Pablo Pantoja, up until fairly recently, has served as the state director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee. Yesterday, he became a Democrat and made a contribution to the ACLU.
What precipitated the shift? Here's how Pantoja himself explained his perspective:
"It doesn't take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them. [...]
"A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that "the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ." The researcher reinforces these views by saying "No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against."
"Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn't take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten."
In other words, Jason Richwine, the Heritage Foundation, and the Republican Party's reaction last week's developments made clear to a former RNC official that it was time to become a Democrat.
Ouch. This may just be one individual, but for the RNC's minority outreach efforts, it represents a major step backwards.
For his part, Richwine spoke at length to the Washington Examiner's Byron York, explaining that he doesn't consider himself a racist, and he regrets that he "didn't think more about how the average lay person would perceive" his views linking race and I.Q.