- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Republican assemblyman is accusing the California Latino Legislative Caucus of discrimination after he says he was denied entry because of his party affiliation.

“I asked to be a part of the Latino Caucus,” said Rocky Chavez, a Latino Republican representing the 76th district, a local ABCaffiliate reported. “I assumed I was going to be, but I was told that because I was a Republican I would not be part of the caucus.”

In fact, state Sen. Ricardo Lara, the president of the Latino Caucus, suggested Mr. Chavez create his own caucus where Republicans would be more welcome.

“There was a Hispanic Republican caucus that we worked with and we’ve worked well with over the years, and so we are going to encourage him to act as his caucus and we’ll continue to work together,” Mr. Lara told the affiliate.

Mr. Chavez said he hopes there will be more Latino Republicans in the Legislature in the fall so he can form his own caucus.

“It further amplifies the division of this building and we shouldn’t be that way. We should look at trying to make the state better,” he said.

According to the Latino Caucus’ website, one of their five “guiding principles” is diversity.

“Increase diversity in state government and provide new role models by advancing, through the appointments process, qualified candidates from all parts of California,” the website says. “Particular attention will be placed on finding exemplary Latinos for vacant positions within the state judiciary.”

Political consultant Luis Alvarado told ABC: “What is surprising is the Latino Caucus is supposed to [be] fighting against discrimination and now they are discriminating … at taxpayer expense, because us taxpayers pay for the staff that supports the Latino Caucus and their website, so there should be some uproar from the Latino community for this.”