by Artemio “Temo” Muniz – The Cuccinelli model for Hispanic engagement and outreach is outdated and the manifestation of dinosaur politics. When Ken Cuccinelli doubled down on Arizona’s mass deportation by attrition approach to illegal immigration by issuing a letter to one of Virginia’s State Senators explaining that it was okay for officers of the law to ask anyone for their immigration status, it sent a shockwave through the Hispanic community in Virginia. Add a radio interview where Cuccinelli strangely commented on rat pest-control tactics and immigration, which was used in a Spanish advertising campaign entitled “What kind of person.” After the blasting of this heavily edited commercial through the airwaves, the anger had reached a boiling point. Latino decisions, a national political polling firm, showed Cuccinelli polling at 29% in the Hispanic Community in Virginia, which places him in the same league as Romney, our GOP brand here in Texas.
Chris Christie, took home 51% of the Hispanic vote in New Jersey, a state which is supposed to be blue. When Governor George Bush ran for President in Texas he obtained 49% of the Hispanic vote. The difference is night and day when it comes to Christie and Cuccinelli. Christie speaks about educating all in New Jersey, distancing himself from the anti-immigrant, in-state tuition for illegals talking point that comes from the CIS, FAIR and NumersUSA political playbook. Christie publicly embraces an earned pathway to citizenship. The Christie approach is not anything new to Texas.
Our Republican Party of Texas is in the process of shedding its Cuccinelli style approach to the Hispanic community, but it is far away from where it once stood when Governor Bush obtained record approval numbers. The greatest indicator of success will be when Texas Republican candidates can maneuver freely like Christie did in New Jersey during his campaign in messaging, policy proposals and returning to the conservatism of Bush and Reagan without fear of backlash. I am confident that we can merge Texas conservatism and the immigration issue into a winning combination. So far our GOP brand has been confusing to the Hispanic community. On one hand, we have elected officials still clinging on to the dinosaur politics of in state tuition for illegals which brands our GOP in a more Cuccinelli-like manner which leads to widespread rejection. Then on the other hand, we have had Governor Rick Perry saving our party’s future by rejecting Arizona-style laws in Texas which rehabilitates our brand back to where it should be leading to acceptance. What matters overall is that Texas ends up in the right place, and as a conservative, you should push for our party to fulfill Reagan’s vision for the Hispanic community.
Editor’s Note: reposted with the author’s permission from TexasGOPVote.com – original link.
Artemio “Temo” Muniz currently serves as the chairman of the Federation of Hispanic Republicans, an auxiliary of the Republican Party of Texas. In 2008, Muniz initiated the now defunct “Conservador Alliance” which focused on building conservative networks within the community and reconnecting traditional social institutions. Featured on NPR, Univision, Univision Radio, Huffington Post, The Weekly Standard, Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express, various newspapers, television and blogs across Texas. Muniz has joined other Republicans in building a grassroots network that has successfully turned a 85% Hispanic Texas town into a 65% Republican voting town. As demographics shift, Muniz believes grassroots and a fresh new strategy will be the key to taking the Texas model to the rest of the nation. Muniz also serves as the Republican National Committee Hispanic Engagement Houston Director, is on the Young Republican National Federation Outreach Committee, and is a conservative speaker for The Leadership Institute.