Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Latino voters caught again on "wedge" issue

Latino voters caught again on "wedge" issue

By Adrian Perez, Publisher

In 1994, California’s Governor Pete Wilson used illegal immigration as a wedge issue to ensure his reelection and secure the election of Republicans across the state. His effort was successful, plus the voters passed a measure that would have denied public services to illegal immigrants, Proposition 187. Now, in 2010 gubernatorial race, the tables have turned and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown is using illegal immigration as a wedge issue to attain the support of Latino voters.

There is no question that Brown needed to pull a “rabbit out of the hat” to compete against Republican candidate and billionaire Meg Whitman. That rabbit was actually presented as a gift by media hound and sometimes attorney Gloria Allred, when she introduced to the world Nicky Diaz Santillan, an illegal immigrant who worked as Whitman’s nanny for nine years.

Whitman immediately denied knowing that Nicky was illegal and says when she found out in 2009, she fired her for lying and because it was the legal thing to do. Now the big questions for California voters are: Is Whitman a hypocrite for hiring a person carrying false documents? Why didn’t Nicky complain in 2009 when she was fired? How will this fix California’s economic woes? Will this improve Latino retention in public schools? Why doesn’t the state of California hire or contract more Latino employees and businesses? Oh wait those last three questions are too germane to the real issues affecting California.

Detractors during an election are a common ploy and seem to work for those seeking to represent the masses. But, if that’s what campaigns are about, here are some suggested detractors for Whitman to use, especially after being accused by Brown of playing politics like a girl:

Brown uses sexist terms like “bread-winner” and promotes male dominated jobs like retrofit construction. He ignores the fastest growing small business owners in the state, women – especially Latinas.

Brown helped Latinos when he was Governor, not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he was pushed and lobbied by the powerful labor leader Cesar Chavez (view the videos on the UFW website.)
Brown wants to punish women with a capitol gains tax after their husbands die (men have a shorter life span.)

While Mayor of Oakland, Brown removed thousands of African Americans living along the Cypress freeway and replaced them with upper class, Silicon Valley employees.

Brown did nothing for Latinos as Mayor of Oakland and has done nothing for Latinos as the state’s Attorney General (ask any Latino attorney in that agency.)

And the list can go on. But this election is not about the failed policies or mistakes the candidates have made in their past that are being exploited by campaign consultants and used as detractors. It is about getting California’s economic engine back on track. The candidates need to see the real problems facing us…senior citizens and large Latino families losing their homes…more homeless people…a growing number of closed businesses in every shopping mall…farmers fallowing their land…Latino children’s health issues on the rise…Latino children not being educated.

This column has spelled out before how Latinos comprise nearly 40 percent of the state’s population. Immigration reform is an important topic, but not the sole topic. Jobs, economic development and education remain the top areas of concern for all voters and we are all waiting to learn how these two political candidates will tackle these problems. To date, neither has been specific enough, especially Jerry Brown, on how they will work with the Legislature in resolving our economic dilemma and helping Congress fix the undocumented worker issue.

And as for Nicky, “Que la hechen patras! Es lo que merece por andar de mentirosa (Send her back!  That's what she gets for lying),” says Socorro Contreras a naturalized U.S. citizen who votes and earned only $20 per day to clean, cook and wash windows as the late Governor Pat Brown’s (Jerry’s dad) nanny.

No comments:

Post a Comment