GIVE VALADAO A PASS!!!
by Ralph Bailey
posted Oct 31 2013 2:34PM
Staffers in Rep. David Valadao’s office tell me he’s getting hammered by Tea Party advocates for his support of a Democratic authored bill (H.R. 15) that essentially mirrors the Senate immigration proposal and offers a pathway to citizenship.
The significant difference, however, rests in what members of the GOP used to insist was the crux of immigration reform: border security. Joe Garcia, a Democrat from Florida, proposes to eliminate the $46 billion border security design adopted by the Senate for a border security plan authored by Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas. Garcia’s border plan has the unique distinction of being unanimously approved by the House Homeland Security Committee.
I’ve been screaming to the GOP to give the fellas, Valadao, State Sen. Andy Vidak and Rep. Jeff Denham, a pass for more than just pragmatic reasons, or for the merit of their respective bills but for sheer political survival. Valadao oversees a district that is 72 percent Latino. He has two choices: Support some sort of immigration reform or surrender the seat.
Do you really think it’s a coincidence that all three men face Latino challengers? On a recent “First Look with Scott Cox”, liberal TBC editor/writer Bob Price couldn’t wait to raise to the sky the hand of Valadao’s Democratic opponent, a comely Harvard grad who will give the congressman a run for his money. Fresno Hispanic Chamber President John Hernandez, who Valadao defeated two years ago, stated he too shall seek the seat but shouldn’t be much of a factor.
Yet for Denham the vote is much more personal. Granted, he knows the numbers, too, 40 percent of his District is Latino, however, Denham married a Latina, whose father he helped guide through the citizenship maze.
The immigration debate could make or break the Party. Will Republicans label true conservatives like Valadao and Denham RHINOs based on one pragmatic vote made, primarily, to save their hard fought seats? I certainly hope so. It’s time the Committee on Who is and Who is Not a “true Republican” be laid to rest and allow the umbrella of a larger more tolerant party to unfold.