Thursday, February 03, 2011

Texas Hispanics Find Home In Republican Party

Texas Hispanics find a natural home in the Republican party. Democrats are worried about the future implications of that basic fact. Now the Democratic party in Texas has chosen to complain about the Republican Hispanic Caucus formed in Austin.

Democrats have a long history of taking minority voters for granted. After black voters began voting as a block with Democrats, it was only logical that the next step would be to assume all minority voters would vote with the Democrats.

The Democrats are in serious trouble in Texas because the truth is, Republicans actually do know exactly what the interests of the Latino community are, and they are as follows: they are the same as any other Texan!

Rep. Aaron Pena is a good example of a 21st Century Republican - he switched from Democrat to Republican after the November mid-term elections, when the number of Republicans in the Texas legislature hit 100 - a very large majority. I was a blogger for a recent policy initiative event in Austin for Texas Public Policy Foundation and Rep Pena was on a panel discussing homeland security and border security. His district is a border district. He and his fellow Hispanic panelists, which included the Mayor of Laredo, all spoke about the strong ties with Mexico made possible through trade agreements and creating businesses - employment - along the border. Families ties are on both sides of the border and our basic values are all the same. The Mayor of Laredo is a Democrat. He, however, sounded like a Republican in his talk to the audience. He stressed opportunity and the desire of families to provide for each other. He spoke to personal responsibility, including welcoming Hispanics instead of politically divisive talking points that trolls for votes.

Pena was elected as Chairman of the Republican Hispanic Caucus.

Peña, the Edinburg legislator who switched to the Republican Party in December, was selected chairman of the conference that he said will advocate for Hispanic issues within the Republican Party. Among those issues he said the conference should tackle is abuse by politiqueras in mail-in ballots and through assisted voting.

“More of the Republicans have been looking to us from the border for some leadership” on immigration, Peña said. “As a group, we can have a strong say in the direction of some of the immigration-related bills.”

“Demographically speaking, if Republicans do not get in tune with the Hispanic population, they will cease to exist as a relevant party in this state,” Peña said. “But the same is true for Democrats, who for decades took us for granted. Now because of the leverage we achieved in the last election cycle, they’re forced to compete (for the Hispanic vote).”

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