Last week, Eva Longoria launched the Latino Victory Project, a “non-partisan” political-action committee built to engage Latino voters and elevate their voice. At the launch, she said, “We want the political landscape to match the identities and reflect the reality of America’s people.”
Yes, it’s imperative that we recruit, train, and build the next generation of leaders to represent all communities. However, this isn’t a non-partisan effort. It’s a partisan Democratic organization masquerading (poorly) as a non-partisan group to help Latinos.
So why doesn’t the Latino Victory Project pass the sniff test?
For one, it was co-founded by Longoria, who was a co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign, and Henry Muñoz, the finance chair of the Democratic National Committee.
And within 48 hours of the organization’s launch, both Longoria and Muñoz seemed to forget they had to appear non-partisan.
First, when Muñoz went on MSNBC to discuss their efforts, he appeared with the DNC logo behind him.
Then, in an interview on Fusion’s This Is America with Jorge Ramos, Longoria quickly dismissed Republican policies and touted Democratic efforts. She named several Democratic leaders and completely failed to acknowledge the existence of U.S. senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and other Hispanic Republicans.
She further failed to acknowledge that in the last midterm elections Republican Hispanics made historic gains. New Mexicans elected their first Latina governor, Susana Martínez. In Nevada, Brian Sandoval became the state’s first Hispanic governor. Martínez and Sandoval are the only sitting Hispanic governors in America. Jaime Herrera Beutler became the first Latina ever elected to Congress from Washington State, and in Texas, Bill Flores defeated a 20-year Democratic House incumbent.
Republicans are making strides in electing not only Hispanics but people from all communities. South Carolinians elected Nikki Haley, the first female and the first Indian American to become governor, and Tim Scott of South Carolina is the first African American to represent a southern state in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. The nation’s other Indian American governor, Bobby Jindal, is also Republican.
Despite what Longoria and Muñoz say, our party is a home to Americans of all backgrounds, and when we look at the next generation of leaders, our future appears bright. In fact, the Republican State Leadership Committee’s Future Majority Project, which works to recruit and elect minority candidates for state-level offices, has recruited 195 new minority candidates representing 35 states, including 105 Hispanics.
All of that is to say that some of our nation’s most prominent Hispanic and minority leaders — present and future — are Republicans, but the Latino Victory Project seems to have no interest in them.
So here’s my challenge to the Latino Victory Project: If you are serious about a non-partisan effort to elevate and advance Latinos in politics, give Republicans a call. We have a lot to talk about, starting with the long list of strong Hispanic Republican candidates whom the Latino Victory Project could support.
— Izzy Santa is the Hispanic-media communications director of the Republican National Committee.