The Gang of Eight Immigration Reform (G8) bill is in full-throated national debate.

Breitbart trumpets, “The Wheels Are Coming Off the Bill” while shrieking about “Marco-Phones.” Mark Levin is thumbs down after interviewing Marco Rubio.  Ann Coulter calls Rubio a “liar.” Sessions shouts at Schumer in a hearing.  Ted Cruz, taking on Rubio mano a mano for 2016, insults Feinstein and plays gotcha with DHS head Napolitano. Today, Cruz released the trial balloons.

But Rand Paul— against a new pathway— supports broad reform while Paul Ryan champions the bill (both on the 2016 short list), the Cato Institute supports and Orrin Hatch came out thumbs up, Grover Norquist is a cheerleader and Sean Hannity says, “create a pathway.”  The national GOP is divided, but the bill may stall in the Tea Party House.

With all the noisy national debate, CA Republicans are mostly silent on G8.  Given the stakes, one might ask … Why???

TARGETING CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS:  In 2012, Democrats targeted California slaughtering GOP veterans Lundgren, Bilbray and Bono-Mack while Gallegly, Drier, and Lewis retired “because of redistricting” and Maldonado, Strickland, Vann and Gill all lost to Dems in competitive seats.

In 2014, the Democrats plan a new attack on vulnerable GOP congressmen.  The GOP has created an incumbent protection “Patriot Program” to save Miller, Denham and Valadao, among others.  California is the state where Obama-Pelosi-Reid hope to pick up the lions share of a new, Democratic congress.

Embarrassing for the CA GOP?  You betcha!

A SCORECARD ON G8:  Here’s a scorecard of the CA GOP House members re: G8 organized by Latino CVAP (Citizen Voting Age Population) AKA Latinos-eligible-to-vote with the most challenged electeds first.  In Part Two we’ll consider what it all means.

Vague G8-Targeted: David Valadao (R-Kings) has a huge demographic challenge.  A Portuguese first term congressman, his district is 49% Latino CVAP with a 15% Dem registration advantage, yet with the Dems disorganized he won in 2012 and may squeak by in 2014.   In a YouTube interview, Valadao fielded immigration questions in nervous Spanish saying in effect, “I’m a rancher.  Ag workers are my only dog in the fight,” while ducking on a pathway.  Valadao is on the Dem hit list and the Rep save list.

Vague G8-Targeted: Gary Miller (R-San Bernardino) is in a demographic pickle.  His district is 34% Latino CVAP with a 7% Dem registration advantage.  Miller—64 years old– won in 2012 when the Dems split the primary 4 ways against his GOP challenger.  Democrats see Miller as low hanging fruit in 2014.  He cosponsored the 2011 Leave Act but lately is meeting with Latino activist groups and making vague immigration reform noises.  Miller is on the Dem hit list and the Rep save list.

Pro G8-Vocal:  Devin Nunes (R-Fresno) is pro reform including a pathway.  He says, “a comprehensive approach is necessary… It’s about fixing the existing programs… [dealing] with children brought here under no fault of their own… with people here who are here just to find work… [but America needs] the border… secured.”  Nunes is a smart, articulate, made Time Magazine 40 Under 40 list has his own blog and writes books.  He’s such a stellar candidate the Dems are not targeting him.  His district is 29.8% Latino CVAP.

Vague G8-Muted: Ken Calvert (R-Corona) has a rep for ethics issues here and here but didn’t make much money on his questionable real estate deals.  Calvert sponsored E-Verify in the 1980s and is happy it’s part of G8.  A past anti-immigration hard liner he opined recently “We’re not an anti-immigrant party, we need to convey that,” and said the DREAM Act is “open for discussion.”  His district is 25% Latino CVAP.

Vague G8-Targeted: Jeff Denham (R-Stanislaus) is an attractive GOP candidate with a small Democrat registration lead but his district is 24.8% Latino CVAP.  That’s why Denham recently held a “listening forum” where he addressed 1,500 people in Spanish (with Tea Partiers yelling, “Speak English!”).  His wife is Hispanic and his manager Dave Gilliard says in effect, “No problemo.”  But Denham is on the Dem hit list and the Rep save list.

Anti G8-Muted: Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) in 2011 sponsored “legislation very similar to the controversial… Arizona… S.B.1070.”  His congressional website says, “As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, I believe that when it comes to immigration policy, national security should be our main priority.” His district is 23% Latino CVAP.

Pro G8-Vocal: Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, Majority Whip) says, “its wrong to pass policy for political reasons,” but that immigration needs fixing.  McCarthy is critical to G8 passing but isn’t able to crack his whip to get the GOP House to agree.  There’s no Frank Underwood knuckle breaking.  Without earmarks he’s “more of a camp counselor and… startup founder.” But he thinks he can pass a bill.  His district is 22.8% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Muted: Buck McKeon (R-Clarita, Palmdale) is a military-industrial congressman.  He co-chairs the House UAV caucus whose Predator drones will patrol the border under G8.  McKeon likes expensive hardware but is an immigration hard liner, see here, here and hereHis district is 22.5% Latino CVAP.

Vague G8-Muted: Paul Cook (R-High Desert) says on his campaign website, “Ours is a nation of laws. I am opposed to illegal immigration.” But he was endorsed by Café Con Leche Republicans and after a prayer vigil by Catholic clergy said he would “have an ongoing dialogue.”  His district is 21.9% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Muted: Duncan D. Hunter (R-East San Diego) called for deporting the children of illegals at a 2010 Tea Party rally saying, “We just can’t afford it.”  He doubled down in 2011 with H.R. 1091 to build more border fences (his father built some in SD) and in 2012 proposed a bill to take Federal police grants away from CA if Brown passed drivers licenses for illegals.   He is for border security, law enforcement and E-Verify.  His district is 15.8% Latino CVAP.

Pro G8-Vocal:  Darrell Issa (R-Carlsbad) is a House GOP leader on G8.  His March 4 op-ed details a sane, principled approach critical of the Obama left but supportive of Rubio, including a pathway.  “Neither blanket amnesty nor blanket deportation is the solution,” he says.  He wants border security, national interest tests on who gets in, removal of criminals and welfare users and a guest worker program.  His district is 14.4% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Vocal:  Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Huntington Beach) a stalwart critic of illegal immigration in 2011 authored HR 787 the “No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act” and in 2004 a bill to refuse emergency rooms to illegals.  He plays original patriot songs accompanying himself on a black acoustic guitar at Tea Party rallies and was recently accused of making an undocumented Latina student cry.  In April, he asked Senator Rubio to fix the G8 “birth tourism” problem.  His district is 11.5% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Silent: John Campbell (R-Irvine) is a hardliner on immigration.  His website says, “I strongly and firmly oppose amnesty.” He is pro E-Verify and cosponsored the Leave Act.  He has said nothing yet on G8.  His district is 11.8% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Vocal:  Tom McClintock (R-Foothills) is an anti-immigrant gunslinger.  In 2010 he blasted Mexican President Calderon for lecturing the US Congress on immigration.  Recently he said, “There is a path to citizenship… our laws.”  His district is 7.4% Latino CVAP.

Anti G8-Muted: Doug LaMalfa (R-Northern CA) spoke recently against DHS “releasing convicted criminals.”  As a 2005 CA legislator, he cosponsored ACA 20  to “require the California Border Police to assist the federal government in enforcing the Immigration laws of the US” in “emergencies.”  He wants ag workers and “a fence with a gate.”  His district is 6.7% Latino CVAP.