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Another non-profit founded by him, Citizens in Action (CIA), received more than $105,000 from a contracting firm that received a no-bid school construction contract, which it bungled. CIA paid a $639,000 fine for improperly hiding HMN assets from the federal government.
Earlier this year the Orange County Register reported that CIA lost $523,000 between 1998 and 2003 while renting out space to Lopez’s groups — HMN and his school board election committee. When CIA demanded back rent, Lopez’s allies, including his wife, seized control of the organization’s board.
HMN also registered 364 non-citizens to vote in the 1996 congressional race in which Democrat Loretta Sanchez defeated incumbent Republican Bob Dornan. The investigation fizzled out when it became evident that Sanchez’s narrow margin exceeded the HMN-induced invalid votes.
In 2003 Lopez was recalled by 70 percent of local voters, in a campaign led by working class Latinos. He lost every precinct, even those dominated by Hispanics in a city where three-quarters of the residents speak Spanish. The number of children in Spanish-language classes has since fallen dramatically, as Hispanic children prosper while being taught in English.
Naturally, he blamed everyone but himself for his defeat. However, the people he claimed to be representing were more interested in educating their children than scoring ethnic points. The election, noted Greenhut, was “about future opportunities for immigrant children,” which Lopez’s policies were not providing.
The collapse of his political ambitions did not change him. He compared the recent proposal for specially marked driver’s licenses for illegal aliens to treating Hispanics like Jews in Nazi Germany. He previously deployed similarly inflammatory rhetoric against use of the term illegal alien.
He opposes measures to allow workers to control how their unions spend their dues, especially on partisan politics. Stranger was his recent opposition to a bill, introduced by Mexican-American State Sen. Nell Soto, to make cock-fighting a felony.
Lopez argued that the “sport” was culturally ingrained in Latinos, reinforcing the worst ethnic stereotypes. Sen. Soto complained that his stand “is an insult to the law-abiding Mexican-Americans and Latinos who are repulsed by such barbaric — and illegal — activities.”
His organizations still seem to have trouble following the law. Both the IRS and California attorney general are after HML for failing to file proper forms and pay necessary fees.
Moreover, county, state, and federal governments have filed numerous tax liens against his groups; several are still pending, the most recent of which was filed in January. It isn’t just conservatives who question the activities of Nativo & Co.; Public Interest Watch has urged the state Attorney General to investigate HMN for allegedly abusing its tax-exempt status.
His latest incarnation appears to be critic of lending practices directed at Latinos, charging discrimination. Yet he’s promoting ethnic-based lending through HML, which has formed a “strategic alliance” with American National Mortgage.
There’s actually nothing wrong with attempting to increase home ownership among Hispanics. Except when you seem to be violating the very same Fair Housing Law — which bars mortgage lending as well as property rentals and sales based on “race, color, national origin,” and other factors — which you use to attack other lenders, which are now effectively your competitors.
Given this history, Lopez’s support for the redistricting initiative comes as a shock. Has he turned over a new leaf, supporting good government for its own sake?
Unlikely. He recently joined a rally attacking all four of the Schwarzenegger initiatives because of the governor’s veto of a bill providing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Lopez may share with Gov. Schwarzenegger an interest in up-ending the political establishment. But Lopez has yet to exchange his ethnic hustle for honest politics.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?