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Bush's Latino Strategy Bueno For Bloomy

Vizcarrondo To Form Committee Against Nepotism

Bush Asked To Withdraw Women’s Program Funds

Hearing To Remove Vega Alta Mayor Set

ATSDR: No Damage To Viequenses Health

Calderon: Will Seek Reelection, Refutes 956 Critics


Bush's Latino Strategy Bueno For Bloomy

November 8, 2001
Copyright © 2001
New York Post. All Rights Reserved.

MIKE BLOOMBERG won New York using the strategy that George W. Bush's team is trying to push as a national model - boosting Republicans to victory by grabbing a big chunk of the rapidly growing Latino vote.

Now Democrats know they can't take Latinos for granted anymore.

"What's really striking here is that there was a basic assumption that the Puerto Rican community would be the hardest Hispanic group for Republicans to crack - but that's what most of the vote is in New York," said GOP pollster Ed Goeas.

"Democrats are going to have to be more cautious when they play race politics in the primaries."

It's not just New York. In Los Angeles, last June's Democratic mayoral primary - pitting a Latino against an Anglo - took on a nasty tone, like the Green-Freddy Ferrer fight, that split the party and angered Latinos.

Republicans are making inroads elsewhere, too. In Houston, Republican Orlando Sanchez finished just 2 points behind Democratic Mayor Lee Brown (once New York's police commissioner). They'll face each other again in a runoff.

Of course, Bush wouldn't be president if he hadn't swept Cuban-Americans in Florida and drawn about a third of the Latino vote overall.

No wonder Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe yesterday said one of his top priorities now is to "spend a lot of time repairing the bad feeling" that cost Democrats half the Latino vote and the mayor's job.

Bloomberg's win is a "watershed political event" that opens new opportunities for Gov. Pataki in next year's gubernatorial race, GOP pollster John McLaughlin said. He noted that Pataki has already laid the groundwork by opposing Naval bomb training on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques .

Word is that Bush and Bloomberg will meet this weekend when the president comes to New York to speak at the United Nations and to pay tribute to New York's role in the war on terror.

The two chatted by phone yesterday. Sources said they spoke mostly about federal aid for rebuilding New York.

House Speaker To Form Committee Against Nepotism

November 8, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - House Speaker Carlos Vizcarrondo ordered the setting-up of a committee of spokespeople from the political parties to revise the matter of personnel contracting in the regulations of the legislative body in view of reports of nepotism.

Vizcarrondo issued letters to New Progressive Party Minority Spokesman Anibal Vega Borges and Puerto Rican Independence Party Rep. Victor Garcia San Inocencio that say the purpose of the committee, which he will preside, will be to recommend stricter criteria of employment and contracting in the House.

Meanwhile, Independent Rep. Jorge de Castro Font filed a bill to prohibit the legislative chiefs from granting dispensations to legislators or officials to contract family members up to a third degree of kinship or second degree of affinity.

Congressmen Ask Bush To Withdraw Funds From Island Program

November 7, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Six members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked President George W. Bush to withdraw federal funds from an abused women's program that they allege are being used to "subsidize the lobby" against the U.S. Navy in Vieques, according to published reports.

"We are dismayed about this activity, particularly in moments that our nation is found in war, and our troops are in danger," said the congressmen's letter that was sent to the president Nov. 2.

The letter was written by Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) and undersigned by Reps. Dan Burton (R-IN), Adam Putnam (R-FL), James Hansen (R-UT), Gene Taylor (D-MS), and Kurt Weldon (R-PA).

The letter pointed out what is more worrying is that the U.S. government continues to subsidize organizations or governments that could endanger the Navy's training for the difficult mission they have before them and debilitate the national security interest of the United States.

The congressmen insisted that the president "immediately discontinue the funds for this and any other federal aid that could be used to support the Commonwealth's aggressive campaign against the Navy."

They mentioned the expressions of Woman's Advocate Maria Dolores Fernos that a shelter for abused women in Vieques was not only to protect them, but to help them "develop interests and present them with options, including the exit of the Navy from Vieques."

Hearing To Remove Vega Alta Mayor Announced

November 7, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The Municipality Complaints Committee will conduct a hearing Nov. 20 to study the complaint presented by the government to remove Popular Democratic Party Vega Alta Mayor Juan Cruzado Laureano.

The complaint was filed by Gov. Sila Calderon through Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez after Cruzado Laureano was accused of alleged corruption acts.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. at the committee's headquarters in Old San Juan, the committee said in a press release.

The mayor, who separated himself from his post while the case is clarified, should present his version of what happened at the hearing, and the committee will decide whether there is evidence to send the case to the Superior Court and ask for his removal.

U.S. Agency Has Found No Proof Of Toxic Substances In Vieques Soil Or Water

November 6, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -A U.S. agency evaluating possible health effects of U.S. Navy bombing exercises on Vieques has found no evidence to suggest the training is introducing toxic substances into the island's soil or water, a government scientist said.

"The work we do is to try to find evidence that ... a toxic substance has reached the population and we have not found evidence of that in soil and water studies," said environmental scientist Gary Campbell of the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR).

Campbell, speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon in San Juan Tuesday, defended the independence of the research, saying it was in no way influenced by the U.S. Navy.

The Navy has used a bombing range on the eastern tip of Vieques for six decades. Opponents say the bombardment harms the environment and health of Vieques ' 9,100 residents, allegations the Navy denies.

Another study by his agency looking at the possibility of any negative health impact from airborne particles in Vieques will be finished in December, said Campbell.

A third study looking at the possibility of contamination through the food chain will be done in January, he said. As part of the food studies, Campbell said researchers have studied samples of fish, lobsters and shrimp to see if they are contaminated with heavy metals.

Governor Will Seek Reelection In 2004

November 6, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Gov. Sila Calderon assured that she will seek reelection in 2004, while pointing out that she sees that election as a step that she has to surpass to be able to comply with her objective of progressing the "clean government" agenda.

"For me, the electoral politics just does not interest me; politics interests me as an instrument," Calderon said in published reports.

She admitted that in the time she has been head of the government, she has neglected the political partisan matter to concentrate on government affairs, but she assured that she will put greater attention to the first, starting in January.

She said she is in complete agreement with Sen. Eudaldo Baez Galib's ideas that were written in an internal memo in November 1993 on the need to "reformulate" the PDP, philosophically and structurally.

Governor Refutes Congressmen's Expressions On Section 956

November 6, 2001
Copyright © 2001
PRWOW News Service. All rights reserved.  

Gov. Sila Calderon revealed Tuesday a letter that she wrote to refute four Republican congressmen on changes in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 956 on new industrial incentives for Puerto Rico.

The repudiation, sent to Rep. William Thomas, chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, said Calderon's expressions were taken out of context by Reps. Jim Hansen, Dan Burton, Don Young, and Randy Cunningham, according to a press release.

The congressmen, according to La Fortaleza, said Section 956 is a reformulation of the eliminated Section 936.

Calderon indicated to Thomas that the federal legislation counts on 35 co-sponsors in Congress, of which 12 are members of the Ways and Means Committee.

She emphasized that none of the four congressmen are part of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction on the Section 956 proposal that was presented during the summer in a bipartisan manner in the U.S. Senate and House.

"For this reason, I consider that the four congressmen have not had the benefit of knowing the technical aspects of this legislative proposal, and it is incorrect to say that the amendments to Section 956 are a reformulation of Section 936," the governor said in her letter to Thomas.

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