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Meredith Turney

Do “Latino Rights” Trump Free Speech in California?

As a media figure, you know you’re having an impact when your opponents try to boycott you. Just ask Lou Dobbs or Glenn Beck. It seems LA’s talk radio kings, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, of KFI AM 640, have now attained such influence.

They’ve grown accustomed to Governor Brown taking jabs at them and their politically active audience. Now, several “Latino rights groups” are trying to get the duo off the air. For SoCal locals, John and Ken have become the go-to radio hosts discussing the out-of-control progressive policies bankrupting California and killing citizens’ freedom. In recent years, their loyal audience has become increasingly vocal, calling politicians and other politicos when directed by the radio hosts.

One of the topics of their ire is AB 131, the California Dream Act, by Senator Gill Cedillo. In their daily radio program, John and Ken have been expounding on the lunacy of offering college scholarships to students whose parents aren’t legal citizens, taking money from students whose families have paid into the system and are legally here.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the National Immigration Law Center have announced a boycott of KFI’s advertisers because in their effort to prevent the Dream Act’s passage, John and Ken released the cell number for Jorge-Mario Cabrera with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, a group advocating for the legislation. After Cabrera was inundated with hundreds of calls from irate John and Ken listeners, he and his organization retaliated with the call for a boycott.

As a political communications professional, I understand Cabrera’s frustration. It’s not easy to be on the receiving end of angry phone calls from your opponents. And it’s really hard to get any work done when your personal cell phone is basically rendered useless by incessant calls. But you know what? That’s politics. Don’t put your personal cell number on a press release if you don’t want it released to the public. Especially in the Information Age of the Internet, such releases are bound to be published somewhere. And if Mr. Cabrera really does believe in his cause, then being able to defend his position should be part of his job.

When unions and other progressive organizations storm the capitol and harass– excuse me –“lobby” elected officials, are they ever denounced? Yet a pair of radio hosts direct their listeners to call and ask a Dream Act activist why he supports legislation that will harm the state and suddenly they are considered villains.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition has even gone so far as to label John and Ken “hate profiteers.” How exactly are John and Ken profiting from hate? They are merely pointing out the inherent illogic of spending millions of dollars in rewarding those who have disobeyed immigration laws.

With California facing a $10 billion deficit, 12% unemployment rate, and numerous other fiscal problems, why are Democrats so hell-bent on passing a bill it’s estimated could cost the state millions more? California’s UC and Cal State systems are grappling with tuition increases and budget cuts at the same time. Can they really afford to hand out more scholarships–especially at the expense of students whose families have contributed to the system by obeying the law? Apparently Governor Brown and his cohorts don’t care about fiscal solvency, since he signed the Dream Act into law on Saturday.

The real question in this controversy is whether the fabricated “Latino rights” to higher education trump legitimate free speech rights. Dream Act proponent Jorge-Mario Cabrera can’t take the heat for his position, so his revenge is trying to end the free speech rights of John and Ken and their listeners. If he succeeds, then the politically-created “rights” of Latinos will trump the free speech rights for all. That would be a tragedy.

3 Responses to “Do “Latino Rights” Trump Free Speech in California?”

  1. Robert Bosich Says:

    In my old days…back east…few scholarships were available…going to college as an ethnic or woman…not many.

    We worked very hard to graduate in 3-4 years as our parents were strapped….

    January, upon graduation in 3.5 yrs went to the draft board to check my draft status…..the surleee clerk said ” Will have you drafted before the robins sing”.

    4 years of active volunteer military service.

    NEVER EVER HEARD ABOUT RIGHTS IN THOSE DAYS! You took responsibility…

    Most modern politicans hid behind momma’s skirts and now they manufacture RIGHTS….

    Times have changed.

  2. Ernie Konnyu Says:

    What’s the problem here?

    If the Dream act proponents want to boycott a station whose broadcasters oppose the Dream act, that’s politics. It’s one free speech right, the Hispanic Dream act proponents, against another free speech right, John and Ken, the Dream Act opponents. That’s politics and neither side’s rights are of greater legal strength than the others’.

    And as to the Dream act itself, it is now the law just as it is in Texas. We Republicans and Conservatives better wake up to the voting might of Hispanics. And they will grow in proportion as the majority of California’s school children are now Hispanics. They were strong enough to get the majority of the Legislature to make the Dream act law and the Governor to sign it.

    Out of respect for the law either referendum the Dream act or stop whining about it.

  3. Robert Bosich Says:

    If you own property, have securities, collect interest, receive dividends, work for paychecks, own a business…breathe and exhale……..your a juicy plum to be picked by all those millions of needy Californians….

    Pack and ship or start writing and funding Propositions!!!!!