Inside Politics: Conventions highlight split among Hispanic politicians

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The Hispanics with the highest profiles in this year’s political conventions stand as opposites in a cultural and political split that has divided millions of U.S. Hispanics for decades.

Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida introduced Mitt Romney at the GOP’s convention last week in Tampa, Fla. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Mexican-American, delivered the Democrats’ keynote speech in Charlotte, N.C.

They are often lumped together as Hispanics. But Mr. Rubio and Mr. Castro are emblematic of acute political distinctions between Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans.

Mexican-Americans are the largest Hispanic group in the U.S. They have different histories in the U.S., have different political priorities and are subjected to distinctions in immigration policy that go easier on Cubans.

LOBBYING

Ex-Ensign aide sentenced to year of probation

A judge has sentenced a one-time top aide to former Sen. John Ensign to a year’s probation for violating federal lobbying restrictions.

Doug Hampton is Mr. Ensign’s former administrative assistant. He says he is “very relieved” at Wednesday’s sentence.

Mr. Hampton resigned his job four years ago after learning that his wife and Mr. Ensign were having an affair. He lobbied the Nevada Republican’s office, just a few days after leaving, on behalf of Allegiant Air, an airline headquartered in Las Vegas.

Federal law bars Senate aides from lobbying lawmakers for at least a year after leaving their jobs.

The 50-year-old Mr. Hampton was originally charged with seven felonies. But he pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor violation of the law.

SENATE

Missouri Democrat calls McCaskill race a ‘dogfight’

Polls show that Rep. W. Todd Akin has dropped behind Sen. Claire McCaskill after making his infamous “legitimate rape” comment, but top Missouri Democrats are still eyeing the state’s U.S. Senate race cautiously.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan warned delegates to the Democratic National Convention that it will still be an uphill battle to re-elect Mrs. McCaskill to a second Senate term, according to the Kansas City Star.

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