East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, now-infamous for his taco comment in the wake of the arrest of four East Haven police officers on federal charges of depriving Latinos of their rights in a pattern of harassment, intimidation and unlawful searches, is taking fire from all sides.
Cafe Con Leche Republicans, a pro-immigrant GOP organization, has joined in the chorus of those calling for Maturo to resign. The group, which describes itself as “dedicated to making America and the GOP a friendly place for immigrants,” includes members from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota, among other states.
In an open letter posted on the group’s website Tuesday, Bob Quasius Sr., president of Cafe Con Leche Republicans, argued that Maturo and the alleged behavior of the East Haven police department under his reign are a disgrace to the Republican party.
Sir, it is time for you to resign, and we’d like for you leave the Republican Party as well. The Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan. The 14th amendment, which East Haven police has so egregiously violated for decades, was one of the crowning achievements of our party.
Instead of tolerating abuses towards Latinos, particularly immigrants, we should be seeking to engage Latinos. Latinos have twice the rate of business start-ups, in large measure due to the above average levels of ambition of New Americans. PEW Research reports 60% of Latinos are conservative or moderate ideologically, and immigrants are even more conservative.
We need more Latinos in the GOP and our party should be attracting Latinos in droves, but your comments and well as those of a small minority of GOP politicians are patently offensive, and instead drive conservative Latinos into the arms of the Democratic Party. Recent surveys show base support for Republicans among Latinos in the 15-20% range, well below expected given the right-center orientation.
In a new twist Wednesday, the scandal led to the resignation of Police Chief Leonard Gallo, who is expected to retain his severance package of more than $100,000, despite the town police commission’s unanimous recommendation Tuesday that he be fired and prevented from collecting any compensation beyond his pension.
The four arrested officers are accused of harassment of Latinos that included beatings, false arrests and unnecessary searches in the town, which has a Hispanic population of about 10 percent. They face charges including deprivation of rights and obstruction of justice; all four have pleaded not guilty.