Yesterday, Latinos for Reform — a Republican 527 group — announced that it purchased an $80,000 buy on Univision to air ads urging Nevada Latino voters not to vote. Robert Deposada, a conservative political consultant and political analyst for Univision, has described the ad as an expression of the Latino community’s frustration with the lack of immigration reform. Apparently, telling Latino voters not to vote will somehow empower them. “It’s the only way for Hispanics to stand up and demand some attention,” Deposada claims. “I can’t ask people to support a Republican candidate who has taken a completely irresponsible and bordering on racist position on immigration,” he said about senatorial candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV). (As a side note, the ad doesn’t mention Angle or the fact that Republicans have been obstructing reform for the past year).
Watch the ad in English and in Spanish:
The big question is: Why is Univision even airing this ad? Obviously, Univision is a private company, not a public interest organization. It is free to air the ads of whomever it wants. However, it seems odd that the network would accept $80,000 to air a message that isn’t just fundamentally at odds with its own self-professed mantra, but also directly contradicts the goals of a campaign it has already invested significant resources in. Univision is a critical partner in the non-partisan Latino civic participation campaign, Ya Es Hora. According to the campaign’s website, Ya Es Hora “represents the largest and most comprehensive effort to incorporate Latinos as full participants in the American political process.” The Wonk Room also points out Univision Communications PAC has donated money to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and has more on the network’s voter outreach efforts.
In 2008, Latinos for Reform aired ads “alleging that Obama puts African Americans before Latinos and Africa before Latin America.”