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A Big GOP Outreach Fail: The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Legislative Conference

Written By : John Hawkins
March 5, 2009

I was talking to a very credible Capitol Hill source (who wishes to remain anonymous) today and that person told me a story that just blew my mind. Well actually, it should have blown my mind, but unfortunately, it is the sort of laziness and terrible messaging that we have too often seen from the Republican Party of late.

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He told me the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Legislative Conference will be taking place next week in DC.

Here’s the kicker: supposedly, the Democrats have 20 senators scheduled to attend various events and receptions. The Republicans? Are you ready for this? They have no senators currently scheduled to attend. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

I called Dale Crowell, who handles press inquiries for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Legislative Conference. He confirmed for me that there are currently no Republican senators scheduled to attend the event and that Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are the only two Republican Congressmen he had scheduled. He told me that they’d really love to have more Republicans attending and he also noted that there are a “considerable number” of Democrats scheduled to attend.

Now, how much sense does this make, folks? Everybody knows the GOP is losing Hispanics to the Dems by a better than 2-to-1 margin, so that means we need to be working harder than the Democrats to reach out. And could there be a better place on earth for the GOP to do outreach than at events run by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce? Where else is the GOP going to find that many Hispanic Americans, many of whom are probably leaders in their communities, who are likely to be favorably inclined towards the Republican Party? In fact, would anybody be surprised if there are more Republicans attending the event than Democrats? Yet, the Democrats have twenty Senators showing up and the GOP has zero.

This is a big part of the GOP’s problem with minority outreach: the Democrats show up at events like this with bells on while the Republicans can’t even be bothered to drop in and say “hello” to a friendly crowd.

PS: My hope is that this post may embarrass Republican Senators into showing up for some of these events.

PS #2: If you are a Republican Senator who is showing up for this event or one of their staffers, email me and I will note it on this post.

* Hawkins note: I dropped a paragraph in the original post and replaced it with Dale Crowell’s comments.

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