Arizona Latino Coalition Puts Democrat Interests Before Latino Interests

(Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman/Creative Commons)

One of the more vocal groups lobbying the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) on how lines should be drawn for Arizona’s 30 legislative districts and 9 congressional districts for the next decade is the Arizona Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting.

Based on the group’s name and mission statement, casual observers would expect them to lobby for the maximum number of majority-minority districts possible to maximize the number of Latino’s in office. The reality is that the group quickly dropped its advocacy for more such districts to instead support maps that would maximize Democratic chances, and that reality has Latino leaders crying foul.

Lending additional credibility to criticism is the highly-partisan makeup of the Arizona Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting’s leadership. The group’s statewide co-chairs are Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo and Pima County Supervisor Adelita Grijalva – both prominent Democrats, as are the five regional co-chairs. No Republicans are listed as leaders of the group. Additionally, the Coalition is reportedly receiving strategic advice from DJ Quinlan, a former Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party.

One critic is Sergio Arellano, a national board member of Latinos for Trump and runner-up in a headline making race for Arizona Republican Party Chairman. “It is incumbent on us to call out the hypocrisy and lack of authenticity of Latino groups claiming to represent us all,” said Arellano, who pointed out to AZ FREE News the increasing share of the Latino vote that Republicans have been receiving both in Arizona and across the country.

“The idea that all Hispanics vote the same way is both stupid and inherently racist,” agreed Steve Montenegro, a leading conservative Latino from the Goodyear area in Maricopa County. Montenegro served almost 10 years in the Arizona Legislature and was a frequent guest on national media outlets eager to hear from conservative Latinos. “The process is driven by partisan goals masquerading as concerns about racial groups or communities of interest,” Montenegro told AZ FREE News. “So the Left uses Hispanics when helpful to create Democrat districts and then suddenly no longer cares about Hispanics when it negatively impacts the number of Democrat districts they can draw.”

Arizona’s final maps are expected to be revealed in the next week or so, and a lack of new majority-minority districts in spite of Arizona’s increased Latino population will represent a lobbying victory for the Coalition that purports to be lobbying for Latino representation. It may also reveal the true intentions of the group and its leadership, in spite of their declared mission.

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