Category Archives: Bigots and Liars

Politifacting Politi-Fact on Romney’s Anti-Immigrant Positions

Politi-Fact has given a defense of Mitt Romney’s assertion that SB1070–the legalized Latino profiling law–is a model for the nation. They agree with Romney that he was only talking about E-Verify in a statement made during a Republican Primary debate.

What they fail to mention is that the question that was asked by John King at the Republican debate in which Romney put his foot in his mouth was about self-deportation, and Romney avoided even talking about self-deportation. Yes, he skirted the question to talk about E-verify, which even President Obama believes is a  flawed program.

What will be the impact of such a dramatic expansion of E-Verify on businesses, workers, and taxpayers?  According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress:

  • An estimated 770,000 American workers could lose job offers due to E-Verify’s error-prone databases
  • The mandate would cost small business an estimated $2.6 billion
  • Based on a similar bill scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office in 2007, $17 billion in tax revenue would be lost over 10 years as more jobs move into the underground economy.

Remarkably, these costs would be in exchange for a system that identifies unauthorized workers only 46% of the time.

However Politifact attempts to play President Obama’s statement, they must also look at Romney’s vocal opposition to a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, his opposition to the DREAM Act, his opposition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the fact that his top immigration advisor, Kris Kobach, is the author of SB1070. In fact, Kobach is the lead attorney in a lawsuit to do away with DACA.

The folks at politifact are being a bit disingenuous on this one. Simply “facting” a single statement is not enough when the immigration issue is one that is broad and complicated. At the debate and throughout his campaign, Mitt Romney has made it clear that he doesn’t support the kind of “comprehensive” reform that the pro-migrant community supports–even with any perceived flip-flops on the issue.

I Was Right About Romney’s Audience

Remember I called Mitt Romney’s appearance on Univision, “Romneyvision“? And remember when I said:

Sure, the raucous Sabado Gigante-esque crowd that screamed with every one of Mitt’s comments seemed to challenge my opinion…

Apparently, that funny feeling I got about Romney’s raucous Univision crowd wasn’t my bad knee acting up. It was all a set-up by the Romney campaign. (And not just the spray-tan!)

Mitt Romney packed the audience for a Univision forum earlier this week, BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins reports, busing in local supporters “after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus.” The campaign threatened to “reschedule” the event if organizers did not allow the “rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at their town hall.”

Even with all of the brown visuals, it doesn’t look like Latinos bought into Romney’s message. If anything, Latinos have an even clearer picture of Romney.

So, yes, Romneyvision was indeed a dud.

So, although I didn’t mind Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas being tough on President Obama, why on earth did they give Romney a pass, or worse, let him skirt the questions altogether? Did they fear Romney’s crowd?

If Ramos and Salinas want the Latino press to be respected, then they need to get beyond the game show atmosphere that they allowed Romney to create.

Romneyvision Forum A Dud

An attempt to become a browner, gentler Mitt Romney on Univision probably did little to increase his support among the Latino electorate. Sure, the raucous Sabado Gigante-esque crowd that screamed with every one of Mitt’s comments seemed to challenge my opinion, but using the term “illegal alien,” rather than DREAMer (as Democrats did throughout their convention) surely didn’t help.

Mitt attempted to soften his right-wing stance on the issue by saying that millions cannot be deported. Tell us something we don’t already know! He continued to support the Marco Rubio Nightmare act which would give immigrant soldiers and “advanced” degree “illegal aliens” a “green card.” Notice, he never said “citizenship.” It’s the same old exploitation, except, this time, he apparently did it in brown face. (And did I hear a slight Mexican accent when he spoke in English?)

Romney provided no other specifics on immigration reform, other than continuing to use the term “permanent solution.” What on earth does that mean?

Anyway, he is still barrios away from Latinos on issues we see as more important than immigration–economy, jobs, Social Security, Health Care, etc. That’s right, we are not single issue voters.

Today, it is Obamavision! Thus far, he has stated that he has never waffled on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and that Romney has been quite specific on his intent to veto the DREAM Act. At least on immigration, Obama has the most consistent narrative.

Stay tuned!

A Proper Response To Romney’s Latino Joke [Video Ad] has a petition asking Romney to apologize for the offensive remarks.



SB1070 Architect, ICE Agents Sue Feds Over DACA

The guy who helped create Arizona’s SB1070 and Mitt Romney advisor, Kris Kobach, has rounded up a few ICE agents to file a lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano over the Deferred Action policy.

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, filed the lawsuit on behalf of 10 ICE employees Thursday in federal court in Dallas. The 22-page filing contends that the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan violates federal law and forces ICE employees to break the law by not arresting certain illegal immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton are named as defendants.

“It places ICE agents in an untenable position where their political superiors are ordering them to violate federal law,” Kobach said. “If they follow federal law, they will be disciplined by their superiors.”

Kobach also helped write up the harshest Republican platform plank on immigration, although Republicans keep saying Romney is being nicer to Latinos.

The defense?

Matt Chandler, a DHS spokesman, said the department uses prosecutorial discretion to focus its efforts on arresting and deporting criminal immigrants, and the newest policy is in line with that effort.

Obviously, beyond attempting to cause fear for families who would benefit from DACA, this will also have political ramifications, but I have no problem saying that Mitt Romney has rubber stamped this bigoted effort until he proves otherwise.

Stay tuned.

GOP Quest to Find Non-Existent Voter Fraud Continues

Looks like Texas is now part of a growing number of states seeking access to a Department of Homeland Security database for the express purpose of purging undocumented people from the voter rolls.

Of course, since there has not been a rash of in-person voter fraud in Texas elections, one wonders if this is just for show. Worse, is this is an attempt to “accidentally” purge any names that match actual citizens on the voter rolls?

It had to be asked.

I don’t think there is anyone out there that supports undocumented people voting, but providing a tool such as this to Republican-led governments whose express intent has been to minimize Latino voting power with Voter ID legislation, organized voter intimidation groups, and purging of voter rolls without much evidence of anything, well, it seems like our democracy is in danger.

This is definitely something on which to keep an eye; especially on the implementation and operations side. And the DOJ should keep a close watch on how these government entities are using these databases, and perhaps, even double-check those voter roll purges.

CAP’s Top 10 About Texas Demographics and Immigration Politics

The Center for American Progress put this Top 10 list together about Texas, which includes links to the facts and pertinent info to back it up.

Read it, feel it, then go out and vote in the Democratic Primary!

A Look at the State’s Emerging Communities of Color

Washington, D.C.—On today’s Texas’s Republican primary, the Center for American Progress released 10 important facts about immigrants and people of color in the state that display their significant economic, cultural, and electoral power.

1. Communities of color are driving population growth in Texas. Texas is one of five states in the country where people of color make up the majority of the population. Between 2000 and 2009 Hispanic population growth accounted for 63.1 percent of all growth in the state. Texas’s black and Asian populations—2.8 million people and 850,000 people, respectively—were the third largest in the country in 2010.

2. The majority of children in Texas are children of color. For children under age 5 in the state, children of color outnumbered non-Hispanic white children 2.2-to-1 in 2011. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in 2009, 64 percent of the state’s children were of color.

3. Houston is the most racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country. According to a report from Rice University, the percentage of Latinos in the region increased dramatically from 20.8 percentin 1990 to more than one-third at 35.5 percent in 2010. This thriving racial and ethnic diversity places Houston at the head of the state’s rapid demographic changes.

4. Nearly a third of immigrants in Texas are naturalized—meaning they are eligible to vote. In 2010 immigrants comprised 16.4 percent of the state’s total population. That year there were 1.3 million naturalized U.S. citizens in Texas, approximately 32 percent of immigrants in the state.

5. Voters of color make up a growing portion of the Texas electorate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos accounted for 20.1 percent of Texas voters in the 2008 elections. African Americans and Asians comprised 14.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the state’s voters that same year.

6. Even more Latinos are eligible to vote but are currently unregistered. According to the political opinion research group Latino Decisions, there are 2.1 million unregistered Latino voters in Texas in 2012. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are an additional 880,000 legal permanent residents (green card holders) in Texas who are eligible to naturalize and vote for the first time. Put together, this means Texas has close to an extra 3 million potential voters this fall.

7. The Department of Justice blocked a Texas voter ID law that threatened to disenfranchise Hispanics. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, far fewer non-Hispanic voters—4.3 percent, compared with 6.3 percent of Latino voters—lack a proper photo ID, which voters would have been required to show under the law. Texas’s own state data listed 174,866 registered Latino voters without an ID.

8. Communities of color add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Texas’s economy through entrepreneurship and spending. The purchasing power of Latinos in Texas increased more than 400 percent from 1990 to 2010, reaching a total of $176.3 billion. Asian buying power increased by more than 650 percent in the same period to a total of $34.4 billion. And in 2007 Texas’s nearly 450,000 Latino-ownedbusinesses had close to 400,000 employees, and sales and receipts of $61.9 billion.

9. Immigrants are essential to the economy as workers. In 2010 immigrants comprised 20.9 percent of Texas’s workforce. As of 2007, 21 percent of Houston’s total economic output and 16 percent of Dallas’s economic output was derived from immigrants.

10. Immigrants contribute to the state economy through state and local taxes. In 2010, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants in Texas paid $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.

Vanessa Cárdenas is Director of Progress 2050 and Angela Maria Kelley is Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

Keryl Douglas’ Divide and Conquer Strategy

It angered folks when Manuel Rodriguez tried it, and Democrats all over the county have had the same reaction to Keryl Douglas’ disingenuous flyer. In what is not only a personal attack on HCDP Chair Lane Lewis, but an affront to the GLBT community and all other communities who fight for civil rights, Keryl Douglas has definitely hit a new low.

Douglas shows her hypocrisy in the flyer when she states she “worked across ALL communities,” but chooses to attack one in particular. Well, I’ll repeat an oft-stated civil rights mantra:  When one of us is attacked, we are all attacked. So, we must not only rise in defense of the GLBT community, we must ensure our Harris County Democratic Party is led by someone who doesn’t talk it (or puts it on a flyer), but walks it, and that’s Lane Lewis.

What is scarier than losing in November to right-wing Republicans is having a Party led by someone who would attempt to divide Democrats from within. Early voting is done, but Tuesday is Democratic Primary Day. VOTE!

Or, if Keryl Douglas doesn’t “get it,” I agree with Kuff.

Perry To Promote More Irresponsibility for 2013

After his 2011 budget nonsense which became reality, Rick Perry is back to his old games as he preps for 2013; but now, he doesn’t want to be all alone in taking the hit for cutting education and services. Now, he expects his Republican buddies to sign some sort of pledge to cut education and services.

The compact will call for “truth in budgeting,” another way of saying Perry wants to end the common practice of using accounting tricks — like delayed payments and sped-up tax collections — to balance the state budget.

He also wants legislators and would-be legislators to “oppose any and all new taxes or tax increases, preserve the Rainy Day Fund, and cut wasteful and redundant government programs and agencies.”

I’m not surprised at Perry. This pledge is all about his 2014 campaign for re-election, and he wants all the GOPers on his side early-on–before the decisions are actually made. Before legislators get a chance to even discuss the needs of Texas children, the elderly, the indigent, and others.

House Democratic leader  and Houston’s own State Rep. Jessica Farrar said it best:

“His proposal promotes more fiscal irresponsibility in asking lawmakers to blindly sign a blood oath that will result in a doubling down of the devastating cuts already made to public schools, colleges and universities,” Farrar said. “Instead of planning for a better future, this plan ensures higher public costs through an uneducated workforce and treatment of chronic illnesses that could’ve been stemmed through preventative health care.”

This amounts to nothing more than a re-election endorsement pledge card for Rick Perry, and I hope the Republicans who sign on realize this. Unfortunately, the effects don’t make for a stronger Texas, unless you’re one of Rick Perry’s wealthy state contractor buddies.

The Chron has more from Rep. Farrar:

According to the speech excerpts, Perry will say that “the cost of Medicaid is a ticking time bomb and is primed to do massive damage to our budget in the short and long terms.” He will tout a push to allow Medicaid to be distributed to states in block grants to give them flexibility.

Farrar said in Texas, “We have the highest rate of uninsured people” and that providing health care early is a money-saver.

Farrar also said she doesn’t think a block grant giving Texas more flexibility would be in the public interest: “The legislative majority will do naughty little things to be stingy with people who are in real need.”

Perry is definitely sounding the drum beat for a war on students, the poor, the elderly, and more Texans.

State Rep. Mike Villareal of San Antonio responded on his Facebook page:

Today Governor Perry announced his “Budget Compact.” He loves to talk about his principles in the abstract, but he doesn’t want to discuss the disabled kids who lose health services when he won’t close corporate tax loopholes, or the students crowded into full classrooms when he won’t touch the Rainy Day Fund. After the deep and unnecessary education cuts that he championed, it’s no surprise that his Compact doesn’t say a word about educating schoolchildren.

Texas Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso

“Although there are many things to be proud of in Texas, the state needs improvement. After decade under Perry’s leadership, Texas still has the fewest number of citizens with a high school degree, the highest number of citizens without health insurance, and the worst environment of any state with the highest rates of carcinogens released into the air and toxic chemicals released into the water.

“There are millions of Texans fighting day-to-day to make ends meet. Nationwide, Texas has the 4th highest percentage of kids living in poverty. In my own community, over a quarter of El Pasoans live in poverty.

“Perry and other state leaders need to stop focusing solely on how to lower taxes for multi-million dollar businesses and find ways to help average Texas families put food on their tables, pay for health insurance, and send their kids to college.

That Hateful Campaign Letter

I’ve been reading various FB and blog posts from members and allies of the LGBT Community in response to a hateful campaign letter in support of Keryl Douglas for Democratic Party Chair by a group of preachers. The letter attacked the LGBT Community in various ways utilizing what looked like right-wing-created complaints about any given minority group. I agree with my former neighbor Egberto Willies:

If one simply replaced the word Gay with Black it would be considered the most racist snippet and would receive news coverage and likely destroy the career of any preacher that had the gall to write it.

Or Latino. Or Asian. Or Women.

I’ve been quite honest from the get-go. I support Lane Lewis for Harris County Democratic Party Chair. Whether I have agreed or disagreed with Lane on anything, he’s been open-minded and willing to discuss. He has an open door to anyone wanting to work for the betterment of the Democratic Party. I can say without reservation that my support for Lane continues.

That said, I would hope that Keryl Douglas rejects this endorsement from anti-LGBT preachers. That this occurs as we are less than two months away from the Democratic Primary is very disturbing. The threat of a Party Chair supported by hateful individuals is something we should fight against. No minority or underrepresented groups has the right to define who has civil rights and who does not. When one group is attacked, we are all attacked and we must all defend against the hate.

GLBT Political Caucus response.