Luminaries from key Latino groups within the Democratic establishment are making new voter suppression claims in Texas and other key states against an unusual target: Hillary Clinton’s financial backers. Without more cash, some groups worry they will not succeed in mobilizing against “Trump’s anti-immigrant narrative.”
Campaign finance reports released in June demonstrating a substantial cash advantage held by presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump to the tune of $42 million to $1.3 million respectively, overshadows the opportunity cost of not intentionally registering key voting blocs in states like Texas, Arizona and Florida. Despite the dominant media narrative that Trump’s immigration proposals are naturally fueling Latino voter registration efforts to new heights, prominent organizations are blaming left-wing funders for not meeting registration benchmarks, according to the Hearst Washington Bureau.
“Don’t count on Donald Trump being the guy who’s going to get people out to vote in November,” Mi Familia Vota Executive Director Ben Monterroso said. The California-based organization currently operates offices in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston but stressed that higher funding diversions to partisan outfits has held the group well-below its goal of registering 95,000 Latinos nationally in 2016. At present, they are “less than one-third of the way there” with roughly 90 days to go before early voting begins in some states.
Texas outfits like the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project and the Advocacy Alliance Center for Texas reported similar challenges with securing monies from left-leaning donors. The National Council of La Raza has struggled to open satellite offices around the country, claiming that it has been forced to operate on a budget one-fifth the size that it is accustomed to. A spokesperson for the group explained that much of the funds are now being used by PACs to purchase advertising slots and execute direct mail campaigns.
Despite blaring headlines touting major growth of Latino voters in California, the San Antonio-based William C. Velásquez Institute found only a 3 percent rise since April 2015.
Mi Familia Vota’s frustration hints to a sense that Latino voters are being taken for granted by the Democratic establishment.
“If you’re just going to come in three months before the election and see the people who are lucky to be in a targeted area, that is not building political power,” a group spokesperson noted.
Unlike the Republican and larger conservative movement organizations, “nonpartisan” focus on race-specific voter outreach has long been a well-funded mainstay within the American left. Typically operating as a 501(c)(3) or (4) organizations, much of the funds given enjoy tax-deductible status. As charitable educational organizations defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Mi Familia Vota and La Raza stand a better chance of gaining entry into public schools or naturalization ceremonies due to their tax designations – yet share much of the primary donor base currently distracted by Clinton-allied super PACs Priorities USA and others.
Bexar County, Texas set a new record level for registered voters surpassing 1 million this year — yet local election officials attributed the growth to general population increases rather than community organizing efforts.
Logan Churchwell is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.