October 14, 2003


Recall spurs new era of negotiation (Aurelio Rojas, October 14, 2003, Sacramento Bee)

Assemblyman Abel Maldonado, co-chairman of Schwarzenegger's campaign and one of only three Republican Latinos in the Legislature, said he believes the new governor can address concerns about the driver's license law.

"My advice to him is that he look at the legislation in its entire form and see if we can get a piece of legislation that helps people who are in the process of becoming legal residents, a system where there's some kind of verification of who the person is," Maldonado said. [...]

Maldonado predicts that the movie-star-turned-politician will "build bridges" to the Latino electorate.

"Our goal is to have 60 or 70 percent of the Latino vote in the year 2006," Maldonado said. "He's going to make sure they have good jobs. He's going to make sure they have a good education. He's going to make sure they are safe in their home. He's going to make sure they have the same opportunity everyone else has."

Romero said Davis "clearly pandered" to Latino voters by signing the driver's license bill after opposing earlier versions of the legislation.

"That turned off white voters, black voters, women voters, and it turned off a lot of Latino voters, too," Romero said.

She said the measure also perpetuated the "fallacy" that Latino voters are most interested in securing benefits for "undocumented workers."

"Latinos care more about good schools, Latinos care about jobs, Latinos care about issues that other voters care about," Romero said.

Cruz Bustamante: The Man Who Believed Karl Rove (Steve Sailer, 10/13/03, V-Dare)
When Bustamante became the only Democrat in the race to replace Gray Davis, his strategy seemed obvious. He just had to run as a pragmatic Democratic centrist and win the numerous Californians who just don't much like Republicans. If at least one other Republican stayed in the race with Schwarzenegger (as McClintock ultimately did), then Bustamante would have only needed to win, say, the same proportion of voters as there are registered Democrats (43.7 percent) or as would vote against the recall (44.7 percent).

There was nothing outlandish about Bustamante positioning himself like this. He really was, by California standards, a centrist -- a career politician from the unhip Central Valley who had devoted himself to servicing big agribusiness. In 1993, for example, he voted to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining drivers' licenses.

Yet, rather than run for Governor of all California, Bustamante campaigned as if the race was for El Gobernador de Mexifornia. Instead of competing with Schwarzenegger for the middle-of-the-road vote, he devoted much of his energy to battling the hard left Green Party candidate Peter Camejo (2.8 percent) for the stick-it-to-the-gringo vote.

Every time I turned on the TV, Bustamante was paying tribute to "undocumented workers" and their moral right to drivers' licenses, free college tuition, and welfare.

He turned the recall into a referendum on the wonderfulness of illegal immigration.

It lost.

Why did Bustamante decide to run as if he was the spiritual descendent of Pancho Villa raiding Columbus, New Mexico?

Bustamante's big mistake was that he actually believed all the hype he'd been reading about the Hispanic vote, what I call "Karl Rove's smoke screen."

The GOP need not pander but it ought not antagonize--just treat them like their votes matter to you.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 14, 2003 8:14 PM

Bustamonte is dumb as a rock, with an IQ approaching the CA Central Valley's summer temps.
If this joker wasn't a pandering Latino politician he'd be a CTA, CA's NEA subsidiary, union rep, telling one and all that if only they'd raise teacher's salaries 50% then all Hispanic and Blacks students would be as well educated as Asians currently are.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 14, 2003 8:55 PM

My, my, my Arnold certainly has a lot on his plate to help the hispanic community. He's going to fix all their problems.

He's going to do all that and this hispanics are going to do, what?

Posted by: Sandy P. at October 14, 2003 11:41 PM

AND hispanics are going to do, what???

Posted by: Sandy P. at October 14, 2003 11:42 PM

Arnold's policies dovetail with Latinos' interests -- education and jobs.

He will draw the line at pandering to illegals, though. The driver's license thing is hasta la vista baby, but will have to pass via referendum. No help from the legislature in undoing anything already enacted.

The trick will be communication. A strong case can be made to Latino citizens that encouraging illegal immigration is bad for them. Unfortunately no Republican has yet figured out how to do it.

The way legislative districts are drawn, it's a real log shot that Republicans can win any seats in majority-Latino districts. If he can keep the same kind of enthusiasm that got him a significant minority of that vote in the recall, it will mean something where those votes are part of a multi-ethnic district.

Posted by: Dave in LA at October 15, 2003 5:55 AM