Earlier today, ThinkProgress reported that Latinos for Reform — a Republican 527 group — purchased an $80,000 buy on Univision to air ads urging Nevada Latino voters not to vote. We urged Univision not to air the ads. The network, which heads the non-partisan Latino civic participation campaign, Ya Es Hora, has decided to do the right thing and not broadcast the ads. A Univision spokesperson told ThinkProgress:
Univision will not be running any spots from Latinos for Reform related to voting. It is also important to clarify that while Mr. Robert de Posada has on occasion provided political commentary on Univision, representing one of various points of views, he is not in any way affiliated with Univision. Univision prides itself on promoting civic engagement and our extensive national campaigns encourage Hispanics to vote.
Univision’s decision likely has something to do with the fact that Robert de Posada wants to tell their viewers that the best way for Latinos to exercise their political power in support of immigration reform is to stay at home this November — a message that runs counter to its own GOTV efforts. ThinkProgress did some digging into de Posada’s group, and here’s what we found.
To begin with, the group’s 8872 form lists the same P.O. Box number as the one belonging to the Admiral Roy F. Hoffmann Foundation, an organization founded by the chairman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), Roy F. Hoffmann. For those who don’t recall, SBVT was another 527 group formed during the 2004 elections aimed at opposing Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) presidential bid by distorting and misrepresenting his war record.
De Posada told Talking Points Memo the address was a “mistake”: “In 2008, because the laws were so strange, we hired a political compliance company that handled our reporting and accounting.”
The connection doesn’t stop at a P.O. Box. Latinos for Reform, the Hoffmann Foundation, and SBVT have all employed the services of the same consulting firm, Political Compliance Services. Susan Arceneaux, a “long time aide of Dick Armey” heads the company. The firm markets itself as “an accounting services vendor specializing in FEC regulations. Our comprehensive approach to your individual accounting needs will deliver you from the headaches and legal ramifications of FEC non-compliance.” Latinos for Reform hasn’t filed anything with the IRS since April 2, 2009.
Latinos for Reform’s post-election 2008 report also lists an expenditure of $1,203 that went towards Paul Sullivan & Associates, a law firm recommended by the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA).
Finally, John T. Finn, who donated a total of $70,000 to Latinos for Reform, is listed as a “Producer & publisher” on the group’s contribution form. However, the address attached to his name also belongs to Pro-Life America and Lovematters.com.
De Posada shot back by simply accusing Univision of succumbing to Democratic pressure. “They got a little bit of pressure from the Democratic Party and they pulled it off,” he said.