Pharos-Tribune

State News

April 8, 2013

Republican super PAC leader backs immigration reform

INDIANAPOLIS — As the politics of immigration reform heats up in the Statehouse and Congress, a prominent Republican is ramping up his efforts to rid the influence of what he calls anti-immigrant “extremists” in his party.

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez is scheduled to be in Indianapolis today for private meetings with well-heeled potential donors to his new political action committee, Republicans for Immigration Reform.

His ultimate goal: to raise the mountains of money needed to “provide cover” for pro-immigration Republicans at risk of being targeted in their next primary election.

“We need to prevent the extreme voices from speaking for our party,” Gutierrez said.

“We’re supposed to be the party of prosperity and opportunity,” he added. “But we can’t be those things if we’re seen as the party of anti-immigrants.”

Gutierrez, a Cuban-American, is a significant voice in the immigration reform debate. He was commerce secretary to President George W. Bush and an advisor to the 2012 Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

After Romney’s loss, he teamed up with Washington lawyer Charlie Spies, co-founder of the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, to create the new Republicans for Immigration Reform.

Gutierrez is unabashed in his criticism of how Romney and the Republican Party blew the last election.  

He said Romney’s call for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to “self deport” was pandering to far-right Republicans who are the harshest critics of illegal immigration.

Gutierrez said immigrants of all kinds, including those here legally, were offended. “By treating one group of immigrants with such disdain, all immigrants felt like the Republican party was saying to them: ‘You’re not welcome here.’”

Romney won only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. “We lost the Asian-American vote by an even larger margin,” Gutierrez said.

Former Republican state legislator Mike Murphy said Gutierrez’s visit to Indiana sends two signals:

One, that national Republicans believe some members of Indiana’s congressional delegation may be open to federal legislation that would create a pathway to legal status for undocumented workers, students and children.

Second, said Murphy: “It’s clear that Indiana is being seen as a battleground for the hearts and minds of people on this issue.”

Gutierrez wants his super PAC to raise the needed millions of dollars to counter the super PAC money that’s been spent in the past to knock off pro-immigration Republican candidates.

It won’t be an easy task: Last May, longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar lost his primary bid after outside super PACs – including Restore Our Future — poured money into his opponent’s campaign.

One of the issues Lugar was hammered on: His support of the federal DREAM Act, which would have created a path for citizenship for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their immigrant parents.

Brian Howey, longtime political analyst with the Howey Political Report, said Gutierrez’s plea for support may resonate with Republican stalwarts who still mourn Lugar’s loss. Democrat Joe Donnelly won the seat in the November election.

“They booted away a safe Republican Senate seat,” Howey said.

Congress is expected to take up debate soon on federal immigration reform. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, known as the “Gang of Eight,” has been working on comprehensive legislation that includes measures to secure the U.S. border, allow thousands of foreign workers into the country, and grant eventual citizenship to undocumented immigrants living here illegally.

In the Indiana Statehouse, legislators are debating a bill that would roll back the state’s two-year-old ban on in-state college tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants. The bill is being carried by some key Republicans, who’ve called the ban unnecessarily punitive because the high cost of out-of-state tuition blocks those students’ access to college.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Deputy: No vehicle involved in fatal Cicero bike crash CICERO (AP) — Investigators say a 20-year-old bicyclist who was killed in a crash in a central Indiana town wasn't struck by a vehicle. Nicholas Camp of Cicero was pronounced dead at an Indianapolis hospital after he was injured in the crash in Cicer

    July 25, 2014

  • Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster SANTA CLAUS (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana says it's building a new roller coaster that will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop among four inversions. Plans for the Thunderbird were ann

    July 25, 2014

  • Man dies after being hit by sheriff's prisoner van INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police say a man has died after he was hit by a sheriff's department prisoner transport van on an Indianapolis street. City police spokesman Officer Christopher Wilburn says witnesses told investigators that the man was lying on t

    July 25, 2014

  • Murder, rape charges filed in SW Indiana attack BLOOMFIELD (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old man with fatally shooting a man outside his rural southwestern Indiana home and then raping a woman inside the home. Greene County prosecutors filed murder, rape and other charges Thursday agai

    July 25, 2014

  • Teen Pilot-Crash [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Family: Indiana teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the nec

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indy. Man who avoided prison time for rape resentenced INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man who was placed on home detention after being convicted of drugging and raping his then-wife is going to prison for violating his probation. The ex-wife of 52-year-old David Wise said she felt "sucker punched" b

    July 24, 2014

  • Judge rules Indiana hog farms protected by law WINCHESTER (AP) — A judge has ruled state law protects the operator of large hog farms from lawsuits filed by residents of an eastern Indiana county. The lawsuits against North Carolina-based Maxwell Farms accused it of allowing hog waste to accumula

    July 24, 2014

  • Ex-Indy officer appeals convictions in fatal crash INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Indianapolis police officer is appealing his convictions for killing one motorcyclist and seriously injuring two others while driving drunk in his police cruiser. A brief filed by public defenders Wednesday claims the jud

    July 24, 2014

  • Ex-Indiana officer pleads guilty in $150K theft FRANKFORT (AP) — A former central Indiana police officer has pleaded guilty to charges that he stole nearly $150,000 from a company for which he transported cash. Former Frankfort police Lt. Randy Emery avoided jail time as a judge sentenced him to t

    July 24, 2014

  • Court rules prison agency mistreated former Pendleton counselor INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that Indiana's prison agency mistreated a female employee when it shrugged off her complaints about workers having sex on her desk and later fired her for having an affair with an official. The ap

    July 23, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.