From the Associated Press today:
"During the spring protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets, Hispanic immigrants chanted a promise and a threat to politicians: 'Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote.'
So far, however, there is no indication that such a potent political legacy is developing.
An Associated Press review of voter registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other major urban areas that saw large rallies shows no sign of a historic new voter boom that could sway elections.
For this story, the AP reviewed new registration numbers in metropolitan areas over several years. The areas included Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Chicago; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Dallas and Houston; Atlanta; Denver; and Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Fla. The time frames included both January-through-July periods dating to 2004, as well as periods before statewide elections, when registration efforts are most intense."
"Half a million marchers took to the streets one Sunday last spring, with former city council member and state Representative Domingo Garcia running along out front like a drum major (which is why I privately think of the march as Domingo Domingo). Afterward, Garcia held a press conference at Dallas City Hall in which he said that 10,000 new Latino voters had been signed up during Domingo Domingo. Wow! If only that was the real number. What was it? That's after the jump.
Two weeks later, Lena Levario, the lawyer who ran the voter registration project during the march, said the number was closer to 600. Levario is a straight shooter. She's one of the lawyers who helped the city clean up the narcotics department after the fake drugs scandal three years ago.
Two weeks ago Dallas County Elections Director Bruce Sherbet told me ruefully that after scouring the books for newly registered Hispanic surnames, he'd be hard pressed to come up with 500 new registrations attributable to Domingo Domingo. Sherbet's another straight arrow: With no dog in the hunt politics-wise, he sees his job as getting every willing and eligible voter signed up and voting."
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Told ya so. Oh, sorry. --Robert Wilonsky