3.02.2007

A Dysfunctional Hispanic Congressional Caucus Missing in Action

It is so troubling to see that when the U.S. Latino population most needs focused and effective political leaders, we see yet more evidence of the opposite among our congressional representatives.

The Hispanic Congressional Caucus (HCC)is in the throes of yet another leadership crisis as a block of members try to oust the group’s recently elected chairman of the group, U.S. Rep. Joe Baca.

The HCC is an association of Latino Democrats elected to the U.S. Congress.

Last month, the HCC was embroiled in a drama involving accusations of sexism, incompetence and political chicanery--and this week the prime agenda item is a coup attempt.

In the meanwhile, issues of major importance to the Latino community and the country—immigration reform, educational opportunity, health coverage, and the Iraq War—are left to others to decide.

From what I can tell, Joe Baca should do the right thing and step down. After all, HCC is a caucus of some 25 members. How can it possibly do its work if a portion of the members have absolutely no confidence in Baca?

Photo is of U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (Dem-San Bernadino, California).