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Posts Tagged ‘Hector Ferrer’


EL NUEVO DÍA, Puerto Rico’s largest and most widely-read newspaper, released a poll today that concludes that the current administration of Republican pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuño is being seen as the worst in the island’s history.

The most telling statistic is 31% of voters in Fortuño’s own party, the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP), says that Fortuño’s performance has been “worse” since he was took office in January, 2009. 50% of PNP voters say that Fortuño’s leadership is within expectations.

Governor Luis Fortuño

Facing a possible reelection bid, Fortuño has a tough battle ahead, since 69% of all the island’s unaffiliated voters (the key “swing vote”) say that Fortuño’s performance is worse than expected.

58% of all voters gave the Governor a grade of D or F. 30% of PNP party members gave him a D or an F. The overwhelming majority of 65% of unaffiliated voters awarded Fortuño a D or F. Only 10% of this group rated Fortuño with an A or a B.

When compared to former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá in May 2007 when it comes to grades of D and F, Fortuño look worse, 58% versus Vila’s 48%.

Secretary of the Interior Supports Fortuño, Blames Previous Governors for “Tsunami”

“There is tremendous frustration. That is what happens when an eight-year that means when a tsunami occurs,” said Puerto Rican Secretary of the Interior Marcos Rodríguez Ema in a radio interview, when asked about the survey results.

Ema Rodríguez also said the Government’s recovery signs are starting to show “little by little,” but people are still pessimistic about the results.

Puerto Rico's Secretary of the Interior Marcos Rodríguez Ema

“People in Puerto Rico traditionally has always been very pessimistic about the future of our island,” said Rodríguez Ema, who accused former Govenors Sila Calderón and Vilá for creating this perception. Both Calderón and Vilá are members of the island’s Popular Democratic Party (PPD)

“If they the [PPD] stayed in power, the government would have been a total failure,” said the owner, noting that the economy and health care have improved with changes made by the Fortuño administration.

Ema Rodríguez also indicated that there is still a year and a half for people to see the changes made by Fortuño.

“It’s better have people in government who know what they are doing than to be governed by people who sank us into tsunami of terror,” he said.

PPD Leader Says Fortuño Government Has Collapsed

Meanwhile, the president of the Partido Popular Democratico (PPD), Héctor Ferrer, told the NotiUno radio station that Fortuño’s government collapsed long ago and people are very clear about it.

“Note that the percentage of those who do not want to share their opinions does not exceed 2%. In other words, people are clear that the government has collapsed,” said Ferrer, referring to the people who abstained when asked what grade they would give Fortuño.

Héctor Ferrer, President of the PPD

“The government collapsed and collapsed in each and one of the issues important to the country. It is a government bus going in reverse,” said Ferrer.

Former Senator Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer of the PNP gave the Fortuño government a C minus.

Former PNP Senator Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer (left)

“The government still cannot deliver, even with all the money it is spending, all the money being spent on advertising and public relations, with all those millions is degrading and that money could have solved many problems in Puerto Rico. I think this figure has already reached a billion dollars with everything. and that the people of Puerto Rico do not realize or feel that things are better, ” Ramírez de Ferrer said in a radio interview.

He added, “I can not agree with someone who thinks that things are good and getting better in Puerto Rico.”

PPD Leadership Says Fortuño is the Worst Governor in Puerto Rican History

In a press release written in Spanish, the PPD leadership said the following: “Luis Fortuño is not a viable candidate (for the elections of 2012) and the remainder of the leadership of the New Progressive Party (PNP) will suffer the consequences of involvement in the thousands of layoffs under the law.”

“Fortuño has become the worst governor in history,” the press release reads.

Regarding the spending of funds for the island’s latest status plebiscite, the group called it “immoral” because thousands of parents and families are without a livelihood on the streets. The funds to support the operational costs and publicity of the plebiscite should be redirected to reinstate the unemployed workers who have been laid off.

“The plebiscite does not obligate anyone and the second round is scheduled as a blackmail to reelect Fortuño, the same one who has fired us from our jobs,” the group concluded.

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At a time when the political landscape is examining government budgets with fine tooth combs and microscopes, a report by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation has listed the Hon. Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner and non-voting member of the US House of Representatives, as the House’s biggest spender, having accumulated $2.1 million in expenses to keep his office running.

As Sunlight’s article mentions:

In 2010, members, committees and other offices of the U.S. House of Representatives spent more than $1.36 billion on salaries, benefits, office equipment, travel, consultants and other expenses. Of that, the largest expense–about $1 billion–was for salaries and benefits, followed by spending on rent and communication costs, technology and related maintenance costs.

In addition, the report lists the House’s 10 biggest spenders, with Pierluisi outspending former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi by more than $300,000. Pierluisi, a registered Democrat in Republican Governor Luis Fortuño’s administration, is one of nine Democrats on the Top 10 list of spenders:

  1. Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico: $2,117,000
  2. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: $1,860,000
  3. Jim Costa, D-Calif.: $1,764,000
  4. *Dina Titus, D-Nev.: $1,742,000
  5. *Scott Murphy, D-N.Y.: $1,741,000
  6. Ken Calvert, R-Calif.: $1,737,000
  7. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.: $1,733,000
  8. *Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio: $1,724,000
  9. David Wu, D-Ore.: $1,699,000
  10. Laura Richardson, D-Calif.: $1,688,000

*-Denotes former member

EL NUEVO DÍA, Puerto Rico’s largest circulation newspaper, did get Pierluisi to comment about the Sunlight findings, as reported in Spanish by reporter José A. Delgado. We have translated a few sections of the article here:

Pedro Pierluisi said today that it is the very leadership of the House of Representatives that decides how money allocated to the office of Resident Commissioner in Washington.

“There is a process to request funds,” Commissioner Pierluisi said.

This week, an analysis from the Sunlight Foundation, which highlights the expenses of the offices of House members, said Pierluisi had the highest budget for 2010, with about $ 2.1 million.

The costs that stands out in the Sunlight report is the $ 173.000 in printed material (mainly fact sheets Pierluisi’s office inserted into publications for Puerto Rico) and the nearly $ 60,000 in travel, three times more than any other federal legislator of Puerto Rican origin.

“The trip includes spending on employees,” said Pierluisi, who also said that the cost of tickets to Puerto Rico is much higher than that of tickets that his colleagues can purchase.

Later in the article, Popular Democratic Party Chairman Héctor Ferrer criticized Pierluisi for his actions:

This is not the amount of money that is given. My question is: what is the benefit obtained by the people of Puerto Rico with the expenditure of that money? I have a budget that is a quarter that of Pierluisi’s and I represent the same number of voters.

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Here are some public quotes made yesterday regarding the White House Task Force of Puerto Rico report on the island’s political status.

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño

The report is very similar to the reports we have seen from the previous administrations of past presidents, in the sense that the ELA (Associated Free State) is territorial and colonial. In fact, it is not permanent. And it establishes that the three permanent alternatives are as follow: independence, statehood, and free association. But it also recognizes that we if we want to continue to be a territory, well it is subject to the territorial clause of the United States Constitution, well the current territorial status is an option, it also establishes the preferred manner to decide this is through a series of plebiscites and not through a Constitution Assembly. —Governor Fortuño on NotiUno Radio

Héctor Ferrer, President of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD)

Héctor Ferrer, President of the Popular Democratic Party (Pro-ELA, Pro-Commonwealth)

As reported by Fox News Latino: The chairman of the main opposition PPD, Hector Ferrer, expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the report included the suggestion to maintain, if Puerto Ricans want, the island’s commonwealth status, his party’s traditional position.

 

Fernando Martin, President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party

 

Fernando Martin, President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party

The White House report has all the characteristics of a mountain pact, nothing new. “It’s denigrating and should embarrass an administration like that of President Barack Obama.

Ex-Governor of Puerto Rico and pro-statehooder Carlos Romero Barceló

Carlos Romero Barceló, former Governor and pro-statehooder

I believe that everything that this Task Force recommends is what we have been suggested ourselves, first that only the resident citizens of Puerto Rico should vote (on a status question)… It includes very important things and it is beneficial for Puerto Rico in regards to the economy and it recognizes that the economic disaster started here here before it started in the United States.

Iván González Cancel

Iván González Cancel, New Progressive Party (PNP) and pro-statehood candidate for Governor of Puerto Rico

Nobody in Puerto Rico should be waiting for a report from the White House that addresses the colonial status of Puerto Rico. Colonialism, like discrimination, like slavery, is unjust.

María "Mayita" Meléndez

María “Mayita” Meléndez, Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico

According to the information we have, the report establishes that Puerto Ricans want to resolve this problem of undefinition, and for which a local process is supported and not a Constitutional Assembly. Whatever process we use to resolve our political status must be fulfilled through consultations of the people and through a direct vote… This report does not include an enhance ELA nor does it include media deceptions. The unique ELA is the current model.

Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association

It has been stated the enhance ELA is impossible. For decades, the political debate in Puerto Rico has been contaminated by the distortions about the possibility of enhancing the ELA. It is because of these distortions that Puerto Rico remains a territory of the United States.

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