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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, January 21, 2011

GOP leaders: Anti-immigration stance hurts party

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Republican speakers at a conference on reaching Hispanic voters urged the party to tone down its rhetoric on immigration and to take up comprehensive reform in Congress, warning that the party could lose ground with the country's increasingly diverse citizenry if it doesn't.

"(Hispanics) will be the swing voters as they are today in the swing states. If you want to elect a center-right president of the United States, it seems to me you should be concerned about places like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Texas, places where but for the Hispanic vote, elections are won and lost," said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who co-chaired the conference organized by the new Hispanic Leadership Network.

But those gathered at the South Florida conference seemed split over whether the GOP's lack of Hispanic support is simply because of the party's tone, or if there's a more substantive problem with the GOP's policies....Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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