Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton has written an article blaming the Democratic Party for preventing Latinos from rising to power, saying it is merely a club for the Bay Area’s wealthy, white elite, which is determined to maintain the status quo.
“Forgive me, but I don’t believe in fairy tales,” Breton wrote in his piece, “California’s top Latino candidates face a tougher enemy than Trump: Fellow Democrats.”
Breton, the son of Mexican immigrants, said that in his over 30 years as a journalist in the Golden State, “[t]he dynamic has barely changed.”
“It doesn’t matter that Latinos are 39 percent of California’s population, the largest ethnic group, when a persistent political narrative condemning Latinos continues to win elections,” Breton wrote. “For all the self-congratulatory proclamations of California as a progressive haven, the state is not as cool as it thinks it is. The traditional paths to power in California have been closely guarded by a Bay Area pecking order heretofore off-limits to Latino candidates.”
He named Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), retired Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Gov. Jerry Brown, and even Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as being party to this so-called “Bay Area pecking order” — although he was less critical of Newsom who he described as a real progressive.
Still, Breton is not convinced that Newsom “could be the change agent needed to activate disenfranchised communities.”
He dismissed a statement by Nathan Ballard, a Bay Area political operative and former Newsom aide, who told the Bay Area News Group that “Newsom looks like the future of California.” Breton poined out that “Latinos will be roughly 50 percent of the state population by 2060, but that’s not what Ballard means. He’s talking about preserving the political order in California.”
He added, “In a San Francisco Chronicle commentary, Ballard compared [California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin] de León to Brutus, the Roman politician who betrayed Julius Cesar,” and suggested, “Ethnicity still matters in our politics and to suggest otherwise is naive. These are but small samplings of the kind of comments de León, Villaraigosa and their employees say they experience routinely.”
In sum, Breton suggested, “Only a robust democracy of truly contested elections will change that.”
His complete op-ed can be found here.