Add another feather in the veritable bird’s nest that is Gingrich Inc. The former Speaker of the House, and all-around conservative idea-smith, has launched a news website for Hispanic Americans, the rapidly growing segment of swing voters. It’s called The Americano, and it is the bilingual brainchild of Sylvia Garcia, a longtime employee of Gingrich Communications, the former speaker’s consulting business. “The idea came during the election,” Garcia says. “There really isn’t any media that is covering conservative values for Hispanics. Everything you see is very one-sided.”
And so, conservative-minded Hispanics will find an opinion piece about how voter identification efforts are damaging the GOP brand among Latinos, a “History of U.S. Elections as Seen By Hispanics,” and a piece about how the embattled non-profit ACORN was caught in a sting that involved a false claim about 14 El Salvadoran prostitutes.
The new website, which will seek to make a profit from advertising, comes at a time when Republican strategists, and conservative activists, are expressing clear concern over Republican popularity among the Latino electorate, a swing vote in recent presidential contests. As former Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., put it late last year on Meet the Press:
The fact of the matter is that Hispanics are going to be a more and more vibrant part of the electorate, and the Republican Party had better figure out how to talk to them. We had a very dramatic shift between what President Bush was able to do with Hispanic voters, where he won 44 percent of them, and what happened to Senator McCain.
Garcia, who previously set up Gingrich’s own Spanish-language website (www.newt.org/paralatinos), said that she hopes to attract readers who are looking for conservative views on issues beyond the illegal immigration debate, which tends to alienate Hispanics from the Republican party. “In recent polls, when Hispanics and Latinos have been asked what is most important to them, immigration comes in fourth or fifth,” Garcia said. She added that Newt’s opinion pieces would be published on the site, but that he would not play a major visible role. “It’s not about Newt. It’s not about the speaker. It’s really a site about conservatism.”
As such, the site will face some stiff competition from other politically-motivated websites seeking to shape public opinion among American Hispanics. America’s Voice, a pro-immigration reform non-profit pushing hard to brand the GOP as a party of immigrant-bashers, has stepped up its communications efforts in recent months. The headline of a press release the group sent out today targeted the House Minority Leader John Boehner with this headline: “Boehner to Immigrants: Work and Go Home; Obama to Immigrants: We Can Get it Done.”