GOP primary politics could potentially doom their chances to retain control of the Governor’s mansions in Texas and California. Governor Jan Brewer’s signature on SB 1070 and the constant anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from GOP Congressmen is downright offensive to Latinos for whom the Republican brand name is increasingly becoming synonymous with being anti-Latino.
Here’s a rundown of the latest from the races for Governor in that nation’s two largest states, California and Texas.
In his column in The Hill, Markos Moulitsas explains why immigration matters in his state:
Between 2000 and 2008, Latino turnout in California has grown 85.41 percent, from 1.6 million to just shy of 3 million — over 21 percent of the total, and growing.
During the GOP primary, Meg Whitman appealed to the hard-core anti-immigrant wing of her party. She’s been trying to scramble back ever since. But, as Markos notes, it won’t be easy:
Whitman is a little more worried about Latino voters, telling The New York Times that she would “move away from immigration to broaden her appeal” after the primary, while running ads on Spanish-language TV during World Cup broadcasts, claiming, implausibly, that “She respects our community.” Democratic groups won’t let that happen. The California Nurses Association paid to re-air a Whitman primary ad on Spanish-language radio:
Meg Whitman: Don’t be fooled by misleading ads; my position on immigration is crystal-clear. Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal. I am 100 percent against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Period. As governor, I will crack down on so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco who thumb their nose at our laws. Illegal immigrants should not expect benefits from the state of California. No driver’s license and no admission to state-funded institutions of higher education. And I’ll create an economic fence to crack down on employers who break the law by using illegal labor.
Pete Wilson: This is former Gov. Pete Wilson. I know how important it is to stop illegal immigration and I know Meg Whitman. Meg will be tough as nails on illegal immigration. She’ll fight to secure our border and go after sanctuary cities.
[GOP Senate nominee Carly] Fiorina has already given up on the Latino vote, and Whitman probably should as well, because the fastest-growing portion of California’s electorate knows exactly what the GOP is selling.
Whitman is going to be running against her own words on immigration until November.