UPDATE: This one is developing rapidly: in addition to running for the Colorado legislature as a Republican in 2010, Edgar Antillon, according to sources, currently serves as the Adams County chair of the Romney campaign’s Latino outreach effort Juntos con Romney! Neither of these seemingly very important facts made it into Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story below, which bills Antillon only as “a manager at a Denver security firm” upset about immigration.
Short of a very good explanation, this story looks pretty seriously misrepresented.
We were greatly amused to read this story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s James O’Toole, writing Sunday about the aftermath of recent presidential campaigning in this state–specifically, efforts by Mitt Romney’s campaign to “court swing voters in Colorado.”
Mike Melanson, a political consultant and former executive director of the state Democratic Party, said Mr. Romney added to his challenge in the state’s Hispanic community with the tough line on immigration he took on the way to winning the nomination.
Nationally, surveys show that Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney by the daunting margin of 70 percent to 30 percent. But Mr. Melanson cautioned that there is no such thing as a monolithic Hispanic vote.
Edgar Antillon, a manager at a Denver security firm, proves his point. [Pols emphasis] Mr. Antillon was among those cheering [Sen. Marco Rubio] at the Romney rally. He criticized Mr. Obama for failing to follow through on his 2008 pledge to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Mr. Antillon, whose parents emigrated from Mexico three decades ago, acknowledged that the president retained strong support in the Mexican-American community.
“For us growing up, it was ingrained in you that the Democrats were for the poor, the minorities; the Republicans for the rich, for the whites,” he said. “It’s hard to get beyond those stereotypes.”
But he said the state of the economy was changing attitudes. “The No. 1 issue used to be immigration, but not so much this election,” he said. “Now, the No. 1 issue for Hispanics is jobs.”
Not that we wanted to clutter up Mr. O’Toole’s story, but we’re obligated to note the Edgar Antillon interviewed here, portrayed as some kind of disaffected Latino voter upset about immigration reform, was in fact the Republican candidate for Colorado House District 35 in 2010 running against incumbent Cherilyn Peniston. Antillon was one of a number of legislative candidates we discussed as part of the 2010 “crooks and criminals” expose, including arrests on two counts of felony impersonation in 2004, and over a dozen failure-to-appear charges for missing court dates. And as you may recall, Antillon drew special attention for a series of Youtube videos he filmed under the pseudonym “Juan a Be the Luchador,” which consisted of Antillon firing off various assault weapons while wearing a Mexican wrestling mask (right).
Bottom line: it’s not the first time a ringer has posed as a “concerned citizen.” There are examples on all sides of this, from Obama’s “former Republicans” in ads to “Democrats for Romney.” We’re not going to assert one side is really worse than the other.
But “Juan a Be the Luchador,” a memorable former GOP candidate, is an extra bad ringer.