Republican candidate for Illinois governor, Bill Brady, to share stage with local Tea Party and Minuteman leaders

Chicago immigrant rights activists and religious leaders are upset that the Republican candidate for Illinois governor, state Sen. Bill Brady, and other Republican politicians are scheduled to share the stage Saturday with a woman who is the founder of the Illinois Minuteman Project and has made controversial comments about immigrants, Catholics and Muslims.

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Rosanna Pulido

Rosanna Pulido, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress, is scheduled to speak at a Tea Party rally in Bartlett this afternoon hosted by the Tri-Count-Teas. They also have invited Republican politicians, including state Sen. Randy Hultgren, a candidate for Congress in the 14th District , Angel Garcia, a candidate for Cook County Clerk, and Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica. The Tri-Count-Teas posted a list of invited candidates on a press release at Trib Local.

Pulido has made controversial statements including blaming Catholic Cardinal Francis George for immigration.

"Cardinal George is responsible for every illegal immigrant who dies while crossing the border coming over here because he is luring them," Pulido told ABC7 in March 2009.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has links to more of her controversial statements on their Web site. Immigrant rights activists and religious leaders accused Pulido of fomenting hate speech in comments she has made under the user name Chicago Lady on FreeRepublic.com.

In my opinion, Pulido is an anti-immigrant activist and it's ironic because she is also Latina.
If mainstream politicians decide to share the stage with her, they only legitimize her viewpoints and risk being associated with them. Illinois Republicans should also be careful about jumping on the conservative Tea Party bandwagon.

The Tea Party has struggled with accusations of having racist elements within their movement. We saw what happened with the expulsion of Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams after he wrote a controversial letter from "the Colored People" to President Lincoln.
The local Tea Party activists open themselves up to more criticism by including someone who is anti-immigrant like Pulido on their stage.

I think Brady and other politicians should not share the stage with anybody associated with the Minuteman group. In border states, Minutemen have formed mini-militias to patrol for undocumented immigrants. Some of them identify as neo-Nazis, according to a recent article in Salon that cites the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Illinois is far from the border but we are impacted by immigration. Our politicians should not exploit this issue. By jumping on the stage with people who are against immigration reform they risk alienating Latino voters and people who believe in tolerance.

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  • The tea party is so diffuse it is difficult to discern if it has a "racist" agenda. It certainly attracts people who can be called virulently racist and anti-immigrant. Perhaps this can be understood as a consequence of the one agenda item the tea party has in abundance--anger. The tea party promotes anger--anger against "the government", "illegal immigration", "leftists", and etc. Because the tea party calls itself a "party", even if it has no formal party structure, all kinds of mad zealots can come in under its identification and be confirmed in their madness. Does this seem silly? To someone sitting in the parlor in Winnetka it may seem silly--but it isn't. Go to Nevada--Sparks, Elko, Jarbidge, Cherry Creek,. Jackpot--and listen to the survivalist types in the bars and campgrounds who call themselves "tea party" believers who are arming to the teeth to "take the country back". They were fringe nuts a couple of years ago; now they have a party label. So far all of these "angry" people don't have a leader to focus their anger on an objective. One is, sooner or later, bound to appear.

  • Teresa, your bias is showing. Isolating and attacking doesn't work any more. And the race card has been played so many times that everyone ignores it.
    Illegal aliens have had a huge impact in towns like Elgin, Aurora, C'Ville, Hanover Park, Rolling Meadows, Streamwood...
    Voters can spot pandering (as shown by Bill Brady) and will hold politicians accountable.
    The event Saturday was a chance for candidates to talk about taxation, indebtedness, corruption, healthcare reform, the role and scope of government, and yes...immigration.
    Pulido played a bit part in the events of the day and her message was a good one: Be sure you know the voting record of a candidate before you go to the polls.
    You've got a problem with that?

  • I think its hypocritical that politicians like Tony Peraica who clearly writes on his facebook page..."A true American success story, Tony Peraica was born in Croatia in 1957, and was orphaned at the age of 11", can be a product and success of the American dream but yet shares a stage and political platform with someone who denounces the pursuit of that dream for current immigrants. It's sad that when immigrants were benefiting those in power they were seen as an asset to our country but now that we are in dire straits many of these new political ideologies and groups have used them as a explanation for the problems we have today.

  • Uh, moderate...
    There is a fundamental difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien. Please don't mix the two.
    I fully support those who are here legally. I also support the principle of assylum.
    I do not support the open borders mentality which is the backbone of the present reform debate.
    If you disregard our laws to live here I will not stand behind you.

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