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Black, Hispanic Conservatives Bailing Out of GOP

In his L.A. Times article "Latino and Black Voters Reassessing Ties to GOP," Peter Wallsten reports on the exodus of African American and Hispanic conservative voters from the G.O.P. According to Wallsten, a growing number of leaders in both constituencies have articulated a sense of being taken for granted by Republican leaders. With respect to African American conservatives:

Complaints among black pastors who had been courted by the White House while less pronounced than those of Latino leaders have been fueled by a tell-all book by former White House aide David Kuo. The new book says that Bush, referring to pastors from one major African American denomination, once griped: "Money. All these guys care about is money. They want money."

...The Rev. Eugene Rivers, a Boston Pentecostal minister and one of about two dozen black clergy invited to a series of White House meetings with Bush, said Friday that black leaders had been wooed with assurances that their social service groups would receive money from the president's faith-based initiative. But, Rivers said, the bulk of the money had gone to white organizations, leaving black churches on the sidelines.

The GOP's rift is also widening with Latino conservatives, who are disturbed by the Republicans' mixed messages on immigration and who share the Black conservatives' concern about the GOP's ethics problems and the Foley cover-up:

A survey released this month by the Latino Coalition found Latino registered voters supporting Democrats over Republicans 56% to 19% in congressional elections. "If Republicans nationally get 25% of the Hispanic vote, it would be a miracle," said Robert de Posada, the coalition president...

The Latino backlash has grown so intense that one prominent, typically pro-Republican organization, the Latino Coalition, has endorsed Democrats in competitive races this year in Tennessee, Nebraska and New Jersey....The Latino Coalition, for example, has endorsed the presumed Democratic presidential front-runner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), in her reelection bid this year.

The aforementioned Kuo book, "Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction," has alienated white conservatives as well, with its depiction of top White House aides "embracing religious conservatives in public while calling them "nuts" behind their backs."