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Without Steele, GOP leadership returns to its roots — no diversity

LatinaLista — It’s not a surprise that Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair, Michael Steele, is battling to stay in his job. Anyone who has listened to his past interviews on cable talk shows would have to wonder if he and Sarah Palin share the same prep coach.

michael_steele2.jpgHis verbal gaffes left him back-pedaling too many times for a party, now in control of the House, to feel comfortable having him as their national spokesman. In fact, Steele surprised many when he announced he was running for a second term. His determination to keep his job has spawned an initiative within his own party to prevent him from winning:

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Members of the Republican National Conservative Caucus (RNCC), who make up a majority of the RNC’s 168 voting members, are urging the five other candidates for RNC chair not to make any side agreement that enhances Mr. Steele’s chances to win a final ballot in which the top two finalist might square off against each other. They call it the “No Deal With Steele Pledge.”

Politico reports that GOP opposition to Steele returning for a second term is so great that major donors have pledged to abandon fundraising for the party if he wins.

Though the prospect of Steele winning is pretty low, it doesn’t look like he’s going to give up. Whoever is the next Chair will lead the GOP into the 2012 election, one election season that is already shaping up to be a “big deal.”

For the time being, Steele’s presence provides a little diversity to the crowded roster, which includes two women and a Lithuanian-American.

Though yet again, we see no Hispanics, no other blacks or Asians or Native Americans throwing their hats into the ring — and that’s a sad reflection on the GOP. It’s sad that there is not more support for RNC Chair candidates of color as there seems to be for defeating the one and only black RNC Chair in the party’s history.

If the GOP was serious about reaching out to the Latino community, one would think that there would have been an effort to encourage some of the bright and eloquent Latino GOPers who are in the party to apply.

What greater example of illustrating a connection with the Latino community than encouraging a Latino candidate?

But after their experience with Michael Steele could it be that the GOP leadership is leery of supporting a person of color who is more apt to speak his/her mind rather than just tote the party line?

Whatever the reason, the lack of a Latino candidate has left one group of Hispanic Republicans to throw their endorsement behind one of Steele’s opponents, Saul Anuzis.

This group of national leaders strongly believes Republicans will need to win over 40% of the Hispanic vote if Republicans are going to win nationally in 2012. It is important that the next RNC Chairman hits the ground running to build momentum and support within the Hispanic community. We are honored that this is a strength that Saul has compared with the candidates for Chairman.

This group, otherwise known as “Hispanic Leaders for Saul,” cite some very telling reasons why they support this guy:

As Chairman of the GOP Saul invested resources in community events, parades, festivals, and would go to places in our Hispanic community that many Republicans would never go.

Saul has had more social media interactions than other candidates running against him have had this past year (combined). Our party needs a technology savvy leader and thought leader in social media if we are going to win in 2012 as a large percentage of our Hispanic community are coming online.

Saul is the bilingual the son of immigrants…

Clearly, Saul Anazis has a relationship with his state’s Hispanic community, at least according to his endorsers. And if there is one thing in the Latino culture that determines a person’s professional and personal success — it’s having the kind of relationships that foster trust, inclusion and respect.

Three elements, so far, missing between the GOP and today’s Latino constituents.




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