Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2003 / 17 Tishrei, 5764

Raoul Lowery Contreras

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Consumer Reports

"VIVA RECALLS, VIVA ARNOLD!!" | October 7th, 2003, shall go down in American political history as Independence Day for the Mexican American voter.

Facts: On October 7th, almost half of California's Mexican Americans voted to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis. Barely half of them voted for "paisano" Democrat Cruz Bustamante to replace Governor Davis.

Shocked by these results, Democrats, labor leaders and the Los Angeles Times newsroom and editorial board are panicking about their political place in the California political universe. Considering that the data from exit polls conducted by the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times is probably biased towards Democrats, the facts about Mexican Americans (aka Hispanics) are astounding.

It will be some time before actual voting patterns in Hispanic precincts can be examined and true statistics can be used to type how Hispanics voted. Then we can do away with the built in bias that these two exit polls are constructed around. The bias is simply constructed.

It generally ignores Mexican Americans who have per capita family incomes of $50,000 or more. Those Mexicans don't live in the barrios of East Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Ysidro, the Mission District of San Francisco, or the agricultural communities made famous by Victor Davis Hansen in his book, MEXIFORNIA.

These Mexican Americans live in the suburbs. They vote more often than barrio Mexicans because they have more at stake than barrio Mexicans. Their taxes are many times what the barrio Mexican pays. Their expenses for their college age children are astronomical now, after huge Democratic college fee increases. These people are net payers to government.

The barrio Mexican, on the other hand, is a net receiver of government. Unfortunately for the Democrats, what the barrio Mexican receives is substandard. The barrio schools are the worst in California. There has been no improvement to speak of in the years Democrats ran the country under President Clinton, or under recalled Governor Gray Davis.

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To add insult to the huge injury against millions of Mexican American school children, Democratic Governor Davis stabbed the Mexican American in the one place his heart truly lies in outside his family, his car. Tripling the car registration fee-a pure tax-hurt the Mexican American visibly in his wallet. Rarely does a tax rip-off arrive in the mail fully documented with a bill signed by the Governor.

When those notices hit, the barrio Mexican became painfully aware that esoteric talk in Sacramento about a budget deficit wasn't just talk in the ether, it painfully hurt him directly.

These notices hit just weeks after the barrio Mexican found out that his illegal alien neighbors would start getting legal driver's licenses. Governor Davis thought Hispanics would fall all over themselves to vote for him when he signed the bill he had vetoed twice before. They didn't. 40% of them objected to the bill and how and why it was signed into law. Remember that 40% figure.

Rotten schools, tripling car taxes and plain political patronizing by Governor Davis led many barrio Mexican Americans to ask: "Does he think we're stupid?" Well, the barrio Mexican American isn't stupid. T

hat's why he joined the upwardly mobile suburban Mexican American in voting for the recall and for Arnold Schwarzenneger. When all votes are counted and studied, almost 50% of Mexican Americans voted to get rid of Governor Davis. Bustamante's Hispanic vote total will inch lower and Arnold's will go up.

Even before those calculations, however, we know that over 30% of Hispanics voted for Arnold and another 10% voted for conservative Tom McClintock, totaling 40%. That's what's so shocking to Democrats. With all the Democratic propaganda about how they own the Hispanic vote like they own the Black vote, these results totally destroy their misrepresentations.

The danger, Democrats must realize, is that Mexicans have left the plantation. The Democrats must realize they drove the Mexicans out with bad schools and high taxes. The Democrats in California are left with two very loyal constituent groups: Blacks and Hollywood liberals. Once Hispanics vote Republican, they can and will again.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Hispanics outnumber California Blacks by ten to one and Blacks outnumber Hollywood liberals by ten to one. That's why 40% of Hispanics voting Republican is such a shock to Democrats, especially for those who run the party because they didn't go to barrio schools (under Clinton and Davis) and they can do the math.

40% of voting Hispanics voting for Republicans is the beginning of the end for Democrats, or is it the end of the beginning?

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JWR contributor Raoul Lowery Contreras is a columnist, radio talk-show host, and author, most recent, of Jalapenos, Mexican Americans and Other Hot Stuff: A Peoples' Cultural Identity", available at under the author's name. Comment by clicking here.

09/18/03: We bee eSTUPIDos
08/28/03: Should the Golden State elect a governor who is a member of an anti-American movement?
05/13/03: Vilification by a motley few
04/29/03: A mob of hyperactive right-wing extremists with an army to play with
04/22/03: This minority is moving off the public dole and emerging as a power to be reckoned with
04/08/03: Two Americans and an Aztec warrior
03/28/03: I'm a 'smirking Nazi'
03/24/03: Excelling at friction
03/17/03: Bush-the-warmonger
03/07/03: War is the only option left to the civilized world
02/18/03: Protestors, twits and The New World Order
02/12/03: Hey, Gary Hart: Living on knees is wrong
02/05/03: Advise and consent by smear
01/14/03: "Stabbed in the Back by Friends"
01/07/03: Minorities will be the first to die in Bush's "oil wars"?

© 2003, Raoul Lowery Contreras