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Author: Aras Troy

Trump and his unwitting attacks against the Oversight Board, in context

On October 23, the federally-appointed Puerto Rico financial oversight board unanimously approved a new plan to address the the bankrupt territory’s debt crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The revision, called an “austerity plan” by Governor Ricardo Rosselló, calls for a reduction of $427 million in government spending this fiscal year, with cuts climbing to $926 million by 2020. Included in the plan is an estimates $80 billion in federal disaster relief funding over the next $15 years, of which the federal government has already earmarked $60-65 billion. Both figures are considerably less than the $139 billion the...

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Blue wave extends to Guam, US Virgin Islands, as American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands reelect Republicans

On November 6, residents of most US territories went to the polls to select their governors and Territorial Delegates to the US House of Representatives. Puerto Rico is the only territory to not have had any contests during 2018. Following the trends on the mainland, Guam and the US Virgin Islands saw Democratic gains in the governorship, as American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands reelected their Republican leadership. United States Virgin Islands Stacey Plaskett (D) was reelected after running unopposed for territorial delegate. As a non-voting delegate, she cannot vote for Speaker of the House, but has expressed...

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Puerto Ricans get spotlight in Florida Gubernatorial and Senate races

With competitive races for both Governor and US Senate in Florida, the Democratic and Republican candidates alike are pursuing the votes of the Puerto Rican community as the key to winning the contested seats. Nearly 1.1 million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, likely making up almost half a million of the state’s 13 million registered voters. Florida was a top destination for Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, and while many are returning to the territory, there is evidence that a large number of displaced families intend to stay on the mainland long-term. Governor Race Democratic candidate for governor...

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Lacking full representation, residents of US territories prepare to vote in 2018

They may not be sending voting representatives to Congress, or be able to vote for president, but thousands of residents in most United States territories are gearing up to go to the polls in November. Though the territories may have different electoral systems and levels of self-governance, nearly all will have elections on November 6, in just under a month. United States Virgin Islands Stacey Plaskett (D) is running unopposed to continue serving as the non-voting territorial delegate to the US House of Representatives for the United States Virgin Islands, but the governor’s race is far from uncontested. Seven...

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Trump revives Puerto Rico status debate

President Trump has come out against statehood for Puerto Rico, citing his feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (PDP, D) as well as negative media coverage of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria disaster relief. “Instead of getting thank you, we got nothing but bad publicity,” Trump told Geraldo Rivera in a radio interview on Monday. The president also took the opportunity to call Cruz “incompetent,” and a “horror show,” appeared to not remember her name, and asserted that Puerto Ricans “shouldn’t be talking about statehood until they get some people that really know what they’re...

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