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Author: Elizabeth Hansel

Big changes needed to stem Puerto Rico crisis

Even with a new governor, Puerto Rico’s financial status continues to be in peril. The governor recently announced that the territory will run out of cash in February. At that point, they will no longer have enough money to pay public employees past that point. The new governor was inaugurated on January 2, giving him very little time to resolve the situation. Even with more time however, with $70 billion in debt, resolving this crisis would be incredibly difficult. In order to get more public funds, the territory may have to borrow more and the Oversight Board will also...

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A Super PAC that hoped to Influence Latinx voters

In a particularly decisive election season this past fall, many individuals felt compelled to take action in order to protect rights and views that many Americans take for granted. This is particularly true when it comes to the actions of PACs and Super PACs who are able to contribute towards issue advocacy or even to individual candidates themselves. Since the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court case, these organizations have especially had a stronger voice in politics and elections. Now individuals, along with corporations, can give to these groups and use money as speech to attempt to influence political outcomes....

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Debt issue runs deep in Puerto Rico

The debt crisis in Puerto Rico is now well known and currently creating turmoil between Puerto Ricans and the oversight board recently appointed by President Barack Obama. Recent discussions and investigations into a power outage last month have revealed just how deep this debt issue runs. The local power company, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is also in massive debt and is dealing with a restructuring of new bonds. The Authority is in over $9 billion of debt, while it continues to borrow millions in order to continue operations. It appears as though the authority is also overcharging...

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Book of the week: Leap of Faith

While Queen Noor’s autobiography, Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, is not the most recent book on the Middle East, involving the politics and events of that area, the perspective she writes from remains incredibly unique. Queen Noor insightfully combines her native American background with her new found love and respect for Jordan and the Middle East as a whole. With a Syrian father, Queen Noor was familiar with the culture growing up and on her first visits to the region she fell in love with the culture and people. After graduating from Princeton, Queen Noor took...

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Recreational projects and contracts are the most wasteful municipal spending in Puerto Rico

We recently discovered a large gap in spending oversight in the 40 some municipalities in Puerto Rico. Many municipalities are either in debt, or not properly using the resources available to them. Budgets made by the mayors of each municipality are either not adhered to, or not properly overseen by legislation to ensure their practicality.   While these local governments may plan for projects to benefit their communities, there is often a disconnect between the planning process and the reality of these projects. This includes overspending and increasing debt, as well as a lack of follow up and completion...

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