> the GOP
> "El Gran Partido Viejo"? Don't Mexicans really prefer the party that's
> symbolized by a burro?
> White House Strategist Calls on Hispanics
> By Teresa Watanabe and Michael Finnegan, Times Staff Writer
> 8:05 PM PDT, July 11, 2006
> White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove touted "shared values" of
> faith and family between Hispanics and Republicans and reiterated
> President Bush's support of broad immigration reform in an address here
> Tuesday to one of the largest U.S. Hispanic civil rights organizations.
> In a lunchtime talk at the National Council of La Raza's annual
> conference, the Republican political strategist outlined Bush's plan
> for stronger border security, workplace enforcement, a guest worker
> program and earned legalization for undocumented immigrants.
> "He understands immigration is a positive force in this country . . .
> vital to keep this country going," Rove said, prompting applause from
> the crowd of a few thousand.
> But he drew scattered boos when he highlighted Bush's recent approval
> of $1.9 billion in funding for more border security, including
> deployment of National Guard troops, and was disrupted twice by
> hecklers who unfurled anti-war and anti-Bush banners.
> Rove, who shared his own family story of Norwegian immigrants, also
> told the crowd that assimilating by learning English was critical to
> both national unity and boosting the pay and career potential of
> immigrants. "English binds us together as Americans and enables us to
> share our common life," he said.
> Speaking after Rove, New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson
> outlined his own immigration plan -- which was strikingly similar to
> Bush's. Unlike Rove, however, he was not booed when he promoted tougher
> border security to crack down not only on illegal migrants, he said,
> but also *** and ***.
> Rove's appearance came as both parties aim to tap the 7.5 million
> member Hispanic electorate, which is becoming increasingly independent.
> About 40 percent of Hispanics voted for Bush in the 2000 election,
> compared to 56 percent for Democratic candidate John Kerry.
> Cecilia Munoz, La Raza vice-president, said she was "encouraged" by
> Rove's remarks in support of broad immigration reform at a time when a
> wing of his own party is pushing what she sees as a punitive approach
> focused on cracking down against illegal immigrants. Congress' two
> chambers are holding dueling summer hearings, with the House promoting
> an enforcement approach and the Senate backing a broader bill that
> includes border security, legalization for undocumented immigrants and
> more family and worker visas.
> She warned that Republicans would jeopardize their support among
> Hispanics for generations if they failed to act on immigration reform.
> "The image of the Republican Party in the Latino community is going to
> be set for the next generation by what happens in this debate," she
> said. "The Latino vote is up for grabs, but it won't be up for grabs if
> the Republican Party continues to paint itself as a party of
> The four-day La Raza conference ended Tuesday with a town hall meeting
> on how to ease tensions and strengthen relations among Hispanic, black
> and Asian American leaders. The Rev. Jesse Jackson stressed the need to
> focus on common interests of worker rights, while Stewart Kwoh of the
> Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles described his
> center's efforts to mobilize low-income parents of all races for better
conference. Rove is the pointman for the greatest political *** of
alltime, President Bush. (Nice combo, Rove spreading his cheeks, Bush