Cuban-Venezuelan actress Maria Conchita Alonso is one of the most prominent conservative voices in Hollywood, citing her family’s history with the extreme left as fueling her passion for politics. Now she is ginning up controversy once again for endorsing a Tea Party candidate who opposes immigration reform.
According to Fox News Latino, Alonso endorsed California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly for governor because of his Tea Party principles and conservative values. She stars in a humorous bilingual ad with Donnelly, in which she holds a small dog and gives her reasons for voting for Donnelly in Spanish. While running on a multidimensional platform, Donnelly is best known in his region for starting a chapter of the Minutemen, a group dedicated to protecting the United States border from illegal immigrants.
This has angered several left-wing Latino groups who find the Venezuelan actress’s support of restrictions of Mexican illegal immigrant incongruous with her identity, and attack the ad for its humor, which Fox News notes is being interpreted as insulting by some groups.
In an interview with Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión, Alonso said that she had discussed immigration with Donnelly and was satisfied that his opinion aligned with hers. “I am one of those who thinks that we have to help illegal immigrants that are already in the country and don’t have criminal backgrounds,” she explained, “those that contribute and are good people– but those who are not, we have to remove.”
On his end, Donnelly told La Opinión that for him it was “an honor and a pleasure to receive the total support of someone as extraordinary as actress María Conchita Alonso… we are both tired of listening to [stories] of how high taxes are expelling businesses from our state.” In addition to his views on illegal immigration, Donnelly is running on a platform based on lowering wasteful government spending and taxes, as well as fighting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the ad above, Alonso agrees with Donnelly primarily on economic and spending issues, with immigration only one of many points discussed.
Alonso has long been a prominent conservative figure in Hollywood. A staunch anti-Obama advocate, she has compared policies promoted in the President’s second term to the slow march to socialism that Venezuela experienced under the late Hugo Chavez. She has also organized protests against pro-Chavez director Oliver Stone and once famously confronted Sean Penn upon returning to Venezuela in an airport.