Tuesday, March 3, 2009

EXTRA: Pulido will confound people

It’s very likely that a month from now, we will officially proclaim the newest member of Congress to be Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., as that is how thoroughly the Chicago portion of the Illinois 5th Congressional District dominates the suburban portion.

Yet the month-long campaign has the potential to be interesting (in a stupid, trivial sort of way) because of the person whom Republicans have chosen to nominate.

IT APPEARS THAT Rosanna Pulido will be the GOP nominee. I’m sure someone is going to try to make an argument that this is evidence of the Republicans being a true “big tent” political party – after all, she’s Latina.

But Pulido is one of those people who would take great offense at being called a Latina, because it dumps her in with a mass of people she considers to be rabble-rousers. She is head of the Illinois Minuteman Project, and she is the one that a reporter-type can turn to if they want a Hispanic person to go on a tirade about “all those illegals” coming up from Mexico.

A lot of people who like to put political types in simple little boxes won’t know what to think of Pulido. She doesn’t fit into their way of viewing electoral politics.

Actually, she’s not all that difficult to figure out. There are Latinos who don’t like being viewed as “minorities,” in large part because they think it means they will forevermore be excluded from the majority such as what has happened with many black people.

IN FACT, THE reason that some people were convinced to the very end that John McCain had a chance to win a significant chunk of the Latino vote in the 2008 presidential election is because they spent too much time listening to people like Pulido – instead of trying to get to the truth about the diverse thought that exists within the fastest growing chunk of the U.S. population.

So how do I – a person with interest in increased political empowerment for Latinos – view Pulido? Despite the fact that she got about one-quarter of the GOP ballots cast while running against five more conventional-looking Republicans, she barely got 1,000 votes.

That puts her at about the same level of actual support as Paul Bryar (whom nobody thinks did well on Tuesday). But she did do better than the just over 700 votes received by Frank Annunzio (son of the long-time Chicago politico of the same name).

In short, she belongs with the fringe candidates. She’s going to get her clock cleaned come April 7. Quigley will dominate her, although she might be able to beat up on whichever “no name” actually prevails in the Green Party primary.


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