From the Dallas Morning News:
By midday Friday, the booth operated by the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Texas had few visitors, despite the bustling activity all around it.
Perhaps a man carrying a sign that called for building a wall along the border to keep out Mexican immigrants captured the mood.
The sign read: "Keep America Beautiful. Build a Wall and Stop Illegal Immigration Now."
Just two years ago, Hispanic outreach was a major theme at the GOP's national convention in New York. But for this Texas gathering, some say, trying to bring Hispanics into the party has been an afterthought.
There were no major Hispanic events or socials listed in the official convention program; a hospitality room for the Hispanic Assembly was set up at an off-site hotel.
And unlike two years ago, Republican Hispanics are spending much of their time trying to stem grassroots efforts to put strict anti-immigration language in the party's platform.
"My fear is that we have forgotten some of the very lessons we learned when we were still trying to break though," said Royal Masset, a veteran Republican strategist who was the state party's political director during much of the 1990s. "It used to be that our candidates for office ran to serve the people of Texas. Now it seems that they run to serve the Republican Party."
"The Republican-primary voters have made it very clear that they expect action on this issue, and they expect it now," [Will Lutz, editor of the conservative newsletter Lone Star Report] said. "You're going to hear a lot of that at the convention."
Masset, who is married to a Mexican citizen who is a legal resident of the United States, said he has heard a lot from Republicans on that issue. And he doesn't like much of it.
"I am for very strong controls along the border, and I am not for amnesty," Masset said. "But I am definitely not for all of this hateful rhetoric we are hearing on this issue -- that we are going to felonize them, that we should deport them. It's talk like this that is going to lose us the Hispanic vote just like we lost the black vote in the last generation.
"We are the majority party now. We should be working now to increase that majority."
I don't really have the energy to read through more stories on this. South Texas Chisme does (more here), and so does Rio Grande Valley Politics, so go read them. I have some other convention thoughts at Kuff's World.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 03, 2006 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack