(Source: Metroblogging Orange County)

Tan Nguyen running for the CA 47 congressional seat has been excoriated by all for his desperate attempt to discourage immigrants from voting. This flyer in poorly written Spanish and sent to 14,000 Hispanic residents should look familiar. Excerpt:

You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time, and you will be deported for voting without having a right to do so.

Tactics like these have been used against African-Americans since the first election after the Emancipation. The idea is to spook low-information voters away from the polls. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the books with lots of variations especially involving taxes, voting fees, unpaid utility bills, parking tickets, etc. Whatever they think is scary to potential voters.

The Republican party in CA took a strong stand (when it got caught) and Republicans claim to cry foul. Mainstream voters don’t cotton to out-and-out naked racism anymore. It’s unfortunate when a member of a minority group targets another minority group. Now that America is rapidly becoming more diverse, we can expect to see more of this I am afraid. The New York Times has a good editorial “It’s Voter-Fooling Time” on the Republican race-baiting that that is proving to be a useful tool. It’s subtle — focused on targeting within communities using proxies to carry divisive messaging. It’s sly — with one hand washing the other hand clean (how dare they suggest we’re racist? OR hey, it’s black people telling other black people to vote Republican — how can that be racist?) It makes RedState mad cuz it’s true.

A DailyKos diary from Duke1676 has some background that you might not find in the news such as:

This should come as no surprise given the people Nguyen has chosen to associate with.

His senior adviser, former Orange County Republican Party Chair, Tom Fuentes, has a long history of anti-immigrant advocacy and orchestrating dirty tricks designed to suppress the Latino vote. In addition to being a moving force behind California’s failed proposition 187 (along with Barbara Coe), in 1988 he caused a major controversy when he ordered the stationing of Republican poll guards to stand outside polling places in Latino neighborhoods during a local Assembly race.

The Republican party can run from their racist tactics. But they can’t hide. Nguyen ran on an anti-immigration platform. His campaign was built on a foundation of racism so it shouldn’t be surprising that things got more vicious and crossed the line. It’s starting to stick to Republicans like white on rice. The race-baiting might have worked in the 2004 elections and even the primaries but they’re running out of cover fast.

I hope this gives a boost to incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

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