On Friday, a top political adviser to left-wing billionaire George Soros met with leftist organizations to form a new group called the Latino Victory Project, the Washington Post’s Matea Gold reports. The group is connected to Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, a longtime supporter of President Barack Obama’s political campaigns.
Gold notes that the Soros adviser and a network of about 30 other left-wing “donors, fundraisers and union leaders” met on Friday to develop “a strategy to make the [immigration] issue central in next year’s midterm elections if Congress does not pass a bill, identifying 10 House Republicans who would be vulnerable to pressure from Latino constituents.”
“The meeting was attended by officials from several labor unions, including the National Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as well as representatives of deep-pocketed backers of liberal causes, including a political adviser to billionaire George Soros,” Gold added.
The 10 Republicans they are targeting are Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Scott Tipton (R-CA), Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Randy Weber (R-TX). These representatives are largely split on immigration efforts.
Pearce, for instance, does not support the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill or anything like it. “You can’t get control of the borders if you tell people you can come here illegally and you can work until you work your way to the front of the line,” Pearce said in an interview with the New York Times‘ Ashley Parker in August. “The whole world would want to do it that way. Who would want to wait and do it properly?”
Weber, who represents the district of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), spoke at an anti-amnesty rally on Capitol Hill in June alongside Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-TX). “The president has the authority to secure our border,” Weber said at the event. “He should do it today. In fact he should have done it yesterday.”
Denham, on the other hand, supports amnesty, at one point issuing verbal support for the Senate bill but backtracking after immense pressure from conservatives and constituents over the course of August. Since the congressional recess, Denham has come out to publicly endorse House Democrats’ amnesty plan, which was introduced by House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) earlier this month. Denham has also publicly claimed that House Speaker John Boehner promised that in the next “month or so” there would be a vote on immigration legislation in the House of Representatives.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel has not confirmed or denied these claims.
The group of left-wing donors that Soros’ top political aide attended was borne out of a fundraising committee called the Futuro Fund, which raised more than $30 million for Obama’s re-election campaing. “Led by actress Eva Longoria, Puerto Rico lawyer Andres Lopez and San Antonio businessman Henry R. Muñoz III, the fund represented the most robust demonstration yet of the Latino community’s ability to amass cash for U.S. political campaigns,” Gold wrote.
Cristobal Alex, a former program officer at the Ford Foundation, left his position there to lead the Latino Victory Project as the new group’s president. “What we want to do with the Latino Victory Project is build political power in the Latino community, so that the faces of Latinos are reflected not just in every level of government but in the policies that drive the country forward,” Alex said.
Moving forward, the Post noted, the group will agree to spend anywhere from $1 million to $2 million per target district. “The effort will begin in coming weeks with a campaign aimed at persuading the lawmakers to back an immigration measure this year,” Gold wrote. “If that fails, the group plans to run a barrage of radio and TV ads against them next year.”
The AFL-CIO’s immigration campaign manager, Tom Snyder, said each of these GOP lawmakers has a target on their backs. “There was agreement in the room that if we don’t see action in the House, we know who we’re going after,” Snyder said. “There’s a realization that we have to get back to basics. We’re at the point where if you don’t act, we’re going to have to make you pay at the ballot box.”
Amalia Perea Mahoney, a Chicago-area art gallery owner who the Los Angeles Times reported raked in between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, said the group is “all very united” in its purpose. “I think it’s a pivotal moment,” she said. Mahoney is also an Obama appointee to an federal arts board.
Soros has spent $100 million since 1997 backing what his Open Society Foundation calls “immigrant rights” groups and projects. Some of those projects, like Soros’ National Immigration Forum-backed Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), were meant to create the illusion of grassroots support for amnesty where there was none. Recent polling data released by NumbersUSA, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, shows that Evangelical Republican likely voters disagree with the push for amnesty despite the Soros group’s claims there is grassroots support among Evangelicals for the policy.
Recently, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a supporter of immigration reform, withdrew from the House’s version of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” and announced his public opposition to negotiating with Obama and the Senate on immigration, saying such negotiations would be “crazy” for House GOP leadership to enter into. Labrador said House GOP leadership would not be smart to deal with these people because they are trying to “destroy” the Republican Party.