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Fox hires lobbyist to sweeten U.S. views on immigration

Los Angeles Times | December 28, 2005
BY SAM ENRIQUEZ

RELATED:

Who'd Vicente Fox Hires George Bush's Old PR Hack to Stop Us From Building Our Border Fence?

MEXICO CITY -- President Vicente Fox has rehired the Texas public relations man and GOP political consultant who quietly helped engineer his election victory in 2000. This time, Fox wants Rob Allyn & Co. to put the brakes on growing anti-immigration, anti-Mexican sentiment in the United States.

Last week, the U.S. House approved a bill to add 700 miles of border fencing and make illegal immigration a felony. Fox denounced the measure as shameful. His foreign minister called it stupid and underhanded.

''The contributions of Mexicans in the United States, who are making their best effort, generating lots of wealth, are not known,'' said Rodrigo Iván Cortés Jiménez, an elected deputy in Mexico's lower house and a member of its commission on foreign affairs.

The immigration bill, expected to reach the Senate in February, has no provision for allowing temporary Mexican workers -- a further slap, in Fox's view. He and President Bush agree on the need for a ''guest worker'' program.

Fox cannot seek reelection next year, and his legacy may rest in part on his pledges to secure an agreement with the United States to grant legal status to the millions of Mexicans living and working illegally north of the border.

So the Mexican leader last week turned to the political operative who helped him topple Mexico's longtime ruling party to win the presidency.

Rob Allyn helped George W. Bush defeat Ann Richards for the governorship of Texas in 1994. Three years later, Allyn saw another potential winner in Fox, then governor of Guanajuato state. He agreed to join Fox's presidential campaign, but only in secret.

For three years, Allyn worked clandestinely, helping craft Fox's message of change, as well as his TV commercials, his polling and his wardrobe. Allyn made dozens of trips to Mexico, traveling under one of three pseudonyms.

Fox, of the National Action Party, came from behind to defeat Francisco Labastida of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had ruled Mexico for seven decades. During Mexico's official campaign season in the first six months of 2000, Allyn worked with Penn, Schoen & Berland, a polling and political consulting firm. They operated Democracy Watch, a nonpartisan group hired by Mexicans to conduct national exit polls as a hedge against election fraud.

After the July election, Allyn told the Dallas Morning News he hid his work for Fox because he didn't want to be a political liability. Mexicans are sensitive to foreign interference, especially involving the United States.

Allyn, who also worked on the Bush presidential campaigns, now faces a bigger challenge with the migration issue.

Demands to stem illegal immigration are growing louder in the United States as Mexican and Central American workers spread across the country.

''Our focus is on public opinion, which influences policy outcomes in Congress,'' said Allyn, 46, who grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., and moved to Texas when he was in high school. ``There is a huge misperception among the U.S. public about Mexico.''

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said Allyn's message should be that Mexicans have sunk roots deep in their U.S. neighborhoods and that they contribute more through their work, taxes and families than they take away in public services.


Who'd Vicente Fox Hire to Stop Us From Building Our Border Fence?
Why, George Bush's Old PR Hack, of course!

Unabashedly Unhyphenated | December 20, 2006

Predictably, Vicente Fox's kleptocratic regime is apoplectic over the thought of the United States actually excercising its sovereignty. So, what did he run out and do right after unleashing an initial demand that we continue our de facto illegal merger with his third-world dump of a nation? Why, he went and hired an American PR firm. Not just any firm. Presidente Jorge W. Bush's old Political PR firm.

Hmm. I wonder if this is just a coincidence. Or is it likely that our own president is coaching for the other team on this issue? If Bush is trying to help design an end run play on the actual will of the majority of Americans, then I've lost the last bit of respect that I had for this man. And to think that this morning I was all set to write a strong defense of his actions regarding the surveillance of international communications. He's right in doing that. But if he truly cares about our security, he needs to pay attention to the myriad fears and concerns that his statements, positions and policies on immigration are creating for many Americans. Instead, he seems far more concerned about people whom he does not represent: illegal aliens, most of them subjects of his good buddy Vic Fox.

Why is it that he appears to remain so inept at "surveilling" the strong desires of his citizens regarding immigration? If it springs from some paternal "I know what's best for you" instinct, I'm really glad I didn't vote for him the second time around. On my worst day, most of my instincts are better than any of his on his best day.

 
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