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Man behind ad urging Hispanics not to vote is a longtime GOP operative

Thu, Oct 21, 2010 (2 a.m.)

The force behind the commercial aiming to keep Hispanic turnout in the Nevada Senate race low is a little-known political group headed up by little-known conservative pundit Robert de Posada.

But he and his group, Latinos for Reform, have big ties to bigwigs in the Republican Party.

De Posada, a conservative strategist with the Virginia-based public affairs consulting firm Smith Fairfield, has a long history in and about the Republican Party.

From 1988 to 1992, de Posada was director of Hispanic affairs of the Republican National Committee, the GOP’s national advocacy group.

He’s also served on the executive committee of the Hispanic Business Roundtable, and as founder and president of the Latino Coalition, a Republican-leaning business association, which interestingly enough, unequivocally denounced de Posada’s advertisements Wednesday.

De Posada achieved slightly more notoriety during the George W. Bush administration. In 2001, the former president appointed him to head a commission to advance the privatization of Social Security — an issue that has come up in the Senate contest between Sharron Angle, who also wants to privatize Social Security, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who wants to keep it intact.

During the Bush years, de Posada worked with Republicans Dick Armey and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie — through the group Americans for Border and Economic Security — to promote an approach to overhauling immigration legislation that would steer clear of any provisions restricting companies from hiring foreign workers.

Overall, de Posada’s career reads like that of a fairly unassuming conservative. But his organization’s track record has a more checkered past.

Latinos for Reform is a 527 organization — a classification given to groups formed to influence elections, but not affiliated with specific candidates or parties, a separation that allows them to raise money relatively unfettered by disclosure rules or contribution limits.

The group made a splash during the 2008 presidential campaign with a similar message to Hispanics: Don’t vote — for Obama, because he likes black people more than you. “Barack Obama a friend of the Latino community? The record demonstrates the opposite,” those ads stated.

The message did not take hold. About 70 percent of Hispanic voters pitched their support to Obama over John McCain in the general election.

The Latinos for Reform’s treasurer was a big player in the 2008 election cycle — as a top fundraiser for McCain. Juan Carlos Benitez — formerly Bush’s special counsel for immigration-related unemployment practices — is now a powerful Republican lobbyist.

According to several bloggers, Latinos for Reform’s registration papers list the same address as one of the most successful 527 organizations in recent history: the Adm. Roy F. Hoffman Foundation, the brains behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that called former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s Vietnam War record into question, and is often credited with costing him the 2004 election.

De Posada has called the common address a “mistake” and denied that he is in any way affiliated with the Republican Party, or trying to advance the party in close elections where Hispanic turnout may determine the outcome.

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Discussion: 28 comments so far…

  1. Memo: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck to Plot 2010 Election
    Lee Fang, ThinkProgress, Weds. 20 October 2010:

    "While the Koch brothers - each worth over $21.5 billion - have certainly underwritten much of the right, their hidden coordination with other big business money has gone largely unnoticed. ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the details of the last Koch gathering held in June of this year. The memo, along with an attendee list of about 210 people, shows the titans of industry - from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, and real estate tycoons - working together with conservative journalists and Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 2012." ...

    "After ThinkProgess published its exclusive investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealing that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations for its 501(c)(6) account used to run a $75 million attack ad campaign, Chamber lobbyists found common cause with Beck and many of the conservative talking heads. Shortly after our investigation, Beck hosted an on-air fundraiser, asking his audience to give to the Chamber. Casual observers might have been surprised by the Chamber's swift alliance with Beck (Chamber executives appeared on the Beck radio program and sung Beck's praises on the Chamber blog), who has compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and called the President a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." By telling his listeners to give money to the Chamber, Beck, who owns a media company worth more than $32 million dollars and an experimental Mercedes Benz, essentially told his working class viewers to give their wages back to their employers. However, Beck never disclosed his long working history of discussing political strategy with America's largest corporations. The Koch memo clearly shows that Beck has been collaborating with the Chamber, as well as other titans of industry, for years. In his latest appeal for support to the Chamber's foreign-funded trade association, which already counts JP Morgan and ExxonMobil as dues-paying members, Beck yesterday told his audience that the Chamber simply "defends the little guy."

    Read the entire article at: http://www.truth-out.org/memo-health-ins......

  2. Bluejeans...(Suzy)
    Thank you for your post.
    Please, RE-POST this insightful, IMPORTANT information about how Americans are being MANIPULATED everywhere you can.
    Again, thank you.
    When the electorate is being BOUGHT, it's good to know who's PAYING FOR IT!!!

  3. Oh, I get it. Wink. It's the Republican version of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

  4. This kind of operative (Robert de Posada) is no longer welcomed in not only Nevada, but the U.S. He is a traitor to his people and to the Constitution that drives a democracy. Freedom; OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people. That means EVERYBODY, regardless of their race, creed or color. Get it, Senor de Posada??

  5. To chazbeans:
    What is it you have against George Soros? That he is a Hungarian-American, and a philanthropist who supports and promotes human rights, democracy, education and science all over the world? Is that how you justify the Koch Brothers-Chamber of Commerce-Rupert Murdoch conspiracy to buy and own our government and destroy democracy?


  6. RevPettibone:

    No. And on the other flip side, Democrats are not running ads telling people not to vote nor rousing people to use their second amendment rights. Democrats are not encouraging outsourcing our jobs to China and India. By the way, that "far left" argument is antiquated. Republicans are the extremists now. Media Matters points out extremism and disinformation wherever they find it including in the "mainstream media". The fact of the matter is there is so much of it on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.
    The airwaves belong to the American people and there is going to be a huge backlash to Rupert Murdoch using our airwaves to spread fascist-corporatist propaganda. We can choose not to patronize and buy merchandise from the companies who advertise on Fox.

  7. Just another carpetbagger thinking they can influence an election for a place he does not live in. Make it law that people cannot give contributions to a candidate other than the place where they reside.

  8. Please, Rev. Pettibone, your last name says it all. . . . petti = little.

  9. RevPettibone:

    You know, you're the one who called me out. Don't patronize me with your paternalistic attitude. I could care less that I bore you, and I'm glad I did so you stopped posting your Fox News-Republican trash. You think I'm unable to think? I've been in the workplace since I was 16. I've had my present position for 20 years, and do very well for myself at a job that requires more intelligence, knowledge and skill than you appear to have. I have 2 adult sons who are college graduates and working. One of my sons has a Ph.D. in Physics. Both of my sons are Democrats and agree with my view. And I'm not afraid to use my real name. Go ahead and sleep. I'm sure you don't have a care in the world.

  10. The comment by Larry Vegas (More race bating from the far left) is interesting considering the fact that Robert de Posada is a Republican.

  11. When people don't have jobs, they don't pay income tax. That's what you get if Sharron Angle gets elected.

    "Former GOP national chairman endorses Reid"
    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 | 12:19 p.m.

    "Former Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. has endorsed Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, saying it would be a mistake for Nevadans to elect Republican Sharron Angle and lose Reid's clout to protect the state's lifeblood gambling industry.
    Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association, suggested Angle should distance herself from the anti-gambling Campaign for Working Families, which has endorsed her and begun running television advertisements attacking Reid.
    The political action committee's founder and chairman is Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate affiliated with several Christian right groups over the years.
    "It's disturbing that she (Angle) is taking money from people who oppose gambling," Fahrenkopf told The Associated Press. "She may not even know it, but Gary Bauer has been a longtime, outspoken opponent of legalized gambling. I did a double-take when I read she was receiving assistance from someone who has opposed Nevada's chief industry for so long."
    The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes hotel-casinos, is Nevada's largest employer, accounting for 304,300 jobs statewide.

    "We just can't take any more assaults on us tax-wise or otherwise," Fahrenkopf said. "We need someone strong to protect the state and the industry. No freshman senator would have clout. To trade the most powerful position in the Senate for a freshman senator doesn't make sense."

  12. By johns76222 (Mike Johns) Oct. 21, 2010 5:18 p.m.
    "National Taxpayer Group Endorses Sharron Angle for Senate"
    "...He noted that in returning his group's Survey of Congressional Candidates, Angle pledged to fundamentally reform the Tax Code, limit entitlement spending, and end the abusive practice of earmarking."

    You know, she's not running for president. She makes all these promises. Just how will she fundamentally reform the Tax Code, for instance? Does she have the knowledge and expertise to do that all by herself? What a megalomaniacal blowhard.