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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Statehood – Don’t Rig the Election

From The Heritage Foundation:

H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, contains language that will rig the election in favor of Puerto Rican statehood. I have written a more comprehensive post titled “Puerto Rico Democracy Act – Legislation Biased in Favor of Statehood” on why this legislation is biased in favor of statehood. The Senate is the next stop for this legislation, and it will be interesting to see if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tries to bring up the bill this year. One important point of contention is the fact that this process is far different from the pathways of Alaska and Hawaii to statehood.

As I wrote on the Foundry:

The legislation contains many questionable provisions. First, the legislation sets up a voting process rigged for success. The legislation sets up a preliminary vote and the voters are given two options. If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote in favor of changing the status of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to “a different political status,” then a second vote would be scheduled to poll voters on the following three options:

1. “Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States;”

2. “Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution;” and,

3. “Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union.”

 This vote is rigged. The Puerto Rican people have rejected statehood on three occasions. The first vote was in 1967 when the people of Puerto Rico chose to continue as a Commonwealth (60%) over the other choices of statehood (39%) or independence (1%). In the two other votes, in 1993 and 1998, the people of Puerto Rico rejected statehood by closer margins. The obvious question is: why would we expect this vote to be different? We expect it to be different because the proponents of statehood have set up a false choice in the voting process.

According to H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rican people will get to vote on the following question:

Mark one of the following 2 options:

1. Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status.

2. Puerto Rico should have a different political status.”

If a majority votes for “continue to have its present form of political status,” then Puerto Rico can schedule votes every 8 years until they get a majority for Option 2. If a majority chooses Option 1, then they would be voting to say as a Commonwealth. It is odd that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico would be empowered to schedule elections every 8 years until they can pass the change option.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

Puerto Rico – 51st State? Congress Scrambling to Make it So

From Big Government:

Last night (Tuesday) on his TV show, Glenn Beck dropped another bombshell — on Thursday, Congress will take up a bill to make Puerto Rico a state. Why is our Congress doing this now? Secretly? Quickly? If it hadn’t been for one of Beck’s “Refounders” (a Congressional insider), would we even know about this? Why is this important to you and me?

Well, the word is out, and my local 9-12/Tea party organization sent this out this morning. First thing to hit my mailbox, in fact…

There is a bill to make Puerto Rico a state. Again, they are trying to pull one over on us and on Puerto Ricans, who have consistently said they do not want to become a state. Read below for more information (from Eagle Forum). This was also discussed by Rep Tom Price on a conference call yesterday.

Please consider this:

* The U.S. would transform, overnight, into a bilingual nation. At least half of Puerto Ricans do not speak English, the language of our U.S. Constitution and founding documents. The Washington Times article, “Puerto Rican statehood,” analyzes all the implications of adding a foreign language-speaking state to the Union.

* It would bring immediate demands for massive federal spending. The average income of Puerto Ricans is less than half that of our poorest state, and infrastructure and the environment are far below American standards. Puerto Rico has a population with a median national income of $17,741, nearly a third of that for the U.S.

* Puerto Rico is already a democracy. Despite the bill’s deceptive title, Puerto Rico already has an elected government and exists as a self-governed commonwealth of the U.S.

* Statehood would give Puerto Rico more congressional representation than 25 of our 50 states! It would inevitably give Democrats two additional U.S. Senators and 6 to 8 additional Members of the House.

 H.R. 2499 is stealth legislation designed to lead to the admission of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico as the 51st state, thereby making us a de facto bilingual nation, like Canada. The U.S. Congress should not be forcing Puerto Ricans to vote on statehood, especially since the Puerto Rican people have rejected statehood three times since 1991!

Read the rest at Big Government.

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The injury which may possibly be done by defeating a few good laws, will be amply compensated by the advantage of preventing a number of bad ones. — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 73, on the Veto Power, March 21, 1788

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