Politics: Immigration

4 Keys to Immigration Reform: Win Hispanics’ Trust

Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
May 13, 2011, 2:20 p.m.

The 30-minute fail­ure of the Mil­wau­kee Po­lice Dept.’s new ra­dio sys­tem “dom­in­ated” the race 10/8, with Mil­wau­kee Co. Ex­ec. Scott Walk­er (R) “ac­cus­ing” ‘02 can­did­ate/Mil­wau­kee May­or/ex-Rep. Tom Bar­rett (D) of fail­ing to en­sure that the sys­tem works prop­erly. 10/7’s fail­ure “forced of­ficers to rely on cell phones and com­puters in­side their squad cars to com­mu­nic­ate.”

Bar­rett “re­spon­ded by ac­cus­ing Walk­er” of turn­ing 10/7’s city­wide fail­ure in­to a polit­ic­al is­sue, not­ing that the Po­lice Dept. and Har­ris Corp., the com­pany re­spons­ible for the ra­dio sys­tem, have said the fail­ure was in­ad­vert­ently caused by a Har­ris em­ploy­ee who was work­ing re­motely on the sys­tem without prop­erly no­ti­fy­ing the dept (Hag­gerty/Sand­ler, Mil­wau­kee Journ­al-Sen­tinel, 10/8).

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

Journ­al Entry

Wis­con­sin State Journ­al has en­dorsed Walk­er (10/10).

Lam­beau Leap Of Faith

Fol­low­ing the 9/14 primary, Bar­rett and Walk­er have stumped in the Lam­beau Field sta­di­um park­ing lots be­fore the home open­er.

Most polit­ic­al ex­perts agree that North­east­ern WI “will swing many of the statewide polit­ic­al races this year, and can­did­ates seem to real­ize it as well.” Univ. of WI Green-Bay prof. Scott Fur­long: “It’s ob­vi­ously a place where there’s a lot of people in one place at one time and they’re gen­er­ally in good moods in a very in­form­al at­mo­sphere” (Con­torno, Green Bay Press-Gaz­ette, 10/9).

It’s A First

With­in WI, the con­test between Bar­rett and Walk­er “has drawn no­tice as the first time” in 70 years that two Mil­wau­kee Co. res­id­ents have com­peted for the gov.’s of­fice.

But “it also ap­pears to be the first time any­where in the coun­try that the may­or of a state’s largest city has faced the elec­ted” chief ex­ec. of that city’s co. in a GOV elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a Mil­wau­kee Journ­al-Sen­tinel sur­vey of his­tor­i­ans and lib­rar­i­ans na­tion­wide (Sand­ler, Mil­wau­kee Journ­al-Sen­tinel, 10/10).

One of the biggest story lines of the year is that the Re­pub­lic­an Party has moved so far to the right that they’re ali­en­at­ing cru­cial swing voters. But look at this year’s Sen­ate land­scape, and it’s the Demo­crats who are run­ning can­did­ates with lib­er­al con­vic­tions, while Re­pub­lic­ans are sport­ing mil­quetoast mod­er­ates.

The po­ten­tial Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate nom­in­ees in­clude former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, who has been com­pli­ment­ary to­ward Pres­id­ent Obama and em­braced the “Re­pub­lic­an-In-Name Only” la­bel; former Rep. Heath­er Wilson of New Mex­ico, one of the most mod­er­ate mem­bers of the House dur­ing her ten­ure; and former Wis­con­sin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who sup­por­ted ele­ments of Obama’s health care law. And one of the two Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors fa­cing a tough gen­er­al-elec­tion cam­paign is Scott Brown, who is flaunt­ing his bi­par­tis­an cre­den­tials as he tries to win in true-blue Mas­sachu­setts.

This isn’t a roster of fire-breath­ing con­ser­vat­ives. In fact, even the more-con­ser­vat­ive Sen­ate re­cruits, like Rep. Rick Berg of North Dakota and former Rep. Pete Hoek­stra of Michigan, have come un­der fire from tea party act­iv­ists over their con­gres­sion­al vot­ing re­cords. Rep. Jeff Flake of Ari­zona, an ar­dent fisc­al con­ser­vat­ive, has one of the most lib­er­al re­cords on im­mig­ra­tion of any Re­pub­lic­an mem­ber, and Rep. Con­nie Mack of Flor­ida once com­pared Ari­zona’s pun­it­ive im­mig­ra­tion law to Nazi Ger­many.

In Montana, Rep. Denny Re­hberg was one of just four House Re­pub­lic­ans who voted against Paul Ry­an‘s en­ti­tle­ment-bust­ing budget, break­ing with his party’s lead­er­ship.

By con­trast, most of the lead­ing Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ees have been proudly ad­vert­ising their lib­er­al­ism. In Mas­sachu­setts, Eliza­beth War­ren has be­come a na­tion­al spokes­wo­man for voters look­ing for an out­spoken ad­voc­ate of pro­gress­ive policies. Rep. Tammy Bald­win, D-Wis., has con­sist­ently been ranked one of the most lib­er­al mem­bers of the House by Na­tion­al Journ­al, and is sup­port­ive of the labor-fueled re­call of Gov. Scott Walk­er in her home state. Former Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee Chair­man Tim Kaine of Vir­gin­ia was Obama’s chief back­er, and has closely tied him­self to the pres­id­ent’s po­lar­iz­ing first-term policies.

The biggest ques­tion loom­ing for Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans in 2012 is wheth­er the tra­di­tion­al cri­ter­ia of what makes a strong Sen­ate can­did­ate still hold. Not long ago, the time-tested for­mula was find­ing someone with polit­ic­al ex­per­i­ence, proven fun­drais­ing abil­ity, and a vot­ing re­cord that wasn’t too far out of the main­stream. By that stand­ard, Re­pub­lic­ans boast an im­press­ive re­cruit­ing class filled with many former mem­bers and former gov­ernors whose mod­er­a­tion was con­sidered a lead­ing vir­tue.

But by the new stand­ards, au­then­ti­city is more highly val­ued than polit­ic­al ex­per­i­ence. As I’ve noted in past columns, a sig­ni­fic­ant num­ber of po­ten­tial nom­in­ees are run­ning more on their past re­cord than fu­ture vis­ion. Thompson hasn’t won a statewide elec­tion since 1998. Wilson was one of the most battle-tested mem­bers of Con­gress, but her last suc­cess­ful cam­paign was in 2006. In Vir­gin­ia, former Sen. George Al­len hasn’t won an elec­tion since 2000. On pa­per, these can­did­ates sport deep re­sumes, but the polit­ic­al cli­mate has changed markedly over the past dec­ade.

Demo­crats are mak­ing the op­pos­ite bet. They’ve been ral­ly­ing be­hind con­vic­tion can­did­ates whose ideo­logy is to the left of the con­stitu­en­cies in their states but who have made little at­tempt to pa­per over their polit­ics. Eliza­beth War­ren is the best ex­ample of this phe­nomen­on. She has been giv­ing a vir­tu­al work­shop on the per­ils of rising in­come in­equal­ity, a mes­sage that the pres­id­ent has be­latedly ad­op­ted. Her class-tinged rhet­or­ic, even as it risks ali­en­at­ing mod­er­ates, has drawn a na­tion­al fol­low­ing and a huge fun­drais­ing base. The race is already dead­locked, with some polls show­ing her ahead of Brown.

In Wis­con­sin, Bald­win is the left’s ver­sion of Michele Bach­mann.  She’s been a lead­ing an­ti­war voice in the House, sup­por­ted gov­ern­ment-run health care, and has been on the front lines of the cul­ture war. In­deed, she was one of the most out­spoken de­fend­ers of Obama’s ini­tial de­cision to man­date re­li­gious char­it­ies provide con­tra­cept­ives in their in­sur­ance policies, even though the state she’s look­ing to rep­res­ent has one of the highest con­cen­tra­tions of Cath­ol­ic voters in the coun­try.

Even in the battle­ground state of Vir­gin­ia, it’s strik­ing how closely former Gov. Kaine is ty­ing him­self to the pres­id­ent, not run­ning away from his sup­port for Obama as former DNC chair. At a youth sum­mit last week­end, Kaine said that “noth­ing was as sweet “¦ noth­ing was as mean­ing­ful for the coun­try and the world” as help­ing elect Obama in 2008. Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ing in the Old Domin­ion is stuck at 46 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the latest Quin­nipi­ac poll.

But Kaine hasn’t suffered polit­ic­ally from his as­so­ci­ations, even as he’s been hit on the air­waves with more than $1 mil­lion in neg­at­ive ads from the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce and Amer­ic­an Cross­roads.

“At a time when people are dis­gus­ted with politi­cians, hav­ing someone who em­braces their re­cord and stands by their prin­ciples is at a real premi­um with voters,” said Kaine ad­viser Mo El­leithee.

For Re­pub­lic­ans, the biggest ques­tion in 2012 is wheth­er voters value mod­er­a­tion more than au­then­ti­city. The party has placed a big bet on re­cruit­ing can­did­ates who pass the tra­di­tion­al elect­ab­il­ity tests. But if Demo­crats man­age to hang onto the Sen­ate, they can cred­it their nom­in­ees for stand­ing up for their be­liefs.

What We're Following See More »
Supreme Court Takes Up Trump Travel Ban
9 hours ago

The Supreme Court announced "that it would consider a challenge to President Trump’s latest effort to limit travel from countries said to pose a threat to the nation’s security." The case concerns Trump's most recent attempt to make good on a campaign promise "tainted by religious animus" and only questionably justified by national security concerns. The decision to take the case, called Trump v. Hawaii, comes almost exactly a year after Trump issued the first travel ban. The ban under consideration affects Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea.

Schumer Meeting with Trump for Last-Ditch Meeting
13 hours ago
House Told to “Stay Flexible”
14 hours ago
House Is Heading Home
15 hours ago
Trump Hosting $100,000/Couple Fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago
16 hours ago

Even while Congress works to avoid a government shutdown at 5 p.m. today, "President Donald Trump will mark the first anniversary of his inauguration on Saturday with a celebration at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with tickets starting at $100,000 a pair. That amount, according to the invitation, will pay for dinner and a photograph with the president. For $250,000, a couple can also take part in a roundtable." The event will boost the Trump presidential campaign and the RNC.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.