2.04.2007

What's With the Hispanic Congressional Caucus?

What is going on with the Hispanic Congressional Caucus?

This week, three Latina members accused organization's male leaders Thursday of treating women unfairly. Additionaly, U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) said Chairman Joe Baca called her a "whore". Ms. Sanchez quit as a member of the 21 member Hispanic Congressional Caucus. CHC 21 members are all Democrats.

Adding confusion to the HCC mess, it turns-out that Baca's eleged use of crude language happened last summer and it was not said directly to Sanchez. Rep. Sanchez was told about the incident by California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. But Nunez says he had no recollection of the event and Baca responds that the charges against him are untrue.

Hmmmm.

Part of the backdrop for the current controversy is the defeat last fall of U.S. Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY) by Baca for Caucus Chair. That election was viewed by Velasquez and her allies the Sanchez sisters (Loretta and Linda) as fixed in favor of the men.

The tragedy is that the country needs its Latino elected officials to step up and help resolve real national problems (immigration, war and broken urban school systems, etc.). Instead, HCC leaders are playing sexist games and/or members are involved in character assasination.

The dispute raises a question about the advisability of using public funds for what is a partisan Latino political group.