Republican Latino Senate Candidate Responds to Celebrities' Anti-GOP Letter to Latino Community
Florida Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, also a candidate to succeed Sen. Marco Rubio's, R-Fla., seat, wrote a letter to the Latino community in response to celebrities and advocates warning the electorate about the Republican presidential candidates.
Letter From the Highest-Ranking Hispanic in Florida
Lopez-Cantera, the first Hispanic elected to hold the lieutenant governor role in Florida, penned an open letter stating he was offended by the letter, which was published through the progressive People for the American Way (PFAW) organization on Feb. 11. According to the senate candidate, he has seen conservative values empower Latino families to success in the Sunshine State.
"It has been because of Republican policies for greater choice and accountability in education that more Hispanic children are receiving a better education. It's because of Republican leadership that more minorities are pursuing higher education. And it's because of Republican policies that more Hispanics trust our states' economic climate and are taking the risk to open-up small businesses," wrote Lopez-Cantera, adding that Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest growing small businesses in the state.
Lopez-Cantera claimed the Democratic Party and liberals want to combine the Latino community into one "monolithic liberal agenda," but there are Latinos who identify more with Republican values. He has no doubt the signers of PFAW's letter, which included actors America Ferrera, Aubrey Plaza, Benjamin Bratt, George Lopez and Zoe Saldana, do love the U.S. but their political and ideological views do not grant them the right to denigrate other Latinos' beliefs.
"I respect our ideological differences and encourage continued debate. However I have seen firsthand how the policies of the Democratic Party have done more than anything else to crush the attainability of the American Dream," Lopez-Cantera wrote, listing policies such as Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act as negatively affecting the job market, productivity and growth.
"As the first Hispanic Lieutenant Governor of Florida, it is frustrating to me that those who know how precious the American Dream is continue to allow themselves to be used by a Democratic Party that has no diversity in its presidential field, that has done nothing but talk down to, demean, and show intolerance to any individual who does not tow the party line, and a party that believes government should do everything in their power to control citizens' lives," said the Spain-born senate candidate, adding that he does not agree or defend every rhetoric made by a Republican presidential candidate.
Lopez-Cantera's letter comes after PFAW published a letter addressed to the Latino community bout the Republican presidential candidates and how they have "crossed a line" by pandering to the GOP's anti-immigrant base. The Latino celebrities and advocates mentioned the actions and comments made by GOP candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, to name a few, and how each are siding with the far-right at the expense of Latinos.
"To Donald Trump and the Republican candidates: Spirit requires integration and total acceptance of everyone on this blessed planet," said musician Santana in a statement. "I invite you to utilize your power of wealth, to restore, amend and heal your relationship with all your sisters and brothers! It's never too late to graduate from the university of fear! I believe in you! Your light can make a difference on our great nation-when the power of love replaces the love for power. Divinity is who you really are ... LIGHT. Peace to you, your families and all your immigrant employees."
The PFAW letter states that the Latino community has the power to decide who wins the 2016 election, and there is hope that the electorate votes for the candidates that supports the same values as Latinos.
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