective counter-attack against someone who touted himself as the conservative candidate, while pigeonholing David Dewhurst as a moderate.  This is quite a feat and props should go out to Cruz for his victory.
But what does this say for the national GOP? Cruz’s victory may also have a larger impact on how the Republican Party views the appeal of a Latino candidate and their ability to energize the very folks the GOP has grown dependent on, older and whiter voters. In short, Marco Rubio may have been last night’s biggest winner after a bad month where interest in him as a Vice Presidential candidate had waned.
But with the Republican Party weakened by a demographic time bomb, Latinos like Cruz and Rubio who are heavily conservative may be the bridge the GOP needs to maintain its appeal to its current demographic, while giving it a shot at the demographics of tomorrow.
True, it is unlikely that a Cuban-American can have a huge impact on the voting behavior of Mexican-Americans, the vast majority of Latinos in the country, but the short term needs of the GOP is to appeal to Tea Party folks while laying the groundwork for the future.
The only question is whether or not a person like Ted Cruz can do that.  He’s certainly smart, so he has a shot, and Cruz also has the support of the Bush family, an important cog in the political culture of the State.  If you doubt that, just ask Rick Perry, who endorsed David Dewhurst, while Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush and his political action committee, MavPAC, endorsed Ted Cruz.
That’s a key political ally for Cruz if he is to begin his work building for the future of the Party.  George P. Bush, whose mother is a Mexican national, has been busy promoting his own network of young Latino Republicans throughout the State. His backing of Cruz was a savvy move and if he is able to help Cruz expand his coalition, the future of the GOP may just have some promise.
Meanwhile, the Democrats announced that Julian Castro, the young charismatic Mayor of San Antonio, will be the keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention this summer. This marks the first time a Latino holds such an important symbolic placement within the Party.  This is the same spot a young State Senator from Illinois held in 2004.  His name was Barack Obama.
The Democrats are right to be keenly aware that they are surprisingly bereft of Latino talent at the national level, while the Republicans keep promoting young Latino talent on a wave of white populism.  Unlike Dewhurst, who was outgunned by the intellectual weight of the Harvard-educated Cruz, Castro possesses the same academic pedigree to be considered a legitimate candidate on up the ladder.
It’s unclear what the next four years will bring, but one thing is for sure, Latino politics just got more interesting.

Stephen A. Nuño, Ph.D., is an NBC Latino contributor and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. He is currently writing a book on Republican outreach into the Latino Community.