[Recently By Marcus Epstein: Tom Tancredo vs. Third World Miami, "Capital Of Latin America"]
Usually the choice for RNC chairman is a strictly Establishment decision, with little input from the grassroots. The president makes his appointment and then the members of the Republican National Committee unanimously approve him unless there are a few personal squabbles between them.
The previous two chairs of the RNC—Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman—have pushed an open borders agenda with the stated goal of Hispanic outreach. Now Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida (R-Cuba) has been elected as their next chairman.
Sen. Martinez has been one of the most vigorous supporters for Amnesty and Hispandering in the U.S. Senate. The invaluable Americans for Better Immigration give him a career and recent "D" record for his support for amnesty. Sen. Martinez has repeatedly voted against English as the official language and even delivered the first Spanish speech on the Senate floor.
His ethnicity was a key factor for Bush choosing him. RNC spokesman Danny Diaz said "[Martinez's ethnicity] certainly will help. It will provide us an ability to communicate in a much more credible and vigorous way with Hispanic voters." [Mel Martinez Aims to Turn Around Republican Party, Fox News, December 22, 2006 By Melissa Drosjack]
On top of all of this, Martinez is not even a member of the RNC and was technically ineligible to become Chairman. The RNC had to change its own parliamentary procedure on the day of the vote simply to accommodate him.
All these factors were too much for many Republicans. My office got dozens of calls and hundreds of e-mails within days of the nomination by ordinary Republicans who were fed up with the party. They felt that Martinez was the last straw. Jim Boulet of English First saw a similar reaction, and started a Stop Martinez website. The website contains numerous facts about Martinez's record on English, amnesty, and Puerto Rican statehood, and told concerned Republicans how to contact their Representatives and local GOP officials and urge them to stop the nomination.
For such a small operation, it helped motivate a huge amount of opposition. State GOP offices were flooded with calls, and many local officials actually listened and publicly stated they would not vote for Sen. Martinez. Some congressmen, most notably Steve King of Iowa began to denounce the nomination. By the time the vote was held on Friday, major newspapers like the Washington Times and Miami Herald questioned whether would have made it go smoothly. [Opponents emerge to protest Martinez as GOP party leader , By Lesley Clark, Miami Herald, January 18, 2007]
With this momentum, English First and Stop Martinez decided to hold a press conference to expose Martinez's record on immigration and myths about the Hispanic vote. They initially hoped to have it at the same hotel as the RNC, but this was not allowed. Instead, they had it at the National Press Club a few blocks away. The problem was that the RNC met at 10:00 AM. Journalists interested in a story on the anti-Martinez movement would also want to go to the meeting, and most journalists do not arrive at the press club until after 9:00 anyway. To alleviate this a few patriotic government employees who worked nearby took the morning off to hold signs outside the office and pass out literature to press to inform them of the grassroots opposition to Martinez.
At about 8:30, reporters for Fox News showed up and said they were interested in taping it for Brit Hume, but there were time constraints. Having a major news show tape a press conference for a small outlet like English First in and of itself makes it a successful event, so the conference began early solely for the benefit of Fox.
A Cuban doctor, Diego Rivera began by discussed in how insulting it is to Hispanics to assume that they want amnesty, and at least in his case, the pandering cost the GOP his Hispanic vote.
I gave a speech that would be familiar to VDARE.com readers. I repeated many of the arguments that Steve Sailer has made about the Hispanic vote, immigration, and 2004 and 2006 elections. My basic point was merely that a white vote is just as important as a Hispanic vote, [VDARE.com note: actually far more important.] and that no thanks to current immigration trends, whites still make up 13 times more of the electorate than Hispanics. Therefore, it is stupid to alienate millions of white voters with a pro-Amnesty Martinez with the hope of gaining a few extra points of the Hispanic Vote.
Jim Boulet finished off by noting how disgusting it is that the GOP establishment will make politically incorrect slurs at those who disagree with their non white male appointees.
He pointed out that a number of people cried sexism over criticism of Harriet Miers and now they are crying racism over Mel Martinez. A particularly PC complaint he noted came from Polk County, Florida committee member Paul Senft Jr. [Send him mail] Responding to the many grassroots Republicans who had contacted him about Martinez's record on Amnesty, he said, ''With some people, the issue of amnesty is a litmus test and anything short of a concentration camp is amnesty.'' [RNC Readies For Martinez Fight, By Ralph Z. Hallow, The Washington Times January 18, 2007]
Fox News left and a few other people straggled in at the time the press conference was supposed to take place who talked to Mr. Boulet and me, while the protesters talked to many others in the press. Not a glaring success, but a pretty much day to day occurrence at the National Press Club.
So as expected Sen. Martinez was elected, and Fox News covered the opposition. What was unexpected is how distorted their fair and balanced coverage on Special Report with Brit Hume was. After showing about a sentence of my speech, the report then zoomed out to show how no one had showed up for the press conference. They then went to the protesters outside and hounded them into saying that they weren't part of any large movement.
The implication was clear: there is no popular opposition to Martinez, just a few oddballs ranting on the internet. Of course when illegal aliens are given the day off by their corporate employers and then bused into the city by their union, it's a different story.
No matter how Fox chooses to spin the story, this nomination will spell disaster for the GOP
Mel Martinez managed to get elected because his party cares more about its corporate benefactors and the imaginary "crucial Hispanic swing vote" than the beliefs of the vast majority of its members. Sen. Martinez confirmed the fears of the immigration reform community by spending the majority of his acceptance speech discussing how important it will be to reach out to Hispanic voters, by which he means granting amnesty to illegal aliens. He then gave a press conference—which was much better attended than English First's—where he answered a number of questions in Spanish.
The GOP will never out-pander the Democrats. But if they keep up this strategy, they will totally alienate their base.