As I mentioned over at The Seminal last week, Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Tony Sutton owns a local Mexican fast-food restaurant chain called Baja Sol. (He’s also branching out of state to places like Ohio and Illinois, both with Baja Sol and the new Baja Joe’s chain.)

This is the party whose endorsed candidate for governor, Tom Emmer, has called SB 1070 — Arizona’s infamous Show Us Your Papers law — “a wonderful first step”. This is also the party that is trying to push copycat legislation (HF 3830) through the Minnesota legislature, legislation emulating SB 1070 to please the powerful bigot element among the Republican base.

Now, sane people, such as the fine folks of Minnesota SEIU Local 26, might wonder about how someone could make his considerable fortune off of Hispanic culture while chairing a political party that writes and endorses race-baiting legislation like SB 1070 and HF 3830. But of course to ask that question causes the “balance”-obsessed pearl-clutchers that were trained at our local corporate legacy media to have attacks of the vapors. Case in point: Doug Grow, who was one of the teeming horde of legacy journos from the sinking StarTribune who sought a new home with MinnPost, the Strib’s de facto rest home for old reporters who still wanted some sort of a paycheck, however tiny, that didn’t involve regularly using the words “Do you want fries with that, sir?”. Grow was seemingly aghast that anyone could ever, ever imply that a Nice Polite Republican like Tony Sutton could be a race-baiting hypocrite, much less a straight-up racist: “As far as I know, Sutton never has made a statement on his personal feelings about immigration reform.”

Um, Dougie? Skip ahead to around the 44-second mark of this video and you can hear Tony Sutton’s views on immigration reform. It’s all on tape, with Sutton talking to a radio audience on a conservative talk show, responding to a caller’s question about whether the proposed Federal immigration “amnesty bill” would contain the alleged “seven-year tax holiday” for illegal immigrants. Not only does Sutton not tell the guy that the tax holiday thing is a blatant and obvious lie, he acts as if it’s for real and “an indication of where the Democrats are going”.

In other SEIU-related immigration news, members of various SEIU locals greeted Arizona’a Republican governor Jan Brewer, who championed SB 1070 and signed it into law, during her visit to the White House last week. As SEIU Executive VP Eliseo Medina says, SB 1070 was “largely designed to energize the Republican Party base during primary season at the expense of immigrants. This political gamesmanship will cost her state and local communities dearly in these difficult economic times, but do nothing to solve the immigration crisis.”

Indeed. Republicans, in Arizona, Minnesota and elsewhere, will soon learn that retooling their beloved Southern Strategy to target Latinos as well as African-Americans is not only amoral, but politically ill-advised as well.