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Lost Latino Loyalties

April 17, 2002

Re "Stakes Are High in Push for Latino Court Nominee," April 11: I was a loyal Democrat for many years, largely because I was convinced that that party stood with me and mine in the struggle to achieve our rights on an equal basis with all other Americans. As I read the comments of prominent Democratic politicians concerning the Miguel Estrada nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, it becomes increasingly clear that Democrats stood with Hispanics only when we did what we were told; i.e., always voted Democratic.

That we would think for ourselves, exercise independent judgment and reach our own conclusions on matters political was not part of their understanding of how we should behave. What I believed to be idealism turned out to be a cynical bargaining for votes.

Manuel H. Rodriguez

Burbank

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