Saviano Loss a Major Defeat for Gutierrez

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Saviano Loss a Major Defeat for Gutierrez
By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Friday November 16, 2012
Cong. Luis Gutierrez (D-4th) has a great record when it comes to helping himself, but he’s not very good at helping others.
In the spring, Gutierrez backed and supported four candidates for four different offices in the Southwest Side and suburbs and lost every race — Rudy Lozano, Robert Reyes, Raul Montes Jr. and Ricardo Munoz. He claims he only supported three losers, not four.

Last week, Gutierrez ventured into DuPage County where he managed to keep his record of failure intact, backing the startling losing campaign of state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano.

Although backing losers is not surprising for Gutierrez, what really raised eyebrows is his hypocrisy.

Here is a leading Democratic congressman supporting a Republican candidate in an election when everyone was predicting Republicans would be doing very well.

It’s easy to look back now and say Obama had the election in his pocket, but before the election, everyone was predicting a much closer race, including Democrats themselves. Obama needed every Democrat rallying for his re-election but where was Gutierrez? Helping a suburban Republican.

How did Gutierrez justify backing Saviano? Gutierrez claimed that Saviano was a leading supporter of “immigration reform.”

Wow! That sure sounded nice. It made a great news media sound bite to hear Gutierrez assert that he was “supporting Saviano because Saviano is actively supporting immigration reform.”

Hmmm! Really? Since when has the state of Illinois introduced legislation to reform immigration policies to benefit Hispanics?

Ah, never! That’s because the issue of immigration is not a statewide issue at all. It is a national issue. Saviano has nothing to do with immigration reform and the guy who helped point that out was state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12th), who backed Kathleen Willis, a little known Democratic convert.

Gutierrez has exploited and used the immigration reform issue in every election he has run since first putting down his Cab License to become a controversial member of the Chicago City Council.

He’s been promising to reform immigration laws to help Hispanics since the first day he ran for Congress. And I know because I was there at his side as a campaign consultant during that very first election, believing that Gutierrez was for real. That he cared about Hispanics and minorities.

But today, we know that is not true. Luis Gutierrez only cares about himself. He cares about his politics. He cares about defeating his opponents and he cares about helping his family. He doesn’t care about Hispanics and he doesn’t care about his constituents.

So, Gutierrez backs candidates in elections for one main purpose, to split the Mexican American vote. Mexican Americans are the largest Hispanic minority in his district. So Gutierrez, who is Puerto Rican, works hard to split the Mexican American vote so he can win. His district is only 12 percent Puerto Rican and 76 percent Mexican American.

That’s why Sandoval was so successful in defeating Gutierrez in the Saviano blunder.

As long as Gutierrez can keep voters distracted on other issues, especially Hispanic voters, he can easily win for himself, which is what he does best.

The real fight for immigration reform is at the national level and has nothing to do with why Gutierrez backed a Republican like Saviano. Doing so undermined the Democratic Party, which has a solid record of supporting Hispanics. But like I said, Gutierrez doesn’t care. He only cares about himself.

If Gutierrez really cared about immigration reform for Mexican Americans, he would be supporting Democrats 100 percent of the time, and not back-stabbing his own Democratic party to support Republicans like Saviano.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. You may reach him at  — City & Suburban News-Herald

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This post has already been read 2312 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania