Thursday, September 29, 2011

Veteran Latino Watcher says "Don't trust D.C. Organizations

Hispanic Link founder says many are owned by Walmart, Comcast and AT&T

By Hilda Garcia
Maynard Institute,
Richard Prince's Journal-isms

If you're looking for an honest assessment of Hispanic opinion, "don't rely on Washington Hispanic organizations. So many of them are owned by Walmart, Comcast and AT&T," according to Charlie Ericksen, who founded the Hispanic Link News Service 31 years ago and still serves as its managing editor.

Ericksen, 81, whose Washington-based creation has trained more than 1,000 Hispanic journalists, was part of a panel Wednesday assembled by LatinoWire, "a Business Wire service that provides comprehensive distribution of press releases and multimedia to leading Spanish-language news outlets . . . ."

He told the National Press Club audience in Washington to "go to community organizations if you want a legitimate answer." At one recent event, he said, one had to sit through greetings from five sponsors before hearing President Obama, he said.

Not surprisingly, representatives of some of those organizations, sitting in the audience, took exception.

Kathy Mimberg, senior media relations specialist at the National Council of La Raza, recalled later, "I said NCLR is a non-profit and non-partisan organization and that we do our work with funding from government, corporations and foundations. I objected to Charlie being negative about our corporate sponsors who spoke before President Obama's speech at our Annual Conference luncheon because I said that these were positive, general statements from organizations that want to interact and engage with the Latino community."

Scott Gunderson Rosa, communications director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, told Journal-isms, "My point in speaking in response to Charlie was simply to clarify that we did not have four or five sponsors speak before the president at our gala on September 14 and that our mission to develop the next generation of Latino leaders is made possible by the financial support we receive from our corporate partners.

"His comments would not apply to CHCI as we do not take positions on policy issues nor do we comment on them. We are a non-partisan organization with all sides represented on our board, from corporations and unions, to non-profit and community leaders.

"Charlie is actually a great friend to CHCI and we have worked together for a long time."

Most of the 85 who attended came for the promise of learning how to reach the fast-growing Hispanic audience through the media they consume. Julio Aliago, news director of Telemundo's Washington affiliate, and Erica Gonzalez, executive editor of El Diario/La Prensa in New York, emphasized that their outlets were geared toward helping immigrants navigate life in the United States.

They urged that news releases be sent in English and Spanish and that no one person ever be portrayed as speaking for the entire Hispanic community. "Get at least two," Aliago said.

Hilda Garcia is vice president of multiplatform news and information for ImpreMedia, noted for ImpreMedia's multimedia packages on the Web, including its report on Latino involvement in the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and a state-by-state report on Latinos, based on 2010 census data.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Latino group defends "end of boycott" call

Shifting our approach in Arizona
By Janet Murguía, National Council of La Raza

Over a week ago, my organization, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), along with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Asian American Justice Center, announced the suspension of our participation in the economic boycott of Arizona. As was the case when NCLR initially announced our plans to join in boycotting the state in May 2010, we consulted with a wide variety of our partners, including our network of nonprofit Affiliate organizations across the country-13 of which are based in Arizona-and our sister civil rights institutions. We did not come to the decision to boycott Arizona lightly, nor do we end our participation now without careful consideration.

In particular, we were moved to act after receiving requests from Arizona's elected officials, business leaders, union leaders, religious leaders, and local NCLR Affiliates.They believe that this was the right time for NCLR to suspend its boycott activities in order to promote a more constructive debate around the issue of immigration. There is a concerted and growing effort in the state to foster civil and constructive dialogue--voices who represent a broader swath of Arizona than the brand of extremism that has tarnished the state. In light of the injunction against the law, and these growing efforts committed to charting a new course, we agreed to suspend our participation in the boycott.

Our opposition to racial profiling laws like SB 1070 is unequivocal, and the work against them continues. The record has shown that they are destructive political wedges that undermine the social and economic fabric of the communities where they are pushed through. And because of that we understand why other organizations and allies may choose to continue to boycott the state, and we respect that decision completely. For our part, we reserve the right to reinstate the boycott should the law be implemented, and in the meantime will continue to work with and lend our support to local partners trying to get their state back on track.

Ultimately though, by pursuing this new course, we hope we can play a role in bringing SB 1070 supporters and opponents together to find the common ground needed to advance sustainable solutions to fix our broken immigration system. We look forward to working together with all Arizonans - and Americans - of good will to seek real, lasting solutions that are consistent with our nation's most fundamental values and principles.

Janet Murguía is President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Overcoming a false sense of security: Latinos and immigration enforcement

The possibility of "selective" enforcement is in the back of many Latinos' minds
By Jim Estrada, Special to NILP

Publisher's Note: This essay was excerpted from Jim Estrada's soon-to-be-published book, The ABCs & Ñ of America's Cultural Evolution. 

Jim Estrada
Why are U.S. Latinos skeptical about "enforcement" solutions regarding comprehensive immigration reform being placed in the hands of non-federal law enforcement personnel?  Simply stated, Latinos are dubious about how such enforcement will be implemented.  Of the more than 50 million Latinos in the United States, nearly 40 million are native-born or naturalized citizens of the USA!  That translates into the potential of 40 million "legal" U.S. citizens being suspected of being "illegal" immigrants solely on the basis of appearance.
Proponents of "enforcement first" immigration reform say, "If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear!" Let me remind the "law and order" types that since the end of the Mexican American War in 1848, the U.S. Latino community has experienced abuse and brutality at the hands of law enforcement officers and have been denied due process by the criminal justice system. Granted, Latinos have had their of share of criminals, but there has been a marked difference in how law enforcement officials have historically meted out their versions of "protect and serve" when it comes to Latinos.

The possibility of "selective" enforcement - in the form of current anti-immigration laws - is in the back of many Latinos' minds. Those attitudes are based on personal experiences with prejudice and discrimination at the hands of U.S. police and legal and criminal justice systems. Many activists and members of the Latino community say they (or someone they know) have encountered violations of their civil rights with unwarranted search and seizure, brutality, disrespect and profiling practices due to being Latino.

For many years, relations between Latinos and law enforcement agencies suffered because of the distrust that existed between the two groups: white European Americans and Latinos. Much of the apprehension on the part of Latinos stems from accounts beginning with the Mexican-American War, when border states' police and sheriffs were used as tools for moneyed interests to enforce property evictions and perform acts of terrorism to have Mexican American property owners abandon their homes and properties, allowing for them to be acquired by unscrupulous individuals.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican American War in 1848, ceded large portions of what is now the Southwest to the U.S. in return for $15 million and relief from debt. The treaty was supposed to protect the existing civil rights and land claims of Mexican citizens and provide full U.S. American citizenship to those who stayed in the newly ceded territories. However, the U.S. Senate's ratification of the treaty deleted those guaranteed land rights and citizenship; opening the door for U.S. lawmen and businessmen to run rampant over Mexican Americans and their holdings.

The Texas Rangers

One of those law enforcement groups was the Texas Rangers. Accounts of atrocities committed by Texas Rangers (a.k.a. los rinches) against Tejanos and Méjicanos have been handed down by "word of mouth" for generations in a variety of forms: cuentos (folk stories), corridos (musical ballads of famed heroes and injustices), articles in Spanish-language newspapers - and most recently in film documentaries.

In the early 1900s, alleged Mexican revolutionaries plotted an uprising against white landowners in Texas that was never fully carried out. There were however raids that resulted in property theft and the deaths of some white settlers. The Texas Rangers were called in, but protection quickly turned into retaliation; the Rangers were responsible for the 1918 massacre of the entire male population (15 Mexican men and boys ranging from 16 to 72 years of age) of Porvenir, Texas in western Presidio County.

In January 1919, an investigation by the Texas Legislature found from 300 to 5,000 people, mostly of Mexican ancestry, had been killed by Rangers from 1910 to 1919, and members of the Rangers had been involved in many acts of brutality and injustice.

One such atrocity led to the 1975 production of a documentary film, "Border Bandits." It focused on Roland Warnock, then a 19-year-old working at the McAllen Ranch in South Texas. In 1915, he witnessed a team of Texas Rangers shoot and kill 67-year-old Jesus Bazán and his son-in-law, Antonio Longoria. Warnock's recollection and ensuing investigation into the facts surrounding the murders were the subjects of the film.

Roland's grandson Kirby Warnock who remembered hearing the story when he was a child directed the documentary film. "The thought of the Texas Rangers shooting an unarmed man in the back was unbelievable - but also unthinkable," Warnock narrates his reaction to his grandfather's story. Later in the film, he comments how "most Texans" refused to believe the vaunted Texas Rangers were capable of such atrocities. The film was a counterpoint to the heroic and "larger than life" accounts of the Texas Rangers proudly promoted in white Eurocentric films, print and electronic media and Texas folklore.

While the film undermines the mythology of this "elite cadre" of lawmen by exposing their use of state-sanctioned terrorism, it uncovered the racial hierarchy of "white over brown" especially as it related to "illegal" land acquisition, forceful repression and racial discrimination. Initially, Warnock's investigation focused on the deaths of Bazán and Longoria as if the murders were an isolated incident. Their killing didn't even warrant death certificates; they were viewed as just two more dead Mexicans out of an estimated 5,000 who lost their lives during this time period - men, women, children who committed no other crime than to be "brown" in an increasingly white Texas.

According to William D. Carrigan, associate professor of history at Rowan University in New Jersey, "The Rangers responded (to these uprisings) with brutality, with assassinations, murders, lynchings and massacres." Among the numerous historical texts written about the violent period (c. 1915-1920) is Carrigan's book, "The Making of a Lynching Culture: Violence and Vigilantism in Central Texas."

"Thousands of Mexicans fled the region, were killed without tral, taken out of jail and executed," wrote Carrigan. "It was a terrible, bloody period of violence even defenders of Texas Rangers (write about)."

Similar stories continue into the 1960s and 1970s when Texas Rangers were called in to break up labor strikes organized by Latino civil rights activists. Such stories continue to be "salt in the wound" for some Latinos who still bristle at the mention of los rinches. Latino sentiment towards the Texas Rangers is another of the many challenges of accurately recording history in a multi-ethnic democracy.

The question remains, "When will history include the Latino side of the story?"

Déjà vu

Turn the calendar pages forward to the early 1940s in Southern California for another example of why Latinos are wary of white Eurocentric law enforcement and justice. This episode revolved around the "Zoot Suit" riots, which was set in an environment of ethnic and racial paranoia that defined Los Angeles and Southern California in the early 1940s.

The Zoot Suit riots refers to a series of events where white U.S. servicemen were unleashed to attack, strip and beat young Mexican American males "at will" in Latino neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles - with the complicity of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and local media. The flash point leading to this vigilante-type "free for all" was an altercation between Latino youths from neighboring communities, which left one of the participants bleeding and unconscious on the street - and who later died.

The LAPD arrested 24 members of the so-called "38th Street Gang" - as the group of youths had been labeled by local white media reporters - and charged all of them with murder. The media reported on the death of a lone Mexican American as proof of a "Mexican Crime Wave."

A special grand jury was appointed by the city of Los Angeles to investigate the alleged crime wave. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department also decided to investigate and formed its own "Foreign Relations" bureau to investigate crimes committed in the county. Although the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department's staff accurately identified the discrimination occurring against the Latino community, they drew startling, racially charged conclusions.

Excerpts from the Sheriffs' report cited: "Mexican Americans are essentially Indians and therefore Orientals or Asians. Throughout history Orientals have shown less regard for human life than have the Europeans. Further, Mexican Americans had inherited their 'naturally violent' tendencies from the 'bloodthirsty Aztecs' of Mexico who were said to have practiced human sacrifice centuries ago."

In 1942, the media vilified "Zoot Suiters" to the point of portraying them as members of murderous and dangerous gangs. This demonizing pattern was well recognized by most Latinos of that era and became a theme of Hollywood movies and established stereotypes associated with Latinos that exist to this day.

Led by media portrayals, a public outcry for justice and vengeance against the Zoot Suit-wearing youths motivated the LAPD to conduct a round-up of "suspicious looking" individuals on the nights of August 10 and 11, 1942 - with the help of "unofficially deputized" white servicemen. In all, over 600 individuals were arrested on suspicion of assault and armed robbery - 175 people were held on those charges. Of those arrested during the round-up riot, every one was Latino. The Los Angeles incident triggered similar attacks against Latinos in Beaumont, TX; Chicago, IL; San Diego, San Jose and Oakland, CA; Detroit, MI; Evansville, IN; Philadelphia, PA; and New York, NY.

In October 1944, the Second District Court of Appeals reversed the murder convictions, but the seeds of distrust of law enforcement within the Latino community had been validated - once again.

Déjà vu, all over again?

Some law enforcement proponents will defend the Texas Rangers' atrocities and Los Angeles Zoot Suit riots as isolated events. On August 29, 1970, more than 20 thousand Latinos gathered in East Los Angeles to protest the war in Vietnam as well as the disproportionately high casualty rate of Latino soldiers. Among all U.S. soldiers from the Southwest, nearly 20 percent of the war casualties were Latinos - nearly twice their proportion of the U.S. population at that time.

Demonstrators also protested the denial of equal employment, housing and other civil rights to Latinos here in the U.S. A peaceful rally at Laguna Park in East Los Angeles was disrupted when 1,500 LAPD officers and sheriff's deputies attempted to disperse the marchers by shooting tear-gas canisters into the crowd. Three Latinos were killed and another 400 were arrested.

Among those who lost their lives was Los Angeles Times reporter-columnist Rúben Salazar - killed by an armor piercing tear-gas projectile fired into the Silver Dollar Café where he and others had sought shelter. Salazar had brought considerable attention to abuse of Latinos by the LAPD, which had become a target of his investigative reports. He also had repeatedly written about the higher than average Mexican-American casualty rates in the Vietnam War. As a result of his reporting and commentaries, Salazar was under investigation by the LAPD and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Due to his media popularity and recognition as a role model, his death had far-reaching consequences and led many community activists to continue their focus on police brutality and unequal justice.

Historically, Latino communities had experienced a greater share of police mistreatment and harsher penalties in the criminal justice system. Demonstrations related to law enforcement abuse and profiling were becoming commonplace in a growing number of Latino communities located in the Southwest, Northeast and Midwest.

But wait, there's more

On May 1, 2007, the LAPD again used unwarranted physical force against the Latino community. This time, law enforcement officers attempted to disperse a crowd at an immigration-rights rally. There police wielded batons and fired 240 "less-than-lethal" rounds at demonstrators and news reporters. The police actions left at least 10 people with minor injuries - including seven news reporters - and raised questions about overly aggressive tactics to disperse a largely peaceful crowd that had obtained a legal permit to stay until 9:00 p.m. The LAPD police chief labeled some of the officers' actions "inappropriate."

For these and numerous other instances, many U.S. Latinos had grown wary of law enforcement and the criminal justice systems. They wondered: "Had we not sufficiently attempted to demonstrate our civic pride, our work ethic and our patriotism? Had we not for generations given our young men's lives voluntarily to protect the ideals of a country that too often denied access to those same ideals to us and our families?"

These are only a few of many examples of the inequities visited upon Latinos by police and other law enforcement officials. The advent of community and storefront police presence - along with the diversification of sworn police personnel - has improved police-community relations in recent years; but a growing number of Latinos believe it is their involvement as taxpayers and voters that is changing attitudes and behaviors on the part of law enforcement. By gaining influence within many municipalities and local governmental units that hire police personnel, Latinos are helping to retire the notion that the traditional law enforcement mission is about protecting white people and their property from a growing "non-white" population.

The anti-immigrant legislation being enacted by states throughout the nation are reminders that Latinos are still viewed as threats by some of their white peers. As a result, we could easily be subjected to the whims of individual law enforcement personnel who cannot distinguish between an undocumented immigrant and a citizen of the United States.

Jim Estrada is a former TV journalist (KOGO-TV10), marketing (Anheuser-Busch), advertising (McDonald's), and community/public relations executive (Estrada Communications Group, Austin, TX). Estrada is the author of The ABCs & Ñ of America's Cultural Evolution. (forthcoming in late 2012). His essays can be viewed online at: and he can be reached at

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Latino Social Hurricane

Someone's Twitter handle can turn into the official source of information during a hurricane in a couple of days
By Gustavo Razzetti, ClickZ

A couple of days ago, I got a call from a journalist that wanted to learn more about the phenomenon of Latinos in social media. He said he's been reading the Marketing to Latinos column at ClickZ and was curious about what was driving the explosion of Hispanics in social media.

At the same time, while I was finalizing this column, another phenomenon came to life. I'm talking about @irene, a major natural event, which persuaded me to change the topic of my column and turned it into what you are reading right now.

Why Latinos Are Social?

I mentioned that, of course, age is a key factor. Latinos are younger than the general population, so it makes sense that they are more open to new technologies and interact more with other people.

Another reason includes having friends and family that are all spread out. Many have friends and family in their country of origin (or their parent's one). Also, if you take a look at the dynamics of population, Latinos have been migrating to non-traditional Hispanic DMAs such as North Carolina. Their social network is more diverse (browse the names of any Latino's Facebook friends and you'll know what I'm talking about).

Also, considering the social nature of Latinos, it seems obvious that this is a key driver. If you look at the statistics, Latinos spend much more time than the average American tweeting, posting on Facebook, etc.

Hmm…tricky question: is this social nature exclusive to Latinos?

Hurricanes Go Social

Many times, as marketers, when thinking on social media, we tend to put more emphasis on the media portion rather than on the social aspect. This recent event is a great example of why "social" goes before "media."

It might have been an interesting one for Irene Tien. As a pioneer in social media, she has the Twitter handle with her first name, @irene. And when the news spread around about the chances of a hurricane hitting the East Coast, she started to receive tweets directed to her, as if she was actually the natural catastrophe. Following the advice of her colleagues, she decided to "lend" her Twitter handle for some days, so that it could be used to share safety information and advice related to Hurricane Irene (the real one). Combining useful tips and links with a sense of humor drove her account past 11,000 followers.

The Latino Hurricane

The Latino Twittersphere was also very active. Natural threat aside, it was an interesting thing to watch. Kind of a live version of the reasons I had explained to the journalist mentioned above.

I evidenced an increased interaction between friends and family living in Latin America and in the U.S. I saw a back and forth between speaking in English and Spanish as a consequence of that. The social spirit of Latinos was at its peak; people sharing advice, information, and sending "bendiciones" for those who had families on the East Coast.

There was also room for humor as well. One friend, after the storm, was saying that what happened was nothing compared to how his hometown in South America got after a "regular" rainstorm. Another friend was bragging, saying that "se ahogaron en un vaso de agua" (they got drowned in a glass of water) and that category one storms, Caribbeans eat those for breakfast.

Providing help, emotional support, and also their sense of humor, Latino social nature was at its best around Irene.

Social Storms

External phenomenons ignite conversations in social media, turning complete strangers into "friends" who really care about each other's family. Someone's Twitter handle can turn into the official source of information during a hurricane in a couple of days.

Once again, social comes first and people are becoming (trusted) media. As marketers, we need to learn more about how external social events impact consumers' mindsets and behaviors. Thanks to @irene, for the latest lesson.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homeland Security rescinds "Secure Communities" agreements

DHS decision to rescind MOAs lacks legal authority and violates principles of Democratic Government
By Keith Rushing, Rights Working Group

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has demonstrated that it has gone completely rogue. Since rolling out the Secure Communities program in 2008, ICE has signed over 1,200 Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with jurisdictions agreeing to participate in the program.

On August 5, 2011, ICE announced, shockingly, that it will unilaterally rescind the Memorandums Of Agreement (MOAs) and proceed with Secure Communities without the agreement of state and local jurisdictions.

Contrary to the announcement of John Sandweg, Counselor to the DHS Secretary and Deputy Secretary, the federal statute that Sandweg cites as mandating participation in Secure Communities does nothing of the kind. It requires information sharing but does not require states to participate in this initiative, nor does it require the deportation of migrants who have been arrested but not yet convicted of crimes.

ICE insists that Secure Communities is mandatory and will become fully operational in every jurisdiction of the country by 2013. Rights Working Group denounces ICE’s actions.

“Across the country, local jurisdictions and states have publicly rejected the Secure Communities program and have told the federal government that they do not want Secure Communities destroying their communities, separating families, and encouraging discriminatory police practices such as racial profiling. For ICE to thumb their nose at the decisions of elected officials to withdraw from the program is without legal basis and offensive,” said Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Rights Working Group.

Due to the public outcry about the program and the dangers it poses to community policing and safety, as well as the program’s violations of long-held principles of due process and fairness, several states and localities have demanded to opt out of Secure Communities. Most recently, governors of New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts have informed ICE that their states will no longer participate in the program.

Rights Working Group has long denounced the lack of transparency and accountability in the implementation of Secure Communities. Investigative reporters and documents received through a Federal of Information Act lawsuit unraveled ICE’s inaccurate statements and reversals of opinion on these MOAs—leading Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to call for an investigation of the initiative.The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has urged the Obama Administration to place an immediate moratorium on Secure Communities.

Said Huang: “Secure Communities keeps local police from fulfilling their core mission of protecting our communities because when local police target people to enforce immigration law, it increases the level of fear and makes it far more difficult to gain community trust.” The vast majority of undocumented battered women are already reluctant to report their abuse to police for fear of detention and deportation. Secure Communities and similar programs make it even less likely that migrant witnesses and victims will come forward.

“This Administration can no longer continue to stand by Secure Communities,” said Huang. “By continuing to support this program they are sanctioning racial profiling, eroding the trust local law enforcement agencies have built with communities of color and showing the international community that our immigration system does not respect the basic human rights of all persons in our country.”

Rights Working Group urges DHS to:

  • Immediately stop the implementation of Secure Communities and similar programs unless and until meaningful civil rights and civil liberties safeguards are put in place to ensure that racial profiling and other human rights violations are not occurring, including collecting data on the perceived race or ethnicity of the people arrested, the charges that are lodged and the ultimate disposition of the case.
  • Terminate Secure Communities in jurisdictions that have chosen to opt out of the program.
  • Immediately suspend Secure Communities in jurisdictions with a documented record of racial profiling or where DOJ is actively investigating a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tom Flores: His last year to get in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Flores is not the first Hispanic to play pro football, but he is the first Hispanic to play starting quarterback for an NFL team and was first to win four Super Bowl rings.

OAKLAND, CA -- In recognizing Thomas Raymond Flores (AKA Coach Tom Flores), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has out done the one organization that is supposed to acknowledge individuals who have accomplished outstanding athletic fetes, the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF).  It took one of the nation’s largest Hispanic organizations to present Coach Tom Flores with the prestigious “Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence.”  The award is presented by NCLR to sports professionals who positively portray Hispanic Americans and promote efforts to help Hispanics across the U.S.

Not to say that the HOF should induct Flores based on his ethnicity, however, it has been hinted that perhaps the oversight of Flores induction could be based on his Mexican-American background.  Still, others allege that his continued affiliation with Raider’s owner Al Davis has poisoned his chances of being recognized.  It’s possible, but unlikely.

Flores is not the first Hispanic to play pro football, but he is the first Hispanic to play starting quarterback for an NFL team and was first to win four Super Bowl rings.  But, apparently that isn’t enough for the HOF.

Of the 267 members who have been inducted into the HOF, only 2 are Hispanic – Tom Fears, a receiver for the Los Angeles Rams (1948-1950), and Anthony Munoz, a lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals (1981-1991).  Not to minimize their accomplishments in the NFL, Fears and Munoz were very deserving of an induction, but in weighing their accomplishments in the NFL, Flores stands head and shoulders above them.

Born March 21, 1937 in Fresno, California, Flores grew up picking grapes and playing football for Sanger High School.  Upon graduating, he headed north to play for the University of the Pacific Tigers and upon graduating he went to play for the Canadian Football League before landing as the Oakland Raider’s first Quarterback from 1960 to 1966.  These weren’t easy years for the start-up team since they had to play their games at San Francisco’s Kezar and Candlestick Stadiums until Oakland completed the Coliseum. 

As the Raider’s quarterback, Flores averaged a 50 percent pass completion rate, and gave them three winning seasons before being traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1967.  Two years later he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs where he retired in 1970.  

Flores came back to the Raiders in 1972 as Assistant Coach, coaching the wide receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks.  His big break came in 1979 after the legendary John Madden retired and Al Davis, now managing owner of the Raiders, picked Flores to be the head coach.  He took the Raiders to the Super Bowl and won in 1981 and 1984, with the latter being the only Super Bowl championship by a Southern California NFL team.  After that game, Al Davis exclaimed:  “Tom Flores isn't just a great coach in our league. With all due respect, he's one of the greatest coaches of all time.”

Coach Tom Flores and Quarterback Jim Plunkett
Interestingly, nearly every player Flores coached in those championship years is now part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, except him and another Mexican-American, Jim Plunkett – the starting quarterback for the Raiders in the 1984 Super Bowl game.  

Today, Flores remains tied to the Raiders as the “color man” for the Raider Nation Radio Network.  But, it’s his community involvement and giving that is also very impressive.

Since the 1980s, Flores has hosted an annual golf tournament in Los Angeles to benefit the Boy Scouts with Disabilities, an event that has raised over $3.5 million since.  In addition, he established the Tom Flores Foundation that benefits low-income youth in his hometown of Sanger, California, which also named their high school stadium in his name.

Flores has even found the time to author his biography, “Fire In the Ice Man,” and co-authored “Tales of the Oakland Raiders,” two books still selling well across the nation.
Obviously, the only thing missing is his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Two other coaches, Mike Ditka and Tony Dungy, share similar records as Flores, of which only Ditka has been inducted.  Dungy still has time to be inducted, but unfortunately, this is Coach Flores’ last year to be inducted into the HOF, a process controlled by sports writers.  

Since 2009, the National Football League has stated it wants to grow its Hispanic fan base.  There would be no greater recruitment tool than inducting Flores into the HOF and use the ceremonies to market the NFL to Hispanics across the U.S.  Not all of the 50+ million Hispanics living in the U.S. are soccer fans.

VIDEO:  Coach Tom Flores accepting the prestigious Robert Clemente Award for Sports Excellence... 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

U.S. Latinos: The future of union existence

Latinos disproportionately rely on the protections of unions for jobs with higher wages and better benefits. By Stella Manrique Rouse, University of Maryland

The collective bargaining power of public employee unions has been at the forefront of political debate over the past year. Elections in 2010 ushered in Republican governors and state legislative party leaders with the number one goal of reducing the size of government. To accomplish this drastic government downsizing, Republican controlled states began considering legislation to diminish public employees’ rights to collectively bargain and to force these workers to pay a larger portion of their healthcare and pension benefits.

Wisconsin has been in the spotlight of these new “reforms”. The showdown between Governor Scott Walker and the state’s public sector union members came to a head in February when despite the unions’ concessions to significant benefit give back demands, Walker insisted on taking away all of the unions’ bargaining power except their right to bargain on wages. Under the new law, unions would not only lose collective bargaining power, but would have to be reapproved annually by workers, and would have to collect dues themselves; union dues would no longer be deducted from workers’ paychecks. This has the potential to significantly cut union revenues by up to one-third. Unions saw this as a blatant attempt to bust union power. In spite of large protests and Democratic legislators’ efforts to prevent passage of the bill, ultimately Governor Walker signed the anti-union bill into law.

Notwithstanding the negative national publicity that Walker and the Wisconsin legislature received, many states have followed Wisconsin’s lead with similar legislation curtailing the power of public sector unions. States such as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Arizona have passed or are considering similarly drastic measures. Other states such as Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma are contemplating somewhat less severe measures such as restricting the collection of union dues, limiting collective bargaining, or preventing unions from monopolizing the workforce.

Republicans argue that cutting back the power of unions is crucial to getting government costs under control and creating an environment that will attract businesses and create jobs. However, these measures do not come without huge cuts to benefits, and at the cost of jobs protected by unions. These costs do not affect citizens equally across the board. Latinos disproportionately rely on the protections of unions for jobs with higher wages and better benefits. Additionally, in the states where anti-union legislation is most prominently being considered, Latinos are a growing number of the population and they make up a significant part of the overall union and public sector union workforce.

The Benefits of Union Membership for Latinos
The major benefit of union membership is the ability to negotiate a contract with employers for fair wages and salary. Unionized Latinos earn approximately 51 percent more than their non-union counterparts (LCLAA 2011). For public sector employees, the wage and benefit advantages are often even greater because in many states, public sector unions hold a monopoly on these jobs. Public sector unions are particularly important for communities of color. Non-union, non-white public sector workers are vulnerable to falling farther below the median income compared to their white coworkers (Agbede 2011). This vulnerability stems from the fact that Latinos, along with other minority groups, fill jobs at the lower end of the wage scale. These jobs are the least likely to be protected by unions or are the first to be victimized by anti-union legislation. Therefore, Latinos as some of the last people to break into middle class status (with the help of union protected jobs), may be some of the first to depart. The figure below shows how the public sector has offered more opportunity for Latinos to achieve greater wage parity with white men compared to jobs in the private sector.

Latino Union Membership
While union membership is greater among non-Latinos than Latinos, a comparison of the numbers reveals that the difference between the two groups is not very significant. The figure below shows that union membership for non-Latinos in 2010 was 11.5%, compared to 10.2% for Latinos. Union membership is down for both groups since its height of 1995 (the highest for the fifteen year period under observation). The downturn, however, has not been linear. In fact Latinos have seen a more recent spike in union membership (2008) than non-Latinos (2000). Future trends are difficult to predict, but will likely be significantly influenced in the foreseeable future by the ant-union measures being carried out.

Latinos are an Increasing Part of States Being Threatened by Anti-Union Legislation

The graph below displays the growth in the Latino population as a percentage of growth in total population for 2000 to 2010 for each state that has passed or is considering passing anti-union legislation.

Traditionally, many of these states have not had large Latino populations, but as the graph shows, Latinos account for a large proportion of the population increases. Nebraska is a good example of a non-traditional Latino state, but one with an upward trend in Latino population. Latinos accounted for 70 percent of the growth in population in Nebraska from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Latinos encompassed 5.5 percent of Nebraska’s population and today it is close to 8 percent. Similar increases can be seen in Michigan and Kansas. Other states that have passed or are considering anti-union legislation are more traditional Latino gateway destinations such as Arizona and Florida. Both of these states continue to see large increases in Latino population as a percentage of total population growth. It is also important to note that among all these states, there is a mixture of both traditional conservative states (e.g. Alabama and Oklahoma) and much more moderate states (e.g., Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Arizona, and Wisconsin). Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin was elected with only a 52% majority in 2010.

The (Political) Road Ahead
Multi-generation Latinos have a lot at stake in the current battle to curtail the power of public sector unions. Latinos disproportionately represent low-wage jobs and have relied heavily on the efforts of unions to negotiate fair wages and benefits. If the power of unions is severely curtailed, many Latinos may be left without this protection. This vulnerability for Latinos is confounded by the fact that they are one of the least likely groups to obtain a higher education (U.S. Dept. of Education 2010). Unions play an even greater role in diminishing wage inequalities for workers without college degrees (Agbede 2011).

In the wake of the passage of anti-union legislation in Wisconsin and the protests that accompanied it, nineteen prominent national Latino organizations came out in opposition to attacks on public sector unions and their collective bargaining rights. These groups included League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP), Cuban American National Council (CNC), and Mexican American Political Association (MAPA). What role will these organizations play moving forward? Will these organizations help galvanize support among Latinos, not only in the states where unions are currently being threatened, but nationwide? What role will this issue play in the 2012 elections? Will Latinos be mobilized to vote on the issue of union protection? There is an opportunity for Latinos to significantly affect how this debate plays out. It is up to political and organizational leaders to see that the voices of those greatly affected by diminishing union power are not drowned out.

Stella Manrique Rouse
is an Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and a Ford Foundation Post Doctoral Fellow. She has a forthcoming article, “Networks in the Legislative Arena: How Group Dynamics Affect Cosponsorship” in Legislative Studies Quarterly. 

The Washington dance is phoney

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
By Charlie Reese, Final Column for the Orlando Sentinel

Publisher's Note:  This was Charlie Reese's last column for the Orlando Sentinel, which he asked us to share with our readers.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ....

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Analysis: In Iowa, Hispanics upset with Obama

Three years later, conversations with Hispanics voters here reveal a deep disappointment with the president, especially on immigration.
By James B. Kelleher (Reuters)

WEST LIBERTY, IOWA  - Back in 2008, when Barack Obama was fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, local Hispanics like Jose Zacarias were eager foot soldiers for him in this critical battleground state.

Encouraged by Obama's promise to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, Zacarias hosted parties to raise money for the candidate and helped register new voters in the Hispanic community.

When election day arrived, Zacarias and other Hispanics helped get out the Democratic vote.

Those efforts paid off, aiding Obama in winning Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses in January 2008 -- a victory that transformed his campaign -- and to go on to capture the state's seven electoral votes in the November 2008 general election that swept him into the White House.

But three years later, as Obama seeks re-election, conversations with Hispanics voters here reveal a deep disappointment with the president, especially on immigration.

As a result, the enthusiasm his candidacy generated in 2008 is now hard to find in this city, which became Iowa's first majority Hispanic town in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

"The passion that was there is not there now," Zacarias, 56, said.

Hispanics here acknowledge the many challenges Obama faced in his first term, from the recession to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the takeover, in last fall's midterm elections, of the House of Representatives by Republicans opposed to nearly everything he campaigned for.


But the disenchantment is still there. "He's really let us down on immigration," said Francisco Martinez, a 40-year-old worker in the local turkey processing plant who will be eligible to vote for the first time in 2012.

"He's had to fix everything that (ex-president George W.) Bush broke. But immigration's one of the things that's broken and needs to be fixed. "

Obama's Hispanic problem extends beyond West Liberty, says Rene Rocha, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Iowa, and could suppress voter turnout in the community in 2012.

"It's safe to say that there's been a significant amount of disappointment with the Obama administration among Latino elites," Rocha said.

"And one of the big questions is the extent to which this disappointment will filter down to the popular level and ordinary Latino voters."

One of the ironies of Obama's first term -- a bitter irony for Hispanics here -- is that deportations of illegal immigrants have risen during his first term as the administration has adopted tougher border and workplace enforcement.

That increase, which comes even as Mexican migration to the United States has fallen, "has not gone unnoticed in the community," Rocha said.

But the biggest gripe Hispanics here have with Obama is that he has done nothing to address the problems faced by the estimated 12 million undocumented workers who are already in this country, working, paying taxes and raising taxes, but without any clear path to normalizing their status.

They saw the political capital Obama was willing to spend on behalf of the millions without health insurance and wonder why those immigrants didn't get the same attention.


"Our people are suffering," said Oscar Garcia, a 57-year-old former corrections officer in nearby Muscatine who now works with autistic children in West Liberty. "They need to become legal."

Obama, Garcia said, "has done nothing for immigrants. He hasn't kept his promises. When healthcare came along, he pushed it to the limit. He didn't care what the Republicans were saying. Why couldn't he do the same thing for immigration reform? Why didn't he push it the limit?"

If there's good news here for Obama, it's that Republicans are regarded with deep suspicion by most local Hispanics, not just on immigration issue but on workplace safety and business regulation.

But that only adds to the sense of frustration among Hispanics.

"There isn't any other real choice," said Ismael Sanchez, 69, who came of age in Arizona as Cesar Chavez's National Farm Workers Union was organizing during the 1960s and retired in West Liberty after working for many years in a Tysons packing plant in Columbus Junction.

"The Republicans leave a bitter taste in my mouth. They don't seem to be interested in our votes."

Zacarias, who came to West Liberty in the early 1980s speaking no English to work in the turkey plant and now is a citizen and a middle manager at a plant in Iowa City, agrees.

"The Republicans would be happy to get rid of the unions and undo labor laws and the EPA -- you name it -- and take things back to the old-fashioned game of letting industries regulate themselves," he said.

"If we let these guys running the packing plant police themselves we'll be in big trouble."

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher' Editing by Jerry Norton)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Getting a Pink Slip: Lessons from an experienced Latino

Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez
A pink slip feels like a death warrant.
By Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez ,

Edited by Susan Aceves

I have a deep and abiding concern for those who have been laid off or suspect that they may be laid off in the near future. Most of my sons have been cut loose and/or down-sized only to be resurrected many months later in another profession.

In my sordid work experience throughout the years I have been laid off, let go, re-assigned, promoted, demoted, fired, bum-rushed, asked to leave, asked to manage, often-times handed a ham sandwich and a road map, with a, "Don’t call us we'll call you" ... and they never did.

Many people think that it can’t happen to them because the boss likes them and the company needs them. It can and does happen - and now, often times, the boss gets shown the door as well. Be aware! The older you get, the more money you are paid and the stronger the scent of your blood in the water. The company sharks know this. If you were a shark, don’t hate the player, hate the game. And there is consolation when the boss gets the same pink slip at the same time you do. Once you hit the parking lot, corporate etiquette would dictate that it is sporting to give him/her at least a three step lead before you start chasing them.

Getting laid off feels like your self worth has been killed. Your whole identity, lifestyle and ego are drastically changed within one day. Your source of security, purpose and income gets executed. You become needy and dependent - often times filled with guilt and rage. In America, it’s not who you are as much as what do you do.

I have some hard-lived advice for those who get the short end of the economic stick. The first thing you have to realize is that, most of the time, it’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. We are in a depression that Obama or your mama cannot fix. Deal with what is real and don’t look back. Laying people off is simply a financial decision and it has nothing to do with you as a person. Getting fired has everything to do with you as a person. That being said I’ve been fired more than an Iraqi assault rifle.

The other thing to realize is that those in the company who are not laid off have to do twice or three times the work at the same pay.

The last thing to actualize is that the company sucks anyway.

Most people are in denial and don’t anticipate job cut backs. They figure the company can work at a loss for a while and the boss doesn’t look worried. Be aware of this: the boss may not be worried because he or she may be stupid.

Always assume that you can be laid off any minute. And always have a "plan B" job to fall back on that can pay quick cash. It's also quite helpful to have a list of ridiculous things your spouse has purchased that can quickly be sold on Craigslist.

Immediately apply for unemployment, even if you expect to be called back.

Be aware of similar companies that can use your abilities, know who is hiring, and consider taking some classes learning another trade should your vocation go into a drought mode. Network on line 24/7. Besides, you have nothing else to do. Make getting a job, your job.

After college I went into Spanish language radio. Once I was blacklisted, I found myself unemployable. I finally took a job selling cars which led to learning the sales trade. Car dealerships have an intensive sales training system and I used my sales ability to land many types of jobs and feed my family until the economy got right again. (Don’t sell insurance. Your friends and family will never forgive you.)

There are a few stages one goes though once handed the pink slip. The first is denial. You are somehow convinced that it is a mistake and they will re-hire you the next day. The first day home is like a day home sick from school. You don’t know what to do with yourself and wait for the phone to ring, for a text, or for an e-mail that never comes. You call work to see who misses you or if anything has changed. Soon they make excuses not to take your call.

The second phase is you humble yourself and start asking your friends who's hiring, then check the various employment websites. Then you start going on some whack interviews. You soon find that there are lousy jobs out there with way too many over qualified candidates and they want to pay peanuts. Sometimes it is better to stay on unemployment rather than taking a minimum wage job.

The third phase is that you get used to being home, interview less frequently and, for many, give up. This is a mistake. Psychologists say that in order to be emotionally healthy, people need two things: security and significance. A job gives one significance. In my down times I have learned to forgo ego and have taken jobs that, before, I would consider beneath my stature. These have been some of the best and most rewarding times in my life. And the people around me were happy to know that I was no longer a legend in my own mind.The life experience of starting over vocationally and knowing that I had to scrape for my money has served to enhance the quality of my life immeasurably. It has given me a confidence I wouldn’t have received any other way.

I tell my sons that I believe that I could be dropped, flat broke, from a helicopter in Kentucky and have a job, an apartment, and a Cadillac within two weeks because now I know how to get money. Getting laid off at various stages in my life most certainly has showed me the way.

I hate to quote clichés, but this faith-based one is most appropriate: Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez is a Contributing Editor to Latino L.A. and Vida de Oro.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Latino Senator tells President, "We don't need new taxes, we need new taxpayers"

Joint Senate Floor remarks push focus on country, not Washington D.C. politics.

Congressional leaders are meeting today with President Barack Obama to discuss a potential $4-trillion package that could reduce the nation’s growing deficit.  Topics to be discussed include:  broad changes to social security; broad changes to Medicare; and an overhaul of the nation’s tax code.  An interesting topic that will not be discussed is the creation of jobs, a key component Freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) believes should be a key topic.  The following is a press release issued by his office and below is the video of the entire presentation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to speak on the Senate floor about jobs and the debt.  In his remarks, Rubio stressed the importance of taking bad job-destroying ideas off the table in ongoing debt reduction negotiations.

Sen. Marco Rubio
SENATOR RUBIO: “Here's the bottom line: These tax increases they're talking about. These so-called revenue enhancers, they don't solve the problem. So what do we do then? Because clearly we have to do two things.

"One, we have to hold the line on spending, if you keep digging yourself in the hole, the hole is going to bury you, the other thing is how do you start generating revenue for government so you can start paying down this debt?  That’s what the debate should be about. 

“We already know these taxes don't work. Here is what I suggest works in a balanced approach, using the President's terminology. Let's stop talking about new taxes and start talking about creating new taxpayers, which basically means jobs. 

“Here in Washington, this debt is the number-one issue on everyone's mind, and rightfully so. It is a major issue. But everywhere else in the real world, the number one issue on everyone's minds is jobs. …

“We don't need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. Then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. That's what we should be focused on, and that's what we're not focused on. 

“You look at all these taxes being proposed, and here's what I say. I say we should analyze every single one of them through the lens of job creation, issue number one in America. I want to know which one of these taxes they're proposing will create jobs. I want to know how many jobs are going to be created by the plane tax. How many jobs are going to be created by the oil company tax I heard so much about. How many jobs are created by going after the millionaires and billionaires the president talks about? I want to know: How many jobs do they create?

“Because I'll tell you, and I'm going to turn it over to Senator Ayotte in a second. I'm interested in her perspective as a job creator, as the spouse of a job creator, as someone like me who came off the campaign trail.  I traveled the state of Florida for two years campaigning. I have never met a job creator who told me that they were waiting for the next tax increase before they started growing their business. I've never met a single job creator who's ever said to me I can't wait until government raises taxes again so I can go out and create a job.

...“The other great phrase here, you know, both Senator Ayotte and I have only been here a few months so I think we're still learning the language of Washington. I hope it never becomes part of my permanent vocabulary, but one of the things I've been hearing recently is this notion everything should be on the table, which is funny because everything is not on the table, according to the President and others. 

“For example, there is no serious discussion of a spending cap. I'd love to have a vote -- why don't we have a vote on the balanced budget amendment? Why is that not on the table? Why is a balanced budget amendment not on the table? Why aren’t we voting on that tomorrow? 

“Because a balanced budget amendment basically says you can't spend money you don't have which makes all the sense in the world to the rest of the people that live in the real world, but apparently that doesn't apply here and the result is these problems we face.

“But I actually think some things should be off the table. Let me tell you what should be off the table: bad ideas. If something is a bad idea, it shouldn't be on the table. And I think it is a bad idea to pass things to make it harder to hire people. 

“How much higher do they want unemployment to be? So here is what I think we have to ask ourselves. These tax increases that Senator Ayotte pointed out along with the regulations kill job creation in America. These tax increases don't do anything about the debt. They don't raise enough money to do anything significant about the debt. They don't create jobs. In fact, they kill them. So how could tax increases that they're outlining be part of a solution? Why is it being offered? 

“Ultimately these are smart people. They know the math. I think the answer lies in the politics of all of this. The politics of all of this is pretty clear. This appears to be an effort to save face. 

…“There's got to be spending reductions and it appears to me that the President and others in his party are positioning and are looking for a pound of flesh in return for these cuts so they can go to their political base and say, ‘Look what we’ve got, we got something out of this. We went after the people who made all this money, we went after the greedy millionaires and billionaires. We went after this oil companies, even though this has nothing to do with the debt.’  That’s the only explanation for why this is even on the table. 

“I think all bad ideas should be off the table. I think anything that kills jobs should be off the table. I think anything that hurts the ability of job creators to grow their business should be off the table. I think anything that helps increase the unemployment rate should be off the table. I think that's what should be off the table. I think anything that hurts our ability to grow our economy should be off the table. And I hope what should be on the table are things that force this government once and for all to put itself back on the path of sanity. 

“Sanity basically means that we stop having a government that spends money it does not have. And I'll turn it over to Senator Ayotte to close but I want thank you for the opportunity to do this because I thought it was important to bring these points to the floor here today.”

Click on the video below to watch the entire presentation: