|Puerto Ricos Frequent Flyer
In last weeks "Puerto Rico Report" in the Herald (Vol. 6 No. 8), John Marino describes the migratory habits of Puerto Ricos "non-resident" Resident Commissioner, Anibal Acevedo Vilá.
Elected as the Islands non-voting representative to the U.S. Congress in the 2001 election and now beginning his second year in that body, Mr. Acevedo Vilá has yet to ink a residential lease in the Washington D.C. area, preferring to commute weekly between the U.S. Capital and San Juan. Typically he is "open for business" in Washington for work on his two congressional committees (Resources and Small Business) on Tuesdays through Thursdays, but for the other four days he becomes a homebody on the island. He defends his travel lust by explaining that most members of Congress travel to their districts each weekend, but critics point to the record of his predecessor, Carlos Romero Barceló, who was a stay-in-town schmoozer in Washington, creating a powerhouse rolodex of friends for Puerto Rico. All previous Resident Commissioners from Puerto Rico established residences in or near the Nations Capital.
As evidenced by his recent controversial and unprecedented address to the Puerto Rico Legislature, wherein he enumerated his accomplishments as Resident Commissioner, Mr. Acevedo Vilá seems, above all, interested in feathering his own political nest in Puerto Rico, allowing the national debate to fly by his empty seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington.