Arthur Christopher Schaper
Breitbart.com has become one of the leading voices in the New Media.
While the mainstream media wasted weeks covering the private prejudices of a basketball owner, and the overblown, soap-opera lawsuits which followed, the conservative website exposed the illegal immigrant youth crisis amassing along the Southern Border. While the mainstream media has given a pass to the Obama Administration’s floodgate of scandals, websites like Breitbart have attacked the corruption with an unwavering assiduousness.
Reporters have even written about the Republican surge in New England, where liberal Republican Charlie Baker has polled twice with a slim lead ahead of Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, Still smarting from her 2010 election loss to Scott Brown,
After reading his piece on Charlie Baker, I reached out to Matthew Boyle, and told him to report on Mayor Allan Fung’s gubernatorial run as well. He was enthusiastic and appreciative, because up to recently he was not paying attention to the Rhode Island race. Looking at the statistics and the demographics, there are enough reasons why conservative reports would ignore Rhode Island: small state, almost hidden in New England under Massachusetts and behind Connecticut, with a liberal Democratic legislature in power for over eight years.
Those dynamics may change this year, though, if the national unrest against Democrats hits the Ocean State. Other local activists in Rhode Island have signaled to me the importance of national attention on this race. In a deep blue state, when a Republican gubernatorial candidate is running neck-and-neck with a Rhodes Scholar pension reformer, party heads should turn.
Boyle’s latest piece, however, contained one error:
In Rhode Island, Cranston's GOP mayor Allan Fung is running slightly less aggressively than Baker or Brown on the issue of immigration, saying that he supports driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. But he has made clear that he opposes the efforts of the administration to use Rhode Island as a spot to place illegal aliens as part of the border crisis, and according to some recent polling datais within striking distance of Democratic nominee state treasurer Gina Raimondo. Rasmussen's latest survey had him just seven points back—a pretty impressive feat for a Republican in a state as blue as Rhode Island.
The statement that Fung supports driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is untrue. In fact, he and his former primary challenger Ken Block are on record opposing the policy:
Block and Fung said they would advocate for immigration reform on the federal level and indicated they oppose driver’s licenses for undocumented residents. They each pledged to restore the state’s use of eVerify background checks for state employees, a program that Chafee abolished on his first day in office in 2011.
Part of the reason politicians left and right should champion this stance against illegal immigration is as a nation of laws, every person living here legally should have access to these privileges, simple enough, but not those who have entered the country illegally. Allowing law-breakers any legal privilege, like driving on American streets, only enables more illegal immigration.
Unfortunately, some Republicans are caving in on this issue, like California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari. While explaining that compassion and open borders would not solve the illegal immigrant youth crisis, he still supports drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.
"They can’t stay here, but while they are here, they can still drive."
Confusing and contradictory polices like this one are turning off voters in California. How does this kind of pandering help the Republican Party win Hispanics votes, and elections in the long-run? Besides, DLs for illegals ends up trapping states into sanctuary status. Why should illegal immigrants leave when one can get away with driving legally and not worry about getting deported if pulled over?
Supporters for this controversial policy will contend that allowing them to drive legally will create safer roads and reduce crime. The exact opposite has occurred in San Diego, and other states enacting this policy. Fraud and human trafficking have become commonplace in many locales, too.
I contacted Mayor Fung and Matthew Boyle, who had written the story about Fung. The mayor affirmed his opposition to DLs for illegals, but Boyle has not yet gotten back to me.
In this Internet-driven media market, misrepresentation of a politician’s stance no longer goes unnoticed without immediate responses. While mistakes like the one mischaracterizing Mayor Fung may be more common because of the rapid increase of news production and consumption, readers and commentators can take direct action to correct those stories when errors arise.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
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