Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Will state GOP follow national lead?

TomEliasW

By
From page A12 | March 29, 2013 |

The dramatically tectonic nature of the national Republican Party’s shift on immigration policy wasn’t really clear until Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, long a favorite of the ultra-conservative tea party, in late March suddenly came out for a pathway to citizenship for some illegal immigrants — even though he doesn’t want it called anything like that.

In the very same speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Paul — son of the Libertarian leader Ron Paul and himself a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate — essentially denied the long-standing but unsupported claim that undocumented newcomers are “parasites” who cost state, local and national governments billions of dollars.

“I have never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch,” Paul said. “We should be proud that so many want to come to America…We should make it a land of legal work, not black-market jobs, work and not welfare. Our land should be one of assimilation, not hiding in the shadows.”

Before Paul’s talk, remarks like those would far more likely have come from Democratic politicians — almost any Democratic politicians trying to cement Hispanic votes into that party’s column.

Especially in California, the Latino vote has been solidly Democratic since 1994, when Republican ex-Gov. Pete Wilson ran for re-election on a strident anti-illegal immigrant platform. The three years after that campaign saw more than 2.5 million legal immigrants become U.S. citizens and register as Democratic voters, shifting California from a swing state to one where only one Republican has been elected to a top-of-the-ticket job in the last 19 years.

But many California Republican activists apparently are not yet ready to admit — as the national party now has conceded — that they must change in order to survive.

After last year’s election, where GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney advocated “self-deportation” for millions and campaigned with the originator of Arizona’s draconian stop-on-sight immigration law, Latino voters went Democratic by a margin of almost 3-1, providing President Obama almost all of his re-election edge.

Now, after years of apparently not noticing that Hispanics were becoming more and more active politically, the GOP at last has read the election returns.

The party’s national leaders also appear to be heeding an early-March Latino Decisions poll indicating that 63 percent of registered Hispanic voters are personally acquainted with someone who is undocumented. That figure is up 10 percent over two years ago. The survey also found that 43 percent of Latinos who voted for Obama would consider voting Republican if the GOP leads the way on immigration reform with a doable path to citizenship.

The same survey found one-fourth of all Latino voters know at least one immigrant who has faced detention or deportation.

Said Gary Segura, a Stanford University professor who helps operate the Latino Decisions polling firm, “That means for Latino voters, immigration is not just a policy debate — it’s personal.”

Taking note, the Republican National Committee issued a “growth and opportunity report” the day before Paul’s speech, saying “the nation’s demographic changes (show) how precarious our position has become. Unless Republicans are able to grow our appeal (among Hispanics), the changes tilt the playing field even more in the Democratic direction. … If we want ethnic minority voters, we have to show our sincerity.”

But there’s considerable doubt many California Republicans are ready to buy into those themes or into adopting a kinder, gentler stance toward illegal immigration. True, the party’s new state chairman, Jim Brulte, says the GOP must recruit candidates who look and sound like the folks they seek to represent, adding that “the same conversations taking place in Washington are also going on in Sacramento.”

But the activists at the party’s core don’t yet seem ready to bend. One barometer is the California Republican Assembly, an all-volunteer group that sends large numbers of delegates to state GOP conventions where policies and platforms are adopted.

“The CRA has not changed its position,” says conservative blogger Stephen Frank, former president of the group, “What the Republican National Committee is trying to suggest is that we need a new policy that contradicts the law. That does not work.”

Frank also suggested that Democrats have “bought the votes” of Latinos by making it easier for them to come or stay here illegally.

“The American people deserve to have their laws respected and enforced,” he said.

That’s a bit discouraging for Californians who believe a strong and viable two-party system is essential for good government. Right now, Democrats so dominate the Legislature and other state offices that the GOP is all but irrelevant. If the state party proves unwilling to change, that’s probably how things will stay.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Parents will get tools to help their children thrive in school

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Free tax preparation service begins Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
February science fun set at Explorit

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Olive expert joins St. James event

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Protect root zone to save trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Weigh quality of life, density

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
.

Sports

UCD men set new school D-I era win record

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Mustangs hold off UCD women

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sharks double up Ducks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

By Creator | From Page: A9