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Phony outrage and why Alex Sink's immigration comments were right. But dumb.

@MarcACaputo

Republicans are shocked – shocked!

They pearl-clutched and tut-tutted Tuesday after Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink said at a candidate forum that Tampa Bay business leaders want immigration reform so that legal workers can “clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping.”

The Republican Party of Florida condemned the "narrow-minded" comments. Sarasota's Republican Party called Sink a "racist." And Twitter and blogs lit up with the tired conservative indignation-argument about “if a Republican said that…..”

Well, turns out, Republicans and conservatives have said that.

“I am not in favor of a housekeeper or a landscaper crossing the border illegally,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said April 14, 2013 on CBS' "Face the Nation” while discussing his immigration-reform bill (a bill Republicans have blocked in the U.S. House and barely voted for in the Senate).

It's important to emphasize Rubio didn't use CEOs or software developers as examples. He used the same professions Sink did.

The news media didn’t make a fuss about Rubio’s comments at the time. Nor did conservatives. Nor did Republicans call his comments "narrow-minded" or "racist."

And that’s because the comments are true.

Immigrants, especially in Florida, disproportionately work in service-sector jobs. And national, state and local chambers of commerce have advocated for immigration reform because they represent businesses that employ recent immigrants (and perhaps illegal ones).

Spoiler alert: that includes farm workers, landscapers and maids.

That is, it includes people like Marco Rubio’s mom, who became a maid when she emigrated from Cuba. Maybe Republicans missed that part of his biography, which appeared in his autobiography “American Son” – a family story that was central to his prime-time speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Maybe they missed former Republican President George W. Bush’s recent book "Decision Points." He said his his family's Mexican housekeeper, Paula Rendón, was hired when he was 13 and was like "a second mother."

Maybe they forgot about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney who recounted in a debate how he found out illegal immigrants were….wait for it…..landscaping his home. “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake – I can’t have illegals,” he recalled.

Maybe they missed the conservative South Florida-based Shark Tank blog, in which conservative Javier Manjarres noted “the AFL-CIO and other unions could look to unionize the immigrant workforce in professions that are not currently unionized. Can you say Landscapers Union Local #101?”

Manjarres, a U.S. citizen from Colombia, once owned a landscaping business, by the way.

Nevertheless, Sink’s comments were pretty dumb.

A candidate in a close race needs to have a good message and stick to it. Saying immigration reform is good so we can have low-wage workers isn’t such a hot message -- especially for a candidate in a close race like CD-13. Having narrowly lost her bid for governor in 2010, Sink should know that anything she says that isn’t perfect isn’t going to help her.

This is what she said: “We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? We don’t need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.”

Turns out, this itty-bitty clip, recorded and disseminated by a Republican tracker, wasn't the whole story. Here's what Sink also said, which wasn't included:

"For every example that you hear I think about the high school valedictorian. I believe who live in this district now. He was brought here when he was a young man, nine of ten years old.  He didn’t choose to come here, his parents brought him. He was undocumented.  And what does he do? How does he get an education? He did everything right. He became an incredible student.  He even eventually ended up going to law school and becoming a lawyer.  But right now he cant practice law because of his undocumented status. That’s not right"

Still, it’s not like she said anything overtly offensive, despite the ersatz outrage and media criticism from biased people who hypocritically accuse the media of bias because we don’t espouse their bias for their financial and electoral gain.

 

Comments

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Ed Jenkins

The readers have repeatedly said they have no interest in these articles about politicians from distant places and this hometown paper would do well by terminating this story's author for failing to listen to the readers causing subscriptions to decrease every year.

With that said what this sink fellow said is common sense as this democrat primary voter sees nothing but immigrants working in hotels where he stays.

Land Shark

Chairman Lenny makes the same mistake that the DC race hustlers do in calling an ethnic slur racist.

He should learn the difference before he moves back to Jacksonville to run for mayor.

Get Real

Ed, I can only hope you are joking.

If you actually think Alex Sink is a "fellow" then you are truly ignorant of Florida politics and should turn in your voter registration card.

Davej Francis

Want to know the truth about troubling issues that effect Americans every day, which the Liberal mainstream press intentionally censors from their columns daily. Then join the millions of more new converts to the TEA PARTY dot org that are fleeing in droves the GOP establishment and the Democratic parties. THE TEA PARTY represents ALL the people, by birthright and who came to America LEGALLY.


EUGENE VOLOKH wrote in the Washington Post: Immigration also has many possible costs (economic, social, national security, domestic security, and liberty and congestion costs). These benefits and costs vary by type of immigrant — well-educated vs. uneducated, rich vs. poor, single vs. family, old vs. young, from countries in which there is a substantial amount of militant hostility against the U.S. vs. from other countries, and so on — often in complex ways.


With 10 million Americans out-of-work; 6 million employed on a part time basis how Congress can rationalize giving entry visas to more immigrants. America has already erupted in abject poverty, so are we going to import 30 million more?


Do NOT underestimate the TEA PARTY, as next MAY there is going to be a call to Arms; a March of millions of Tea Party patriots, reminiscent of the African American March back in October 16th, 1995 to the steps of the Capitol.


THE PROMISE OF THE TEA PARTY
1. Illegal aliens are here illegally and should be deported. NO MORE AMNESTIES.
2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
3. A strong military is essential.
4. Special interests must be eliminated from influencing Senators and Congressman that is corrupting the principles of the Oath of office.
5. Gun ownership is sacred.
6. Government must be downsized.
7. The national budget must be balanced.
8. Deficit spending must end.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must. Abolish the IRS agency altogether and introduce a FAIR and Equitable tax FLAT TAX.
11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
14. English as our core language is required.
15. Traditional family values are encouraged

The TEA PARTY mission is to bring awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation. Join the mega-millions in the TEA PARTY dot org and bring an end to the monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. Stop the destruction of our beloved nation.

Miguel

If Ms. Alex Sink had been referring to blacks, that their place was to serve, the media. Would be in an uproar, especially if Sink was a Republican. But being a Democrat makes being an obvious racist okay. We need more slaves, right Alex Sink?

Davej Francis

Should—YOU--want to know the truth about troubling issues that effect American society daily, which the Liberal mainstream press intentionally censors from their columns daily. Then join the millions of more new converts to the TEA PARTY dot org that are fleeing in droves the GOP establishment and the Democratic parties. THE TEA PARTY represents ALL the people, by birthright and who came to America LEGALLY.


EUGENE VOLOKH wrote in the Washington Post: Immigration also has many possible costs (economic, social, national security, domestic security, and liberty and congestion costs). These benefits and costs vary by type of immigrant — well-educated vs. uneducated, rich vs. poor, single vs. family, old vs. young, from countries in which there is a substantial amount of militant hostility against the U.S. vs. from other countries, and so on — often in complex ways.


With 10 million Americans out-of-work; 6 million employed on a part time basis how Congress can rationalize giving entry visas to more immigrants. America has already erupted in abject poverty, so are we going to import 30 million more?


Do NOT underestimate the TEA PARTY, as next MAY there is going to be a call to Arms; a March of millions of Tea Party patriots, reminiscent of the African American March back in October 16th, 1995 to the steps of the Capitol.


THE PROMISE OF THE TEA PARTY
1. Illegal aliens are here illegally and should be deported. NO MORE AMNESTIES.
2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
3. A strong military is essential.
4. Special interests must be eliminated from influencing Senators and Congressman that is corrupting the principles of the Oath of office.
5. Gun ownership is sacred.
6. Government must be downsized.
7. The national budget must be balanced.
8. Deficit spending must end.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must. Abolish the IRS agency altogether and introduce a FAIR and Equitable tax FLAT TAX.
11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
12. Political offices must be available to average citizens. We must rid ourselves of carrier politicians and elect new faces, especially those who believe in the policies of the TEA PARTY.
13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
14. English as our core language is required.
15. Traditional family values are encouraged

The TEA PARTY mission is to bring awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation. Join the mega-millions in the TEA PARTY dot org and bring an end to the monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. Stop the destruction of our beloved nation.


Even though the ACORN group is supposedly DEAD, it has been resurrected under a different name. I question--will the Democrats turn blind eyes to illegal aliens voting once, twice in one precinct, and then moving over to another Texas county or this voter access in any of the 50 states in voting again or more?

CynthiaSpeaks

The Author's superfluous attempt to minimize what Sink said is typical of Liberals. Was he not taught by his Mommy that two wrongs don't make it right?

It's so typical of Liberals to feign outrage while perpetrating the same offense. Where do you think Conservatives learned it from? Look no further than the dirty doormat of the DNC. It IS, however rather pathetic that Conservatives have resorted to the same tactics, NOT because anyone really cares about the small-minded pettiness of politicians, but because they have sullied the voting process.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY MARC CAPUTO: Your time, and that of all reporters, would be better spent investigating and reporting on the real cr*p in politics: Super PACs. Until we expose and eliminate big money out of politics, this Country is doomed.

@DavejFrancis: I AGREE with you!

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