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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Service Employees International Union released a new series of Spanish-language ads hammering Republican congressional candidates on Tuesday, in an effort to make the GOP pay for its refusal to support comprehensive immigration reform.

The SEIU released four versions of an ad titled “Dichos,” which means “proverbs” in Spanish. The ads will target Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Heck (R-NV), David Valadao (R-CA), and the GOP as a a whole. They will air for the next two weeks.

The national version of the ad can be seen below:

“The actions of Republicans in Congress remind me of my grandma’s saying: ‘Tell me who you’re with, and I’ll tell you who you are,'” the ad’s narrator says in Spanish. “Why? Because Republicans again and again insult our community, and blocked immigration reform.”

“And the worst: They have voted against our future and our DREAMers,” she continues. “This November, we must go to the polls and vote against Republicans.”

Each of the ads’ four targets was initially seen as a potential supporter of the Senate’s immigration reform bill, on which Republican leadership in the House has refused to hold a vote. According to SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz, they should all be held responsible for their party’s actions.

“The excuses, the blatant anti-immigrant rhetoric and their unwillingness to vote for immigration reform have made it abundantly clear to us all that Republicans are not interested in creating inroads or addressing the concerns of the Latino and immigrant community,” Saenz said in a statement. “Republicans cannot hide behind irrational pretexts or lawsuits–we’re calling them out on the most important issue for the fastest-growing electorate in our country.”

“Congressmen Coffman, Gardner, Valadao and Heck are all part of a Republican Party that must face a large constituency of Latino voters and be held accountable to their party’s consistent catering to anti-immigrant extremists,” she added.

Rep. Coffman may be the most vulnerable to attacks against his record on immigration reform. He is the Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado, where Hispanic voters will likely make up more than 10 percent of the electorate in November, and Democrats are eager to remind voters of his record on immigration issues. Gardner’s 2013 vote in favor of an amendment from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), which would have prevented President Obama from deprioritizing the deportation of DREAMers, is of particular interest to Democrats. It’s no coincidence that King — who infamously claimed that for every DREAMer who’s a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert” — appears alongside House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in the ad.

Polling suggests that Gardner has his work cut out for him if he hopes to compete among Hispanic voters. According to an NBC News-Marist poll released Tuesday, incumbent Democrat Mark Udall leads Gardner by an overwhelming 58 to 27 percent margin among the crucial voting bloc.

Overall, Senator Udall leads Congressman Gardner 48 to 41 percent in the poll, although other surveys of the race suggest a much tighter contest.

Screenshot: SEIU/YouTube

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