September 10, 2007
News flash: Hispanics abandoning GOP

Though I trust that this comes as a shock to nobody, it's still nice to see in the papers.

Lionel Sosa has been a proud Republican for years. He produced campaign commercials for the late Sen. John Tower, worked as a media consultant for Ronald Reagan and raised money for George W. Bush.

But the harsh immigration rhetoric of some Republicans has driven the Floresville executive to question the direction of his party.

"Anytime anybody says, 'We've got to get those people out of here, and we've got to build a wall to keep those Mexicans out,' it's going to come off as unfriendly, period," he said. "If (Republicans) don't pedal back on the rhetoric, they are going to be in big trouble."

The immigration debate is one reason why Sosa, 68, is supporting Democrat Bill Richardson, a Latino and New Mexico's governor, for president. More important, his sense of betrayal is echoed in Hispanic communities across America. Latino support for President Bush and the Republican Party has plummeted this year as the debate over illegal immigration has driven Hispanic voters away from the GOP.

The freshest illustration of the trend: a pair of presidential election forums on issues of importance to Hispanics sponsored by Univision. The Democratic forum in Miami tonight has drawn RSVPs from all eight Democratic contenders. The Republican debate, scheduled for Sept. 16, has been postponed after organizers said only one candidate, Arizona Sen. John McCain, agreed to appear.

Sosa, who led a San Antonio advertising firm, expressed exasperation with his party's White House wannabes. With the exception of McCain, "they are all fighting to see who is more anti-immigration," he said.

Hey, Lionel - have to talked to Massey Villarreal about next year's Senate race? There are other opportunities besides just the Presidential race for you to consider your alternatives. I'm just saying.

Anyway, nothing here we haven't seen before, but again, nice to keep seeing it. May we see much more like it in the future.

UPDATE: Stace weighs in.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2007 to Show Business for Ugly People