Follow the Money: What Top Latino Donors Have to Say about 2016

By: Elizabeth Kennedy, GALEO Student Intern

Top Latino donors warn the Democratic Party that they will not be silent about what they want this election year. They want change in the Democrats approach to the Latino vote and a Latino vice presidential nominee. Unlike the competing nominations for the Republican Party candidate, the Democratic nominee is predicted to be Hillary Clinton. The donors are not saying they would not support Clinton. They are saying the amount of monetary support Clinton receives will depend amount of Latino involvement in the upcoming election. The Democratic Party needs to involve Latinos from the on-the-ground outreach to voters to the vice presidential selection.

Two examples of missed opportunities for Latino votes in 2014 Democratic election are Florida and Colorado where Democratic candidates Charlie Crist and Senator Mark Udall suffered losses. Crist’s loss was decided by a small margin of 60,000 votes. His campaign made the common mistake of reaching out to the Latino community rather then making them a fundamental part of the campaign. Two big names in the Latino community to involve are Eva Longoria Henry Munoz. They have a fundraising fund named the Futuro Fund, which raised $32 million dollars for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Their efforts have expanded into the Latino Victory Project, which was created to use fundraising to increase Latino candidates in politics. The Latino Victory Project is a non-partisan effort to increase political power in the Latino community. A major priority for the Latino Victory Project in 2016 is to push for a Latino vice presidential nominee.

The donors also have platforms they are pushing Clinton to follow. While Obama did put some emphasis on immigration with his executive actions, he did not make immigration overhaul as much of a priority as the donors would have liked. The donors are also pushing to continue Obama’s efforts on normalizing relations with Cuba and pursuing statehood for Puerto Rico. There are predictions made by experts that by 2020 there will be a greater number of Puerto Ricans living in Florida than Cubans. There are no top-level Latino names in Clinton’s group to help push these platforms through that and that is the issue that a lot of Latino politicians are noticing that fact. Back in 2007, Kerry and Bush spent a combined $7 million on the Latino vote. However in 2008, Obama spent $22 million reaching out to the Latino vote. And now Clinton must decide how much she wants to spend to make a difference with the Latino vote.

“NOTE:  The opinions express in this blog are the opinions of the author only.  It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund.  For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.”

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