Lamenting that “the number of Latinos elected to public office” in the U.S. is “dangerously low,” Latino Victory (LV) describes itself as “a progressive organization working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.” Toward that end, LV is dedicated to “empowering Latino voters, developing a pipeline of Latino …
Lamenting that “the number of Latinos elected to public office” in the U.S. is “dangerously low,” Latino Victory (LV) describes itself as “a progressive organization working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.” Toward that end, LV is dedicated to “empowering Latino voters, developing a pipeline of Latino donors, and developing Latino candidates” for public office. The organization pursues these objectives through three subsidiary entities: (1) the Latino Victory Fund, a political action committee that “identifies, recruits, and develops” potential candidates; (2) the Latino Victory Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that aims to “raise awareness about Latinos’ contributions to the American society”; and (3) the Latino Victory Project, a 501(c)4 nonprofit that seeks to help “develo[p] the next generation of Latino leaders and shap[e] public discourse in a way that reflects the growing influence of the Latino community.”
One of LV’s key initiatives is its Money In Politics program, which strives to rid the political arena of “the negative impact” of “dark money,” the proliferation of which has allegedly created “a democracy that favors the wealthy” over “Latino candidates” who often “are outspent and outmatched.”
LV was co-founded in May 2014 by the popular television/film actress Eva Longoria and the businessman/designer Henry R. Muñoz III, the latter of whom co-founded TheDream.US, a national scholarship foundation for young illegal aliens.
LV’s president is Cristóbal J. Alex, a civil-rights lawyer who previously served as a voter outreach/mobilization director for Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 presidential campaign, a staffer with the Ford Foundation and George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations, and a Board member with the League of Conservation Voters and the Environmental Defense Action Fund.
LV’s top officials, Board members, and National Committee members are uniformly leftist and pro-Democrat in their political orientation. Some examples from 2017-18:
- Sara Le Brusq has also worked for the Ford Foundation and for philanthropist George Soros.
- Jorge Silva was the National Director for Hispanic Media in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and had previously headed Hispanic Media Operations for Senate Democrat Harry Reid.
- Monica Garcia has served variously as Senator Dick Durbin‘s National Press Secretary, Senator Harry Reid’s Press Secretary for Hispanic Media, and President Barack Obama‘s National Translation Coordinator.
- Abby Loisel was an organizer for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
- Mayra Macias once worked for U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and for the Florida Democratic Party.
- Megan Nashban was a fundraising manager at Hillary For America (2016).
- Stuart Appelbaum has been a high-ranking official with the AFL-CIO and several other labor unions, and was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Regional Economic Development Committee for New York City.
- Kyle Ferrari-Munoz was a member of Hillary For America’s National Finance Committee in 2016.
- Both Regina Montoya and Cynthia Telles held various positions in the Bill Clinton White House, and are currently Board members with the Mexican American Legal Defense Educational Fund.
- Oscar Ramirez is a longtime Democratic strategist who has worked for party luminaries like Martin O’Malley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama.
- Ross Romero is a Board member with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
- Michael Sawaya spent years supporting the NAACP in an advisory capacity and as counsel.
- Stephanie Valencia is a former Fellow at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
- Imaad Zuberi co-chaired President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee.
- Adrian Saenz served as a Special Assistant and Senior Adviser to President Obama, and as a Senior Adviser at Organizing For Action.
- Melissa Mark-Viverito was Speaker of the New York City Council from 2014-17, and is a close political ally of Bill de Blasio.
- Olac Fuentes has been a fundraiser and finance specialist for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
Among the more noteworthy Democrats whom LV has endorsed for political office in recent years are: Darren Soto, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bob Menendez, Salud Carbajal, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Xavier Becerra, Jimmy Gomez, Nanette Barragan, Lou Correa, and Adriano Espaillat.
In October 2017, LV ran a video ad that depicted Ed Gillespie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, as a man whose views and values were consistent with those of racists and neo-Nazis. Specifically, the ad showed a black pickup truck with a pro-Gillespie bumper sticker, a Confederate flag flapping in the wind, a Tea Party license plate, and a white driver attempting to run down terrified nonwhite children as well as a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. The ad closed with the image of a group of torch-bearing neo-Nazis who had infamously held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia several weeks earlier, with a voice-over that asked: “Is this what [President] Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by The American Dream?” (Click here to view the ad.)
When Republicans and conservatives subsequently condemned the ad, LV President Cristobal J. Alex said: “We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see…. [W]e will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.” In a separate statement, LV vowed: “We will not shy away from calling racism for what it is. Our community deserves champions. That’s why we’re in this fight. We won’t stop.”
In April 2020, LV responded angrily to President Donald Trump’s announcement that — as a means of stopping the spread of the deadly coronavirus epidemic that had killed tens of thousands of Americans already — he would temporarily halt all immigration into the United States. Said LV Executive Director Mayra Macías:
“Trump is once again using his old playbook of scapegoating immigrants to cover up his failures. But we will not be fooled–he’s doing it to distract us from his disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s not taking responsibility for the thousands of lives lost, for the millions of jobs lost, and for the lack of support for our health care workers who are on the frontlines saving lives. No amount of distraction will hide the economic hardships nor the pain of mourning a loved one suffered by millions. Voters will not forget Trump’s callous disregard for their well-being and economic stability when they go to the ballot box in November.”
In a similar spirit, LV used its Twitter account to say: “Trump is doing what he does best: abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and throwing red meat at his base by scapegoating immigrants. Regardless, this is an abhorrent decision.”
Further Reading: “Our Work,” “Money in Politics,” “Our People,” “Our Candidates,” “Past Candidates” (Latino Victory.us); “Latino Group Smears Ed Gillespie in Racist Ad” (Washington Examiner, 10-30-2017).