LatinaLista — For many of us in the Latino community, who have been disgusted by the inflammatory political rhetoric and mean-spirited state and national legislation/policies targeting undocumented immigrants, it’s not surprising that we saw today the defection of one more Hispanic Republican.
The surprising thing is that more aren’t doing it.
Former Rhode Island chairman of Republican Hispanic Assembly, Ivan Marte.
Rhode Island’s chairman of the Republican Hispanic Assembly, Ivan G Marte, called it quits with the GOP after he said he felt embarrassed by Rep. Wilson’s heckle of President Obama.
Marte called Wilson’s behavior rude and attributed it as the last straw in his growing disenchantment with the GOP.
Marte became “disenchanted” with Governor Carcieri after the Republican governor sought his advice — and then ignored it, Marte said — concerning the 2008 executive order cracking down on illegal immigration. Carcieri’s order angered many in the Hispanic community.
(Marte has supplied Latina Lista with his original resignation letter which is printed at the end of this post.)
However, come to find out, Marte isn’t the first prominent Latino Republican in Rhode Island to quit the party. Marte’s successor, David A. Quiroa, also quit in frustration with the governor’s executive order on illegal immigration.
Yet, while the customary press statements were released saying all the usual stuff — “Sorry to see you go. Come back anytime” — No one said, “Don’t go!”
Not from the state GOP or the national GOP.
In fact, Marte has been surprised by the backlash from the public triggered by his resignation. He writes to Latina Lista that he is “perplexed” and understands why this Nation is bound for the worst crisis a Nation could possibly face.
So all the more reason why it’s a sad commentary on the Rhode Island GOP and the national headquarters for them to keep mum about Marte’s resignation.
It’s an understatement to say that it’s a mistake. Not just because it sends a bad message to Latino Republicans — “We want your membership, just don’t want to hear you.” — but for the fact that something else is happening in Rhode Island that could prove to be the field experiment for Latinos, and others, who are fed up with the direction of the GOP.
There is a new political party in Rhode Island.
It’s called the Moderate Party of Rhode Island. It’s members believe that the government must be fixed in order to fix the state of Rhode Island and that the focus should be on four issues: Economy, Ethics, Education and the Environment — issues that take precedence over all others.
The Moderate Party of Rhode Island is a grass roots movement. To succeed, many individuals need to coalesce around the idea of legislating from the middle, forging consensus via compromise and pragmatism. The hot button social topics of our times (abortion, illegal immigration, etc) necessarily must take a legislative back seat while our economy is repaired and the erosion of the tax base reversed.
While it’s true that third-wheel political parties have sprung up in the past, and just as quickly faded, the times are ripe for more parties like the Moderate Party of Rhode Island.
If Marte and his successor, and other politically disenchanted Latinos, were to join this party or create their own, it would be because their voices would be heard, their services utilized and their opinions valued.
That is the recipe for any political party to be successful — if the Latino vote really mattered to them.
Resignation letter of Ivan G. Marte
September 16, 2009
Chairman of the Rhode Island
Dear Mr. Cicione,
Endurance, tolerance and courage must be part of our daily life, there are others virtues to be considered to fulfill some of our daily task and responsibilities to our family, our neighbors and our community but when those duties are to be accomplish through a political machinery with an uneven and inequality system fill with peoples locking the basic understanding of human values, seduced by power, money and an illusion of glory and fame than those duties are to be attended through others venues.
It’s with sorrow that I’ am morally obligated to resign my position as the Chairman of the RI Republican Hispanic Assembly, my post as a member of the Republican Central Committee and my City registration to this party.
I would also like to point out that during my tenure of my position I came to realized that I was underutilized and marginalized by the same peoples that we help reached public office through our support, commitment and hard work.
I do hope that my resignation served as a sign, that the Republican Party in this Nation need to reevaluate their position in a Society that it strength and sovereignty depend on the unification of our peoples and not the division that we had build and that we should concentrate our efforts on our similarity and not on our differences.
That we out to follow the lesson that our Armed Forces has learned while defending our Freedom, our Democracy and our way of life through forces made out of an array of soldiers from every corner of the world who like any American swore to defend our Nation with the same commitment as our fore father before them.
We must prepared our peoples to adjust and adapt to our current time, that our survivorship will be in the hands of the very same peoples whom at one time or another we found it hard to deal with it because of Color, Religion, Race, Ethnic or National Origin; for our children will be a witness to this.
Ivan G. Marte
Marisa, you obsess with the Republican party’s position on illegal immigration, but you fail to understand that there are millions of Democrats who agree with them. If it weren’t so, then the Democrats would have no political difficulties with enacting an amnesty. Just as on the widespread opposition to Obamacare, the Republicans and many Democrat senators and congressmen are being pressured by their constituencies to oppose amnesties. The Latino community has a long row to hoe when it comes to winning over America, because you are indeed a minority when it comes to the American position on adopting millions of poorly educated illegal aliens. You waste your time by abusing the Republican party because the widespread national opposition isn’t attributable to just one party.
Benjamin, I don’t think the road is as long as you would like to believe nor as widespread among Democrats. In fact, I think there are really millions of Republicans who disagree with your viewpoints and those Republican politicians who advocate harsh measures when it comes to educating undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, they’re not as vocal as those that are appearing at the healthcare meetings nor have the time to troll the internet to plant comments like your’s. So, in essence, I think in reality it may be even.
You see this pattern repeated w/these Latino advisory committees. Pols set them up and then expect the group of Latinos appointed to them to smile quietly. But of course, these ‘advisory’ committees never have authority…which is sort of the point, no?
Advisories are popular when pols want Latino votes but will do next to nothing to help Latinos achieve their own representation via elective office.
It’s window dressing and marginalization of the worse kind. And it’s practiced by BOTH parties…although a tactic favored by the Latino-thin GOP.
While I applaud Ivan Marte’s decision to quit a party in the midst of a nativist, racist spasm, the question is, Why so late?
He was insulted by the blowhard from the SC backbench Bircher, but the GOP has been seriously insulting Latinos for a while.
Was Marte not outraged by the comments/beliefs of such GOP luminaries as Sarah Palin, Tom Tancredo, Ginny Brown-Waite, Brian Bilbray, Mitt Romney, Patrick Buchanan, George Allen, Shelby Chamblis, Ron Paul, Elizabeth Dole, Virgil Goode, Lou Barletta, Randy Graf, J.D. Hayworth, etc, etc, etc.? It’s an endless list.
Seriously, unless you’re an ‘Hispanic’ w/DNA ties to oligarchs & generales in South Miami exile, I really don’t see why a self-respecting Latino could remain a member of today’s Republican Party.
My other point is that while the Moderate Party in RI may be a terrific holding place for ‘normal’ Republicans, I’m not sure that it’ll be any better home for Latinos in RI.
Racist or moderately nativist…what’s the difference?
With 10-15%+ of the pop, and the demographic group that’s growing in RI, along w/a huge Blue advantage, RI Latinos are poised to take real power as Democratic policy makers.
Democrat Latinos have established themselves as players in RI’s two central cities — Providence and Central Falls.
Deepening and expanding their base is making Latinos a major political force in RI.
Frankly, the election of Carcieri (for whom Marte served as an ‘advisor’) was in large part an Anglo reaction to state’s fast rising Latinos.
So why was Marte surprised?
According to national polls, super-majorities of Americans support allowing undocumented workers a path to citizenship or that they may stay as guest workers.
“Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently working in the U.S.? (1) They should be allowed to stay in their jobs, and to eventually apply for US citizenship. OR, (2) They should be allowed to stay in their jobs only as temporary guest workers, but not to apply for U.S. citizenship. OR, (3) They should be required to leave their jobs and leave the U.S.”
Stay, Apply for Citizenship
Stay as Guest Workers
So you are right, since there are only 20% republicans in this country, and some of those are pro-immigrant, then there are some Democrats that are against it.
Problem is that there aren’t enough of them, since 65% favor either path to citizenship of remain as guest workers.
Mr. Marte’s resignation letter is a poignant testimony to the racist rejection he and Latina/os in general are made to endure from prominent Republicans. Though I am skeptical of RI Moderates as a third party, I agree with you, Marisa, that Latina/os need an alternative to the Democratic Party.
It is not good for Latina/os when Democrats can feel that they can do whatever they want because Latina/os have nowhere else to go. This is especially true in light of the tendencies of the present White House to sacrifice Latina/o interests to “bipartisanship” with Republicans. A notable example is President Obama’s agreement to sharpening language in a health insurance bill to exclude immigrants, documented or undocumented, from health coverage.
This is both inhumane and unintelligent. All residents of the US should be covered, by virtue of their human needs. Civilized countries like Spain, England and Germany handle health care this way. Excluding immigrants – undocumented or not – is unintelligent because good and poor health have a ripple effect in a community – most obviously with respect to infections like swine flu, and more subtly with respect to many other issues like nutrition, exercise, and dental hygiene.
If President Obama’s initiative to make sure immigrants are excluded from health coverage prevails, US citizens will be in that much greater danger during the coming flu epidemic – whether it is swine flu this year, or bird flu in coming years.
So with President Obama jumping to immediately throw Latina/os’ health under the “bipartisan”/Republican bus as soon as a Republican boor shouts at him in Congress – what can Latina/os do, for whom the Democratic Party is obviously not a safe home?
Some will despair and resign and stay home. Others will become proactive and organize independently.
One thing is abundantly clear – party loyalty to either Republicans or Democrats is dangerous for Latina/os. I send Mr. Marte my respects.
“I agree with you, Marisa, that Latina/os need an alternative to the Democratic Party.”
I agree Laura, we could call it the “Just Us Latino’s Party.
I would argue that it is Latinos who have diverged from the principles they once had in common with the Republicans, not the other way around. It has long been known that the Republican party has been strong supporters of the enforcement of our legal system. It has only been when the Latino community decided that they no longer want to be a part of a country of laws, not men that the two have diverged in values. Nothing has changed with the Republicans, it’s the ultra-left wing Latinos that have compromised their principles for ethnic advocacy above all things.
I would argue that it is Latinos who have diverged from the principles they once had in common with the Republicans, not the other way around. It has long been known that the Republican party has been strong supporters of the enforcement of our legal system.
Bush’s “A” List of High Crimes and Misdemeanors
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