Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló says he plans to mobilize 5.3 million Puerto Ricans living on the mainland to shake up the midterm elections in states ranging from Florida to California. Rosselló, a Democrat and member of the island's pro-statehood New Progressive Party, is infuriated about a Republican tax plan that he says could hobble the island's economy even as thousands of residents remain without power and water three months after Hurricane Maria. "Everybody has seen the damage of the storm and yet policy decisions go in the opposite direction of where they should go," Rosselló said in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. "We're not just going to stand by. We are going to take action."
The 3.4 million U.S. citizens living on the island have no vote in Congress, but they do have 5.3 million fellow Puerto Ricans scattered across the mainland who do have a vote. It's that political power Rosselló plans to leverage.
So far, he figures they can sway congressional district votes in 14 states, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. He pointed to the influence of Florida's 2.7 million Cuban-Americans, a powerful and well-organized constituency.
Puerto Rico would be a beautiful Trump country club if only we could get rid of all those brown people.
The unwillingness of Congress to rescue Puerto Rico is a crime against humanity. I seriously hope that the Governor of that territory is successful in his political war with Republicans.
I can also see a lot more of those 3.4 million moving to the mainland and places like Florida in particular. All they have to do is establish residency to be able to vote as they are already citizens...
"Fortunately, they are hispanic and a great number of them share the same few last names which makes it easy to sideline them with Interstate Crosscheck."
Heckava job, Donnie!
The hurricane in Puerto Rico has become a man-made disaster, with a death toll threatening to eclipse Katrina's.
Multiple news organizations have calculated that the death toll from Hurricane Maria exceeds 1,000; the New York Times, reviewing mortality data from previous years, identified an increase of 1,052 deaths during the first 42 days alone. This, too, is surely an incomplete reckoning. Even as the federal government winds down its response, withdrawing personnel and equipment, some homes are not expected to regain electricity for months. Experts are warning that, with the ballooning mosquito population and lack of clean drinking water, Puerto Rico is at risk of an epidemic. Though Donald Trump has mostly ignored it, he is presiding over a historic tragedy. By the time the island returns to normalcy, Maria could easily have surpassed Katrina to become the country's deadliest natural disaster in living memory.
Good for Rossello. I heard a report on All Things Considered yesterday about how the new bill will really do a number on manufacturing -- the one bright spot in the island's economy -- because its products will now be classified as "foreign" and subject to the IP tax. www.npr.org
Hurricane Maria came at the worst possible time for Puerto Rico, which was already reeling because of its financial situation. There were many factors that led to this: www.usatoday.com).
Rossello knows he has to be aggressive to try to stem the exodus of employers, residents and money.
It's like they are still living in a war zone:
Puerto Rican Island 'Still In Crisis Mode' 3 Months After Maria
On an island eight miles off Puerto Rico's coast, homes sit destroyed on hillsides and many of its nearly 9,000 residents still wait for federal aid. Vieques' hospital is operating out of tents in a parking lot. And the island is facing the prospect of six more months without electricity from Puerto Rico's main grid... .
The vulnerability of Vieques is starkest at the island's hospital. Hospital Susana Centeno was damaged by the storm and is now closed due to a dangerous amount of mold, Felix says.
Now, it's operating in tan military-style tents in the parking lot. "I consider this camping," says Dr. Jose Carrasquillo, the physician at the facility. This clinic doesn't even have a port-a-potty the restroom is a shallow bowl suspended on spindly metal legs with a lid, positioned outside one of the tent flaps.
Now, Carrasquillo, who has an easy laugh even in tough circumstances, says his medical work depends on improvising. He has to makes do with what he has. To demonstrate how he operates in the dimly lit tents, he pulls out a small flashlight and holds it between his teeth.
"This is how I suture," he says. "Because the patient needs it."
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