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  • GOP's Plan to Win the Latino Vote: Ignore All Vaguely Latino Issues

    With their tough stance on illegal immigration, opposition to the DREAM Act and general disregard for lower-income families, Republicans seem like natural enemies of the Latino community.

    Despite these differences, the GOP is trying desperately to win them over. Meet Bettina Inclán, the Republican in charge of convincing Latinos to vote against their own interests

    In late January, on the eve of the Florida primary, Bettina Inclán, the 32-year-old head of Hispanic outreach for the Republican National Committee (RNC), appeared on Fox News opposite progressive activist Simon Rosenberg to discuss the Latino vote…

    Inclán's strategy during the Fox News segment seemed clear: She gamely tried to direct the conversation toward just about anything other than the GOP candidates' views on immigration. When Rosenberg brought up Romney's "anti-immigrant, anti-Latino" campaign, Inclán… smiled and responded by criticizing President Obama's record on the economy…

    [F]our of the key swing states in this election… have large Hispanic populations. But how can a party appeal to a group toward which it is directing such harsh rhetoric? That is the dilemma Bettina Inclán will have to solve. As Rosenberg told me, "She's got the hardest job in politics."

    It sounds pretty easy, actually. All the Republicans have to do to win over Latinos is avoid talking about immigration, taxes, education, the economy and pretty much any other issue that's important to Latinos.

    In any case, this wouldn't be the first time Republicans tricked an entire demographic into voting against their own interests. Despite dismantling the middle class and subsidizing multimillion-dollar corporations, Republicans manage to capture the vote of working-class white men every year. I guess blue-collar workers have been screwed so many times, they think the GOP is in love with them.

    Tags: Bettina Inclan, Fox News, Immigration, Latino, Republicans, RNC
  • Some of Mitt Romney's Delegates Are Belong to Newt

    On Tuesday night, Mitt Romney picked up 50 delegates, while Newt Gingrich picked up zero, which seems unfair. Because Newt Gingrich is Newt Gingrich and he wanted some of those delegates. He wanted them, and he is Newt Gingrich. So, you know, this needs to happen.

    Or we will all pay

    Newt Gingrich's campaign said Thursday they were requesting the Republican National Committee award delegates from Florida based on a proportion of the vote rather than allocating all of the state's delegates to Mitt Romney, who won Tuesday's primary…

    Under RNC rules, Florida was stripped of half its delegates when it moved up its primary date to January 31, early in the nominating calendar. The RNC also stipulates any state holding a primary before April 1 must allocate delegates proportionally, rather than a winner-take-all scenario.

    Makes perfect sense, right? Newt Gingrich gets some delegates like he wanted. Everybody wins, right? Totally right! Except actually wrong

    Florida is already in violation of RNC rules because it moved its primary into January. And the RNC, which has already docked Florida half of its delegates for moving its primary up, says it cannot punish a state twice. Therefore, the states that are already in violation of RNC rules for setting their primaries too early (Florida, Arizona and Michigan) were allowed to go winner-take-all.

    Okay, Newt doesn't actually get any of those delegates.

    But what he does get is the opportunity to spend the next seven months complaining about how persecuted he is for not getting those delegates. So, again, everybody wins!

    Except for everybody.

    Except for Newt.

    Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Florida, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, RNC
  • Straight-Faced RNC Tells Gary Johnson He Would Make Debates Chaotic

    That Gary Johnson's a troublemaker. First he gets excluded from a debate, then he gets excluded again, then some more debates happen that he's not allowed to attend, and now he's making a big fuss over being treated "unfairly." Grow up, Johnson!

    But he refuses to. Just read this letter he wrote to the Republican National Committee complaining about not being allowed to participate…

    "I entered the race for president with the belief that I bring to the table not only the credentials, but ideas that Republicans would like to see and hear. Never did it occur to me that I would be excluded from the conversation; however, that is precisely what is happening – and I believe the Republican National Committee bears some responsibility for what is going on…

    "I recognize that the RNC is not in the business of helping one candidate for the nomination or another. However, I would suggest that it is the business of the RNC to insure that the Republican nominating process is not ceded to the likes of CNN and the Washington Post."

    Whoa, settle down there Gary! Are you seriously suggesting that the RNC would allow certain voices within their party to be silenced by massive, wealthy media conglomerates? Of course not, as the RNC's Junior Chief Counsel informed him in an open letter sent out by email today…

    "We simply have to have some minimum criteria in order for candidates to participate in these debates. Otherwise, the debates would be utter chaos and unhelpful to Republican voters as we select our nominee."

    Exactly. This isn't about excluding politicians who have unpopular views on social issues or who aren't rich enough. It's about making sure the debates are coherent events that allow voters to make reasonable judgments about who the best candidates are.

    These candidates are poised and knowledgeable, and aren't into bickering or shouting matches. Gary Johnson just doesn't understand.

    Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Tags: Debates, Gary Johnson, Primaries, Republicans, RNC
  • Florida GOP Moves Its Primary Date to January

    Look, before we go any further, let's just get one thing straight. Florida is a loose canon. You think you can control Florida, but you can't control Florida. They don't call it The GTA: Vice City State for nothing.*

    In clear violation of the national RNC rules — which state (and I'm both paraphrasing and making up a quote here) "Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are the only states that get to hold their primaries prior to March 6 and should get to decide who will be the next Republican presidential nominee and all the other states can just go suck it" — Florida has decided to set its primary date on January 31, ahead of all other 49 states

    Florida made its plans to hold its Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31 official on Friday, setting off a reshuffling of the primary calendar as early states scramble to move up their contests to protect their cherished statuses…

    The move makes it all but assured that Florida will lose half of its delegates at the GOP National Convention — ironically being held next year in Tampa, Fla.

    But those who want Florida to have more weight in the nominating process argue that the attention garnered by holding its primary so early outweighs the importance of the actual convention — they say by the time delegates are seated in August, it is likely to already be clear who the nominee will be, as has been the case for decades.

    You know, some people might be shocked by this decision of Florida's but I'm not. This is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect from a state that has such lax social mores against decapitating hookers with katanas, bazooka-ing police helicopters out of the sky and electing people like Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to higher office.


    * May not actually be called The GTA: Vice City** State.

    ** This effectively represents the end-point of my cultural understanding of video games.

    Tags: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Primaries, Republicans, RNC, South Carolina
  • Rick Perry Gets Donations Despite Respect for Immigrants

    Accused respecter-of-immigrants Rick Perry was the belle of the Twelve Oaks barbecue at two fabulous fundraising fetes in D.C. What, him, worry? Naw, y'all. It's all good!

    Especially when people pony up $10,000 a pop to hang with the handsomest cowboy in town. Yeeeee-haw!

    The Willard Hotel event is being billed as a lobbyists' extravaganza: a copy of the invite obtained by NBC News lists a 28 member host committee — at least 20 of whom are K Street lobbyists, including veteran big money GOP fundraisers as Dirk Van Dongen (president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors), Marc Lampkin (a principal at Quinn-Gillespie who represents, among many others, the Blackstone Group and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway), Roy Coffee (a former aide to President George W. Bush who represents Texas banking interests) and others with bulging client lists that include Wall Street equity funds, insurance companies, big pharmaceutical firms and many others.

    Each member of the host committee, according to the invite, is committed to raising $10,000 — so with full participation, Perry should net $280,000 and another $120,000 at the later event at the Ourisman home.

    Of course, if he hadn't freaked out the child-hating base of the Republican party — you know, the folks who cherish human life up until the point it actually exits the uterus — he's probs have made, like, 18 kajillion dollars. So his candidacy is obviously over.

    Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Immigration, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, RNC, Texas