Monday, January 29, 2007

The Surreal Politics of Orange County: Immigration, Prop 187, and Pete Wilson Return to Haunt Us

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Ah, so you thought Proposition 187 was dead? So you thought all the madness of the 1990s was over? So you thought we forgot about Pete Wilson?

Well, think again! While GOP candidate for OC Supervisor Carlos Bustamante has been tricking us into believing that he's a Democrat who cares about his fellow Latinos, he has also been pandering to anti-immigrant wingnuts. So should it really surprise him that after sending out that deceptive "Independent Democrat" mailer, that the REAL DEMOCRATS would send out a little clarification?

Oh yeah, and does Carlos really think that all of us forgot what he said to the OC Register about OC Sheriff Mike Carona's horrendous proposal that the county enforce federal immigration law?

Yes. I support the Sheriff's innovative and effective plan to remove criminal immigrants from our streets and country.

Oh, really?! So does Bustamante really want to brink back all the unrest from last year? Does he want to strike fear in the hearts of many in his own community in Santa Ana? Why would he agree to this?

Perhaps, is he thinking the same thing that Janet Nguyen and Trung Nguyen are thinking? Maybe he is (or perhaps not). Are they all thinking that the best way to turn out the Republican vote is to play the race card via "illegal immigration", and that they'll enjoy success much like Pete Wilson did when he won reelection as Governor in 1994?

Possibly... But it won't work. This type of pandering to fears of the "illegal alien hordes" never really works in the end. Prop. 187 was later found to be unconstitutional, and thrown out in federal court. In the meantime, Latinos turned en masse against the California GOP: From Cox News Service)

In California, Republicans have not won a regular statewide election and no GOP presidential candidate has carried the state since 1994, when Wilson tied his gubernatorial campaign to Proposition 187, which cut social services to illegal immigrants. The proposition passed with broad support but has since been thrown out in court. Current Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, came to power in a special recall election.

Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a Latino policy and research think tank, said that anger over Wilson resulted in a major surge in Hispanic voters. Nationwide, more than 1 million Hispanics registered to vote from 1994 to 1996, he said. He predicted another bounce of about 2 million new Latino voters from 2004 to 2008, buoyed in part by Republican rhetoric and legislation about illegal immigration.

Oh yes, and we still remember what happened last November. Remember when Tan Nguyen tried to scare local Latinos into not voting? Well, that didn't work out too well for him in the end. Not only did he lose, but he tainted Brand GOP in Central OC last November...
And contributed to Lynn Daucher's loss in the 34th State Senate race (most of which overlaps with the 47th CD and 1st SD)...

So perhaps, these Republicans should think twice before they go after immigrants...
And look at recent history.

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