Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Tom Tancredo offers his own Colorado Compact on Immigration Fairness

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In response to the December 9 announcement of the Colorado Compact -- which was signed by 87 public leaders, elected officials and civic organizations, with more joining since -- Tancredo sent out this e-mail missive:

Does the GOP have a death wish?

Whenever a political party experiences a crushing defeat, especially in an election where all indicators were pointing toward a win, finger pointing and scapegoating naturally tend to ensue.

Unfortunately, this behavior only intensifies the decades-old conflict between "conservatives" and "moderates" within the Republican Party. One such battle within that conflict revolves around the issue of immigration. We are told that if the Party would just adopt a "softer tone" and give in on the push for amnesty, we would garner the vote of Hispanic Americans. Heeding this admonition, several well-known Colorado Republicans have already signed onto something called The Colorado Compact. This "Compact," spearheaded by Democrat Senator Michael Bennet, is nothing more than a compilation of platitudes and weasel words designed to garner support for Amnesty.

As you know, I have some strong feelings on the topic of amnesty and have some perhaps surprising and enlightening information I would like to share with you and your organization. I think you will be surprised at what research has shown about the "Hispanic vote."

It is important that we work together on this very critical issue. I would enjoy and very much appreciate the opportunity to speak at one of your group's upcoming meetings. If you have an interest, please reply to this e-mail, indicating your organization's name, location and a specific date(s) and time(s) that will work for you. My staff will contact you to work out scheduling details. If time will allow, I would also be happy to debate the issue.

Please feel free to share this with others. I look forward to meeting with as people as possible.


Tom Tancredo

And how many people have contacted Tancredo in response? "Exactly one," he told me Tuesday, and laughed. He did have a chat with Ken Buck, who called Tancredo when the former Republican Senate candidate (he lost to Bennet) signed on to the Colorado Compact.

His advice for any Republican looking at the Colorado Compact? "Do anything you want," Tancredo says. "I'm telling you you will not grt a single vote on it."

Whether Republicans support amnesty, support the Dream Act, "as Hispanics progress, they do not shift their support to Republicans," Tancredo points out. "The Republican Party is demographically on life support."

In Colorado, Republican candidate Dan Maes barely won 10 percent of the vote in his 2010 run for governor. (If he'd fallen below 10 percent, Republicans would have lost their major-party status in this state.) In contrast, Tancredo got over 36 percent of the vote as the American Constitution Party candidate. And John Hickenlooper, of course, occupies the Governor's Office today.

Tancredo, who ran for president two years earlier just so he could get people talking about immigration, isn't afraid to take on other controversial topics. He supported Amendment 64, for example. But immigration is still the issue on which he stakes his flag. The Colorado Compact is "all platitudes and bullshit," he says, "almost word for word taken from one in Utah."

So he's done his own version of the Colorado Compact for Immigration Fairness; keep reading to see it.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun