California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is out with a new Spanish-language ad, attempting to make a last-minute appeal to the state’s Latino voters by telling them that she “stood up against” Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
English translation of the ad:
VISUAL: CLIP OF MISLEADING AD AGAINST WHITMAN
SUPER: Jerry Brown’s lies
ANNOUNCER: Don’t be fooled by Jerry Brown. Meg Whitman stood up against the Arizona law. She stood by us.
Why is Brown lying? To fool us.
SUPER: Better Jobs
Meg is the only candidate with a good plan to create jobs.
SUPER: Better Schools.
The only one who can fix our public schools.
The choice? Better jobs and Better schools.
SUPER: LOTS OF JOBS LOST
Or the same old failures from Jerry Brown. We lost jobs when he was Governor.
MAN: Don’t be fooled by Jerry Brown.
The Huffington Post confirmed that the ad began airing Monday statewide on Spanish-language stations Univision, Telemundo and TeleFutura.
Democrats and many Latino organizations have been critical of Whitman’s outreach, especially her statements on SB-1070, Arizona’s immigration law.
“Meg Whitman is trying to have it both ways on Arizona’s ‘papers please’ immigration law,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, “but, no matter how many billboards she can afford, the truth is she can’t say one thing in English and turn around and say another in Spanish. She said she supported Arizona’s decision to pursue SB 1070, and now she is trying to spend her way out of the mess, en EspaÃ±ol. Good luck with that.”
Sharry was referencing a July statement by Whitman, where she said, “The states have got to be able to decide what is right for their state. So I would let the Arizona law stand for Arizona.”
Hector M. Barajas, a spokesman for Whitman, dismissed any claims of inconsistency. “Democrats and their union buddies are always going to disapprove of any ad we put up there,” he said. Barajas pointed to Whitman’s statement that she would veto such legislation if it ever came across her desk while she was governor of California, saying that has been her position since the primary.
“She says that every state has to make a decision on their own as to what they deal with in their own laws,” said Barajas. “Now in California, she’s running for governor of California. In California, if a similar type of law came about, she would veto it.”
Politico’s Ben Smith writes that while Whitman does oppose an SB-1070-type law for California, that’s not “exactly the same as being ‘against the Arizona law,’ as the new ad says.”
In addition to ads, Whitman has been paying for Spanish-language billboards and mailers to appeal to Latino voters. However, she is opposed to the DREAM Act, legislation popular in the Latino community because it would extend a path to citizenship for children who were brought to this country undocumented by their parents and who are now seeking higher education. A recent poll — taken after a controversy over Whitman’s former housekeeper who claimed to be undocumented at the time of her employment — shows Brown with a considerable lead over Whitman amongst Latino voters.
Nearly 20 percent of California’s 17 million registered voters are Latino.