The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Thursday, August 07, 2003
The Californicated Election and Hispanic precedent
The motto of Arkansas is, notoriously, Thank God for Mississippi. Now, pols in 49 states are saying the same about the Golden one.
With an eye, as ever, to the tangential and historical, I'm struck by this piece from AP, on the announcement of Gray Davis's Lieutenant-Governor (though, according to The Note , they're scarcely best buds) Cruz Bustamante that he's going to run,
The point that got my interest and goat at the same time is a throwaway reference to the effect that Bustamante is
the first Hispanic to hold statewide office in California in more than a century.
The grown-up media never seem to figure that readers might actually be interested in the factoids they insert .
The man's name, it seems, is Romualdo Pacheco. He was elected in 1870 as Lieutenant-Governor to Newton Booth , and succeeded Booth as Governor following his election to the US Senate in 1874,
(I take it from Booth's Congressional Biography that he was elected in the November general election. The 43rd Congress was adjourned on March 3 1875, which presumably was the date on which the incumbent senator, John Sharpenstein Hager, vacated.
Strangely, Booth's Congressional Bio says he ceased to be Governor in 1874, yet Pacheco's official California bio - and everything else I've seen - has his gubernatorial service starting in 1875!)
Whether there were other Hispanic statewide office-holders before Pacheco is not clear - his CA bio refers to him as
The first California-born governor- which leaves open other possibilities.
The only time I had previously had cognizance of Bustamante was a couple of years ago following the notorious incident (another fine example of Democratic comradeliness!) when he got tongue-tied in his second language during some kind of celebration of activism past, and, in render a roll of honour of various trade unions with Negro in the title, was heard - in circumstances more suspicious than an off.the-record briefing from a Number 10 spin-doctor - to utter the dread word nigger.
The usual suspects were shocked - in the Captain Renault sense - and voluble conniptions had by folk who were, naturally, paying no heed to the mounting Hispanic demo that threatened, in time, to deprive them of their cushy billets in the Party of Treason. (Comparisons were later made with Lott/Thurmond, of course.)
An endless vista of entertainment, it seems, courtesy of the Fun Factory....
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