Nov 30, 2010

Latino leaders in Nevada and around the country are floating the idea of breaking traditional ties with the Democratic Party and creating a grass-roots independent movement tentatively called the Tequila Party. According to Delen Goldberg at the Las Vegas Sun, the leaders want to pressure the Democratic Party to deliver on Latinos' priorities much in the same way the tea party has done with the GOP over the past few years.

Robert de Posada, the former GOP operative behind this fall's controversial "Don't Vote" ads aimed at Latinos in Nevada and California, tells The Lookout that he has heard "rumblings" of this movement among national Latino leaders.

"The Tequila Party is a great concept to basically say, 'You know what? This blind support for you is coming to an end,'" De Posada says. "If you are perceived as someone who will never vote for a Republican, then you're screwed," because Democrats will take you for granted, he says.

In the midterm elections, 64 percent of Latinos voted Democratic, and in Nevada, analysts agree that Latinos' votes were responsible for Sen. Harry Reid's re-election.

Reid promised to bring the DREAM Act -- which would let youths who were brought into the country illegally gain legal status if they join the military or attend college -- to a vote in the current lame-duck session of Congress. But some Democrats, and the vast majority of Republicans, are shunning the legislation, which once garnered significant bipartisan support. Juan Hernandez, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain's former volunteer director of Hispanic outreach, told reporters Monday that the White House and Democrats are not showing enough leadership on the issue.

Republicans are leading the charge against the legislation. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) claims some criminals will qualify for legalization (which immigration advocates dispute). A weeks-long hunger strike by dozens of University of Texas students has failed to convince Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) to renew her earlier support for the DREAM Act, her spokeswoman says.

The Tequila Party is still just talk for now, as no Latino leader has publicly backed the scheme. But De Posada says their silence makes sense, as they will want to be sure they have a fully formed plan before they risk angering allies in the Democratic Party. "They'd better be prepared when they come out swinging," he says. Frank Sharry of the pro-immigration reform group America's Voice, says he doubts the Tequila Party will ever actually get off the ground. "I do think Democrats should worry because the arguments for the Tequila party are persuasive to me...The frustration is understandable," he says.

It's curious that Latino leaders are looking to the tea party for organizational inspiration, since many tea party groups supported Arizona's tough immigration law and other enforcement measures. More than 85 percent of Hispanics back comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, according to a recent poll, and 80 percent disapprove of Arizona's immigration law.

So, now the question is what are African Americans going to do to get our voices heard?  We need to start our own grassroots movement.  Any thoughts on a name?  Let's get started.  I'll off up this website as a platform to get it started.  We can do this.  Let's be the change we want to see!!!  Any takers??????  Oh, and yes I am really serious.


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