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GOP Attempts to Suppress Latino Vote in Nevada

America's Voice | Released on 10/19/2010

Angle Campaign, New Third-Party Ad Deliver One-Two Punch in the Face to Latino Voters

Washington, DC – Following Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s outrageous anti-Latino campaign ads, and fumbled attempts to “explain” them to a group of Latino students, a third-party organization with ties to the Republican National Committee is running a new Spanish-language ad in Nevada that tells Latino voters to just stay home.

Funded by a Republican-linked organization misleadingly named “Latinos for Reform,” the ad says, “Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted,” referring to Democrats.  According to Real Clear Politics, the Latinos for Reform website ridiculously accuses Democrats of intentionally undermining “even the smallest of [immigration] reform efforts,” criticizing Democrats for trying to pass the DREAM Act as part of the Defense Authorization bill “in order to claim sabotage from Republicans as a reason they couldn’t pass reform.”  Far from being an impartial observer, Latinos for Reform is an Alexandria, VA-based organization with a direct tie to Republican politics.  The head of the organization is Robert Deposada, a former Republican National Committee (RNC) director of Hispanic affairs.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This is overt voter suppression, and it’s ugly.  It’s precisely because of Sharron Angle’s nasty attack ads on immigration and this latest voter suppression tactic that Latino voters in Nevada should vote.  They comprise 12% of the Nevada electorate, and a large turnout could prove to be fatal for Angle.”

Judging by Angle’s anti-Latino ads, recent comments to Latino high school students, adamantly anti-immigration reform stance, and embrace of notorious anti-Latino Sheriff Joe Arpaio, her campaign has clearly written off the Latino vote in the race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  In contrast to Angle, Senate Majority Leader Reid is a strong advocate for immigration reform policies that are supported not only by Latino voters, but the broader electorate as well.  Reid was instrumental in bringing the DREAM Act up for Senate action in September.  Recent polling from Latino Decisions shows that Latino registered voters in Nevada favor Democratic candidates by a whopping 68% to 16% margin over Republicans, and that attempting to move the DREAM Act as part of the Defense authorization bill was extremely popular with Latino voters.

Latino voters made up over 12% of the Nevada electorate in 2008 and Latino voter turnout there jumped by over 164% between 2000 and 2008.  In 2004, 76% of Nevada Latinos voted for Barack Obama, helping him win a state that George W. Bush had won in both 2000 and 2004.  Clearly, Latinos could be the deciding factor in the close Senate race.  Given Angle’s immigration stance, Republican operatives are clearly worried that they can’t compete for Latino voters, and have settled on the next best strategy: telling them to stay home.  

In the 2008 election cycle, Latinos for Reform aired a Spanish language ad using race-baiting claims against candidate Barack Obama.  The ad was called “highly misleading” by FactCheck.org.

Read more about the immigration stances of Harry Reid, Sharron Angle, and others in the America’s Voice report, “The Power of the Latino Vote in America”: http://americasvoiceonline.org/LatinoVoterReport

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform

www.americasvoiceonline.org

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