In Nevada, conservative group launches ads encouraging Latinos not to vote

On Friday NDN announced a new, aggressive media campaign in Nevada (and AZ and CO) encouraging Latino voters to participate in the 2010 elections. 

Today, a conservative group responded with a new campaign encouraging Latinos, amazingly, not to vote. 

The logic of the argument?

""We're saying what a lot of people are feeling. "It's the only way for Hispanics to stand up and demand some attention," Desposada said, adding that he also couldn't ask voters to support Sharon Angle. 

"I can't ask people to support a Republican canddiate who has taken a completely irreponsible and bordering on racist position on immigration," he said. 

"Don't vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message," says the ad's narrator of Democrats. "You can no longer take us for granted."

NDN operates on a different understanding of political power.  We believe the only way for Latinos to gain political power equal to their numbers - to not be taken for granted - is to participate, to vote and shape the future of their communities and states.  The perverse logic of this campaign reinforces why it is Latinos have grown to distrust the political intent of the center-right so much in recent years.  For there is little in an increasingly nativist right wing politics that is good for the rising Latino community in Nevada or anywhere else in the US these days. 

Additionally, there is perhaps no Senator in the US Senate today who has done more to try to get immigration reform passed than Harry Reid.  In fact, in 2006 he was able to work with the Republicans to pass a major immigration reform bill through the Senate, which John Boehner and the House Republicans refused to even consider.  It has been the Republicans in Congress who have in three seperate years - 2006, 2007 and 2010 - blocked Harry Reid's spirited efforts to get what we call comprehensive immigration reform all the way through Congress.  Blaming Democrats for the lack of progress on immigration reform this year is just plain silliness - sort of like Tea Partiers and conservatives arguing that their economic plans will reduce the deficit in the years to come.  That dog just won't hunt.

This Senate campaign offers a very clear choice to Nevada Latinos, which is why this group, run by a former RNC staffer, is trying to muddy it..  It pits a courageous advocate of Latinos and immigration reform versus a woman described by conservatives as holding an immigration position "completely irresponsible bordering on racist." These ads will, I believe, only help us and others convincingly make the case for why Latinos must vote this year - just too many people don't want them too.  And the only way they ensure those voices don't prevail is to vote them out of office and out of power.