The contentious Nevada senate race has become an expensive proxy for both parties. Although establishment Republicans have kept their distance from the sometimes outlandish statements of Sharron Angle, they hope she'll pull off a coup by deposing the current Senate Majority Leader. To help Angle along, the Republican 527 group, Latinos For Reform, are airing an ad urging Nevada's Latinos "don't vote." The group purchased an $80,000 ad buy on the Spanish-language network Univision to send a "clear message" of disapproval to the Democrats. Left-leaning political pundits are sending message back to the group saying that their tactics appear to be voter suppression.
'Why Is Univision Even Airing This Ad?' Andrea Nill at ThinkProgress doesn't understand the network's logic. "Obviously, Univision is a private company, not a public interest organization. It is free to air the ads of whomever it wants. However, it seems odd that the network would accept $80,000 to air a message that isn’t just fundamentally at odds with its own self-professed mantra, but also directly contradicts the goals of a campaign it has already invested significant resources in. Univision is a critical partner in the non-partisan Latino civic participation campaign, Ya Es Hora."
- May Be the Most 'Inexplicably Dumb' Strategy' of the Year fumes Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "Let me get this straight. Desposada sees Angle running on an anti-Hispanic campaign platform, and believes Angle's approach to immigration policy is racist. Desposada also knows that if Angle wins, she'll pursue an anti-Hispanic policy agenda in the Senate. Logically, then, Desposada believes Hispanic voters should make a conscious, deliberate effort to help Angle win, so she can work against the community's interests for the next six years."
- They're 'Just Coming Right Out and Saying It' "There are a lot of subterranean efforts afoot around the country right now to suppress the vote of various racial minorities. But a group styling itself Latinos for Reform is taking a more straightforward approach: they're running ads in Nevada asking Latino voters simply not to vote," observes Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.
- The Most Unusual Bit Blogger David Dayen at Firedoglake points out that "it’s the first I can remember with conservatives pitching specifically a message playing to the frustrations that many Democratic coalitions and allies feel about the current Administration and Congress. It does so in the most heavy-handed manner possible, with the gratuitous shots of black lawmakers. But it’s a technique to deliberately keep the enthusiasm gap wide."