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KS: GOP struggling to connect with Hispanic voters

By   /   November 9, 2012  /   6 Comments

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE — After Barack Obama firmly clinched the Hispanic vote en route to an election victory Tuesday, conservatives across the nation and right here in Kansas are taking a second look at how they can tap into such an increasingly important voting bloc.

The way Clay Barker sees it, Hispanic voters should be a slam dunk for the GOP. From strong family and religious values to a focus on small business, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party said the GOP and Hispanics appear to be a match.

“From what I can tell, it seems that the Hispanics should be voting Republican,” Barker said, but he acknowledges that isn’t necessarily the case. “I think the Democrats are a little ahead of us on that.”

According to some advocacy groups, the Republican Party’s biggest roadblock might be itself.

From hardline immigration reform to more stringent voter ID laws — which next year will not only require a photo ID, but proof of citizenship, too — some core conservative issues don’t exactly garner favor with Hispanic voters. And when it comes to election restrictions, KanVote coordinator Louis Goseland couldn’t agree more.

“Statistically, communities of color are less likely to possess these IDs,” Goseland said.

“I think anytime any potential interest is trying to make something as important as voting more difficult, or complicate the process, I think they’re going to lose the favor of voters, period,” he added.

While Barker doesn’t see voting restrictions as a sticking point, he does acknowledge that some attitude adjustment is needed for a small subsection of Republicans. Barker recalled a 2011 scenario where a group of Kansas Republicans gathered at the statehouse to meet with their representative, and accused the official’s Hispanic assistant of being an illegal immigrant.

“That’s what we have to avoid,” Barker said. “There’re a few people that probably see anyone with a Hispanic name and immediately conclude they’re an illegal immigrant. Most people don’t even think about it. It is a definitely a top issue for us, reaching out and making sure we expand the community.”

Contact Travis Perry at [email protected], or follow him on twitter at @kansaswatchdog.


Travis formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • WeimMom

    IF our government would adhere to our Immigration laws it wouldn’t be an issue! IF Mexicans would speak English vs Spanish, that would help, however they have shown they do NOT want to live as Americans, rather take it! There are cities /. states where one must be bilingual to get a job, that is WRONG in the United States of America! Our elected officials are to blame for the building animosity as they continue to ignore their constituents for businesses and now the browns!

  • WeimMom

    I work at a major retailer and see the abuse
    by that takes place by ‘many’ non-english speaking hispanics. The
    cashiers, many are single mothers see these people ripping off the tax
    payers with their WIC & Food Stamps, then pull out $100 bills, go
    the money center and send their cash to Mexico. Many know if they hold
    up the line long enuf the managers will let them have the ‘extra’
    product they
    have in their cart that is not covered by WIC or Food Stamps.

    One screamed at the cashier the other day, “JUST SHUT UP & GIVE IT
    TO ME” when the items were NOT covered by her WIC vouchers. Kansans are
    allowed cash back on their food stamp cards, use that cash to purchase
    alcohol, cigarettes, etc. Of course it’s not just Spanish speaking
    people on WIC & Food Stamps, they ARE the ones that try to scam the
    system, usually getting what they want. I assure you the retailer is
    NOT eating the loss, you and I are paying higher prices to cover the

    We employees would love to feed our family the fresh
    fruit, vegetables and meats they take home, however not an option on our

  • WeimMom

    Finding ‘decent’ affordable rentals in Jo Co
    has become almost impossible, those that rent low to middle income
    apartments must compete with illegals / immigrants. I’ve had more than
    one landlord tell me how bad the Mexicans are, they actually rip out
    hard wood floors, ceiling fans, bathroom basins…. take with them when
    they leave. Must put down a full months rent for deposits, something
    that had been done away with. Many with kids pay their deposit and 1st
    months rent, then never pay anything else, waiting until the landlord
    can finally have them evicted. Maintenance man here at my ghetto told
    me they hate renting to them as that is how it ALWAYS happens!

  • WeimMom

    Illegal Aliens & Immigrants stealing
    billions from taxpayers! MUST watch news videos you must watch!! I
    actually had one confront me last year, had her tax refund sent to my
    building so the IRS wouldn’t have her address. Spoke poor english,
    pleading would give her the check when it came it!


  • WeimMom

    23,994 tax refunds totaling $46.3 million were
    issued to an address in Atlanta; and 2,507 tax refunds totaling $10.4
    million were issued to an address in Oxnard, Calif…. Illegal Alien /
    Immigrant tax fraud! http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2012/08/taxpayer-id-numbers-lead-to-fraud-2446994.html

  • WeimMom

    “They can’t deport us all” campaign is popular in Kansas, which is a sanctuary state for Mexican illegals. http://www.alipac.us/f12/kansas-number-one-destination-illegal-aliens-252688/