The Republican National Committee says Eva Longoria and her colleagues at The Latino Victory Project -- a group with the mission of "building political power within the Latino community" -- are lying to voters when they call the group non-partisan.
In a letter posted online, the RNC’s Hispanic Communications Director Izzy Santa suggested that the leadership of The Latino Victory Project, including Longoria, should “just be honest and tell the rest of the country your priority isn’t Latinos; your priority is the Democratic Party.”
While noting that Longoria -- the group’s co-founder -- is also a former Obama campaign co-chair, the RNC attacked her for comments she made in a recent interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “Eva, when Jorge Ramos interviewed you, you named off a number of Latino candidates the group would support … You failed to name a single Republican.”
Santa says Longoria should have pointed out the leadership of Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
The RNC’s letter also attacked Latino Victory Project President, Cristóbal Alex, for his past employment with George Soros and the group’s other co-founder, Henry Muñoz III, because he is a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.
“Henry,” Santa writes in her RNC letter, “when you appeared on MSNBC to discuss the Latino Victory Project, you did so in front of a Democratic National Committee backdrop. Yes, you are the DNC’s Finance Chair, but you couldn’t set aside the partisanship to promote a ‘non-partisan’ organization?”
In a statement to msnbc, Latino Victory Project President Cristóbal Alex spoke out in defense of Longoria, saying she is merely working to empower fellow Latinos. Alex also noted that only he and active board members make the group's political decisions -- not Longoria or Muñoz. "Had the RNC asked us for information that describes ... how our daily operations are handled," he said, "we would gladly share that information with them and other interested parties."
Alex questioned whether the RNC is serious about its outreach to Latino voters, asking why the party's leadership isn't "doing everything they can to promote opportunities for the Latino community and work with the Latino Victory Project?”
So far, The Latino Victory Project has supported only Democratic candidates. Alex said, "We’re saddened that the RNC has yet to reach out to see how we can best work together, preferring to issue statements and talking points from the sidelines."
Eleven million Hispanic voters went to the polls in the 2012 elections. But only 28 of the 435 Representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives are Latino, 19 men and nine women. In the Senate, there are three Cuban-American senators -- the aforementioned Rubio and Cruz, along with Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.