Latino community forces cancellation of stealth Emmer rally
(Minneapolis)– Oscar Reyes, owner of the Las Mojarras restaurant on Lake Street in the heart of Minneapolis’s Latino community, was pleased to get a reservation for a Saturday morning “business meeting” on October 23.
He was less happy when calls came in from concerned community members asking why a campaign rally for anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Republican gubernatorial Tom Emmer was taking place in his popular business.
In a humiliating blow for the Emmer campaign, Reyes canceled the event and appeared as a guest on the Cara a Cara radio show on La Invasora 1400 to assure the Latino community that he was a victim of an attempt to stage a stealth rally in the Latino neighborhood prior to President Obama’s rally on behalf of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.
The interview with host Alberto Monserrate has been posted online on the Cara a Cara web page and can be downloaded here.
Monserrate said that Reyes asked to be on the show in order to assure the community that he was not supporting Emmer’s campaign. While on air, Reyes said that he didn’t know that the event was part of a political campaign
The radio show host thought the secrecy was unusual, as political organizers are generally upfront with small business owners. “In all of the organizing I’ve observed, those setting up events let businesses know that it’s a campaign-related event because of the potential for customer disapproval. Those organizing this rally appear to have sought a meeting in the Latino community, but failed to tell the Latino small business owner that is was for Emmer.”
Reyes learned of the true nature of the event when calls started coming in after news of the event appeared in the Wednesday, October 20, 2010 “Morning Take,” published by Tunheim Partners public affairs firm; the event was also listed on a local conservative blog. Community organizers and activists spread the word via Facebook and Twitter, and curious activists called Reyes.
Reyes was angered to learn that the event was political and to discover Emmer’s record of supporting anti-immigrant measures like Arizona’s SB1070 bill and anti-Latino measures like an English-only bill, according to Monserrate.
My thoughts: Tom Emmer, you really have sunk to a new low, trying to hold a campaign rally at a privately-owned business without telling that business owner what was going on. By doing so, you are jeopardizing the image of that business without letting the owner decide whether or not he wants to risk losing business over your governor bid. I will safely say, you're the dirtiest candidate for governor I've seen in my lifetime.