Today, Capital Wire posted a press release issued by the conservative Latino Coalition denouncing the controversial ads released by Latinos for Reform, another right-leaning political group, which told Latinos not to vote. Latino Coalition president Hector V. Barreto stated:
The Latino Coalition believes in holding all our elected representatives accountable, by actively participating in the democratic process. At the heart of this process is our right and duty as citizens to vote. That we have not achieved Comprehensive Immigration Reform, yet, should motivate us to deepen our participation, not withdraw to the sidelines. [...] What is clear is that any message of abstention to Latinos is terribly ill-founded and contrary to our best interests.
Earlier this week, the president of Latinos for Reform, Robert de Posada, tried to tell MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that the Spanish-version of the ad was more tempered and only called on Latinos not to vote for candidates who betrayed them (the Spanish ad vaguely makes this point, but later clearly tells them not to vote at all). Also, when O’Donnell pointed out that “there are no other Latino organizations on board with this,” de Posada told him that he was simply listening to “a group of [Latino] leaders in Washington, DC who depend on access to the White House.”
Watch de Posada’s interview on MSNBC:
The Latino Coalition’s statement debunks de Posada’s first claim: “the spot’s Spanish translation deviates significantly from its English version, by widening blame to both political parties –as opposed to its English counterpart, which focuses on Democrats – and urging Latino voters not to vote in any election, as opposed to the specific instruction in the English-language spot not to vote in Congressional races only.”
Furthermore, the Latino Coalition also doesn’t have much to do with the current White House. In fact, what their press release curiously doesn’t mention is that the Latino Coalition was founded and led by Robert de Posada himself.
De Posada told Talking Points Memo earlier this week that he created the Hispanic Business Roundtable in 1994, which later became the Latino Coalition which he led until 2007. In fact, when Barreto became president, de Posada issued a statement saying “As national chairman, Hector Barreto will be a leader that helps set the
community on the right course to greater prosperity.”
Now, de Posada is following National Council of La Raza’s lead and simply telling Latinos to demand respect when they vote: