Friday, June 18, 2010

Whitman Throws Money at Latino Voters in California

During the recent Republican gubernatorial primary campaign, Meg Whitman (the eventual nominee) and her opponent Steve Poizner were doing their best to be win an award for being more anti-immigrant. Whitman ran an ad with former anti-immigrant governor Pete Wilson.

In the ad Meg Whitman says, "Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal…Illegal immigrants should not expect benefits from the state of California. No driver's license and no admission to state-funded institutions of higher education. And I'll create an economic fence to crack down on employers who break the law by using illegal labor.

To which Pete Wilson replies: This is former Governor Pete Wilson. I know how important it is to stop illegal immigration and I know Meg Whitman. Meg will be tough as nails on illegal immigration. She'll fight to secure our border and go after sanctuary cities.

Now that she has the nomination, Whitman realizes she needs Latino votes, and she's doing her best to clean up her image with Latino voters:

Joe Garofoli writes for the San Francisco Chronicle:

It will be difficult for Republicans to win statewide office in California without some support from Latino voters, who make up 18 percent of the electorate. Many of them were so outraged by former Gov. Pete Wilson's anti-illegal immigration push 16 years ago that they haven't voted GOP since.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman began trying to woo back Latinos on Thursday - and distance herself from Wilson's legacy - by running ads on Spanish-language networks during the widely seen broadcast of the Mexico-France World Cup soccer match.

In one of the ads, titled "Una Candidata diferente," the narrator says, "She respects our community. She is the Republican who opposes the Arizona law and opposed Proposition 187," the immigration proposition that Wilson supported in 1994.

The 30-second ads, which are airing on Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura, are the most visible example of the Whitman campaign's attempts not to cede Latino voters to Democrat Jerry Brown.

This week, Univision's highly rated Los Angeles station, KMEX, began airing the first of a two-part sit-down with Whitman that is the only on-camera interview she has done in her Atherton home.

And for months, Spanish-speaking Whitman operatives have courted Spanish-language media outlets, appearing on talk shows and news programs to pitch their candidate.

Brown's skeletal campaign, by contrast, has no paid Spanish-speaking staffers doing outreach, relying instead on volunteers. His campaign has no Spanish-language advertising. Click here for the rest of the story. 


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