Jose Barboza was up early on March 22nd, the day of the Presidential primary in Arizona. Barboza, a twenty-four-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was volunteering for Promise Arizona, a local group dedicated to turning out Latino voters. That morning, he canvassed in the barrios of Phoenix, at the foot of the dry slopes of South Mountain, making sure that the people he had registered showed up to vote. When I interviewed him in April, in the offices of Promise Arizona, he recalled the extraordinary excitement of the primary voters. In the end, a record six hundred thousand people cast ballots in the city and the rest of Maricopa County, twice the number in 2012.
In a less diverse Republican presidential field, Ted Cruz, the make-good son of a Cuban immigrant, would be viewed more for what he is - a candidate with a legitimate shot at making U.S. history as the nation’s first Latino president in 2016. Instead, the senator from Texas finds himself in a strange position as he sees himself eclipsed both by Senator Marco Rubio, also a Cuban-American, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a fluent Spanish-speaker married to a Mexican-American, as early favorites among Hispanic Republicans who could play an increasingly influential role in the nomination process.
The voting turnout in this year's congressional and gubernatorial elections was the lowest since 1942. Much of the story was in young people, poor people, black and Hispanic citizens, who tend to support Democrats, voting in far lower numbers than in 2008 or 2012. The Democrats just weren't offering them very much. But the other part of the Election Day story was older voters and the white working class, especially men, deserting the Democrats in droves—again, because Democrats didn't seem to be offering much. Republicans, at least, were promising lower taxes.
The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice has been on the bench for nearly five years but had never written an opinion addressing race in America until today. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a sharply worded 58-page dissent on Tuesday to the court's 18-page decision upholding a Michigan state ban on race-based affirmative action in education.
Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who said last week that he would run for Congress, came out Wednesday as gay -- less than a week after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed controversial anti-gay legislation. "I am gay, I am Latino and I'm a state senator," Gallardo (D) said, according to local media. He said it was the "right time for me to come out" and that the anti-gay bill had been a "game-changer" that prompted his decision.
Ruben Navarrette says the reality show's Latino bachelor said gays were 'pervert'. That's offensive, but also: Has he watched his own show?
Under the big evangelical tent where tens of millions of Americans worship, Hispanic churches are embracing Obamacare despite the concerns about religious freedom that have tarnished the law for many of their fellow believers. Pastors have encouraged support since enrollment for health coverage began in October. Their take is that the law’s positives outweigh its negatives, especially for the one in three Hispanics without insurance, the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group. Many of the uninsured are eligible for major new health benefits plus subsidies to help them afford coverage.
Major labels and major commercial releases for the most part dominated the Latin fields for the Grammy nominations, heralding spirited competition in all four Latin categories: pop, regional Mexican, tropical and that hybrid of alternative/Urban/rock. But that competition isn't coming from usual quarters. In a U.S. Latin market where radio is dominated by urban and uptempo sounds, not a single nominee fits that profile (indie urban labels—where where you??). Instead the contenders in the Latin field are, for the most part, established, veteran acts, who -- in all fairness -- put out good albums this year.
Fox News amplified an anti-immigrant group's message that immigration reform will negatively impact African-Americans and repeated the debunked claim that the Senate immigration bill is a "job killer." In fact, the claim that immigrants steal jobs from African-Americans has been discredited as "a pernicious myth," and economists agree that the Senate bill is a net benefit for the economy.
So, asked whether Republicans were insensitive to the poor, Steve King couldn't even get through a full sentence without injecting race and ethnicity into the question, as if poverty were only an issue for African-Americans and Latinos. But what King either doesn't know or willfully ignored is that there are more non-Hispanic white people receiving food stamps than African-American and Latino people combined. In fact, in his congressional district (now Iowa's 4th, but it was Iowa's 5th when these statistics were published), 85 percent of food stamp recipients were non-Hispanic whites.
On the surface, the Club for Growth may be all about the promotion of fiscal conservatism in our nation’s capital. But the group is as much in the provocation business as it is in the tax-cut-enforcing business, which is why, I suspect, its president, the former Republican congressman Chris Chocola, told me this spring that Nancy Pelosi was his “ideal model” of a great speaker of the House. Not John Boehner, about whom I was calling. Pelosi.
When we talk about the politics of immigration reform, often we talk about what the Republican Party's obstruction of reform will mean for it's long-term relationship with the Latino community. What sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is that it's not just Latinos who disagree with the GOP's antipathy towards this nation's immigrants: It's a majority of Americans.
A new poll released Monday throws a bucket of cold water on the theory that nominating a Latino candidate for President would help the Republican party win a larger share of the Latino vote. The poll, from Latino Decisions, shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walloping U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) among Latinos in a hypothetical 2016 match up. According to the poll, Clinton grabs 66% of Latino voters. Only 28% would vote for Rubio.
A new coalition of groups is rallying conservative Latino voters with an anti-gay marriage campaign launched on Wednesday in Nevada, a crucial swing state where President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by only 48 percent to 46 percent, according to the latest poll.
In a broadcast interview, New York City-based reporter Mario Diaz asked Maturo: "What are you going to do for the Latino community today?" And with one hand on his hip Maturo quite proudly responded: "I might have tacos when I go home, I'm not quite sure yet."
Controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who began forcing jail inmates to wear pink "Go, Joe" undergarb 17 years ago, offers a Spanish-language version that says, "Vamos, Jose!"
The Senate voted to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court today, making her the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and just the third woman to sit on the court.