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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 30559 times)

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #630 on: April 02, 2018, 09:45:30 pm »
The American Prospect magazine

Puerto Rican Refugees and the Elusive Blue Wave


Emigres from the island could be recruited to the Democratic camp, but will progressive organizing defeat right-wing money that ties relief to recruiting?


Recent registration numbers in heavily Puerto Rican areas have also been ambiguous. Between September and January, more than 60 percent of new Hispanic voters in central Florida had registered as independents, with less than 30 percent registering as Democrats but only 8 percent as Republicans. Total registrations did see a slight bump in the last few months of 2017 compared with earlier months, but far short of the deluge that was once predicted.

Puerto Rican voter turnout rates, which historically have been far higher than those of electoral contests in the 50 states, tend to plummet upon reaching the mainland. This phenomenon is often attributed to the stark differences between island and mainland politics. Puerto Ricans typically only vote once every four years; there is no Republican and Democrat dichotomy, rather a split among pro-independence, pro-statehood, and pro-commonwealth parties. A new political environment can be difficult to process, particularly for evacuees struggling to find schools for their children, to keep a roof over their heads, and put food on the table.

IN THIS RELATIVE political vacuum, corporate money is contending with on-the-ground progressive organizing. The LIBRE Initiative is the Hispanic outreach component of the Koch brothers’ vast political network. Technically a nonpartisan group, LIBRE 😈 —whose name means “free” in Spanish—stops short of registering people to vote, but proudly disseminates messages of “economic freedom,” school choice, and deregulation among Hispanics in battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Last year at a donor summit, the Koch network revealed plans to spend as much as $400 million during the 2018 election cycle, spreading the funds among a web of grassroots groups, including LIBRE. LIBRE groups funded by the Koch network operated with a combined budget of $13.5 million in 2016, according to The Boston Globe.

Over the years, LIBRE 😈 and its sister organization, the LIBRE Institute , have built goodwill 😇😉 in the Hispanic community in Florida, particularly among the poor, offering help with tax preparation, English and résumé-writing classes, food donations, back-to-school events, scholarships, and health checkups. The group has set down roots quickly within these communities, building ties with local hospitals, churches, Spanish-language radio stations, and even the state Chamber of Commerce. Florida state officials welcoming Puerto Rican evacuees arriving at airports have been forwarding them to LIBRE’s offices for further assistance, according to the group’s deputy state director, David Velazquez.

In January, LIBRE’s Puerto Rican Outreach Project launched a series of “Welcome to Florida” classes at its offices in the Orlando area aimed at helping Puerto Rican new arrivals with job training, finding housing, and navigating school enrollment. Instructors used worksheets for attendees to calculate their savings from the recently enacted tax cut, and other lessons in free-market economics. Even before the hurricane, the group had been actively pursuing the Puerto Rican vote, sending a team to the island in 2016 to connect with islanders considering relocating to Florida.

Puerto Rican voters have diverse views, particularly on religious issues, but they have been overwhelmingly opposed to President Trump. In 2016, LIBRE itself decided to focus its get-out-the-vote efforts, consisting of staff- and volunteer-run phone banks and door-to-door outreach efforts using state voter files, on Senate races as a way to distance itself from the Republican presidential nominee.

Attempts by progressives to match LIBRE’s clout have been hobbled by a lack of comparable funding, according to groups on the ground. Betsy Franceschini, senior state director of the Hispanic Federation, says that LIBRE’s model of providing relief services as a way to connect with Hispanic communities was co-opted from groups like Hispanic Federation that offer English lessons, case-management services, and legal aid for Hispanics.They’ve adopted a model 😇  ;)  that we’ve been using for decades and turned it around to their 😈 benefit,” Franceschini says.

Full article:

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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