Meg Whitman’s Spanish-Language Makeover

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California gubernatorial contender Meg Whitman seems to be bouncing back with Latino voters after a Spanish-language media blitz, despite having railed against illegal immigrants during the Republican primary. Though her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown still has a lead with Latino voters in the states, his allies are already worried that he’s losing support from a crucial voting bloc in the state. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Since the June 8 primary, Whitman has aired ads on Spanish-language television during the World Cup and on radio. Her campaign has erected billboards in Latino communities and spoken on Spanish-language media outlets. Her efforts appear to be paying off.

Though Brown held an 11-point lead among Latino voters in a Field Poll released earlier this week, Whitman had the support of 39%, a 14-point gain since March and at the level that strategists say she needs to be to win in November.

Whitman’s new ads have touted her opposition to Arizona’s harsh new immigration law, as well as California’s Prop 187—the anti-immigration law that poisoned Latino voters against the Republican Party in the 1990s when then-GOP governor Pete Wilson pushed it through.

But Whitman’s Spanish-language makeover in the general election is a marked reversal from the tone that she struck in the GOP primary, when the challenge from conservative Steve Poizner pushed her to the right on the issue. During the primary, she touted her opposition to illegal immigration, screened an ad featuring Pete Wilson and a border fence, and accused Poizner of supporting “amnesty.”

Brown is now trying to remind voters of Whitman’s harsh talking points during the primary. And Latino Democrats insist that voters will see through her opportunism. “While our community is bilingual, we’re not naïve,” one Latino state senator told the LA Times. But given Whitman’s recent bounce in the poll, there’s still a chance that Latino voters will either forgive or forget her earlier bombast. And she’s certainly not alone among Republican nominees who’re hoping that their hardline primary positions will simply go down the memory hole.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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