The director of the Republican Party's Hispanic outreach effort in Florida has gone over to the Democrats, citing "intolerance" on the part of the GOP as the reason for his party switch.
Pablo Pantoja, now the former state director of the Republican National Committee's Hispanic outreach program in Florida, announced his new party affiliation in a letter Monday to The Florida Nation
, an online state news site.
"It doesn't take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today," Pantoja wrote. "I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others.
"Look no further: A well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them," he added, referring to the May 6 report on immigration costs by the conservative, Republican-leaning Heritage Foundation.
The report was co-written by a man who suggested in his Harvard thesis five years ago that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQs than whites.
The report made no reference to such a statement, but Pantoja suggested that it, and other research by conservatives, is "padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo."
"This discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality," he wrote.
Pantoja's announcement came only a couple of months after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a new $10 million outreach effort aimed at increasing party support among minority voters in Hispanic, African-American, and Asian communities across the country.
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