[PHOTO - Barack Obama works the phones. Obama needs to step up his debates game.]

ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS, OCTOBER 15, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Joseph Lariosa - Some Filipino-Americans in Pennsylvania are getting their act together for the upcoming Nov. 6 presidential elections.

These Fil-Ams are part of what the 2010 census says are the residents within the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) of the estimated 217,349 Fil-Ams and Filipino multiracial Americans, with an additional 15,631 in the greater New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA (Combined Statistical Area).

They annually host the Philippine Independence Day parade, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of June at Madison Avenue in New York.

Ernesto Gange, a long-time resident of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and an officer of the National Filipino-American Coalition of the Republican Party, is trying to rally his fellow Fil-Ams to go out and vote in the upcoming elections.

The 72-year-old mom-and-pop businessman from Guimaras island province, who was an accountant by profession, had presided over the National Filipino-American Coalition of the Republican Party workshop during the 10th National Empowerment Conference and 5th Anniversary Celebration on Aug. 2-5, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA).

[Photo -Mitt Romney leads President Obama in national polls, and the president is approaching his all-time low in the RealClearPolitics average. Romney leads in some key swing states (e.g., Florida, Colorado and North Carolina) and has largely erased the deficit in others (Ohio, Virginia, Nevada).]

Gange is in-charge of NaFFAA’s national membership campaign.

When he attended the 18th edition of the Gintong Pamana (Golden Heritage) Awards ceremony last Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Hotel at O’Hare at Rosemont, Illinois hosted by Fil-Am Megascene and Gintong Pamana Foundation headed by Bart and Yoly Tubalinal, Gange also extended moral support to awardee Erlinda Sayson Limcaco, founding president of the International Network of Filipinos overseas.

From taxi to 757 passengers

Gange believes the Fil-Am Republicans around the nation are now getting bigger.

“Fifteen years ago, members of the Filipino-American Republican Party can fit in a taxi. Now it can fit in a 757 plane. That is how humongous the size of Filipino-American Republicans has come to be.”

He believes that as the only Christian nation in Asia, Filipinos identify with the aspirations of former Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, who oppose abortion.

Gange added the triple-digit jump of the economic deficit and the forceful effort of China to control the exclusive economic zone of other countries, including the Philippines, at the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) are two other reasons why Fil-Ams should support the Romney-Ryan tandem, which, he believes, is critical of Chinese intimidation.

“We will continue to hold workshops to drum up support for Messrs. Romney and Ryan at the homestretch of the campaign. We want to tell the Romney-Ryan campaign that if the Republican Party captures the White House, the government should address the West Philippine Sea issue and tell China to abide by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that limits navigation beyond the 12-nautical miles limit of UNCLOS signatory countries.”

At the same time, Gange said the Romney White House could urge the US Senate to ratify UNCLOS so that the US can check China’s overreach of its territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The retired employee of the Pearl Buck Foundation urged his fellow Fil-Ams to put up their own Republican Party in their respective communities and get involved in the political process.

He paid tribute to other Fil-Am Republicans who are actively campaigning for the candidates of the Grand Old Party (GOP).

Gange noted that Fil-Ams in Nevada are gaining visibility and are stirring the pot to attract the uncommitted to vote for the Republican Party candidates.

Gange could be referring to some Fil-Am- leaders, including real estate businesswoman Fely Quitevis, a recent guest at the 2012 Republic National Convention in Tampa, Florida and past chairman of Nye County, Nevada Republican central committee and founding chairman of the Asian-American Republicans of Nevada.

Quitevis was accompanied at the GOP national convention by Las Vegas, Nevada Fil-Am- Minerva Wimperis, treasurer of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Nevada.


With Romney in the lead, Obama needs to step up his debate game By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / October 14, 2012

Like the New York Yankees without Derek Jeter, President Obama is going to have to step up his game in the presidential debate with the newly-ascendant Mitt Romney this week.

Everybody expects this, as campaign surrogates from both camps emphasized Sunday on the TV news shows.

"He knew when he walked off that stage [of the first debate], and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate, that he has to be more energetic," Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign adviser and former White House press secretary, said on CNN's "State of the Union.”

On "Fox News Sunday," campaign adviser David Axelrod said Obama would be "aggressive in making the case for his view of where we should go as a country."

Republicans agree, adding their own negative twist.

"I think President Obama is going to come out swinging," Sen. Rob Portman, who’s playing Obama in Romney's debate rehearsals, said on ABC's "This Week." "He's going to compensate for a poor first debate. And I think that will be consistent with what they've been doing this whole campaign, which is running a highly negative ad campaign.”

“They've spent hundreds of millions around the country, including a lot in Ohio, mischaracterizing Gov. Romney's positions and misrepresenting him,” Sen. Portman said. “I think you'll see that again on Tuesday night.”

"The president can change his style. He can change his tactics. He can't change his record. He can't change his policies,” Romney advisor Ed Gillespie said on CNN. “That's what this election is about.”

Vice President Joe Biden set the scene in his debate last week with Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate.

Five times, Biden mentioned Romney’s now-infamous comment about the “47 percent” of Americans “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

Romney now acknowledges that his “47 percent” comment to a group of wealthy donors (who presumable felt the same way) was “just completely wrong,” and he stresses that “when I become president it will be about helping the 100 percent,” as he told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

But you can be sure that in their town hall-style debate Tuesday night, Obama will find ways to needle Romney on the “47 percent.”

It’s part of a pattern in the race as both sides try to embrace the middle class, especially those American families struggling in tough economic times.

Romney no longer tries to portray his early married life as a time of basement rental apartments and tuna casseroles, as he and Ann Romney did during the Republican National Convention. But he’s now telling more personal stories about the families he’s met along the campaign trail, working to demonstrate his understanding and compassion.

He may be a millionaire now – although not in the same class as quarter-billionaire Romney – but Obama does have his own middle class background (and that of his wife) to refer to. He’s got Joe Biden’s outspokenness and the Vice President’s working class upbringing in Scranton, Penn., to illustrate the Democratic ticket’s role as champion of working Americans.

And he’s got Bruce Springsteen – rock-and-roll troubadour to a generation of fans (and voters) who idealize and celebrate the struggle of the underclass. Two nights after Tuesday’s debate, Mr. Springsteen will perform at an Obama rally in the key state of Ohio.

Meanwhile, polls show a race tightening to near-toss up status.

The RealClearPolitics polling average had Romney ahead by a scant 1.3 percentage points Sunday afternoon. Battleground state polls show a mixed picture. Gravis Marketing, a non-partisan research firm, reported Sunday that Obama has regained his lead in Colorado – not as high as the 4.7-point margin he had before the last debate but 2.6 points today.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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