What is Farmworkers Union Hiding From? 

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

United Farmworkers Union (UFW) president Arturo Rodriguez recently sent a letter to several agricultural organizations, elected officials, and water groups intended to bully the recipients into supporting an effort to disbar an attorney in a closely watched labor case, Jose Arias v. Anthony Raimondo. The letter made several unproven allegations about events surrounding the deportation of a dairy worker. After […]

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Gloves Come Off as a Rude and Loud Minority Seeks to Stifle Open Democratic Discourse

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

Whether one is speaking of First Amendment-protected speech on university and college campuses or efforts of elected congressional representatives to conduct dialogues with their constituents, America has become messy indeed. While we weren’t looking, groups were organizing to take away our most fundamental civil liberties. Organized and paid political activists mingle among honest citizens seeking […]

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California Democrats Sanctuary Includes Violent Criminals

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) have been clear that they oppose California allowing the state or its sanctuary cities from cooperating with immigration officials unless the individual committed a violent crime. Under California law, throwing acid at someone or rape of an unconscious, intoxicated or […]

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Send Trump California’s Gang Database: A Holiday Gift with a Giant Red Bow

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

On January 20, 2017, when President-elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office, California officials should present him a delayed holiday present: The gift of our state database of 150,000 known gang members and their affiliates. Although the California State Auditor has found dozens of instances of inaccurate and questionable information in the Gang database, […]

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Planned Parenthood Controversy Deserves More Than a Reprimand

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

You couldn’t pick up a newspaper, channel surf television, or visit social media sites without tripping over the latest Planned Parenthood scandal this past week. In clandestine videos, you saw Planned Parenthood officials haggling over fetal organs and suggesting to ask their surgeons to use procedures that were “less crunchy” in order to keep the […]

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Who Said Life Would be Easy?

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

Enough already with this Occupy Wall Street nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, every month I write that check for my underwater mortgage, pay the car insurance and deal with other necessities, I dream up a million other ways on how to spend that money.  While I might not like writing those checks, I sure do […]

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Hispanic Voters Have a Choice; GOP Campaigns Don’t

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

As the Republican presidential campaigns begin to take shape and the political community gets its first glimpse of new redistricting maps, one of the most frequent questions I get from reporters, consultants, and independent expenditure groups is this: What is the absolute cut-off date to begin a Hispanic program? If you really have to ask, […]

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OK Governor Brown, Let The Voters Really Decide

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

For the past few months, Governor Jerry Brown and his Senate and Assembly Democratic leaders have been speaking off the same song sheet – “it would be ‘unconscionable’ to not let California voters decide the direction of the state.” Shouldn’t it also be “unconscionable” for the Democratic leadership to only have California voters decide on taxes and issues these legislators care about?

Well, I say, let the voters decide.

Let the voters decide whether $500 billion in unfunded pension liability is too much of a burden for our state.

Let the voters decide whether California should have a spending cap.

Let the voters decide whether newly hired state workers should be moved into a 401(k) type retirement plan.

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“I’m From The Government, And I’m Here To Help”

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

(click to view full size)(click to view full size)I am not here to defend the City of Vernon.  They have enough people handling this for
them and the issues has already drawn enough of its own attention.  Nevertheless, the issues with Vernon are
representative of other issues with Sacramento that deserve attention.  How can any rational person look straight
into the camera and say with a straight face that handing over Vernon to the
County of Los Angeles won’t have a negative economic impact on the 50,000 jobs
and the families that depend on them?

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Democrats’ California Dream Act is Just An Act

Hector Barajas
Hector Barajas is a partner at Merino, Barajas & Allen, a California strategic communications and public affairs firm.

For years the Democratic Party has burnished its reputation and built its support among Latinos on a foundation of empty words, broken promises and false intentions. They repeatedly claim to champion causes and to address issues important to Latinos, yet their actions invariably have been ineffective, often raising false hopes with significant negative impacts. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo’s reintroduction of the California Dream Act (AB 130, 131) represents exactly that type of political posturing.

The California Dream Act does not in any way impact a person’s legal status. It does not provide legalization nor will it provide a pathway for legalization. What is does provide is fee waivers, Cal Grants, and other financial aid programs to undocumented students, at a cost $190 million over the next five years.

I have known Assemblyman Cedillo for nearly a decade. He has been my state Assemblyman, Senator, and is now once again my Assemblyman. We have sat together on the same flights between Sacramento and Los Angeles, and we’ve sat opposite each other on television to debate economic, educational, and immigration issues. I don’t question his overall passion, commitment, or desire to be constructive. However, I do question whether introducing legislation that cost us $190 million, at a time when our higher education system is forced to cut classes, turning away thousands of eligible students, increase fees, and is now facing a billion dollars in cuts, is economically prudent.

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