By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Friday November 16, 2012
Last week, Gutierrez ventured into DuPage County where he managed to keep his record of failure intact, backing the startling losing campaign of state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano.
Although backing losers is not surprising for Gutierrez, what really raised eyebrows is his hypocrisy.
Here is a leading Democratic congressman supporting a Republican candidate in an election when everyone was predicting Republicans would be doing very well.
It’s easy to look back now and say Obama had the election in his pocket, but before the election, everyone was predicting a much closer race, including Democrats themselves. Obama needed every Democrat rallying for his re-election but where was Gutierrez? Helping a suburban Republican.
How did Gutierrez justify backing Saviano? Gutierrez claimed that Saviano was a leading supporter of “immigration reform.”
Wow! That sure sounded nice. It made a great news media sound bite to hear Gutierrez assert that he was “supporting Saviano because Saviano is actively supporting immigration reform.”
Hmmm! Really? Since when has the state of Illinois introduced legislation to reform immigration policies to benefit Hispanics?
Ah, never! That’s because the issue of immigration is not a statewide issue at all. It is a national issue. Saviano has nothing to do with immigration reform and the guy who helped point that out was state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12th), who backed Kathleen Willis, a little known Democratic convert.
Gutierrez has exploited and used the immigration reform issue in every election he has run since first putting down his Cab License to become a controversial member of the Chicago City Council.
He’s been promising to reform immigration laws to help Hispanics since the first day he ran for Congress. And I know because I was there at his side as a campaign consultant during that very first election, believing that Gutierrez was for real. That he cared about Hispanics and minorities.
But today, we know that is not true. Luis Gutierrez only cares about himself. He cares about his politics. He cares about defeating his opponents and he cares about helping his family. He doesn’t care about Hispanics and he doesn’t care about his constituents.
So, Gutierrez backs candidates in elections for one main purpose, to split the Mexican American vote. Mexican Americans are the largest Hispanic minority in his district. So Gutierrez, who is Puerto Rican, works hard to split the Mexican American vote so he can win. His district is only 12 percent Puerto Rican and 76 percent Mexican American.
That’s why Sandoval was so successful in defeating Gutierrez in the Saviano blunder.
As long as Gutierrez can keep voters distracted on other issues, especially Hispanic voters, he can easily win for himself, which is what he does best.
The real fight for immigration reform is at the national level and has nothing to do with why Gutierrez backed a Republican like Saviano. Doing so undermined the Democratic Party, which has a solid record of supporting Hispanics. But like I said, Gutierrez doesn’t care. He only cares about himself.
If Gutierrez really cared about immigration reform for Mexican Americans, he would be supporting Democrats 100 percent of the time, and not back-stabbing his own Democratic party to support Republicans like Saviano.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. You may reach him athttp://www.TheMediaOasis.com.) — City & Suburban News-Herald