Hispanics and Republicans
Finally, after almost 20 years of suicide by stupidity, the California Republican Party has come to its senses and abandoned the self-murdering anti-Hispanic trail to oblivion that originated in former governor Pete Wilson’s 1994 reelection campaign.
Hispanics were delighted when former San Diego Mayor and United States Senator Pete Wilson humbled San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein in the 1990 governor’s race. He had done well by them as Mayor of San Diego, a top-ten Hispanic city and as a United States Senator from California. He made sure alien farm workers qualified for amnesty in the 1986 Immigration Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
Financial disasters hit the new Wilson Administration in 1991-92 along with wildfires and huge floods combined with bad luck to kill the California budget.
Wilson clearly blamed “immigrants” for budgetary problems. “Immigrants” were draining the state treasury, he said. When it was pointed out to him, this future candidate for President said he meant “illegal immigrants,” not legal immigrants.
His budget problems worsened and Wilson went along with tax increases that crucified him with Republican conservatives. They were unhappy with him anyway because he campaigned for Gerald Ford against Ronald Reagan in the 1976 New Hampshire primary, a move that pleased the Establishment but antagonized the Right wing.
Kathleen Brown, sister of Governor Junior Moonbeam and daughter of old San Francisco war horse governor Senior Brown, announced for governor and she promptly led Wilson in the polls.
In conservative Orange County white supremacist radicals and white nationalist Mexican haters drew up a Save Our State (SOS) petition to place as a Constitutional Amendment on the 1994 ballot that would expel any children from public school who couldn’t prove that both parents were legal residents or citizens even if the children themselves were American citizens. It also would have prohibited Catholic, Protestant and Jewish hospitals from treating anyone including children for anything other than an emergency if both parents couldn’t be proven legal.
What frightened educated people, was that determinations of legality would not be made by trained federal immigration officers but by school and hospital clerks.
The SOS petition was going nowhere when Pete Wilson’s brain trust decided he should join the SOS drive so the proposition would make the ballot. He could then run for reelection crusading for Proposition 187.
Wilson ordered the California Republican Party to dump $350,000 into the signature campaign for the SOS petition. It worked. Proposition 187 made the ballot and Pete Wilson embraced it as the main reason to reelect him.
The campaign was brutal. What could be more American than to be against illegal aliens? Pete Wilson lied about illegal aliens week after week. Nonetheless, despite overwhelming white and black support for 187 Wilson was warned that Hispanics did not agree with him like whites and blacks did.
Before the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce meeting in Palm Springs Wilson was greeted with standing ovations every time he supported the pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With cheers and clapping ringing in his ears, Wilson preened in front of these Hispanic men and women, successful, registered to vote Hispanics. He preened until he spoke about and supported Proposition 187.
Not a peep from the audience, not a clap, not a cheer, nothing but silence. Wilson was stunned.
He had been told that when Proposition 187 made the ballot polls showed that 75% of Hispanics supported the effort to limit illegal aliens. He believed that. Of course, that was before anyone read it. When Hispanics read it they quickly turned and, in fact, 80 percent voted against it in November.
Wilson always believed the initial reports and maintains to this day he was right and that Hispanics supported Proposition. They did not.
Moreover, they blamed Wilson and his Republican Party for the passage of the hideous violation of their rights – not as illegals but as American citizens.
Two things happened: Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans traded in their long held “green cards” and became U. S. citizens. Hispanics turned left politically and started voting Democrat with a vengeance. George W. Bush slowed that up and he revived Hispanic Republicans temporarily.
Then comes the Son of Proposition 187, Arizona’s SB 1070 which closely resembles Proposition187’s police state which was found unconstitutional. It was created and passed into law by loudmouth Arizona Republicans.
It is Déjà vu all over again.
So, the California Republican Party met in San Diego this last weekend for their statewide convention and lo and behold, there sits a resolution to support Arizona’s SB 1070. It died in committee for lack of a second.
Scuttlebutt has it that both Meg Whitman, Republican nominee for Governor and Carly Fiorina, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator, ordered its quiet death. Good for them. Good for the state and for the Party.