Political Animal


March 29, 2013 4:01 PM What Latino Outreach?

By Ed Kilgore

It seems newly elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina did not get the memo about his party needing simple “outreach” to Latino voters even more than it needs a different position on immigration policy or a sunnier attitude towards government’s duty to help people in need. Here’s a report from Franco Ordoñez and John Frank in the Charlotte Observer:

North Carolina’s Latino advocates are voicing alarm following the governor’s decision to eliminate the state’s office for Latino affairs.
The closing of the Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs was sudden and caught many by surprise. The move appears to have exacerbated the already tense relationship between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Latino community, including criticism over a driver’s license plan for young immigrants.
Advocates say it sends a message that McCrory and Raleigh conservatives are less concerned with the needs of the Latino community. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when issues of deep concern, such as immigration, are at the political forefront.

Lest you think the Tar Heel State doesn’t have enough Latino residents to need any “outreach,” it’s actually home to one of the nation’s fastest-growing Latino populations:

[T]he office was where Latino leaders went to get the governor’s feedback on policy decisions affecting the community. It was a resource for victims needing shelter and bilingual assistance during hurricanes and other natural disasters. It also held community forums and collected demographic statistics on the state’s fastest-growing ethnic community, which now exceeds 800,000 residents.

When it comes to transcending its White Man’s Party rep, sometimes even lip-service is too much to ask these birds.

UPDATE: What with Rep. Don Young’s casual reference to the “wetbacks” his daddy use to employ on a California farm, this has not been the best week for GOP Latino outreach generally.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • ET on March 29, 2013 4:05 PM:

    He has spent too much time in the echo chamber and in his mind all Latinos are illegally in the US. Why would the state have a office to reach out to people who aren't here legally.

    On another not this is a state in the Old Confederacy. Nuf said.

  • max on March 29, 2013 4:18 PM:

    When it comes to transcending its White Man’s Party rep, sometimes even lip-service is too much to ask these birds.

    Outreach? What? That means they're supposed to be *nice* to them? OOOooohhhhhh. No, they thought that meant they were supposed to reach out and grab their wrists and slap cuffs on them.

    If they knew it meant 'be nicer' I think they'd probably think that was a bad idea. They were more up for running campaign commercials in Spanish that suggest R's support leftwing policies, and some extra BS'ing and that kind of thing.

    'I am conducting a citizen's arrest of you in the name of St. George and the United States of America. You're guilty of being brown and you're caught!'

    ['Back to Mexico to you, evildoer, but only after you mow my lawn!']

  • Josef K on March 29, 2013 4:26 PM:

    What with Rep. Don Young’s casual reference to the “wetbacks” his daddy use to employ on a California farm, this has not been the best week for GOP Latino outreach generally.

    This might as well have been a scene from "South Park". What in the hell is wrong with this idiot?

  • boatboy_srq on March 29, 2013 4:29 PM:

    Seems the only "outreach" the GOTea wants for Latinos (and other minorities) is a hand oustretched to help them over San-Diego-Brownsville Wall they insist must be built.

    And after Mark "Appalachian Tail" Sanford's escapades, promoting the state’s office for Latino affairs probably sounds awfully un-Family-Values to some in those parts. Dollars to doughnuts it's being closed because some Teahadist genius wants to prevent adultery and fornication between Real Genuine Patriotic Ahmurrcans™ and Teh Illegals.

  • exlibra on March 29, 2013 4:38 PM:

    boatboy, @ 4:29 PM,

    This is *North* Carolina that's turning redder and redder by the minute, from the erstwhile purple. Appalachian Trail-hiking Mark Sanford is from South Carolina, which has been beet red for quite a while, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I doubt they have any such office in the first place.

  • c u n d gulag on March 29, 2013 4:49 PM:

    I lived in NC for almost 10 years, and I was told by the "lifers" there, that 2008 was, not just an aberration in their eyes, but an abomination in a lot of people's eyes.

    I was an anti-war/torture/rendition organizer of protests there (in Fayetteville - home of Fort Bragg), for a few years, and let me tell you, Dixie's still in a lot of people's hearts, and a lot of people's hearts, still belong to Dixie.

    Once you get out of Wilmington, the Research Triangle Area, Winston-Salem, and Ashville, NC is just as, if not more, red as NY state.

    Its just that, in NY, we have a lot more people in the cities and adjacent suburbs, than NC, so we appear "Blue."

  • NC'n on March 29, 2013 5:11 PM:


    You're right, except that places like Eastern North Carolina (including Fayetteville, but even more so in the small towns) are much more right-wing than basically anywhere outside Mississippi. Through extreme gerrymandering, they control our government now, and they are inflicting daily embarrassments on those of us who live in RTP, et al.

    Self-pitying monologue over.

  • sceptic on March 29, 2013 5:23 PM:

    Someone should be holding Don Young's feet to the fire for his family farm's apparent practice of hiring illegal workers. His comment suggests they were hiring illegal workers to pick tomatoes and they knew the workers were working here illegally. Do republicans think this is OK?

  • MuddyLee on March 29, 2013 5:33 PM:

    North Carolina is certainly going down hill, but I think South Carolina is worse in most respects. I live in SC, on the border of the 2 Carolinas, south of Charlotte NC. We need some help in defeating Mark Sanford down here. But there are many Hispanics in our area, particularly Union County NC where there are a lot of poultry operations - the repubs are not unaware of the demographics, they just want to go back to the good old days of sharecropping - when there was plenty of cheap labor and the workers didn't "want" to vote.

  • merrinc on March 29, 2013 6:00 PM:

    We're pretty screwed in NC but at least we don't have to claim Mark Sanford. Though I have come to believe that there are a whole lotta people here in NC who think that we ought to aspire to our southern cousin's ways of doing things. During the GOP primary, the Charlotte Observer quoted a SC yokel who opined that he was supporting Newt because he was the only candidate almost mean enough to take on Obama. They celebrate meanness in SC.

    BTW: don't leave Charlotte off your list, c u n d gulag. We went for Obama both elections and Amendment One failed here too. Fat lot of good that did any of us, though. The fun is just beginning in NC. Who knows what we'll look like when the Pope administration and the NC Teapublicans are done with us.

  • JEA on March 30, 2013 11:18 AM:

    "Outreach" can be defined in many ways, you know.