GOP Hispanic Outreach Honcho Turns Democrat

Pablo Pantoja slams Republican 'intolerance'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 14, 2013 8:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – In 2012, Pablo Pantoja headed the Republican National Committee's Hispanic outreach work in Florida; now, the Puerto Rican native is becoming a Democrat, the Tampa Bay Times reports. He explains his reasons for the switch in an email slamming "the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today." The email zeroes in on the party's stance on immigration and calls to attention the controversial researcher who contributed to a new immigration study for the Heritage Foundation, the Atlantic Wire notes.

That author was Jason Richwine, who has since been revealed to have in 2009 written that "no one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites." And that's not the only immigration-themed research "padded with ... racist and eugenics-based innuendo," Pantoja writes. "Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn't take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance." His email first appeared on a friend's blog, but now the state Democratic Party is distributing it—as is the Democratic National Committee, the Miami Herald notes. Read the full email here.

In this Oct. 26, 2012, file photo, Spanish language election campaign signs promoting President Barack Obama hang on the windows at Lechonera El Barrio Restaurant in Orlando, Fla.
In this Oct. 26, 2012, file photo, Spanish language election campaign signs promoting President Barack Obama hang on the windows at Lechonera El Barrio Restaurant in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/Julie Fletcher)
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