Latinos for Reform ad urges Latinos not to vote

Jessica Puente Contributor
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Latinos for Reform (LFR), a conservative group that advocates for Latino concerns, is airing an ad that discourages Latinos from voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

LFR says in the Spanish version of the ad that there is “no excuse” for the lack of action on immigration reform from the current Congress. It attacks “both Democrats and Republicans,” going as far as to call them “traitors” for “playing with our future.” The ad has both an English and Spanish version, with the key difference between the two versions being that the English version singles out Democrats while the Spanish version targets all politicians as having betrayed Hispanic voters.

Some Latino organizations see the ad as a Republican strategy to help their candidates during the midterm elections.

“It is a very well calculated political move, if you are asking Latinos not to vote and 65% of Latinos vote Democrat then the other party will win,” said Hector Sanchez, executive director for the Labor Council for Latino American Advancement.

In a poll early this month, the Hispanic Pew Center reports 65% of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district.

One place the Spanish version of the ad is running is in Nevada, where Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is locked in tight race against Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

“The Spanish language ad is definitely supporting [Nevada GOP U.S. Senate candidate] Sharron Angle because she does not carry a Hispanic vote. She has turned this race into a racial issue,” accused Brent Wilkes, national executive director the League of United Latin American Citizens, about the Nevada U.S. Senate race.

The Republican Women of Las Vegas, however, said they don’t see the ad as “publicity” for either candidate in Nevada since it is telling people not to vote.

The president of LFR, Robert de Posada, is a conservative political analyst for Univision and a former RNC Director of Hispanic Affairs.

“Clearly, we have been betrayed by both the Democratic and Republican leadership. And now, when they need our votes, they are at it again with more empty promises,” explained Naomi Lopez-Bauman, vice president of LFR, in a press release announcing the ad.

Speaking about the ad, Reid said the fact that Angle refuses to speak out against it “speaks volumes about her hostility toward Latino voters” and that it shows the “extreme anti-Hispanic agenda” she’s been displaying throughout her campaign.

Angle claims that Reid and the Democrats launched the ad to tell frustrated Nevadans to “go pound sand” rather than vote.

“The ad really picks up on something that was being said in the Latino community among Democrats,” argued Angelo Falcón, president of National Institute for Latino Policy. “Conservatives took that and used it to depress the Latino turnout.”

Latinos make up around one-fourth of Nevada’s population.

Lopez-Bauman said in a statement that while LFR is discouraging Latinos from voting in congressional elections, they are urging voters to participate in gubernatorial and mayoral contests.