Friday, October 5, 2007

3rd Quarter Fundraising Amounts – Dems Win, Again

The 3rd quarter fundraising results are out with a huge disparity again favoring the Democrats. The WSJ reports that for the year, the top Democrats have raised $239.7 million to the $160.5 million raised by the top Republicans.

On the Democratic side, the race is on between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Obama surprised many by raising $20 million in a typically slow quarter. The next day, Clinton topped that by raising $27 million.

Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani sharpened their rivalry with both reporting similar fundraising amounts of $10.5 million and $11 million. Newcomer Fred Thompson came in third with $9.3 million. Ron Paul shocked many by raising $5 million in the last 3 months. This was $4 million more than rival Mike Huckabee and a million less than John McCain, who has recently had a comeback in the polls.

Why is there such a disparity between the two parties? Well looking at recent polls, Hillary continues to dominate her party’s nomination race, but the Republican race is still in the air with some candidates the winning in the national polls, others winning in the primary states, and key groups like evangelicals unsure of who to support.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Only Christians Can Be Presidents?

It seems as though John McCain has slipped up to say that he thinks essentially only Christians Can be President. This occured in an interview with a website known as BeliefNet which actually has Presidential Candidates "God-O-Meter" where John McCain ranks the MOST GOD FRIENDLY REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE after his video interview stating he would be uncomfortable with a Muslim president.

CNN reports that Muslims and Christians alike are disappointed with these comments where McCain has come out to apologize. I think this shows how out of touch John McCain and the Republican Party is with the American people. A few days back Sanjay Puri had a great piece (Someone Hire the Republicans a Demographic Statistician) which shows how influential the groups the Republicans seem to be ignoring really are.

The question I want to ask is do Republicans ACTUALLY BELIEVE this garbage they spin or are they just trying to win an election from the typical "republican base". The Indian American community has seen little to no traction from the Republican Candidates in responding to community requests. The only candidate who has made an effort so far has been Mitt Romney and you can see his message to the community in the Candidates Message Section.

Jay Shah

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Indians take a Page from the Jewish Community

The New York Times recently published an article on how Indian Americans are looking to their Jewish counterparts as role models in advocating civil rights issues and lobbying Congress. Many Indians hope their community can emulate the experience of the Jews in the US, where a small minority has fought prejudice and built political clout. Other Indians find a bond through the threat of terrorism and opposition with Muslims. Whatever the case, there has been a significant growth in secular Indian American organizations as a new generation of Indian Americans has seen a need for it.

Check out this article to learn more about what these two groups have in common and which of these organizations are working together.

Clinton Raises More than Obama

In past months recent polls have put Hillary Clinton way past Barack Obama in almost all rankings. The argument always has been though that Obama is outraising her with more grassroots support. Well it seems as though the Clinton Campaign took that to heart and decided to do something about it.

Third quarter numbers are out and the winner is (drum roll please)....

Hillary Clinton raising over $27 million from over 100,000 donors. Although all numbers aren't final Obama's camp has announced about a $20 million intake with about 93,000 donors. Critics like to say that Clinton is being funded by the machine but the numbers make me question that argument.

I am interested to see if Obama actually has raised more and they were just being deceptive or if in this round the camp truly lost to the Clintons.


Monday, October 1, 2007


The leading Republican Presidential Candidates: Giuliani, Thompson, Romney and McCain were a no show at last Thursday night’s Republican debate at Morgan State University. It is shocking to see the lack of foresight about the changing electorate demographics in the Country by the Republican leadership. Being a party of Southern white voters is not going to win them too many Presidential elections in the future.

If the Republicans hired demographic statisticians they would have told them that currently African Americans and Hispanics comprise about 80 plus million out of 300 million Americans, add another 10 million Asians and they are basically over 30 percent of the population. Also future trends show that one out of two new born in this country is a Hispanic. So these statisticians would tell them that it is a demographic suicide to alienate these fast growing minority groups.

Being a no show at key minority events is a slap on the face of these communities since these events are symbolic to them of their growing maturity in the political process. The Presidential candidates are taking the approach that they are not going to get too many African American votes in the case of the Morgan State University so why bother. Well it could be a self fulfilling prophecy for the Republicans since their share of the African American vote could be lower than usual in 2008.

Their strident tone in the immigration debate in the Senate and the continued anti immigration positions by these Presidential candidates in the primaries will cost them dearly with the Hispanic vote and also campaign support from the affluent Asian community. They don’t get it that just like anti-immigration groups don’t like immigration and don’t make the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, pro immigration groups consider Presidential candidates who are against illegal immigration as being against immigration. The Republican leadership needs to be reminded of Pete Wilson in California and Proposition 187. Several key states besides the two coasts are impacted by the immigrant vote in places like South West and Mountain West USA.

The leadership of the Republican Party which is not running for the Presidential race or aligned with any of these candidates should step up and clearly speak about this issue and establish ground rules for the future. Mandating some presence and participation at key minority political events even if they are not in the friendliest atmosphere is a must if they want to be a party that can produce a presidential candidate that is going to look for support from the entire nation. Right now they way the political map is configured, between the African American, Hispanic and Asian communities the Republicans are getting positioned to write off over 30% of Americans and look to win a majority of 51% of support from 70% of the votes. Do the math, getting 51% from 100% is hard enough, 51% from 70% is impossible. They might wring out a bare victory in 2008 but the future looks very bleak.

The irony is that if you put aside the issue of Iraq which finds deep anguish in most Americans, there are minorities who are fiscally conservative and emphasize family values. But the Republicans have not really reached out to them and they feel that the reaching out has been mainly for campaign funds and not a systematic approach of nurturing them. Having Sen. Martinez and Lt. Gov. Steele in key positions at the Republican Party helps but Sen. Martinez could not get his own party lined up on the immigration debate.

The Republicans are at a key defining moment,, it is time for their sharpest minds like Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Haley Barbour and others to decide whether they want to be a party of the present or of the future since they are about to be wiped out by a demographic explosion which even a amateur demographer can advise them on!

Sanjay Puri
Chairman USINPAC

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Indians on the Hill

The Washington Post just published an article on the growing influence of Indian-American groups in Washington. Using the example of the landmark US-India nuclear deal, the article points out that even politicians who use nuclear nonproliferation as a staple of their strategy came around in bipartisan form to overwhelmingly accept the deal. Why was this? Many attribute it to the powerful presence of Indian lobbyist groups on the Hill.

Sanjay Puri, Chairman and Founder of USINPAC, is interviewed on why he founded the group and the position USINPAC and other Indian-American groups will have in the future. USINPAC 2008 Web Director Varun Mehta was also quoted in the article using the example of Obama’s swift reaction to the memo his campaign sent out attacking Hillary Clinton’s ties to wealthy Indian-Americans and alleged support of outsourcing.

Throughout the article it is mentioned that many of these new Indian-American groups are trying model themselves after Jewish-American and Israeli lobbyist groups that have had success in representing a small minority of the country on the Hill. What are you thoughts? Is this the right path for Indian-Americans? Where would you like to see the community in the future? Tell us what you think of the article!

Anay Shah
Blog Editor

Chris Dodd on Indian-Americas

Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd recently filled out a questionnaire for USINPAC about Indian-Americans and issues related to them. Dodd talked about immigration reformed and strengthening US-India relations. He supports the full passage of the US-India Nuclear deal and would be in favor of seeing India’s induction into the UN Security Council. Read the rest of the questionnaire here.