How Dare Brown People Participate In Politics?

If the point is that money corrupts politics, well duh. But the choice of example by the Washington Post bothers me a great deal:

Clinton's success in this unlikely setting is based almost entirely on her friendship with one man, McAllen developer Alonzo Cantu. A self-made millionaire who once picked grapes on the migratory farm labor circuit, Cantu persuaded more than 300 people in Hidalgo County, where the median household income in 2006 was $28,660, to write checks ranging from $500 to $2,300 to the senator from New York.

Cantu offers a simple explanation for what he's doing for Clinton. “To me, there's two things that will keep us from being ignored,” he said. “Money and votes. I think we've shown we can raise money. That will get us attention, or at least get us a seat at the table, get us in the room.”

Gawd forbid a self made Latino, an American citizen, involve himself in the political process by raising money. Does the Washington Post think this is a unique or even an unflattering story? In a way it is, to them.

Look, I am for complete public financing of political campaigns myself. But until that is even remotely a reality, Latinos, just like everyone else, will and MUST participate in the political system as it exists. To single Cantu out, as the WaPo does, is patronizing at best, racist at worst.

For comparison, consider how the same WaPo reporter covered white people bundling money for Obama:

They had a second dinner a few weeks later. This time Obama, Smoot and a small group of New Yorkers joined them to talk about how they would tap Manhattan for campaign funds. Wolf was on board and was on his way to becoming one of the senator's most prolific fundraisers.

As Obama's announcement neared, his outreach intensified.

. . .  By early February, Obama had recruited billionaire hotel heiress Penny Pritzker to head his national finance team. The two had met when Michelle Obama's brother was coaching her children's basketball team, and they became friendly before Obama launched his political career.

. . . Obama also landed several Kerry bundlers, including Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Gorenberg, and lured two former fundraisers of Bill Clinton's, Boston financier Alan Solomont and New York investment manager Orin Kramer. Solomont said he was surprised by the notice his decision received. “I wasn't looking to make a statement about the Clintons,” he said. “My decision wasn't in any way based on less affection or respect for her. [Obama] just had this energy. I could tell this was going to be something different.”

I am sure access had nothing to do with white man Solomont's decision to bundle for Obama. Riiiiight.

Let's be clear, Cantu operates entirely within the law. Does not even come close to skirting it. But yet, this is supposed to be an unflattering piece. Shame on the Washington Post.


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  1. I think we are starting to see real signs of “the middle” closing ranks against the “outsiders” (others) leading up to the election. Time to whip the rabble into line.

    God I hate the enforcement of the status quo.

  2. this on the Rec’d list chez Orange.

  3. “I am sure access had nothing to do with white man Solomont’s decision to bundle for Obama. Riiiiight.”

    Perhaps your goal is to drive this website into irrelevance?

  4. “Don’t take checks from Armenians,” my son said.  He was very young.

    I asked my son how I could be sure we were taking a check from an Armenian.  He didn’t know but he said everybody was refusing to take checks from Armenians.  I knew there was a football team filled with Armenians that was pretty tough and did bad things to us.  Russia just locked up an Armenian who is causing trouble.  Kasparov is the name.

    We would have probably taken a check from Cher or even Mike Connors if they offered one even though everybody else knew Armenians’ checks were no good.  Maybe our bank wouldn’t know that Mike Connors was an Armenian.

    Later in the day I found out what it was all about.  A large rug dealer had gone bankrupt with checks bouncing all over the country. You know how all Armenians are rug dealers.  Suddenly anybody wanting to buy rugs at auction had to have cash.

    If Hillary gets any checks from those rug merchants, there will surely be a scandal but she probably knows better than that.

    Sure am grateful to know that there are lots of others besides Armenians we should ought to worry about taking checks from.

    Anybody making up a list?

    Best,  Terry


  5. TO put 4 things in a negative light

    in this order

    The poor

    The mexican immigrants

    The clintons

    The Democratic Party

    it is a hit piece  

    • Armando on November 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    It turns out Solomont is a lobbyist.

  6. It does however work well for Hillary in a convoluted way. Turns the the matter into a fight about the race of which rich donor is giving to whom rather then the candidates positions. ‘Hillary Hate’ is another red herring. It allows the cult of personality and hysteria, to turn her into a victim rather then just another candidate. A false issue and has nothing to do with why the so called haters (what a term) oppose her as our candidate. Smoke is everywhere and one has to ask who’s blowing it, and who benefits.


    • oculus on November 26, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Short on Cash, G.O.P. recruits the rich to run

  7. calling out Kos and Buhdy on poor leadership, but Armando gets front paged for this shit?

    Fucking ridiculous.

  8. said Mr Cantu. He clearly understands mechanics of capital formation that underly the US entertainment industry, called politics. Worth remembering: the “political system as it exists” functions more like a securities market than an authentic plebecite.

    State finances is Mosk’s typical beat at WaPo; he’s got a fat portfolio on contract graft over three administrations in MD, for example. I’m not persuaded that Mosk is ridiculing Cantu’s Latino footprint per se but developing an arc through Texas-vintage GOTV “populism,” deployed by nouveau riches in search of, oh, projects in which to park all their cash. After all, the GWB years have been “berry, berry good” to speculators of all “races.”

    I find these notes on Cantu rather poignant

    Cantu says he gave his first national political check, for $1,000, to Bill Clinton in his first run for president. Cantu said he has been grateful to Clinton for pushing through Congress the North American Free Trade Agreement over the opposition of organized labor.


    [McAllen doctors] bought land from him, hired his construction firm and got him to put up roughly 20 percent of the money … The only problem with the hospital was its ownership model, which gave doctors 80 percent of the stock.

    and no less interesting than Bobby Rush’s dubious [IL-1] association with charitable telecoms

    Silverstein’s investigation into BHO’s credit history with Wall St which staged his short-lived GOTV drive [Woods, Joyce, Annenberg], subsequent senate campaign, and ’04 convention premiere. Seems to me right about now the BHO Juggernaut is positioned to hoover Gore “votes” and loot.

    As if to flatter Cantu’s business acumen by analogy to BHO “star” power, Mosk quotes Sam F. Vale, president of Telemundo affiliate:

    “He gets people together, organizes them, raises money and convinces people to contribute. As long as it’s done aboveboard and open and clean, that’s the way we’re supposed to do it.”

    If only Oprah hadn’t committed to BHO last year.

    She’s booked for Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Columbia, and Manchester

    in December (tickets are free).

  9. It’s Cantu himself, with his emphasis on ‘us’, who brings up the issue of ethnically-motivated influence in the first place.

    To me, there’s two things that will keep us from being ignored,” he said. “Money and votes. I think we’ve shown we can raise money. That will get us attention, or at least get us a seat at the table, get us in the room.”

    As far as the Obama article goes, just because Solomont didn’t offer such a blatant statement as Cantu about trying to buy access doesn’t make the reporter a racist for not reporting what Solomont didn’t say.

    Seriously, if you don’t like the racial overtones of the WaPo article, take it up with the guy who gave the quote in the first place.

  10. Hidalgo County was also home of Ballot Box 13, which changed the future of American History.

    Look into it!

    Cultural treasures lie in Tejanolandia!

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