Meg Whitman haters gathered at downtown 's Placita Olvera for some early Halloween fun by hosting a “Meg the Dream Killer” costume contest that takes a swipe at the gubernatorial hopeful's immigrant-bashing policies.
A $100 booty was given to the participant with the best costume and 10-second impersonation of the ex-eBay CEO, who immigrant rights advocates are calling a “killer” of hopes and dreams for opposing the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, a federal measure that provides
a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students.
“In her race to prove herself, she has targeted immigrant students,” said Javier Gonzalez, spokesman for Strengthening our Lives, a political organization that is partially funded by the Service Workers Employee International Union.
The afternoon venue, which also included video and photo contests, was attended by about 400 community leaders, labor union members as well as students from Cal State Dominguez Hills, Northridge and Los Angeles and several community colleges.
The event was meant to energize the city's sleeping giant – young Latino voters – many of whom will be negatively impacted if Whitman gets her way.
By opposing the DREAM Act, she “wants to take people out of public institutions of higher learning,” Gonzalez said.
Whitman, who is trailing 39 % to 49% in the Field Poll behind Democrat Jerry Brown, is considered a a bit of a pariah among Latino voters these days, following reports last month that she mistreated her ex-housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan after it was revealed that she worked for the Republican candidate without papers.
Whitman has also managed to rile up eastsiders, leading her campaign office to move out of their East LA digs last Tuesday to a new Malibu address.
To stem the opposition, the Republican candidate recently came out with new Spanish-language ads asserting her opposition to Arizona's immigration law, which requires law enforcement to check the immigration status of suspected undocumented immigrants.
However, Whitman's anti-Arizona law commercials don't seem to be making much of a dent among Latino voters these days, who currently favor Brown by roughly two to one.
It was “a good step to oppose (Arizona's immigration laws) but not a significant one” for voters, said “Laura,” an undocumented immigrant who graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, explaining that for Whitman to not oppose the measure would be tantamount to “political suicide.”
With all the conundrum, one would think Whitman would be increasing her efforts to reach out to Latinos in the final days before the Nov. 2 elections.
But instead, she has been amping up her anti-immigrant rhetoric by chastising undocumented students who support the DREAM Act. The results have been “unusually cruel,” said Gonzalez.
He pointed to one debate earlier this month, when Fresno State student Adriana Sanchez asked Whitman about her position on the DREAM Act.
Sanchez was quoted as saying that Meg Whitman not only rejected the act but said she did not “support students like her in the workforce.”
Gonzalez was baffled by Whitman's decision to go after hard-working undocumented immigrant students.
Unlike their dope-smoking, beer-canoodling documented counterparts holding down a C- grade point average – Gonzalez said many of the nation's 100,000 undocumented college enrollees are top notch students.
“These aren't the kids that were screwing around in school,” he said, “but are the kids Meg Whitman should be embracing.”
Laura, whose father arrived from Zacatecas and worked as a janitor to support his five children, said Whitman is trying to win the election by unjustly targeting immigrants.
“She's trying to capitalize on the (immigrant) community by trying to blame us for all of California's problems,” Laura said.
Gonzalez thinks it's time for Whitman to stop her scary anti-immigrant antics already and start supporting efforts by undocumented immigrants to finish school and contribute to society.
“We should be rewarding people who are busting their asses and getting a career,'' he said.