Signs Point to Latinos Voting Republican in ’22

Recent polls show increasing dissatisfaction with Democrats

Imagine the following scenario:

Donald Trump enters the 2024 presidential election, but announces he’s replacing former Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate with a Latino. The former president argues it’s about time everyone acknowledge what was once thought impossible: Latinos want to go Republican en masse.

He picks someone younger, more charismatic, and even more conservative than him — a child of an immigrant who grew up poor but pulled himself up by the proverbial bootstraps to succeed in the U.S. It’s such an impeccable story that any accusations that Trump’s choice is a vendido — a sellout — fall flatter and are cheesier than a quesadilla.

From East Los Angeles to South Texas, Little Havana to Washington Heights, just enough inspired Latinos become the swing vote that secures Trump’s win — maybe eventhe first time ever that a GOP presidential candidate wins a majority of the Latino electorate. The GOP thus finally fulfills the prophecy long attributed to Ronald Reagan — that Latinos are Republicans who just don’t know it yet.

Crazy scenario, right? Actually, no.

In an alternate universe, this could’ve totally been a thing — and recent polls and studies that show Latinos are more politically conservative than at any point in recent memory are proof of this.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Latinos its pollsters talked to support Republicans and Democrats in equal numbers, and that only one percentage point separates Joe Biden from Trump in a hypothetical 2024 rematch among the Latinos they surveyed. Two Democrat-friendly research groups found that Latinos are increasingly dissatisfied with the blue view. Another Democrat-aligned firm discovered that the use of “Latinx” by Democratic politicians offends enough Latinos to the point that 30% of the ones they talked to would be less likely to vote for a politician who used the term.

Even a Fairleigh Dickinson University study that found Americans believe there’s a War on Christmas more than ever before revealed that Latinos buy that humbug more fervently than any other ethnic group.

All this news comes a year after Trump — who, quick recap, dismissed Mexicans trying to come into the United States in the 2015 speech that announced his first presidential run as rapists and drug dealers, posed with a hideous-looking taco salad in a 2016 Cinco de Mayo tweet, and referred to El Salvador as a “shithole” country in 2018 — built bigly on his 2016 Latino support to earn 38% percent of our vote. It was the highest such percentage since George W. Bush got 44% of the Latino vote in 2004.

The conservative political swing by Latinos has set off furious finger-pointing among Democratic operatives and glee among conservative ones, who now hope one of the gifts under their Christmas tree this year is the 2022 Latino vote (poor Democrats, meanwhile, are stuck with a giant lump of West Virginia coal in their stocking).

wrote about this phenomenon in columns leading up to and after the 2020 presidential elections. I’m seeing it on the streets, in social media, and in the poll numbers — it’s real, and it’s reaching a boil.

There are many immediate reasons why more Latinos are voting Republican right now: an attraction to Trump’s bluster, an exhaustion with COVID-19 mandates, a repudiation of the social justice causes that Democrats have campaigned on for the last couple of years at the expense of the economy.

Democratic activists dismiss these points, and instead blame the very real disinformation campaigns on social media that paint President Biden as a communist at best and a child-eating reptilian at worst as swaying too many Latinos to leave their party. But the most important reason why there’s always a chance for Latinos to flip conservative is because it’s inherently within us thanks to a political philosophy that I call rancho libertarianism.

It’s the core beliefs of working-class Latinos, many influenced by their roots in the rural parts of their ancestral countries. Whether you live in Appalachia, the highlands of Jalisco, County Cork in Ireland, or Sicily, country folk oftenshare common traits — rugged individualism, distrust of government and elites, conservative moral beliefs, a love of community and a hatred of political correctness — that are like catnip for Republicans.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times

California Redistricting: What to Know About the Final Maps

California voters have the brand new districts they’ll use to elect their members of Congress and state legislators, after the state’s independent redistricting commission voted unanimously Monday night to approve its final maps.

These districts take effect with the June 2022 primaries and continue for the next decade. Redistricting happens once every 10 years, after every census, to ensure that each district has the same amount of people. It’s the second time that California’s redrawing is being done by a 14-member independent commission. 

But it hasn’t been easy, or without contention.

In addition to balancing population numbers, the commission must comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, ensuring that no minority group’s vote is drowned out. And to create fair maps, the commission didn’t consider current district lines and isn’t supposed to weigh partisan politics. In some cases, it puts incumbents into the same district, or forces others to appeal to new voters to be re-elected.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Particularly on the congressional level, that could help shift the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans. In the U.S. House, three California Democrats are among the 23 Democrats nationally who have already opted not to run for re-election in 2022. Combined with redistricting done by Republican-led legislatures in other states, that could tip the House in favor of the GOP

Some California Democrats have blasted the “unilateral disarmament” of their power, though an initial analysis by the Cook Political Report says the new congressional map helps Democrats

The commission’s deliberations have been different from the last redistricting, in 2011, in large measure due to advances in technology, plus social media, particularly Twitter.

In 2021, it is far easier for advocacy groups and others to submit their own maps – and respond to mapping decisions in real time. As they did live line-drawing, commissioners referenced these maps, along with the feedback they were getting.

The commission was under the pressure of a court-ordered deadline to submit the maps to the secretary of state by Dec. 27 despite a nearly six-month delay in the release of census data. In the last few weeks, the panel held a number of marathon sessions late into the night to hear public comment and try to incorporate competing testimony into the maps. 

Commission chairperson Alicia Fernández acknowledged that there were constraints and disagreements along the way, but said she was proud of the commission’s work given the rules they were under.

“There was robust discussion in terms of how these maps should be drawn. We know that not everyone will be happy, but I feel that they are fair maps for Californians,” she told CalMatters.

California Common Cause — which pushed voters to create the independent panel — also defended the commission: “While the process was at times messy, it was an exercise in democracy done in public,” with 150 meetings and 30,000 pieces of public input.

Now, the maps must sit for three days for public input, though no further changes are permitted, said Fredy Ceja, communications director for the commission. In the meantime, the commission will complete its final report to deliver to the secretary of state.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

Trump Tells Supporters ‘You’re Playing Right Into Their Hands’ By Doubting the COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Former President Donald Trump confronted a crowd of supporters over vaccine skepticism.
  • Trump told his fans to “take credit” for the vaccines instead of being against them.
  • “You’re playing right into their hands,” he said during his tour with Bill O’Reilly.

Former President Donald Trump urged his supporters on Sunday to get a booster shot of one of the COVID-19 vaccines to protect themselves against the Omicron variant, telling them they were “playing right into their hands” by doubting the vaccines.

Sitting alongside the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly at a stadium in Dallas, Trump touted his administration’s contribution toward developing the vaccines as part of Operation Warp Speed.

“Look, we did something that was historic,” he said. “We saved tens of millions of lives worldwide. We, together, all of us, not me.”

He added that without the vaccine, millions more people would have died from the virus.

“I think this would have been the Spanish flu of 1917, where up to 100 million people died,” he said. “This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now.”

He then told his supporters to “take credit” for the vaccine, saying they shouldn’t “let them take it away.”

Click here to read the full article at Yahoo News!

Manchin: WH Staff ‘Real Reason’ For Death of Biden’s Social Spending Bill

Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday he ended up killing President Biden’s massive social and environmental spending bill because White House staff drove him to his “wit’s end.”

“It is not the president. This is staff,” the West Virginia Democrat told home-state radio host Hoppy Kercheval.

“And they drove some things, and they put some things out, that were absolutely inexcusable. They know what it is.”

Manchin continued: “I’m always willing to work and listen to try. I just got to the wit’s end and they know the real reasons what happened.”

Although Biden negotiated with Manchin via phone and even hosted him at his Wilmington, Del., home on at least one occasion, there were protracted additional talks involving White House aides. 

Later in the interview, Manchin slammed fellow Democrats and activist groups who tried to “beat the living crap” out of him to win his support for the bill.

“They figured, ‘Surely to God we can move one person. Surely we can badger and beat one person up. Surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough they will just say, “OK I’ll vote for anything, just quit.”‘ Well guess what?,” Manchin said. “I’m from West Virginia. I’m not from where they’re from and they can beat the living crap out of people and think they will be submissive.”

Click here to read the full article at the NYPost

Manchin Kills Build Back Better and Gives Nation – and Republicans – A Big Win

In chess, a gambit is when a player sacrifices a piece, usually a pawn, early in a game to obtain some larger competitive advantage. We can now say that the 13 Republicans who voted in early November to pass the infrastructure bill pulled off one of the most effective political gambits in recent memory. 

When Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., confirmed on Sunday that he is a no vote on the gargantuan Build Back Better spending bonanza, essentially killing it, it was vindication for the much-pilloried moderate GOP votes for infrastructure.

To be sure, there was much to object to in the infrastructure bill, from electric charging stations to tree equity, but for all its faults, there was also a lot of hard infrastructure in the legislation. Nineteen Republicans voted for it in the Senate, and it was widely popular with voters. Put another way, politically, sacrificing by conceding on the infrastructure bill was like giving up a pawn.

BIDEN, DEMOCRATS FACE A BLEAK FUTURE AFTER SQUANDERING THE LAST 11 MONTHS

Build Back Better, on the other hand, was the queen of Biden’s domestic agenda, a bill so far-reaching that it threatened to encroach upon every corner of the chess board of American life. And how did House Republicans topple that queen? Precisely by decoupling the infrastructure bill from Build Back Better. 

Let us not forget that throughout the summer and fall House progressive Democrats, most notably the Squad, held the passage of the infrastructure bill, Manchin, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s baby, in the palm of their hands. They demanded that the bills be passed together. It looked as though we were surely headed to some compromise that would pass infrastructure and also pass wide swaths of the social spending package.

But when infrastructure passed with GOP votes the House progressives were left out in the cold to kick rocks. Their leverage evaporated in an instant. And yet still, at least to hear Speaker Nancy Pelosi. D-Calif., and President Joe Biden talk, it seemed likely some compromise would emerge on Build Back Better. That the president’s domestic agenda just crumbled into dust is the most total victory Republicans could have hoped for.

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Electorally, the baker’s dozen of supposed GOP “traitors,” who flanked the Squad and ate their lunch, are all in better positions to hold their mainly purple districts in 2022. One race that is typical is in Staten Island and Brooklyn where Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis will face a rematch against former Congressman Max Rose. A no vote on infrastructure would have been hammered by Rose, as the bill brings a lot of money and jobs to the district. That line of attack is gone now.

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews

Did California Get Its Money’s Worth From $1.7 Billion COVID Test Contract?

The Valencia lab, a public-private venture between the state and PerkinElmer, processed only 1 to 8% of all Californians’ COVID tests in the first 10 months of the contract. And the lab was riddled with dozens of problems, according to an inspection report.

A patient sample that wasn’t processed for more than 30 days. A test used without proper validation of its accuracy. Patient results changed without notification. Safety and disinfection procedures called into question. 

These are just a few of the myriad problems at the Valencia Branch Laboratory, a public-private COVID-19 testing lab operated by PerkinElmer that the California Department of Public Health hired in a no-bid, $1.7 billion annual contract.

An inspection report released last month by the health department outlines major problems dating back further than a year ago, raising new questions about how the state is spending taxpayer dollars to combat the pandemic. The report shows the lab has routinely underperformed, failing to meet the contract’s goals for turnaround times and numbers of processed tests. But the state auto-renewed the year-long contract at the end of October.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state health officials say the laboratory has been crucial to expanding the state’s testing capacity for schools and underserved communities. 

But California’s two largest school districts — Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified — aren’t relying on the lab because it was unavailable when they needed it. 

A CalMatters analysis shows each test at the PerkinElmer Valencia lab costs the state more than three times the amount the Los Angeles Unified pays a Bay Area startup, SummerBio.

Already, the state has paid more than twice as much to PerkinElmer for 5.5 million tests as LA Unified’s total projected $350 million cost for the entire school year. The school year is less than half complete, but LA Unified already has administered 7.4 million COVID tests while never using the state’s PerkinElmer lab.

In the 10 months following its October 2020 opening, the lab processed between 1 and 8% of all COVID-19 tests administered in California each week, according to available data archived by CalMatters. During the first week of December, the lab processed roughly 8.5% of California’s tests, according to the most recently available data.

PerkinElmer, a global testing diagnostic company, did not respond to a request for comment about the cost of the testing and the reported problems at the lab.

“CDPH probably should have canceled (the contract) because honestly, there’s other vendors out there. They’re doing it for a lot less money more efficiently.”

STATE SEN. SCOTT WILK

State health department officials, in an unsigned statement in response to questions, said the PerkinElmer contract was renewed because of the potential for a winter surge and continued need for testing.

But the health department’s report, which was released eight months after officials indicated it would be completed, revealed that inspectors from the state’s Laboratory Field Services threatened sanctions for major deficiencies just 10 days before the contract was renewed.

The state public health department “probably should have canceled (the contract) because honestly, there’s other vendors out there. They’re doing it for a lot less money more efficiently,” Republican Senate minority leader Scott Wilk, who represents the area surrounding Valencia, told CalMatters. 

Wilk has been the most outspoken critic of the contract, repeatedly calling on the Newsom administration and the health department to halt the auto-renewal. Wilk said his office is working on a proposal to reform the no-bid contracting powers that the Legislature granted Newsom at the beginning of the pandemic. 

“I think there have been abuses there,” Wilk said. 

Public health experts and advocates say despite the lab’s troubles, it provides critical testing for smaller school districts, rural counties and underserved communities. Roughly 62% of tests processed at the lab are from communities of color, with about a third from the state’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, based on the California Healthy Place Index.

In Madera County, for instance, the lab allowed the county and its partners to ramp up testing in a speedier time frame. 

“Valencia has been a net positive for Madera County. Residents would have been at a significant disadvantage without the combination of the Valencia lab and state contracts like the one with OptumServe,” said Sara Bosse, Madera County’s public health director.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

‘Big Lie’ Proponent John Eastman Uses Christian Crowdfunding Site To Raise Money For His Legal Bills

A lawyer who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally, spreading the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, is now using a Christian crowdfunding site to raise money for his legal fees. 

Originally, John Eastman set a $100,000 goal for the fundraiser on GiveSendGo. Upon reaching that objective in just a week, he upped the target to $150,000. He’s now topped that amount by $271, having raised money from 2,179 donors. The crowdfunding site which launched around 2014, says it is “meant to give Christians the opportunity to be supported by the body of Christ.”  

An attorney and former dean of Chapman University’s law school, Eastman represented Trump in legal challenges to the 2020 election. In November, the House’s Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Eastman. Earlier this month, he declined to testify, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to Politico, which cited a letter Eastman’s attorneys sent the committee. 

Click here to read the full article at Forbes

House Votes To Hold Meadows In Contempt

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Tuesday to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a special committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, setting the stage for possible criminal prosecution of an advisor to former President Trump.

The vote, 222 to 208, was the second time in recent months that the House had held a former Trump advisor in contempt, and it was the first time since the 1830s that the chamber had leveled such a sanction on one of its former members. Two Republicans joined all Democrats present in voting for the measure.

“Mr. Meadows is a central participant and witness to the events of Jan. 6,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), a member of the House committee investigating the insurrection, said before the contempt vote. “If he can get away with ignoring the law, and witnesses summoned before Congress can merely pick and choose when they comply, our power of oversight will be gone.”

The contempt vote came a month after the House took the same action against Stephen K. Bannon, alleging the the Trump confidant and former White House advisor had refused to comply with the House committee’s subpoena for information and testimony. Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on two charges of contempt of Congress. He is set to go on trial in July.

The House action against Meadows followed a 9-0 contempt vote on Monday by the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers on the panel said Meadows initially provided 9,000 pages of records before refusing to provide more records or show up for a deposition last week. They said Meadows is uniquely positioned to provide information to discuss the role Trump and the White House played in inciting the riot and responding to it.

“We’ve given Mr. Meadows every opportunity to cooperate with our investigation,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House panel, said Tuesday. “We’ve been more than fair. He’s brought this situation on himself. But there is no doubt in my mind that he’s in contempt of Congress and has to be held accountable.”

Republican House members countered that Democrats were pursuing the contempt charges for partisan reasons. Just two of the nine Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt did so on Tuesday. Meadows served as a GOP House member from 2013 to 2020, when he took over as Trump’s chief of staff.

“He is a good man, and he’s my friend. This is as wrong as it gets,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said before the vote. “Your lust for power, your lust to get your opponents is so intense that you don’t care.”

Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger III, has asserted that the former White House advisor cannot comply with the subpoena for two major reasons. As a former top presidential advisor, Meadows shouldn’t be compelled to testify before Congress because it might result in staffers wary of providing candid advice to presidents.

He also said Meadows did not wish to undermine Trump’s assertion of executive privilege, a legal doctrine that has allowed presidents to withhold certain confidential communications from public disclosure.

Meadows “has fully cooperated as to documents in his possession that are not privileged and has sought various means to provide other information while continuing to honor the former president’s privilege claims,” Terwillger said in a statement Tuesday before the vote.

Citing executive privilege, Trump has sought to block the National Archives from turning over his White House records to the House committee. His case suffered a setback last week when a federal appeals court rejected his arguments, setting the stage for those documents to be given to Congress if the Supreme Court declines to intervene.

The House panel, which has two Republicans, has interviewed more than 300 witnesses and subpoenaed more than 40 people as it seeks to paint a clearer picture of the day’s violence and what contributed to it.

Goaded on by Trump’s months-long, falsehood-filled campaign that the 2020 election had been stolen, hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, hoping to block the certification of President Biden’s electoral college victory. More than 700 people have been charged by federal prosecutors in the Capitol riot.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times

Merced Irrigation District Sues California over ‘Water Grab’ for Fish, Downstate Users

The Merced Irrigation District, a regional water authority in the San Joaquin Valley, is suing the State of California over a plan to divert water from the Merced River watershed to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for fish and downstate use.

As Breitbart News reported in 2018, the state’s Bay-Delta Plan aims to increase the amount of fresh water in the delta, also known simply as the “California Delta,” which has suffered from increasing salinity in recent years.

The Merced Irrigation District (MID) alleges that the plan is simply a “water grab” that will take water from local users and send it to the delta, to satisfy environmental interest groups — many of which have no connection to the state — and Southern California users.

The MID has conducted its own scientific studies to suggest that declining salmon populations in other parts of the state are not due to water diversion, but rather to the arrival of alien predators and other development activities, such as mining. The MID has also negotiated with the state in the past to provide its own salmon habitat restoration — while keeping the water.

But the state has decided to go ahead with its plan, though it has not yet said how much water it plans to divert from the Merced River, which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River that flows from the Sierra Nevada, including Yosemite National Park, through the rich Central Valley farmland before joining the main watercourse northward to the Delta.

MID officials have set up a “Save Merced’s Water” website to gather signatures from residents to stop the diversions from moving forward.

“Our perspective is we didn’t create [California’s] water quality problems,” [MID spokesperson Mike] Jensen said. “It shouldn’t be our responsibility to bear the brunt of fixing them.”

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart Local

One Indicator Shows California’s Recovery Is Incomplete

Despite assurances that California’s economy is a treasure to behold – “We are world-beating in terms of our economic growth,” says Gov. Gavin Newsom – the post-pandemic recovery has a gaping hole in it. State unemployment is the highest in the country.

Federal data for October show that the jobless rate improved from September’s 7.5% to 7.3%. That puts the state in a last-place tie with Nevada, and far off Nebraska’s best-in-the-nation 1.3%.

Texas and Florida, rivals in many ways, posted far better numbers in October, 5.4% and 4.6% respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports nine of the 15 metropolitan areas posting the highest jobless rates in the country are in California. This includes the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area statistical area, which has an unemployment rate of 7.1% – 373rd in a list of 389 metro regions.

Newsom can brag about California “dominating in every category,” and being home to the “fastest growing companies, the most influential companies in the world,” as he did at October’s California Economic Summit.

But an economy that has a jobless rate as high as this state’s isn’t fully healthy, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Public Policy Institute of California’s November survey found that 52% expect bad times ahead, while only 47% expect good times. Four months earlier, the outlook was just the opposite: Only 44% expected bad times ahead, while 54% thought the future looked good.

Legendary California journalist Dan Walters recently pointed out that eight of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates in October were red states, and nine of the 10 states with the highest jobless rates were blue. It’s a sharp reminder that public policy plays a substantial role in joblessness.

“It could just be coincidence, of course, but maybe those red states with low unemployment rates have regulatory and tax policies that encourage job-creating investment and maybe California and the other blue states with high jobless rates are perceived as being hostile to business,” he says.

Walters was being charitable. Taxes and regulation always impact job numbers, and both are uniquely heavy burdens for California businesses. Regulation stifles innovation, which promotes job growth, and we know taxes negatively affect employment because lawmakers say as much when they hand out tax breaks to companies expecting them to put people to work.

Lockdowns also figure in the state’s high jobless rate. Many businesses that were forced to close never reopened, and some that did still aren’t operating at full capacity. By October, the state had regained only a little more than two-thirds of the 2.7 million jobs that were lost due to the lockdowns.

California policymakers have come to think they can do whatever they want, and the hard work of previous generations that built this state will save them from the negative economic consequences that spin off their plans. It doesn’t work that way, though. There’s too much garbage in, garbage out in Sacramento.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article first appeared in the Pacific Research Institute