- - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. — The Democratic mayor of Los Angeles says Republican efforts to use Latino speakers at the GOP national convention to win over Latino voters won’t work.

Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters Tuesday that the GOP “can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname” and expect Latinos to vote Republican. He called that window dressing.

He said a party’s policies are more important. He said the GOP platform calls for the self-deportation of 11 million people. The Republican platform supports tougher policies to staunch illegal immigration.

Latinos heavily supported President Obama in the 2008 election. Polls show him leading with that group this year over GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

Mr. Villaraigosa is in Tampa as part of a Democratic effort to highlight their views during the GOP gathering.

TEXAS

Federal court finds new districts discriminatory

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Republican lawmakers discriminated against minority voters while drawing new political boundaries, a federal court ruled Tuesday, rejecting a plan pushed by the state’s GOP leaders in a decision that likely comes too late to affect the November elections but is set to reverberate to 2014.

The long-awaited decision, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was hailed as a sweeping victory by minority rights groups that sued the state after the Republican-controlled Legislature pushed through new redistricting maps last year.

The court concluded that the maps didn’t comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. But with just two months until Election Day, the fallout from the ruling is unlikely to be felt until new maps are instituted for 2014.

Voters in Texas this November will use interim political maps drawn last year by a different three-judge panel in San Antonio.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

How Texas redrew its political boundaries was watched particularly closely after the state was awarded four additional U.S. House seats because of its booming population.

ALASKA

Governor plans stockpile for natural emergency

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