Those that believe that delivering a critical margin of victory to Democrats in local, statewide, and national elections is enough for Latinos to gain respect from Democratic Party leadership should look to Colorado. Yesterday swing state Latinos received a slap in the face from the Colorado State Democratic Senate Assistant Majority Leader Lois Tochtrop along with Democratic Senators Morgan Carroll of Aurora, Jim Isgar of Hesperus, Moe Keller of Wheat Ridge, and Linda Newell of Littleton. Tochtrop and the other members of the "Dream Killer Five" joined with anti-immigrant Republicans and defeated a bill (that even Utah has approved) that would give in state tuition to anybody that attended at least three years of high school in Colorado regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
From time to time a mistake is made by those in power in either Party that so upsets a critical part of its base that the shot is heard around the world. This weak kneed vote by the Dream Killer Five is that time, is that mistake, and is that shot.
Evidence of the outrage and the potential long term damage that Colorado Democrats need to repair is the interview that I had with Democratic stalwart and former Colorado Democratic State Senator Polly Baca yesterday. Senator Baca showed distinct, raw, and articulate passion as she decried the wayward Dems who allied themselves with Tancredo-like Republicans to defeat a bill already enacted by ten surrounding states.
Note to all progressives and Democratic leadership: watch this one closely and take notes: Colorado Hispanics/Latinos are about to make progressive history ...again.
Click the play button below to listen to my interview with Polly Baca's and hear her call to action.
Mario Solis-Marich is a progressive radio talk show host that can be heard in Denver on AM 760 and on the web at www.GoToMario.com.