Congressional Hispanic Caucus

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization in the U.S. House of Representatives, was "an informal group of 18 members of Congress of Hispanic descent ... dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanic Americans in the US and the insular areas."

Controversy

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) "has quit the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, accusing the chairman, Rep. Joe Baca, of telling people she's a 'whore'," Josephine Hearn reported January 31, 2007, for The Politico. "Baca denied the charge."

"In an interview with The Politico Wednesday, [January 31st,] Sanchez, a California Democrat as is Baca, also cited concerns about whether Baca was properly elected Hispanic Caucus chairman in November and about his general attitude toward female lawmakers. The caucus represents 21 Hispanic Democrats in Congress," Hearn wrote. [1]

Earlier, in February 2006, Sanchez, "her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza of California, Jim Costa of California, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Hilda L. Solis of California ... withdrew from the group's political action committee after Baca and his allies authorized political contributions to family members who were running for state and local offices," Hearn wrote.

"In recent weeks, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Calif., a CHC member who serves in House leadership as assistant to the speaker, had been trying to persuade the six members to rejoin the political action committee, which is known as the Committee for Hispanic Causes/Building Our Leadership Diversity. So far, it appears those efforts have not succeeded. An invitation for a PAC fundraiser to be held Wednesday night continues to omit the six.

"Earlier this month, four female lawmakers wrote Baca asking that the caucus repeat his election as chairman because the earlier vote failed to use secret ballots, as required in the group's bylaws.

"Sanchez and other female CHC members have repeatedly complained that Baca and some of his male colleagues do not accord them a high level of respect," Hearn wrote.

Five more members threatened to quit the caucus if Baca did not apologize for the comments, which would be a devestating blow to the longevity of the caucus. [2]

On April 12, 2007, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) resigned from the committee. [1]

Contact details

Website: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Articles and Resources

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