The ad "war"has become more of a "conquista" in the case of Spanish-language media. The fact is that Sen. Barack Obama has at least two or three times the amount of resources available than that of Sen. McCain to spend on Spanish language media, and he's spent this week making one last big push "en Español." The big news last night was Sen. Obama's half-hour infomercial during which he made "closing arguments" to the American public, and he demonstrates his recognition of Spanish-dominant Hispanics as part of the American fabric by also airing his ad on Univision, Telefutura, and Telemundo - all major Spanish-language networks. Sen. McCain has not put out a Spanish-language ad in weeks, while Obama has had several new ads up every week. Obama's latest ad,"Por Encima"or "Rising Above," caps the most aggressive Spanish language media effort in presidential campaign history. "Por Encima" follows T.V. and radio ads on health care, taxes, immigration, college affordability, early voting and "The American Dream," which features Senator Barack Obama as the first presidential candidate to speak in Spanish for the entirety of a 30-second general election television ad. This is not only a momentous occasion for presidential politics, this is an historic reflection of the importance of the Hispanic community.
Translation of Por Encima (TV ad)
Barack Obama is rising above the negative ads to fight for us - putting forward new ideas to help our families prosper.
- With a plan that makes health care accessible to everyone.
- $4 thousand dollars in tuition earned with community service.
- and three times more tax relief for the middle class. [TESTIMONIAL:]
I think that he is going to be the person that is going to help us. He is my inspiration.
Barack Obama and the Democrats: for the change we need.
[BO:] I´m Barack Obama and I approve this message.
NDN's long-held analysis on the significance of the Hispanic vote is now common knowledge, as further evidenced by Chuck Todd's report, but an important challenge remains in the less than 150 hours until Election Day - the only way the potential of the Hispanic vote, and all registered voters, will translate to an electoral reality is by ensuring that all precincts have the capacity to handle a 90-98% turnout based on 2008 registration numbers. Actual turnout will depend on: 1) making sure people understand how to vote, and 2) access to the polls.
During early voting, some states have already far exceeded turnout from 2004: in Georgia, early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent) - all states with large minority populations. Precincts should be prepared to handle twice the number of voters from 2004. We shoud be wary when precincts report that they are prepared for 90% turnout, as opposed to 80% from 2004 - they should have enough machines and/or paper ballots to accomodate the number of all registered voters in 2008, not just enough for a fraction of registered voters based on 2004 numbers.
Florida, with an estimated 12% of Hispanic voters, has already declared an emergency and extended voting hours to 12 hours a day as a result of voter turnout - this with only about 10%, or 1.2 million of registered voters statewide having voted as of Monday. In Georgia,some people waited for eight hours at the polls. By Tuesday the lines were down to "just" four hours, so the GA Democratic Party Chair, Jane Kidd, urged the Secretary of State to keep the polls open: "today, it is clear that we are in a crisis, and it is unclear even if there is enough time for the remaining four million-plus Georgia voters to cast their votes in an efficient and timely manner." By the way, GA state law doesn't provide for weekend voting and prohibits voting on the Monday before Election Day.
In Virginia, a state that's now a "tossup," we're already seeing voting problems thanks to everything from phony fliers stating the wrong date for Election Day, to alleged "gerrymandering" of voting equipment. A lawsuithas been filed against the state of VA charging that some primarily minority neighborhoods are allotted a lesser number of voting machines per person as compared to other areas, leading to longer lines and arguing that this constitutes a "time tax" on the right to vote, as some voters might give up and go home. Voting problems would disproportionately hurt the Democratic Party and Sen. Barack Obama. According to the new ABC/Washington Post poll, during early voting Sen. Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote, to John McCain's 39 percent. According to Gallup, between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27, early voters turned out 53% for Obama over 43% for McCain.
In the meantime, candidates continue to push early voting, as seen in the Obama ad below. Luckily there is also a push for instructional videos on how to vote, in Englishand in Spanish:
III. What Constitution? Charlie Savage and the New York Times report (surprise, surprise) the Bush administration has informed Congress that it is bypassing a law intended to forbid political interference with reports to lawmakers by the Department of Homeland Security. The August 2007 law requires that the reports on activities that affect privacy be submitted directly to Congress "without any prior comment or amendment" by superiors at the department or the White House.
IV. DHS Can't Sit Still: Not happy with the results of their brilliant "Deport Yourself" initiative or the outrage caused by USCIS detainee conditions and the mistaken detention of U.S. citizens during ICE raids, on October 23, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final administrative rule that sets new procedures for employers who receive "no-match" letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Each year, SSA sends businesses ''no-match'' letters with the names of workers whose Social Security number on W-2 forms don't match SSA records. The DHS rule would require employers to correct the discrepancy or fire the worker within 90 days. Failure to comply could bring prosecution and heavy fines.
Setting aside the flawed policy behind this rule for a moment, could Secretary Chertoff have picked a worse time to issue this rule? Definitely not. This rule, made public 11 days before a Presidential election during which minorities and naturalized citizens have the power to swing numerous battleground states, and during which the incumbent Administration's candidate is far behind in the polls, could be interpreted by Hispanics (native and foreign-born) and immigrants of all races and ethnicities as another expression of the Republican party's anti-immigrant stance. Additionally, this "enforcement-only" approach places greater financial and legal burdens on employers, while simultaneously putting workers at risk of losing their jobs during a time of severe economic crisis - the federal government is spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to rescue the nation's banking, credit and housing markets, yet Secretary Chertoff is pushing ahead with a potentially job-crippling program that, at the end of the day, is ineffective in curtailing undocumented immigration.
Luckily, a court injunction will remain in place against the rule until the Court issues its final decision.The next hearing in this litigation is set for November 21, 2008 to set a schedule to present arguments, so this case won't be resolved anytime soon. Accordingly, SSA will not send any no-match letters to employers until the matter is resolved. Therefore, notify the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), the AFL-CIO, or the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) if you know of any employer trying to implement this rule.
This final rule is basically unchanged from its original version, issued in August 2007, despite a court ruling in June of this year that: a) Questioned whether DHS had a reasoned analysis to change its position in regards to employer liability, b) Found DHS had exceeded its authority by interpreting anti-discrimination provisions in immigration law (IRCA), and c) Violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) by not conducting the analysis of the rule's impact, as required by law (doh!, that pesky analysis thing).
This rule is misguided, too costly, and ineffective:
1. Originally SSA no-match letters were an attempt by SSA to correct discrepancies in their records that can prevent workers from getting credit for their earnings. These letters were never intended to be used as an immigration enforcement tool--no-match letters are not evidence of an immigration violation. As stated in a judicial opinion, no-match "does not automatically mean that an employee is undocumented or lacks proper work authorization. In fact, the SSA tells employers that the information it provides them ‘does not make any statement about . . . immigration status.'"
2. The implementation of this rule is far from a solution - it will only increase unemployment at a time of severe economic crisis. a. According to DHS, it would cost $36,624 a year for the largest small businesses to comply, not including the costs of termination and replacement of workers. It could have a staggering impact on businesses caught between the financial and legal liability they would face if they fail to comply, and the financial and legal liability they would face for wrongly firing a worker whose name was listed in error. If implemented, the rule also could have a chilling effect on millions of immigrant workers in construction, agriculture and service industries at a time when the U.S. economy can ill afford it. Many businesses, too, fearing government prosecution will decide to dismiss or not hire workers that they suspect may have an immigration problem.
b. An economic analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that under the new rule, 165,000 lawfulU.S. workers could lose their jobs, at a cost to employers of approximately $1 billion per year. In her testimony before the Immigration Subcommittee, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords discussed the effects of mandatory use of E-verify at the state level in Arizona, and reported that between October 2006 and March 2007, 3,000 foreign-born U.S. citizens were initially flagged as not authorized to work.
c. Under a mandatory E-Verify program, USCIS has estimated that annual employer queries of newly hired employees would be an average of 63 million. A GAO study from June 2008 found that about 7% of the queries initially appear as a "no-match" to SSA, and about 1 percent cannot be immediately confirmed as work authorized by USCIS, and:
The majority of SSA erroneous tentative nonconfirmations occur because employees' citizenship or other information, such as name changes, is not up to date in the SSA database, generally because individuals do not request that SSA make these updates.
Taking the modest estimate of 63 million queries per year, at the 7% initial error rate found by GAO, that translates to 4.41 million potential no-matches, i.e. persons who could be pushed to unemployment, again, at a time when the national unemployment rate is above 6%. If we extrapolate 7% unconfirmed queries to the existing civilian workforce - over 154 million people - the number jumps to 10.7 million people in danger of losing their jobs.
3. Mandatory e-verify would require an increase in capacity at USCIS and SSA to accommodate the estimated 7.4 million employers in the U.S. The GAO study found that e-verify would cost a total of about $765 million for fiscal years 2009 through 2012 if only newly hired employees are queried through the program and about $838 million over the same 4-year period if both newly hired and current employees are queried.
A study performed by Dr. Richard Belzer, former official of Office of Management and Budget, concluded that this program would cause an estimated increase of 610,000-2.7 million visits per year to SSA. He also pointed out that DHS made no estimate of the authorized worker unemployment that would result from erroneous no-match letters.
4. The rule is ineffective because it ignores unintended consequences: a.Instead of discouraging undocumented immigration, the rule will only increase identity theft by making it more valuable for unauthorized workers to have genuine social security numbers.
b. The rule will have to be followed by more rounds of rulemaking, for example, how to deal with duplicate instances of SSA numbers, in addition to "no-match."
c. The rule will shift unauthorized workers into independent contracting and the "underground" economy, which will only risk pushing wages down during a time of economic crisis.
5. E-Verify is vulnerable to acts of employer fraud and misuse. GAO found:
- The current E-Verify program cannot help employers detect forms of identity fraud, such as cases in which an individual presents genuine documents that are borrowed or stolen.
- As USCIS works to address fraud through data sharing with other agencies, privacy issues may pose a challenge. In its 2007 evaluation of E-Verify, Westat reported that some employers joining the Web Basic Pilot were not appropriately handling their employees' personal information...and anyone wanting access to the system could pose as an employer and obtain access by signing a MOU with the E-Verify program. - Westat reported that some employers used E-Verify to screen job applicants before they were hired, an activity that is prohibited. Additionally, some employers took prohibited adverse actions against employees-such as restricting work assignments, reducing pay, or requiring employees to work longer hours or in poor conditions-while they were contesting tentative nonconfirmations.
We've tried the enforcement-only approach for decades, and it has not curtailed undocumented immigration. Rep. Zoe Lofgren said it best during our latest forum on Immigration, as DHS has focused its resources on raids, there's been a 38% decline in prosecution of organized crime at the border, so "we've ended up with an expensive, stupid system that has not solved" the issue of a broken immigration system.
A verification program without comprehensive reform is ineffective. NDN has long advocated for the importance of matching legal immigration visas with the economic need for immigrants as a way to curtail undocumented immigration.Only by moving immigrant workers through legal channels, providing immigrants already here with an earned path to citizenship, reducing the backlog in family visas, and developing a sensible system for future flow will immigration will become manageable, and enforcement at the border and at the workplace will become more effective.
Even the Chief of the Border Patrol, David Aguilar agrees, "We cannot protect against the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terror without also reducing the clutter....To most effectively secure our border, we must reform our immigration system to relieve this pressure. We need comprehensive immigration reform."
Remember Gov. Sarah Palin's funny, feisty joke at the GOP convention where she introduced herself to the nation? She asked the audience what the difference was between a hockey Mom and a pit bull. The answer: lipstick.
Apparently, she wears a lot of it.
According to a report from Associcated Press' Jim Kuhnhenn:
Palin stylist draws higher pay than policy adviser
By JIM KUHNHENN – 46 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — An acclaimed celebrity makeup artist for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin collected more money from John McCain's campaign than his foreign policy adviser.
Amy Strozzi, who works on the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and has been Palin's traveling stylist, was paid $22,800, according to campaign finance reports for the first two weeks in October. In contrast, McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was paid $12,500, the report showed.
In recent days, McCain and his running mate have tried to douse a furor over how their side spent their money. The Republican National Committee came under scrutiny after the party committee reported earlier this week that it had spent about $150,000 in September on wardrobe and cosmetics after Palin joined the GOP ticket.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune and Fox News on Thursday, Palin said the clothes bought for the Republican National Convention were not worth $150,000 and said most have not left her campaign plane. She also said the family shops frugally.
"Those clothes are not my property. We had three days of using clothes that the RNC purchased," Palin told Fox News in an interview that aired Thursday night.
So first we have Neimans-Gate. Now we find out that Palin has been making up as she goes along. Palin says she's being held to an unfair standard because she's a woman. But so am I, and I've never spent $22,800 on makeup in two weeks. You could buy a car for much less than that. The latest news about Palin's appetite for being pampered is going to put another dent in her self-styled populist (albeit designer) armor.
Barack Obama's latest ad is not only in Spanish, but it has Barack Obama speaking in Spanish through the entire ad - not an easy feat. He has a good accent, better than George W. Bush's. And as we saw in the case of then Gov. Bush, the Hispanic community doesn't care so much about a candidate being able to speak perfect Spanish, they care that they try - and I must say, Sen. Obama pulls it off seamlessly here. By contrast, Sen. McCain hasn't so much as tried to learn the "I'm John McCain and I approve this message" tagline in Spanish. This ad is part of something historic. Barack Obama has now spent more than any other presidential candidate in history on Spanish language media. And he is only the third or fourth candidate that I can count that has cared to speak to this demographic in their language of origin. As reported in the documentary, "Latinos 08", Jackie Kennedy filmed a message in Spanish on behalf of her husband when he ran for office, George W. Bush spoke some Spanish here and there, and Howard Dean tried his hand at it as well, but the Obama campaign has spent a record amount of resources on a record amount of Spanish language ads. And it seems to be paying off. According to the latest polls, Barack Obama now holds a 40-50 point lead among Hispanics. This is his second Spanish-language address, the first having been an ad in Puerto Rico during the primaries. Here, he is trying to bond with the Hispanic community by speaking of the "American Dream" that motivated so many of them to come to this country, thus trying to add an emotional connection to the support among Hispanics that seems largely driven by issues and party identification.
And a translation of the ad:
BO: We share a dream, That through hard work your family can succeed.
That if you're sick, you can have access to medical insurance.
That our children can have a quality education, regardless of whether you are rich or poor.
That is the American Dream.
I ask you for your vote, not just for me and the Democrats, but so that you can keep that dream alive for yourself and for your children.
I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.
Las Vegas, NV - Lots of news going on today. First, I want to highlight a story from Detroit News claiming that 98% of the state's voting age population is registered to vote. That is right my friends 98%! That number is just phenomenal, and a testament to the enthusiasm among people who want to participate in this historic election. I hope they are ready to handle the crowds on election day.
Overall, there were four times more new voters in heavily Democratic counties than in heavily Republican counties.
"The registration numbers probably bode well for Democrats," said pollster Bernie Porn of Lansing-based EPIC/MRA, which polls for The Detroit News. "The recent polling shows the odds are that new registrants are helping Democrats here, as in other states."
Tom Shields, Lansing-based political consultant to Republican candidates, said he's never seen a voter registration effort like the one the Obama campaign put together this year.
"They've done a good job of reaching out. That speaks well of the Obama campaign. But now they have to get them out to vote," Shields said.
Next, the NY Times continues its coverage on voter purging and pushing for better methods and databases for name matching. The NY Times also alleges that many of these purges may be due to partisan politics by individuals who are attempting to prevent certain groups of voters from casting their ballots. Shocking!!!
Some of these problems are no doubt the result of honest mistakes, but in far too many cases they appear to be driven by partisanship. While there are almost no examples in recent memory of serious fraud at the polls, Republicans have been pressing for sweeping voter purges in many states. They have also fought to make it harder to enroll new voters. Voting experts say there could be serious problems at the polls on Nov. 4.
When voters die or move to a new address, or when duplicate registrations are found, a purge is necessary to uphold the integrity of the rolls. New registrations must also be properly screened so only eligible voters get added. The trouble is that these tasks generally occur in secret, with no chance for voters or their advocates to observe or protest when mistakes are made.
Speaking of partisan politics and attempts of preventing people from voting, The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the Nevada Secretary of State has rejected a request from the NV GOP to prevent new voter from casting their votes due to incomplete voter registrations. Republicans trying to prevent voters from casting their ballot, hmmm where else have I heard of this?
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller ruled Wednesday that voters whose registrations were on time, but incomplete or incorrect, may cast regular ballots after correcting their applications.
The legal interpretation was a response to a letter from Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden, who argued that voter registrations that were not complete by the deadline should disqualify those people from voting.
Miller cited the statute that allows would-be voters 15 days to correct missing or bad information in their registrations, writing, "Nevada law provides the manner in which an ... applicant may update or correct the voter information, and may do so without losing his right to vote."
The press is pulling for a close election, and doing their best to report it as one, but all the indicators point to Obama continuing to widen his lead. With everyone expecting McCain to make a run, why isn't it happening?
My feeling is that it has to do with one of America's most cherished traditions: Love for winning. Though most Americans might have favored John Kerry's policies in 2004, or Al Gore's experience in 2000, George Bush knew how to talk like a winner. He looked like a winner. He was confident and sure of himself. The same was true of Bill Clinton, and people gravitated toward him.
Since the conventions, McCain has looked increasingly like a guy who's about to lose an election. He's nervous, he stumbles in his speeches, he looks awkward on stage, and his campaign is all over the place. Obama, by contrast, looks ever more presidential. In the debates he was calm, cool, well-spoken and connectable. He's acting like a winner, and everybody wants to be on the winning team.
This has created a positive feedback loop for Obama: The further ahead he gets, the more he looks like a president, and the more confident people become in his abilities. I still think it's reasonable to expect McCain to pick up a few points in the polls, but most of America is now expecting-- and looking forward to-- a President Obama.
With only two weeks to go until Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is clearly not taking the Hispanic vote for granted as he continues flooding the airwaves in Spanish with no less than three new radio and television ads. The first radio ad, "Ataques"("Attacks") addresses Sen. McCain's attack tactics, and is airing in NM, CO, NV, PA, IN, WI, OH, VA, NC, Central FL, and South Florida (Miami, West Palm Beach). It's interesting that there's an entire second version of the ad for Southern Florida, using voices that have more of a Caribbean tint to them, which reflects the origin of most Latinos in that area. I see this as an indicator of why Obama has been doing so well among Hispanics - he recognizes our differences.
The second ad, also on radio and recorded by Senator Ken Salazar,"CO, SalazarEarly Vote"airing in Colorado, is aimed at motivating voters to vote early.
The third ad, a television spot called "Oportunidad" ("Opportunity") is about access to higher education, airing in NM, NV, CO and FL. See the tv ad below, along with the English translations of the ads.
Oportunidad (TV Ad Version)
BO: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.
The cost of a college education is a real worry for many families.
But under the Obama Plan a student can earn the first $4,000 of tuition through community service.
Putting a college education within everyone's reach.
And the Obama Plan offers scholarships to recruit more teachers to make sure our children are ready (smart/prepared).
With Obama and the Democrats ... a new opportunity.
Ataques (Radio Version)
Wow, have you heard the terrible lies that John McCain and the Republicans are saying about Barack Obama? How horrible.
Well, it doesn't surprise me. The republicans will say anything to distract the public from the economy.
My neighbor - who has 2 kids - lost her job and her health insurance last week. And her husband, who works in construction, is about to lose his. I don't want to hear any more attacks. I want to know what the candidates will do for us.
Well, that's why Barack Obama is my candidate. Instead of continuing George Bush's same failed policies - like John McCain wants to do - Barack Obama understands what our community needs from a President. He has specific ideas to help us.
Under Obama, the middle class will receive three times more relief than with McCain. Obama will cut our taxes!
And what matters to me is that Obama has a plan to give health insurance to all. My neighbor will be saved!
Barack Obama and the democrats are the change we need.
[BO:] I´m Barack Obama, candidate for President, and I approve this message.
CO Salazar Early Vote (Radio ad)
In Colorado - the gateway to the West - we know anything is possible if you're willing to do the work.
This is US Senator Ken Salazar. My parents raised 8 kids on a ranch. We were poor, with no electricity and no telephone, but all of us became first generation college graduates.
Like my parents, we all will do anything for our families.
And you can do something for your family right now: vote. You don't have to wait until Election Day. You can vote early, today thru October 31st
With Barack Obama and the Democrats real change is within our grasp ... affordable health care ... investing in jobs here at home, and a college education that's affordable for every family ... whether they be rich or poor.
To find an early voting location near you, go online at VoteForChange.com... VoteForChange.com.
What are you waiting for? After eight years of George Bush, we can't afford more of the same.
This is Ken Salazar asking you to vote early today for Barack Obama and the Democrats.
[BO:] I´m Barack Obama, candidate for President, and I approve this message.
As promised, Palin did give an interview to Jorge Ramos, of Univision, which will be aired on the network's Sunday morning political show, Al Punto, this weekend. Here's a sneak peek of the interview: she talks about Hugo Chavez, Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, and Immigration. On immigration, Gov. Palin accepts that it's impossible to deport all the undocumented, and she emphasized Sen. McCain's view of "enforcement first" as the appropriate path to follow. When asked if she'd stop the immigration raids, Gov. Palin said she couldn't say that she would, but rather would need to take a case by case approach.
Las Vegas, NV - Voters around the country continue to take advantage of Early Voting options, and are casting ballots in record numbers. Voters are not the only ones taking advantage of this process, campaigns are also working their supporters to make sure that they mobilize their voters. Below is a list of stories covering Early Voting: