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  1. #1
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    Vegas report~ CAMPAIGN 2008: Clinton, Hispanic voters, union

    3 visits to Vegas ----
    -------------------------------------------------


    Hillary Clinton on Saturday told Las Vegans that what America needs is "not just a change of direction but a change of heart."

    The roomful of about 150 at a union hall greeted her with chants of "S√*, se puede" -- "Yes, we can" -- the same refrain that Clinton's rival Barack Obama was chanting the day before.

    The two rivals, who are fighting hard for an edge in this week's Nevada caucuses, appear to agree on something: that the workers' motto is the key to Nevadans' hearts and votes.

    Onstage with Clinton Saturday were a passel of Hispanic luminaries, including four members of Congress, a U.S. senator, two Nevada Hispanic legislators, former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros and two national Hispanic leaders, Raul Yzaguirre, founder of the National Council for La Raza, and Dolores Huerta.

    Lest one accuse Clinton of copycatting Obama, Huerta might lend her credibility: She was the one who came up with the slogan back in the 1970s, along with Cesar Chavez, when they led the United Farm Workers fight for migrant workers' rights.

    All of Clinton's recent appearances in the state have been aimed at Hispanics: a neighborhood canvass and a talk at a Mexican restaurant on Thursday, the "Juntos con Hillary, una vida mejor" (together with Hillary, a better life) rally Saturday morning and another Mexican restaurant appearance Saturday afternoon in Reno.

    Obama's events have not been so targeted. On Friday, he held rallies with the Culinary union and members of the general public. He returns today to appear again at the Culinary hall and proceeds to Pahrump, where his town hall is open to local residents.

    Increasing the clout of Hispanic voters was a major reason Nevada got a voice in the Democratic presidential nominating process. The Nevada caucus on Saturday stands to break a tie, in states won, between Clinton and Obama at this early date.

    But courting Hispanics nearly exclusively is a gamble for Clinton. They represent an estimated 15 percent of registered Democrats, and historically haven't turned out to vote as an influential bloc.

    The other group Democrats wanted to highlight in Nevada was unions. Clinton, Obama and John Edwards all have blocs of union supporters, but it is Obama who scored the most coveted prize in Culinary, which is Nevada's largest union and the one most practiced at political orchestration.

    The Democrats catered to labor here by creating nine "at-large" caucus sites on the Strip, where workers can caucus on Saturday rather than commuting back to precincts near their homes, where everyone else is required to be. The rationale was that those most likely to be working on a Saturday in Las Vegas' 24-hour economy are Strip workers.

    On Friday, a federal lawsuit was filed against the Nevada Democratic Party alleging the caucus sites violate Nevada election law and allocate a disproportionate amount of delegates to those who attend them. The lawsuit points out that workers off the Strip don't get the same consideration.

    Bringing the lawsuit is the teachers union, the Nevada State Education Association, along with some individual Democratic activists. The teachers have not endorsed a candidate.

    Attempts to reach the plaintiffs were unsuccessful.

    The state Democratic Party has not yet filed a legal reply. The party said in a statement that the precincts are "fair, legal and proper" and that their creation was overseen by lawyers and members of the state and national parties.

    The state party noted in its statement that the presidential campaigns all have known about the precincts for months. "The time for comment or complaint has passed," the party stated.

    The party didn't offer legal arguments, but the U.S. Supreme Court has held that states do not have the authority to dictate how political parties choose their nominees.

    The Clinton campaign denies involvement in the lawsuit, which if successful would make it harder for Culinary workers to caucus and thus potentially hurt Obama.

    "We don't have a position on the lawsuit. We don't want to get involved," Clinton spokeswoman Hilarie Grey said. "We're planning for any eventuality, and we'll adjust our get-out-to-caucus (operation) whichever way the court decides."

    Culinary's secretary-treasurer, D. Taylor, called the lawsuit "despicable and disgusting" and an obvious political ploy given the timing shortly after the union announced its endorsement.

    "This is an attempt to disenfranchise people who wait on tables and make beds and cook food, largely women and people of color," Taylor said.

    He noted that Clinton has repeatedly voiced concern about the workers disenfranchised by the caucus process' requirement of in-person, on-time participation and called on her and her supporters to renounce the lawsuit.

    None have so far. "Their silence is deafening," Taylor said.

    He said the union has not formulated a specific response to the lawsuit but will not allow it to succeed "without a fight."

    Taylor also noted that more than 40 percent of the union's members are Hispanic. "Certainly, we are going to talk to our members that there are people who tell them they are supportive and then don't want them to be able to vote," he said. "Nothing gets people more angry than someone telling them they don't have the right to participate."

    David Cohen, the Obama campaign's Nevada state director, said in a written statement: "We believe as a party, and a country, we should be looking for ways to include working men and women in the electoral process, not disenfranchise them."

    Clinton on Saturday didn't take questions or address the issue. She told the crowd she would not be an ally of convenience.

    "It's critical that Nevadans pick someone who won't forget them," she said. "We need a president who doesn't just come and ask for your support in a caucus, but will be there for you, day in and day out."

    Cisneros' endorsement came after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whom Cisneros had been supporting, dropped out of the presidential race on Thursday. It gave Clinton occasion to eulogize Richardson, who is widely considered a potential running mate for the eventual nominee and who hasn't endorsed another candidate.

    Richardson had an active campaign in Nevada, so his absence from the race put his supporters up for grabs by the remaining candidates.

    Calling Richardson a longtime friend, Clinton said, "He broke through a barrier by running for president, and raising so many important issues for our country."

    She lauded Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio, and said she was concerned about the economic insecurity many people feel.

    Cisneros, for his part, emphasized to the audience the importance of their participation. "I have great hopes for the role the American Latino population will play in this country," he said, adding, "So much of this is in your hands. The country is watching Nevada."

    Even before Richardson, who is Hispanic, left the race, polls had shown high support for Clinton among Hispanics. Many say they have fond memories of her husband's administration, in which Cisneros served, although Cisneros left the Cabinet amid personal and legal scandal.

    "I want her to be president because I think she can help Mexicans," said Jose Sarabia, 49, who attended Saturday's event and plans to caucus for Clinton. "There are a lot of problems with immigration, and if she is president, I think she will help us."

    Esther Garcia, 67, said Clinton appeals to her because she doesn't appear to think she's better than anybody else.

    "She has not forgotten the lower class people," she said. "She does not look down on us.

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/13746892.html#blogcomments

  2. #2
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    The estimates of the illegal population in Las Vegas have been
    upward of 200,000

    Keep in mind that here you can vote absentee with 0 id requirements

  3. #3
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    Related Newsday article

    Clinton courting Nevada Latinos to win California

    BY LETTA TAYLER AND GLENN THRUSH | letta.tayler@newsday.com; glenn.thrush@newsday.com
    January 13, 2008

    LAS VEGAS - Hillary Clinton was hugging babies and posing with grandmas while canvassing door-to-door in a working-class Hispanic neighborhood one evening when a man in a checked flannel shirt and wool cap waved her into his pocket-sized yard.

    "You are going to win!" Jose Velasco, 47, a porter in the Mirage casino who is bucking his own union's endorsement of Barack Obama to support Clinton, said last week.

    "I will, with your help," she replied with a wide grin.

    Hispanics make up only between 12 and 15 percent of Nevada's Democratic electorate, but Clinton has spent virtually all of her time since New Hampshire courting the state's Mexican, Cuban, Central American and Puerto Rican populations.

    Five of seven public appearances during Clinton's three-day swing through California and Nevada that ended yesterday were geared toward Hispanic voters. A sixth stop, to plug her proposed $70 billion economic stimulus package, also courted that group. A seventh was held at a Mexican restaurant.

    A big part of Clinton's push is aimed at undermining Velasco's union - the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Local 226 - by appealing directly to its membership of dishwashers, busboys and other casino-industry food workers, which is nearly 40 percent Latino.



    A bigger prize

    But Clinton is also gunning for a bigger prize, using her Hispanic targeting campaign in Nevada as a steppingstone to woo California's huge, highly politicized Spanish-speaking population, which represents nearly a quarter of that state's electorate.

    "It's weird that she's been so totally focused on a group that makes up such a small percentage of the actual population here," says a top Las Vegas organizer for Obama. "... So what's her real strategy? California."

    Indeed, Clinton "is very focused on California" and sees Nevada as a way of honing messages that appeal to Latinos in the Golden State, an aide said.

    "It's going to be hard for us," an aide said of her chances in Nevada. "The Culinary endorsement was a big deal."

    Las Vegas and Los Angeles are too far apart to share a media market, but Clinton's message in Nevada is being disseminated by the national Spanish broadcast media and through word-of-mouth, her supporters say.

    "In a lot of ways are sister communities," said Rene Cantu, a Nevada State College administrator who serves on Clinton's Hispanic advisory board. "Her message here is getting to voters there."

    Clinton has locked in several leading Hispanics in the West, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who accompanied her Friday in California, and the first Hispanic immigrant elected to the Nevada legislature, Assemb. Ruben Kihuen, who often served as her translator in the Silver State.

    In her Nevada speeches, Clinton has emphasized her call for a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, provided they pay fines and go to the back of the line.



    All about organization

    In Iowa, a predominantly white state where an immigrant backlash runs strong, she spoke more about border security. Since Obama and Clinton have similar records on immigration - they both back comprehensive reform and a border wall - their contest is largely coming down to organization.

    Obama's Culinary Worker's endorsement gives him a ready-made ground operation that will mobilize casino shop stewards.

    He now has a "halfway decent" chance of winning over Hispanic voters in Nevada, said Ted Jelen, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    "You don't have the Hispanic-African American tensions that you do in other places, such as Florida, and Obama's appeal has been nonracial," he said.

    Cantu says Obama has tried to diffuse possible tensions by de-emphasizing race. "He's tried to portray himself as racially or ethnically neutral or neutered," the Clinton supporter said.

    For her part, Clinton has tried to pick off union members, canvassing door-to-door Thursday in one Hispanic neighborhood. Her backers have fashioned handmade "Culinary Workers for Clinton" signs, infuriating union officials.

    Yesterday, Clinton unleashed a squad of ranking Hispanic allies upon Nevada, including former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta.

    At an endorsement rally entitled "Juntos Con Hillary, Una Vida Mejor" (Together with Hillary, a Better Life), at a hall of the Sheet Metal Workers Union, which endorsed Clinton, the Latino leaders led supporters in a chant of "S√* se puede! S√* se puede!" ("Yes she can! Yes she can!") and "Adelante Clinton!" ("Go, Clinton!")

    "We must have a voice in the elections," Cisneros said in Spanish. "And Hillary is that voice."


    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld ... 3275.story

  4. #4
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    Today its the Asian community here that feels they are being
    left out of the debate
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Tuesday's debate in Las Vegas is to focus on issues that concern minorities, and is co-sponsored by African-American and Latino groups. That left one minority group feeling ignored.

    "They forgot about almost 150,000 Asian people in this town," said Mike Vaswani, president of the Las Vegas Asian American Group, an umbrella group for Asian associations. "The Asian community is also a significant minority community."

    The debate is being put on by the Nevada Democratic Party and MSNBC, cosponsored by the 100 Black Men of America, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the IMPACTO political action arm of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada African American Democratic Leadership Council and the College of Southern Nevada.

    Vaswani said he respected all those groups, but that too often, in conversations about minorities, Asians are left out.

    "We don't ask a lot of government, and we give a lot," he said. "We want to ask the candidates what they will do to support the Asian community."

    The Asian group complained to the Democrats, and the party made accommodations. Asian community leaders were allocated some of the scarce debate tickets, and Asian groups were asked to submit questions.

    "We're including them in all aspects of the debate," said Kirsten Searer, deputy executive director of the Nevada Democratic Party. "We recognize the importance of the (Asian and Pacific Islander) community in Nevada."

    An event to recognize the importance of the Asian community also has been scheduled for 4 p.m. today in the Chinatown Plaza on Spring Mountain Road. Nevada's Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Shelley Berkley will be present, along with Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa.

    A spokesman for Honda, whose district has the highest concentration of Asians in the mainland United States, acknowledged the event was arranged partly in response to complaints about the debate.

    Vaswani said Asians have concerns that might not apply to other minority groups. They want to know candidates' thoughts on the situation in Pakistan, for example. And on immigration, Asians who are legal immigrants are distressed that bringing their families to the United States legally can take more than a decade, while people coming over the border illegally get in right away.

    The attempts to reach out and recognize the Asian community are appreciated, Vaswani said, but fall short.

    "It was the best they could do. We would have liked to be a full partner."

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/13762607.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
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    The only thing I can say is lets force them to STOP their pandering, especially to non citizens!!!



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  6. #6
    Senior Member joazinha's Avatar
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    Asian?! Latino?! African?! Australian?! European ?! WHAT on EARTH is GOING ON HERE?! AREN'T we ALL SUPPOSED to be AMERICANS?!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joazinha
    Asian?! Latino?! African?! Australian?! European ?! WHAT on EARTH is GOING ON HERE?! AREN'T we ALL SUPPOSED to be AMERICANS?!!!
    Well , some of us thought we were

    But with the thousands of special interests and ethno centric
    groups that are springing up all over it really makes you wonder
    what is going on

    I know I was raised on the theme that this was a color blind society and
    everyone was equal here

    but it appears that isn't the case anymore

    I may be on slippery ground here and ask the mods to delete this if its not appropriate

    But I feel we are fast approaching 2 competing cultures and only one can survive , I'm not talking about mixing and melting , that works to an extent , I'm talking about 2 cultures butting heads and both wanting to be top dog , one is American and one is foreign that is butting in here , trying to change our way of life to theirs

    Thats where the problem comes in

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bren4824's Avatar
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    From first article..............

    "Lest one accuse Clinton of copycatting Obama, Huerta might lend her credibility: She was the one who came up with the slogan back in the 1970s, along with Cesar Chavez, when they led the United Farm Workers fight for migrant workers' rights."

    And, Cesar Chavez was totally AGAINST the illegals!!!

    He and his followers even began to use "physical force" to stop the illegals from coming into the country!!!

    If he was alive today, he would be on our side!!
    "We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works." --- Alfredo Gutierrez, political consultant.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bren4824's Avatar
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    ""I want her to be president because I think she can help Mexicans," said Jose Sarabia, 49, who attended Saturday's event and plans to caucus for Clinton. "There are a lot of problems with immigration, and if she is president, I think she will help us."
    "We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works." --- Alfredo Gutierrez, political consultant.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bren4824's Avatar
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    This is unbelievable!!!

    I want to throw up!!
    "We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works." --- Alfredo Gutierrez, political consultant.

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