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LULAC Condemns Latino Voter Suppression Efforts in November

October 19, 2010

Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos, (202) 833-6130 ext. 16

Cynical Ads Aims to Dupe Latinos into not Voting in Crucial Races

Washington, DC – A cynical ad funded by the conservative group Latinos for Reform is running a new Spanish language ad in Nevada and California encouraging Latinos not to vote in the upcoming elections. LULAC and other Latino organizations are outraged over these ads and applaud Univision for declining to run the ad.

“This is overt voter suppression, and it’s ugly,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “It is precisely because of this latest voter suppression tactic that Latino voters should vote.”

According to a Univision spokesperson, “Univision will not be running any spots from Latinos for Reform related to voting. It is also important to clarify that while Mr. Robert de Posada has on occasion provided political commentary on Univision, representing one of various points of views, he is not in any way affiliated with Univision. Univision prides itself on promoting civic engagement and our extensive national campaigns encourage Hispanics to vote.”

The organization Latinos for Reform is an Alexandria, VA based organization with direct ties to Republican politics. The head of the organization is Roberto De Posada, a former RNC Director of Hispanic Affairs. The ad says, “Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted.” Latinos must not listen to these negative ads, which pit our community as single-issue. If Latinos do not vote, then politicians will not continue to advocates for all our issues. Not voting shows that we do not care. We must fight to make sure that the political system listens to our concerns. It is the height of cynicism to encourage voters to make themselves irrelevant by not exercising their right to be heard. This was seen earlier this year at having Latinos boycott the U.S. Census. It did not work then and it will not work now.

Outside groups also aired immigration ads targeting the Presidential contest, and their tone was overwhelmingly negative. Outside organizations—National Rifle Association, National Republican Trust PAC, and Latinos for Reform—sponsored a total of four ads on immigration in the Presidential race. Each of these ads attacked Obama on the issue—three from a harsh, anti-immigration position. FactCheck.org called the NRA and Latinos for Reform ads "false" and "misleading," and said that the National Republican Trust PAC ad on driver's licenses was "one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the campaign."

LULAC applauds Univision for taking a clear stance and choosing not to run the ad from Latinos for Reform. We will continue to fight against these blatant attacks against Latinos throughout the Election cycle. We cannot allow negative perceptions of our community to dominate the media. We must fight to make sure our community will be active on Election Day.

LULAC launched its 2010 Our Voice, Our Choice to ensure that Latinos are engaged in the midterm elections. The main priority of our campaign is to make sure that Latinos are registered, educated, and protected voters.

The campaign reached across 22 states and registered 12,000 voters. We cannot stop there. We must ensure that Latinos vote in every state. Our LULAC councils are continuing to ensure that Latinos get out to vote in 2010. We must ensure that Latinos are out in record numbers on Election Day. The voices of Latinos across the U.S. must be heard, not silenced.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 880 LULAC councils nationwide.

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