And that would make sense, since Latino voters are an important and growing constituency.
But it struck me as odd that the one relatively simple thing Republicans could have done to improve their relationship with Colorado Latinos was something they just couldn’t do — that is approve a bill in the state legislature that would have set a special tuition rate for illegal immigrant high school students.
The ASSET bill was voted down in a House committee earlier this week on a party line vote, with Republicans standing together to defeat the measure. ASSET, as it was called, would have set a tuition rate for illegal immigrant kids that was more than subsidized in-state tuition, but far less than non-resident tuition.
It was arguably the the single most galvanizing issue in the state this year for Latinos, and Republicans wouldn’t even let it get to the House floor, where it had a chance to pass if one Republican crossed party lines to vote with House Democrats. The measure easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate.
So it was befuddling to read comments from Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call, who was quoted as saying he knows “how important this constituency is.” And I’m sure he’s sincere, but surely I can’t be the only one to see the disconnect between the Latino “outreach” efforts by the GOP’s central leadership, and the way its members vote when confronted by a key issue.