The National Organization for Marriage kicked off its Vota Tus Valores ("Vote Your Values") bus tour yesterday in Riverside, California, hoping to enlist Hispanic voters in its campaign of hate and bigotry against marriage equality proponents. One person showed up.
Only one stop into The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles’ “Vota Tus Valores” bus tour (vote your values, for those who don’t speak Spanish), sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, and we’re already questioning whether to take these folks seriously.
The tour bus arrived 15 minutes late to the Park at Riverwalk, which could have caused confusion if anybody had bothered to come (or if the tour had actually taken the time to invite people).
There was no setup for speakers, just Spanish music blaring from the bus, a few organizers handing out literature and an opportunity to be interviewed by a Univision reporter who was forced to guess the location after poor directions from the organizing staff.
“They had a party but nobody came,” said one member from the local Women’s Democratic Club who stopped by with two friends.
Only one “values-voter” stopped by, but she was not Latina.
“I was shopping at Target when I saw the bus across the street and wanted to see what it was all about,” she told me.
We initially counted 8 in attendance, but 7 were organizers that got back on the bus at the end of the stop.
You read that right: initial count of attendees = 8, except that 7 of them were tour organizers who got into the bus when it drove away, leaving only attendee.
Continuing their tracking of the overwhelming Fail Tour, Prop8TrialTracker provides this report of stop number two in Visalia, which doubled the Tour’s turnout!
The Vota Tus Valores bus tour kept up its attendance average in Visalia — 1 person showed up.
“I vote according to God’s will,” said one Latina woman who happened to be in the park when the bus pulled up but refused to go on-camera.
If you’re keeping tally, the total attendance count is now 2.
Approximately 4 people sat at a picnic table in front of the bus, but it would be a stretch to say that they were even remotely engaged.
Stop number three in Hanford, though, saw attendance drop off a cliff. Even fewer attendees, as the average sank below 1:
This stop was even less well-attended than Bakersfield and Hanover (which is a nice way of saying that nobody was there), despite the event organizers’ protestations to the contrary.
At Stop 4 in Madera, though, things really turned around. One of the Tour’s advance people apparently rousted men from a nearby shelter, for whom Tour organizers pulled out the sound system.
In Madera, the advance team was able to wrangle up a few additional attendees: fifteen men from a local Christian men’s shelter were present to “show support,” including one man wearing an Obama shirt and a reformed neo-Nazi who was heavily tatotted with swastikas.
Finally, the Tour broke for dinner in Roseville, choosing "On the Border" for their repast:
For those unfamiliar with the restaurant, think Chili’s with a Tex-Mex twist (in fact the restaurant was originally founded by the same investment group). On The Border is a nationwide chain that also maintains international franchises in Puerto Rico, Canada, Egypt, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
As an avid Mexican food eater, I’m slightly offended if not amused by the choice. For an organization that says it values Latino-owned businesses, the choice is somewhat comical. A simple iPhone Yelp search reveals 30+ locally-owned authentic Mexican food restaurants within a 5 mile radius, but I digress.
Approximately 12 members from the bus are currently having dinner at a large table in the center of the restaurant. There’s not much Latino voter engagement going on unless you count the non-Latino waiter.