Latino Enterprise Advocate Stung by Misconduct Claims Resurfaces With ‘No Labels’

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No Labels, the centrist group that’s vying to achieve poll entry for the 2024 presidential election, has joined forces with Javier Palomarez, an advocate of Hispanic-owned companies with a historical past of allegations of office monetary misconduct and sexual harassment.

In 2018, Mr. Palomarez stepped down from his job as chief govt of america Hispanic Chamber of Commerce whereas going through accusations that he had padded his pay and had made an undesirable go at his feminine chief of workers. He denied these allegations and later sued the chamber. He additionally sued one of many group’s former administrators, saying that he had been sexually harassed. Each issues had been finally settled out of court docket in 2019.

In an interview on Tuesday night, Mr. Palomarez mentioned his departure from the Hispanic Chamber was a results of a witch hunt in opposition to him as a result of he elected to work with as an alternative of in opposition to the Trump administration. He mentioned he “gained the lawsuits” in opposition to his accusers, although he mentioned the phrases of the settlements remained confidential. He declined to disclose them. “All I can do is let you know I maintained my innocence then and I keep it now,” he mentioned.

Mr. Palomarez is a self-described Democrat who resigned from a range coalition convened by the Trump administration over its efforts to finish the Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals program. He seems on cable information often to criticize President Biden on issues like immigration and home vitality manufacturing. He’s additionally the founder and chief govt of an advocacy group with a mission just like that of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, his former employer, and is now a volunteer chief at No Labels.

Throughout a video assembly with No Labels followers on Tuesday night, Mr. Palomarez spoke of the significance of partaking Hispanic voters as a part of any presidential ticket.

“Our nation is at a transit level. By no means earlier than have we been so disillusioned by our elected officers and our leaders,” he mentioned to the roughly 300 individuals on the decision. “One factor is evident: The Hispanic voters will play a decisive position within the elections of 2024.”

Mr. Palomarez, who voted for Mr. Biden in 2020, mentioned his position at No Labels can be as a conduit to the Hispanic group, which he mentioned had been harmed by the Biden administration’s vitality insurance policies.

Suggestions from No Labels supporters, he mentioned, is that it might be higher to interchange Mr. Biden with a Republican.

“There’s a way that this White Home has misplaced contact,” he mentioned. “From an financial perspective, a Republican can be higher suited to run the nation.”

However earlier than the assembly with Mr. Palomarez, some invitees had been privately fuming about his involvement.

“It was alarming to see his position in a giant group like No Labels, although clearly, No Labels lacks quite a lot of credibility relating to nationwide politics,” mentioned Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist who was on the board of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce when Mr. Palomarez got here below hearth. “I hope he has modified.”

Nancy Jacobson, the No Labels chief govt, mentioned Tuesday that she wasn’t conscious of the 2018 allegations in opposition to Mr. Palomarez.

No Labels, which is exploring the opportunity of working a so-called presidential unity ticket that might embrace each a Republican and a Democrat, has certified for the presidential poll in 12 states. However its effort has stalled in others — a results of guidelines in some states that require new third-party organizations to have a candidate to safe poll entry.

Mr. Biden’s allies view No Labels as an existential risk due to the competitors it might create for each votes and {dollars}. In consequence, Democrats have broadly shunned No Labels, a end in a part of a marketing campaign from the group Third Solution to preserve prime celebration members and donors from taking part with the group.

They could have motive for concern. On the decision Tuesday, Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster, mentioned a survey he not too long ago carried out for the Spanish-language information community Univision confirmed that the unbiased presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West had been pulling extra assist from Mr. Biden than they had been from former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Newhouse confirmed a slide that had Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump tied in a two-way race, however Mr. Trump forward in a race with a number of different candidates on the poll.

Ms. Jacobson has in latest weeks advised potential donors that the group will identify a Republican to guide its presidential ticket at a deliberate conference in April.

In 2021, three years after departing the commerce group, Mr. Palomarez based america Hispanic Enterprise Council, whose said mission is to “empower Hispanic-owned companies in america by advocating for folks and insurance policies that assist their development.”

Ms. Jacobson mentioned that Mr. Palomarez was really useful extremely to No Labels.

“A number of folks referred him to our group as an especially competent chief who might add worth and perspective as a volunteer,” she mentioned. Ms Jacobson mentioned Mr. Palomarez wouldn’t be paid. She added that he can be working with the No Labels co-chairs however didn’t say what his tasks can be.