Even before she won the Republican primary after a dog fight with opponent Steve Poizner to determine who was more vehemently against illegal immigration, it was predicted that gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman would start to move left on the issue because the Latino vote in California is so important. On Thursday her campaign announced that it is rolling out two Spanish language television ads, at least one of which was debuting during the World Cup soccer match between Mexico and France.

La Opinion reports that World Cup ads are some of the most expensive in television, costing upwards of $100,000 per 30 seconds.

In one of the spots, Whitman is lauded as “the Republican who opposes the Arizona law and opposed Proposition 187.”

During her battle with Poizner, Whitman declared she was against “sanctuary cities” that protect illegal immigrants and that she opposed amnesty for undocumented workers in the country (although she says she supports a “guest worker” program).

But as the New York Times pointed out, about one in six California voters during the general election will be Latino (and many Latinos feel those who are so vociferously against illegal immigration are essentially against anyone who is brown skinned). The Republican party has long had a love-hate relationship with Latinos, and vice versa: Opposing illegal immigration appeals to its right-wing core, but alienates a voting bloc that is of increasing importance in a state that is now “majority minority.”

One of Whitman's ads states, “She respects our community.”

-With reporting from LA Weekly staff writer Gene Maddaus.

LA Weekly