Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Ads telling Latinos not to vote disrespect the history, progress and future of Latino community

Ads telling Latinos not to vote disrespect the history, progress and future of Latino community

LatinaLista — In the 2008 presidential election, Latinos finally understood the mother of all civics lessons — voting is the most powerful tool to fuel change.

respeto.jpgSince that time, with Democrats delivering a mixed message to the greater Latino community on immigration reform — endorsing the DREAM Act but setting records for deportations — to say Latinos are disillusioned with Democrats is an understatement.

The song “Respeto” is a joint venture between singing group Ozomatli and NCLR to get Latinos to the polls in November.

Yet, disillusionment isn’t reason enough to abandon a privilege that is used as a benchmark to gauge the social and civic maturity of a population. But that is what one rogue group that calls itself “Latinos for Reform” wants Latino voters to believe.

This group has been buying air time in Nevada and other states urging Latino voters to show their disgust with Democrats by not going to the polls come November.

However, since news of these ads first came to light, the depth of disgust from all Latinos against this twisted message has gone beyond frustration and disillusionment felt towards any political party.

These ads, that would attempt to deprive Latinos of their votes, even if it’s by persuasion, is a tactic meant to dismantle the growing political clout that currently exists among Latino voters.

Anyone who does that doesn’t have the best interest of the Latino community at heart, even if they identify themselves as “Latinos.”

This rogue Latino group is headed up by a man named Robert de Posada, a conservative political consultant and political analyst for Univision, as described by the online site

According to ThinkProgress,

de Posada’s group’s 8872 form lists the same P.O. Box number as the one belonging to the Admiral Roy F. Hoffmann Foundation, an organization founded by the chairman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), Roy F. Hoffmann. For those who don’t recall, SBVT was another 527 group formed during the 2004 elections aimed at opposing Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) presidential bid by distorting and misrepresenting his war record.

Latina Lista tried to contact the Latinos for Reform organization but has not received any kind of response as of this posting. Maybe de Posada and his group have gone into hiding, especially since his sometimes host Univision (where he occasionally delivers independent political commentary) returned his $80,000 ad-buy to run his anti-vote message.

As ThinkProgress rightly reports, to run de Posada’s ad would counter Univision’s “Ya es Hora” campaign dedicated to getting Latino voters to register and utilize their power to vote.

While de Posada and his backers clearly wanted to influence the Latino vote, they encountered such a barrage of backlash from major organizations today — from United Farm Workers to major Latino politicians in Nevada where the ad originally aired — that the message to get out the Latino vote has actually strengthened.

In fact, the latest Latino voting tracking poll by Latino Decisions shows that the number of Latino registered voters who say they are “almost certain” to show up at the polls is now 75.1%–a full 10% higher than it was four weeks ago, according to previous Latino Decisions research.

A growing segment of the Latino electorate is young people. There are numerous campaigns underway getting them enthused to vote. One is sponsored by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

NCLR teamed up with the Grammy-winning group Ozomatli to produce a bilingual song titled “Respeto” that calls on Latino voters to turn out at the polls in November.

The song is available for free download.

The irony of the title of this song isn’t lost on anyone who understands the value of a vote — those who don’t comprende have little respect for themselves or their community.


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