On August 20, Mario Rodriguez was all smiles as he sat to the literal right of Donald Trump during the Republican presidential candidate's inaugural meeting with his much-vaunted Hispanic Advisory Council. The head of the Hispanic 100, the OC PAC tasked with getting more Latinos to vote GOP, was the only Californian at the table—a hell of an accomplishment, and one that the notoriously fame-loving Rodriguez was all but too eager to claim for himself.
But ever since, Rodriguez hasn't uttered a word explaining his hypocritical support (last year, he co-signed a letter vowing to never vote Trump) as other members of Trump's beaner brigade have rescinded their love after Cheeto Dick's venomous anti-immigrant speech last week. Not even the Orange County Register's Martin Wisckol, who has long penned sympathetic stories on Rodriguez and his Hispanic 100, could get a comment for his story on the controversy, having to write that the San Clemente businessman "did not return calls for comment." ¿Que pasa?
Full-scale revolt with his Latino conservatives, that's what que pasa. Sources tell the Weekly that many of Rodriguez's associates and members of the Hispanic 100 are aghast at his pro-Trump stance, arguing he's putting the final nail in the OC GOP's Latino-outreach coffin.
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"Here we are, putting all this money and effort into getting more Hispanics in Orange County to register with the Republican Party," says one Hispanic 100 member who requested anonymity. "Then Mario messes it all up by announcing he's going for Trump. We all hate Hillary, yeah. But Trump is toxic. Mario just made us a laughingstock."
As I reported earlier, "two other Hispanic 100 board members (former Assemblymember Bob Pacheco and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin) have publicly announced they're not supporting Trump, with Marin going so far as to endorse Hillary Clinton." I'm sure that's making for interesting board meetings as the Hispanic 100 plans for its upcoming annual fundraiser. What major Southern California companies want to be associated with the taint of Rodriguez's endorsement? We'll be watching...