Over the weekend, my email box was filled with emails from readers complaining about a reception for the Hispanic 100 at the home of Santa Ana councilman Vince Sarmiento which was attended by a number of Santa Ana residents and Democrats. The reception welcomed Josefina Vazquez Mota (in the white outfit), a conservative candidate for president of Mexico, who holds some views that seem to run counter to Democrats in Santa Ana. Readers write that the Hispanic 100 is the Mexican equivalent of the Lincoln Club and were outraged that a progressive councilman would host a reception in his home.
The reception was for the Hispanic 100 Policy Committee. Ms. Moto is the PAN candidate for president and PAN is Mexico’s equivalent of the Republican Party. Ms. Mota is trying to paint herself as compassionate conservative and Ms. Magazine compared her to Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin.
“I think the comparison to Bachman and Palin are a bit unfair,” Councilman Sarmiento told TheLiberalOC. “This was a simple reception to get a leading presidential candidate in Mexico before a number of Santa Ana residents. And it was an opportunity to meet with someone who may be the next president of Mexico to find out what her views are on matters like immigration policy and trade policy. It was an opportunity to meet her, listen to her and to get to know her so we can forge a relationship with someone like her. I viewed this as an opportunity to meet with someone who may be the next president of Mexico to discuss her views on how the US and Mexico can work together on a number of issues. As progressives we shouldn’t bury our heads in the stand when it comes to working with others who have different points of view.”
State Rep. Jose Solorio was also in attendance and shared Sarmiento’s views.
“Santa Ana Councilman Sarmiento and many of my constituents invited me to this event,” he said. “It was simply a meet and greet, and guess what, most of the attendees were Santa Ana residents and Democrats. We all long for good leadership in Mexico and need to foster strong relationships with their leaders, regardless of their party affiliations.”
Our friends at OC Political made some hay about the reception. You can read the full story here.
From their post:
It was a real honor to attend a reception in Santa Ana on Saturday night for Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota hosted by the Hispanic 100, which is led by local businessman and political strategist Mario Rodriguez. A number of local dignitaries and Hispanic leaders were in attendance, all looking to get a glimpse of this bold,beautiful, and accomplished lady and to hear her speak about the hopes and dreams of the Mexican people. When Josefina spoke, you could hear and feel her passion and love for Mexico. She spoke glowingly of her admiration for and special friendship with Rosario Marin, who is a member of the Hispanic 100 and also former Treasurer of the United States under President George Bush from August 2001 to June 2003. For those who don’t know Josefina, she is a Mexican economist, businesswoman, and politician who has served in the National Action Party (PAN). She has served in various capacities under the current President Felipe Calderon, including Secretary of Education. In September of 2011, Josefina left her position as Coordinator of the Parliamentary Group to pursue the Presidency of Mexico in 2012.
We have our own election for President this year, which will hopefully retire Barack Obama and usher in a new Republican president who will restore our republic to fiscal sanity, create pro-business policies, get our energy economy growing again, and end the racial divisiveness that is the hallmark of the Obama presidency. Yet the upcoming election in Mexico is also of utmost importance to Americans in terms of building a stronger, more productive relationship between the United States and Mexico. My hope is that if Josefina wins, we will work more closely as countries to combat the drug cartels, boost the Mexican economy, and work towards policies that finally solve the illegal immigration problem, such as the immigration policy proposal advanced by the Lincoln Club of Orange County. As a member of both the Hispanic 100 and Lincoln Club, having worked on the policy with committee chairwoman Teresa Hernandez and other members committed to pursuing a real solution, I believe we have begun a new conversation on the illegal immigration problem that does not include citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The post left out the location of the reception.
Here’s a bit more on Ms. Moto from our readers.
“Vazquez Mota told Univision in an interview last year that she didn’t support abortion rights” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/josefina-vazquez-mota-mexico-national-action-party_n_1257152.html
“I would like to confirm that I am pro-life,” Vazquez Mota said, perhaps negating the possibility that she would push for the legalization of abortion – http://univisionnews.tumblr.com/post/17549489513/mexico-vazquez-mota-talks-about-economy-abortion-and
Here is an article on whether Ms. Mota’s election would be the equivalent to electing Palin or Bachman in the US: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/03/03/would-vazquez-mota-as-mexicos-first-woman-president-be-good-news-for-women/
Polls show Ms. Moto trails in the race to become Mexico’s next president but anything can happen between now and election day.
Our readers would like to see the Democratic elected officials in Santa Ana host Mexican presidential candidates whose policies are more closely aligned with the Democratic party, someone like Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD. Sarmiento indicated that should this opportunity present itself, he’d open his home for such a reception.