US Senate polls: Democratic outsource attack alienating Indian American vote bank

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 24, 2010 06:30 hrs

Democratic attacks on employment outsourcing in this year's campaigns are alienating a once-stalwart source of the party's funding, Indian-Americans, who believe India is sharing blame unfairly for the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Indian-Americans who work in multinationals with South Asian operations say attacks on outsourcing ignore that U.S. companies outsource certain services because it is profitable for them to do so.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Indian-Americans have begun contributing money to defeat Democrats who have singled out India in ads blaming Republicans for outsourcing by multinationals.

They are also sending millions to Indian-American candidates who they feel more fairly represent their interests. There are currently no Indian-Americans in Congress.

For the first time, USINPAC, the chief Indian-American lobbying group, has begun spending on Republican candidates, in large part because of the outsourcing issue.

Outsourcing has registered high on the list of voter concerns about unemployment.

"There's a very high level of energy and activism right now. We expect a little better from our leaders on our issues...and we are constantly looking at their challengers," said Sanjay Puri, the USINPAC chairman.

Indian Americans find the ads offensive and racist, Puri said.

The attack by Democrats on outsourcing is "one of the most important reasons some Indians are supporting Republicans," said Namrita Nelson, an Indian-born accountant from the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Illinois, who formed the Indian-American Republican Coalition this summer.

In Illinois, some 200 immigrant Indian business owners and professionals have raised more than 100,000 dollars and spent hundreds of hours organizing fund-raisers, in part for GOP candidates.

The unprecedented number of Indian-American candidates has also energized Indian-Americans this year, Puri said.

Five Indian-American Democrats are running for House seats: Manan Trivedi in Pennsylvania; Ami Bera in California; Raj Goyle in Kansas; Ravi Sangisetty in Louisiana; and Surya Yalamanchili in Ohio.

Additionally, two Indian-American Republicans are running for governor: Nikki Haley in South Carolina and Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. (ANI)