NDN Blog

Dodd delivers Dem. Hispanic Radio Address

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) delivered the Democratic Hispanic Radio Address this past weekend. After reiterating the bi-partisan intentions of Senate Democrats, Sen. Dodd related the broader Democratic message of "a better direction" to the needs of Latinos and their families. On immigration, he highlighted the need for a comprehensive solution by saying:

As part of our effort to work on solutions to this country's most pressing problems, Democrats are committed to fixing our broken immigration system. Our country needs to strengthen security at our borders, bring millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows of our society, and restore the rule of law to our immigration system. Democrats look forward to working with Republicans to achieve real border security through bipartisan and practical immigration reform.

As you all know, NDN has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform since day one.

NPI Event Tuesday - The Next Wave of Tools for Progressive Politics

Peter Leyden, the Director of our New Politics Institute, just sent this out. This is going to be a great event, so come on out!


The technology and media worlds are in the midst of a transformation that is profoundly affecting politics. In the next few years we can expect to see the accelerating demise of the 30-second television commercial as the main form of political communication. Already, the 2006 election was marked by a spirit of experimentation in new tools and new media.

Understanding the way forward in this new environment is critical to all the work we do as progressives. That is why I hope you'll be able to join the New Politics Institute for a lunch next Tuesday, December 5th, as we gather leading experts and practitioners of these new tools to evaluate what worked best this fall and what we can expect to make an even greater impact in the future. Panelists will include:

  • Julie Bergman Sender on Viral Video in the post YouTube world
  • Tim Chambers on Mobile Media
  • Will Robinson on the Evolution of Television through Cable, Satellite and TiVo
  • Laura Quinn on Data Driven Politics

The event will be held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, December 5th from noon to 2:00pm at the Phoenix Park Hotel at 520 North Capitol Street, NW.
This event is one of a series presented by the New Politics Institute, a think tank helping progressives master today’s transformation of politics due to rapid changes in technology, media and the demographic makeup of America. NPI is building a working network of top technology, media, and demographic professionals who want to help move best practices and innovations into progressive politics. Read our developing body of reports and view exclusive video content at: www.newpolitics.net For more information on the event contact Tracy Leaman at 202-842-7213 or tleaman@ndn.org Feel free to spread this announcement around. The more progressives who understand the powerful new tools and new media we now have at our disposal, the better.

NDN Event Thursday- Crafting a New Economic Strategy for America

We just sent out this invite for an important, relevant event this Thursday. It's going to be very interesting, so I hope you can make it.


The last year has seen a broad, progressive campaign highlighting the ways in which this administration’s economic policies have left America weaker and stalled economic progress for most Americans. While a great deal of attention has been paid to the failure of the new conservative's foreign policy, it is now also clear that their economic strategy has failed. And voters agree. On November 7th, the American people delivered a clear and unmistakable mandate for action on the economy.

With Democrats now holding power in Congress and the 2008 elections looming, what should be the real economic priorities for progressives? What role did the economy play in the recent campaign? And with the American economy perhaps heading into a slowdown and the housing bubble continuing to deflate, what should be the Democrats' strategy for ensuring the broad-based prosperity the country needs?

To talk more about these issues, NDN’s Globalization Initiative has assembled a panel of prominent experts from respected progressive institutions, to look at what our priorities should be.

I hope you will join us this Thursday, November 30th for an important forum on the future of progressive economic policy. The forum will be held from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, at the Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 North Capitol Street, NW.

Our panelists will be:

Please join NDN for to discuss all this, as we and others attempt to craft a new economic strategy for America in the early days of the 21st century. RSVP to Tracy Leaman at tleaman@ndn.org or 202-842-7213. I hope you will join us.

Voters believe immigrants should have path to citizenship

In a new poll released by Quinnipiac University, American voters expressed their desire to let illegal immigrants have a path to citizenship.

Demonstrating that Congressional Republicans were out of step with the views of their voters, the poll finds that "Republicans support the guest worker to citizenship path 66 - 31 percent, while Democrats back it 73 - 23 percent and independent voters back it 71 - 24 percent."

Those surveyed also largely reject (71%) the 700 mile fence as the end-all-be-all solution, saying "additional measures are needed from Congress to deal with illegal immigrants entering the country."

Once again, this poll shows that the support for comprehensive immigration reform is there. What has been lacking is leadership. Hopefully the fresh faces in Congress can fill that gap quickly with a sensible piece of legislation.

So many signs...

Obama in '08? While we're all tempted to take the results of our jump to conclusion mat to heart, we shouldn't assume anything about Senator Barack Obama's political aspirations. Yet it's pretty hard not to after the Senator presented his plans for troop withdrawal in Iraq. Taking a somewhat firm approach today during his speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Sen. Obama said:

I have long said that the only solution in Iraq is a political one ... the days of asking, urging and waiting for them to take control of their own country are coming to an end. No more coddling, no more equivocation.

For those of you who need a refresher, Sen. Obama opposed the war before it started. (Also watch this where he discusses Iraq at a Town Hall meeting earlier this year.)

Signs of Hope on Immigration

This piece from The New York Times (also pasted below) offers a look at how approaching comprehensive immigration reform, an issue on which NDN has been a leading voice, has potentially found new life.


Signs of Hope on Immigration

The political earthquake in Washington has knocked loose some of the big obstacles to fixing the immigration system. A decent solution is now there for the taking, if President Bush and the newly Democratic Congress are willing to grab it.

It won’t be easy. Some of the debate’s loudest shouters, liars and dead-horse beaters were ushered by voters from the room — people like J. D. Hayworth and Randy Graf in Arizona, John Hostettler in Indiana and Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. But the public is still in a prickly mood. All those shrill Republican ads about Mexicans stealing your Social Security failed as an electoral strategy, but that doesn’t mean politicians always lose by being immigration hawks. Voters approved tough ballot measures. In Arizona, they made English the official language and restricted illegal immigrants’ ability to sue, receive bail and qualify for benefits.

And except for the losers on the border-fixated fringe, not many in the restrictionist camp seem particularly chastened by the election. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, an opponent of the comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate this year, won his race, as did several new Democrats who ran as immigration hard-liners. Local lawmakers in Texas and other states are still going after illegal immigrants with fervor.

The roots of a divisive, grinding immigration debate have not gone away. But it is crucial that the Democrats find their voice. The effort to revive immigration reform should start in the Senate. There is a decent bill under the barnacled hulk of legislation that passed the Senate last May. It used to be called McCain-Kennedy, before other senators tacked on tough-posing amendments that made it fundamentally unworkable and unjust. The Senate should strip those away, like the ones that divide immigrants into three arbitrary tiers of worthiness and needlessly force those seeking legal status to trek to a border state to apply for it.

The principles that guided the original McCain-Kennedy bill are those that should guide the coming reform effort: laws should be enforced at the border and workplace, fairly and evenhandedly; temporary worker programs must not be used to create a permanent official underclass; and any reform must be designed to work and not just create another smothering bureaucracy.

Immigration remains a high-voltage issue that Congress may be too timid or distracted to touch. The new Democratic leaders, including Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, have conspicuously not listed immigration among their most urgent priorities. Even Senator John McCain, who is an architect of the most reasonable bill out there but also has presidential primaries on his mind, spent a lot of time this fall stumping for misguided restrictionists like Mr. Graf. We hope he and his moderate colleagues have the integrity to honor their sensible immigration views now that the dismal ’06 campaign is done.

Many voters who scorned Republicans over immigration reacted as you would expect them to after being mocked and exploited by a party that elevated the issue into an urgent crisis and then offered nothing to solve it but faux hearings, strident campaign ads and a pretend fence. The same fate may await any Democrats who posture, deceive and dawdle over immigration reform in the next Congress.


Making sense of the 2006 elections: a recap of recent post-election analysis

Be sure to read this e-mail Simon just sent out - there's a ton of good stuff in it. (Note: this can also be found in memo form on the NDN website here)


We’ve all had a week to think about it, and there is now little question that 2006 was an historic event. It doesn’t matter if you call it a wave or a thumpin. This election now takes its place alongside the other the game-changing elections in our nation’s recent history: 1994, 1980, 1974, 1964 and even 1932.

I’m very proud that our work here at NDN has helped to put this election in context, and explain through the media the meaning of these important events. You can read some of the many pieces that feature our analysis: on NPR (here and here); at Business Week, La Opinion (here and here), Investor's Business Daily, The New York Times (here and here), The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Week In Review, Newsweek, US News And World Report, Reuters, The Washington Post (here and here), The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times (here and here), The Miami Herald, The St. Petersburg Times, The St Louis Post-Dispatch, The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, The Santa Fe New Mexican, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, and blogs like DailyKos and TPMCafe. Also listen to our commentary on The Al Franken Show on Air America.

Here at NDN we’ve been thinking a lot about how to think about what just happened, as I’m sure you have too. To help make better sense of this historic event, I wanted to send along a compilation of all the four key documents we have put out, trying to contextualize and explain the magnitude of last week’s events.

  • My initial narrative, highlighting a “day of reckoning” and discussing the end of the generation-long conservative ascendancy, along with a second piece on the same theme.

  • Our post-election analysis, highlighting some of and the practical reality that the Republicans are no longer America’s dominant party.

  • An analysis of the importance that the economy played in the victory, and the clear mandate for economic action that follows from this.

  • A memo outlining the strategic importance of our victory, and the republican failure, in the year long battle over immigration.

We also recommend the following essays that you might find helpful - some of the best analysis on the elections from friends in the progressive family.

  • NPI fellow Joe Trippi in the Washington Post talking about an election that kicked "open the door to a new era in American politics."

  • Matt Bai, of the New York Times, in a preview of an essay to come out this Sunday, on the "last election of the 20th century."

  • John Podesta, of the Center for American Progress, gives his view on the impact of the election for the conservative movement.

  • Bruce Reed, head of the DLC, gives his thoughts on the election, and our lame duck president, in his columns over at Slate.

  • Tom Schaller’s post-election analysis from The American Prospect (here and here).

  • Ezra Klein, at The American Prospect, rebutting the notion that last week’s elections were a victory for conservatives.

  • The website immigration2006 to get an even more in depth look at how immigration played in the election.

  • Stan Greenberg's comprehensive post-election polling analysis on "The Meltdown Election."

It was a remarkable election. But as important as it was, it feels like even more important ones lie ahead.

Mayhem over Mel?

In his statement yesterday, Simon noted that the appointment of Florida Senator Mel Martinez as RNC Chair shines light on just how much Republicans are worried about their standing with Latino voters. The press chimed in, hitting the ground running early on. The Washington Times gave us two great quotes with this piece:

Some RNC members greeted the news as another example of White House cronyism, reminiscent of President Bush's attempt to name his personal friend and general counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, a nomination withdrawn in response to outrage from the party's conservative supporters.

Some RNC members yesterday saw the naming of Mr. Martinez as a continuing tendency of the Bush administration to manipulate the national party.

NDN's own Joe Garcia added the following in the Miami Herald:

''This is not only [about the] Hispanic vote short-term, this is about the Hispanic vote and how to be a viable party in the future. This is way beyond 2008. Hispanics are the fastest growing electorate and [Republicans] have been failing it.''

And Simon was quoted in Reuters and the New York Times, pointing out that the appointment brings to light the concern Republicans have that their gains within the Latino community are diminishing. Referring to Karl Rove, he notes:

“One of the greatest success stories of the early Rove era was their success with Latino voters, the president’s chief political strategist. “And that has unraveled for them this year.”

It's not looking too great for the GOP; and it gets worse, as their reaction shows...

Simon's statement on Mel Martinez

Be sure to read the statement below from Simon about Florida Senator Mel Martinez being tapped to Chair the RNC.


"The appointment of Mel Martinez as the new head of the Republican Party is an indication of how worried the Republicans are about their standing with Latino voters across the country.

After years of gains with Latinos, the fastest growing part of the American electorate, the Republicans saw a significant drop in their standing in 2006. In 2004 President Bush received at least 40 percent of the Latino vote. In this midterm it fell to 30 percent, a significant and dangerous drop.

While Latinos had the same reasons to vote against Republicans in 2006 as the rest of America, there is no question that many Latinos have grown disenchanted with the Republican Party because of what they felt was the Republican-led anti-Latino tone of the immigration debate.

If they were truly serious about rehabilitating their standing with Latinos, one area they should think about is working with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid to take quick action on passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform next year.

Appointing Mel Martinez may help Republicans communicate their message to the Spanish-speaking electorate. But it will take a change in policy not a change in personnel to win back a community that has grown terribly disenchanted with the President and his party."


Latinos rechazan a los Republicans en las contiendas de 2006

NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center sends regular updates to Spanish language media outlets about the issues and campaigns that impact their communities. The releases are reprinted in their entirety on our blog for our Spanish speaking readers, and you can read the latest below.

Washington DC - Los votantes Latinos fueron a las urnas el martes pasado y dijeron decisivamente que rechazan las políticas del Partido Republicano en todos los asuntos importantes incluyendo la guerra en Irak, la educación, la economía, y la inmigración. En varias encuestas de salida tomadas el martes, se ve que hasta un 70% de los Latinos apoyaron a los demócratas, mientras que los Republicanos solo lograron un 26% del apoyo Latino. Es mas, los Latinos participaron en numeros mas altos este año que en cualquier otro año incluyendo las elecciones presidenciales del 2004. En un análisis prelimar, se ve que un 8.5% de los votantes Latinos aparecieron a las urnas en los comicios del 2006.

"Estos resultados son increiblemente positivos para nuestra comunidad," dijo Joe García, Director del Centro de Estrategia Hispana. "Lo que hemos estado diciendo los últimos meses, se cumplió esta semana - que las políticas y las estrategias anti-inmigrantes de los Republicanos iban a causar un abandono total del Partido Republicano de parte de los Latinos y que además, iba a mobilizar a nuestra comunidad de una manera histórica."

Vean abajo dos artículos de los mas grandes medios incluyendo el Wall Street Journal y el Los Angeles Times que subrayan el hecho de que los Latinos rechazaron completamente al Partido Republicano y que se les va ser muy dificil recuperar de esta gran pérdida de apoyo entre los Latinos - la comunidad mas grande y creciente de Estados Unidos.

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