Voter ID Laws

My work with Matt Barreto of the University of Washington, Seattle and Gabriel Sanchez of the University of New Mexico is cited in this post on Voter ID laws.  Our research suggests minorities would be disproportionately affected by voter ID laws.  This blog argues that voter suppression, not electoral security, is the main intention of the laws.

Let’s be humane: Republican rhetoric on immigration reform and voter opinion


The data from Latino Decisions and past surveys indicate that a humane approach to immigration is not only a better short term political strategy, but demographic shifts in the electorate present a compelling argument that a humane approach is a better long term strategy as well – for both political parties.

Guest blog post on Latino Rebels


My post on Latino Rebels is up.  Thanks to Julio Ricardo Varela for the invitation.

The mixed messaging coming from the Party with the announcement of Kobach’s endorsement demonstrates a decided lack of consciousness about the sentiments of Latinos. Perhaps Inclán can change that. She will need to work hard to gain the trust of Hispanics rather than just repeat the Party line.  Whether or not the GOP will allow her to do that is another question.

“AZ Racist Girls”- Mea Culpa

Well, good for them.  Not unlike adults, teenagers are impressionable people and can be easily influenced to say stupid things.  It was a mistake, but they owned up to it, assuming these are the same girls.  Perhaps this is a genuine apology and they will truly learn from it, perhaps its just a case of them getting caught.  Its not easy admitting you did something stupid.  People mess up and are not always willing to own up to it. I am reminded by a recent event where an adult failed to take responsibility for his actions, State Representative Scott Bundgaard.

Scott Bundgaard finally got a chance to tell his side of the story.

And, in a way, he did. Facing censure, or perhaps even expulsion, by his state Senate colleagues for his role in a violent fight last winter with his girlfriend on a freeway, Bundgaard was moments away on Friday from testifying in his Senate Ethics Committee hearing.

Rather than testify, he walked out of the hearing room for lunch and never came back. Instead of clearing the air, he left it to his attorney to announce he had resigned his seat in the Legislature.

Perhaps the grown-ups can learn something here, too. Peace.

The Justice Coin has come out with a commemorative coin to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden. I’m reminded by the words of a good friend who lost his brother in the 9-11 attacks and what he said about retribution and closure following the death of Osama bin Laden.

The whole issue of closure means everything to others and trivia to us. To those who were stung by the attacks, but not necessarily struck by it, bin Laden’s death finally gives them their pride of settlement, of control, of eye-for-eye justice. Even Jesus be cool with that.

Well we the people, we got our man. We retook control and showed ‘em who’s boss.  I suppose that passes for “closure.” ‘Twas the one thing we all ever really wanted, and the only thing I’ll never ever get.

I thankfully wasn’t directly touched by the attacks, but I knew more than a few friends who were and I know that certainly many American and non-American lives have been impacted in ways that cannot be undone since then. I certainly don’t weep for bin Laden, I feel better he is no longer with us, but commemorating his death with a coin seems so jingoistically trite. I don’t know. Perhaps a scalp or an earlobe next time, so we can hang around our necks. For all to see. The suggested retail price for the coin is $100 dollars, but if you act fast, it can be yours for just $19.95.  Perhaps a commemoration of values not quite intended, but communicated to all loud and clear.

In the News

Stephen A. Nuño, assistant professor at Northern Arizona University, disagrees with Rohan.

“I think preserving something important to honor a cultural identity is consistent with American history. Are we to complain every time an Irish-American soldier who dies in battle is honored by naming a school or street sign after him/her in Boston because it’s pandering?”

The De-Americanization of Asian Americans

From ImmigrationProf Blog:

Eight U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been arrested in connection with the apparent suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19-year-old infantryman who was Chinese American. The arrests came after family members pressured the Pentagon to investigate allegations that Chen had been repeatedly taunted with racial slurs. The alleged anti-Asian bullying and taunting started during basic training when fellow soldiers used a mocking accent while calling him Jackie Chan; others allegedly told him to “go back to China.” The eight soldiers have been charged with dereliction of duty and manslaughter.

Why Romney Really Won

Santorum supporters really shouldn’t be too hopeful about their chances from here on because someone is going to notice a very important distinction between Santorum’s 25% and Romney’s 25%, namely that Romney beat Santorum in the most populous counties of Iowa.  Even though Iowa has a small population, the latest census reveals that rural counties in Iowa are shrinking, while most of the State’s growth is in urban areas.  This is similar to the country as a whole, where more than 80% of the country now lives in urban areas. A look at the Caucus results shows that Romney beat Santorum in all but one of Iowa’s most populated counties.

  • Polk, 28% to 22% (Des Moines)
  • Scott, 29% to 24% (Davenport)
  • Black Hawk, 23% to 22% (Cedar Falls  and Waterloo)
  • Johnson, 34% to 16% (Iowa City)
  • Woodbury, 28% to 33% (Sioux City)
  • Dubuque, 31% to 26% (Dubuque)

Research has shown a difference in voter preference between rural and urban voters, and Iowa seems no different. But despite Iowa being a pretty homogenous state, where 90% of its residents are non-Hispanic white, Iowa does have a county where they are significant in numbers, Muscatine.  Muscatine county has a city in it whose student population is majority Hispanic and its near Davenport and Linn counties.  This is where Davenport and Cedar Rapids is located, and about as urban as it gets in Iowa.  Romney beat Santorum 30% to 20% in Muscatine.  If I were Wall Street, I know who I’d put my money on.  Of course, this isn’t surprising.  Romney has always been the strong horse, but now we have the some evidence to back it up.

addendum: This only pertains to the GOP side of the ledger.  Thanks to a friend for helping me clarify that. I also updated some of my poor geography skills.