The man behind a new Spanish-language ad, encouraging Nevada Latinos not to vote is a veteran of Republican politics and now an advocate for what most would consider conservative, business-friendly immigration policy.
In an interview with TPM, Robert de Posada, founder of Latinos for Reform, said he’s become equally disgruntled with both parties. His current goal, though, is to punish Democrats for failing to deliver on a promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform. And his CV includes a long list of affiliations with conservative immigration reform groups.
In 1994, according to de Posada, he helped create the Hispanic Business Roundtable, which later became the Latino Coalition, where he was president until 2007. He served as co-director with Dick Armey on Americans for Border and Economic Security, on George W. Bush’s Social Security Commission, and as director of Hispanic affairs at the Republican National Committee until becoming disgruntled with the GOP and settling into conservative advocacy.
He founded Latinos for Reform during the 2008 campaign but only truly activated it recently.
“The Democratic party went to the Latino community and made solid promises that they would deliver immigration reform within a year,” de Posada said. “Then they did nothing.”
“People got very angry about the fact that you did not need bipartisan support for the health care bill, or for the stimulus, or for Wall St reform,” but that immigration reform was a non-starter without GOP backing.
However, it’s hard to imagine the immigration reforms de Podesta supports winning over a lot of Democrats: heightened border security, and drug enforcement; employee verification; and a temporary worker program. “No amnesty,” he said, adding that employers — he cited Meg Whitman — ought to get a pass until an effective verification system is put into place.
The Latinos for Reform website lists its address as a P.O. Box operated by Susan Arceneaux, who was a big player in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth operation. De Posada says that’s a mistake.
“In 2008, because the laws were so strange, we hired a political compliance company that handled our reporting and accounting.” That was Arceneaux, and during that time the group used her PO Box.
The group’s current, correct address appears at the end of the ad encouraging Latino’s not to vote.
You can watch the English-language, untelevised version below:
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.