Blunt's Hispanic Commission in Limbo
Then-Gov. Bob Holden established the Commission on Hispanic Affairs in 2004. But, Gov. Blunt disbanded Holden's 15-member comission to start his own in October of 2005.
Blunt's office and the Department of Economic Development are appointing members of the new commission. So far, they've appointed one person.
Francisco Garcia works at his Columbia business, Los Cuates. His friend, Jesse Mendez, helps at the store.
"It started off as baby steps and right now we're just expanding," said Mendez.
But, Hispanic businesses are rare in Missouri. And, according to the 2002 U.S. Census, Hispanics own less than 1% of all firms nationwide.
"There's days when you just say,"Ahh, it's too much.' Nah, its a process of working at it," Mendez explained.
And, Blunt's commission doesn't appear to be helping yet.
"It seemed to have lost something in the transition from a Democratic governor to a Republican governor," said Mary Lou Jaramillo, who works with Hispanic businesses. "I hope it gets established and up and running fairly quickly."
"By Cinco de Mayo, we hope to have our new store open," added Mendez.
Neither the governor's office nor the Department of Economic Development would comment until the remaining commission members are appointed.