The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Our Voters Don't Choose Latino Candidates Because They're Dumb

That's essentially what local Republican activist Jim Lunz says in Jaime Castillo's weekly column today:

Jim Lunz, a longtime local Republican activist, said a lack of voter sophistication is a huge hurdle for Hispanic candidates in GOP primaries — and Bexar County is no different. That's because the vast majority of typical GOP primary voters come from areas north of downtown and are overwhelmingly Anglo.

"Many of these people go into the Republican primary to vote for governor or Senate and then find they don't know much about the rest of the ballot," Lunz said.

"They wind up in some races voting for familiar surnames, when they know nothing about the person," he said.

To be truthful, that's a two-pronged problem. Voters not knowing or caring who else is running outside of registering their vote for Dubya or Perry and campaigns not doing a good enough job of reaching out to said voters.

Now I don't know what the numbers are here in San Antonio, but I do remember reading somewhere that, statewide, the GOP primary breakdowns by race something like 95% white, 3% Latino, 1% African-American, and 1% 'other'. Which is just pathetic.

Which is why I'm waiting to see what sort of operation George Antuna puts together in the Republican primary. With his record he should run away with the primary. But it's going to take a strong campaign to reach these voters while also trying not to get 'outconservatived' by his opponent Steven Sayler. If he takes something less than, say, mid-high 50s in the primary, I'm not gonna be impressed.

In other news, it seems that Henry Bonilla's campaign treasurer rassled up some web addresses that Rick Bolanos could've used:

In a maneuver that rival Rick Bolaños called a "low blow," U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla's campaign treasurer sought to short-circuit the El Paso Democrat in cyberspace earlier this month.

Treasurer Jill DeYoung registered at least four Web addresses that included Bolaños' name on Dec. 9 — the same day the San Antonio Express-News reported his interest in the District 23 seat, according to a search of Internet domain-name registrants.

She got control of rickbolanosforcongress.com, rickbolanosforcongress.net, rickbolanos.com and rickbolanos.net. Registering a domain name essentially establishes ownership rights over it, keeping it out of others' hands.

"You know what? It's pretty dirty — it's dirty politics," Bolaños said. "A Web site gives you the ability to raise money and to put your platform out there. ... It's kind of a low blow when somebody does something like this."

That's not necessarily a low blow, just good campaign strategy. There's a number of other different addresses he could still use. Still, that's a warning shot across the bow that happened pretty quickly. Welcome to the race Rick.