English First, an organization that wants to establish English as the official language of the United States, is busy urging members of the Republican National Committee to reject U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida as chairman. Martinez was born in Cuba, and was nominated by President Bush in November to replace Ken Mehlman as the leader of the GOP.
The appointment must be confirmed by the RNC at its meeting in January. English First has established a website -- wwww.stopmartinez.com -- to register a litany of complaints about his selection. ''Sen. Martinez is wrong on official English and wrong on amnesty for illegal aliens,'' says Jim Boulet Jr., executive director of English First. ``Asking Sen. Martinez to run the Republican Party is like asking Phyllis Schlafly to run Planned Parenthood.
Boulet predicted, ''Should Martinez win the RNC post, reporters will encourage him to do nothing but argue with his fellow Republicans about immigration and language issues''.
Martinez agrees with Bush on a guest-worker program, and championed a Senate bill that would have extended citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants after they learned English and paid fines and back taxes.