Hispanics defy ad to shun elections

Sponsor says bloc taken for granted

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“I think there’s a case to be made the Democrats didn’t push hard enough and didn’t push early enough,” he said. “But they didn’t, and so the question now is: Are you going to intentionally throw interceptions so the other team wins, because you’re mad at your coach, or are you going to go out and play the best game you can?”

A poll of Hispanics conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and released earlier this month found low enthusiasm. Only about half of Hispanic registered voters said they were eager about the election, compared with 70 percent of voters in general.

Mr. Wilkes said lack of action on immigration, the passage of Arizona’s strict immigration law, and a generally sour economy have taken their toll on Hispanics. But he said lack of enthusiasm doesn’t mean they won’t turn out to vote. He said those voters instead are coming to understand the realities of the legislative process.

It’s not the first time Mr. Deposada has urged Hispanics to sit out a civic responsibility. He was one of a handful of Hispanic leaders who called for a boycott of this year’s census count.

Mr. Deposada said Mr. Reid makes a good target for the ad campaign not only because he’s a top Democratic leader, but also because he made a futile effort to attach the DREAM Act, which would legalize illegal immigrant students, to the defense policy bill just before Congress left town last month.

“He knew, and he said it openly in the media, he didn’t have the votes for it. So basically what he was saying is, ‘I’m going to bring this to a vote just so I can tell people I tried to do something,’ ” Mr. Deposada said. “That sort of irresponsible behavior should not be rewarded by Latinos.”

But Mr. Gutierrez and other Reid supporters said not voting would be tantamount to helping Mrs. Angle, the Republican in the race who has run ads warning of the dangers of illegal immigration.

Reid spokesman Kelly Steele questioned Mr. Deposada’s motives.

“This Republican front group, which fought for President Bush’s failed attempt to dismantle Social Security, is engaged in the most abhorrent tactics imaginable - pretending they’re concerned about immigration reform when their only real agenda is to lie to Nevadans about their beliefs to suppress the voices of Latinos throughout our state,” Mr. Steele said.

Mr. Obama tried to assure Hispanic voters that he hasn’t forgotten his promises.

In a White House ceremony on Tuesday, he signed an executive order promoting Hispanic education, and he made a specific appeal for Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

“I have supported this bill for years, and I’ll do everything it takes to sign it into law on behalf of students seeking a college education and those who wish to serve in our country’s uniform,” he said.

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