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Electoral Violations Includes NPP, PDP Officials

Aponte Urges Government To Cut Expenses

Electoral Violations Includes NPP, PDP Officials

April 23, 2002
Copyright © 2002
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — State Elections Commission President Aurelio Gracia filed a report to the Justice Department on Monday revealing that Gov. Sila Calderon and New Progressive Party (NPP) President Carlos Pesquera were among the 18 candidates who received illegal campaign donations during the past general elections.

Gracia said in his report that the violations include illegal donations from 38 corporations who were either not allowed to make campaign contributions or who made donations that surpassed the limit of $5,000 before the prohibition came into effect.

According to published reports, in 1999 Calderon received two donations each of more than $5,000 from Maxon Engineering Services.

The corporation also made contributions to Pesquera, the NPP, the Popular Democratic Party, as well as to NPP Rep. Angel Cintron and former Senate President Charlie Rodriguez.

Maxon Engineering Services also gave donations to a political action committee that helped Pesquera in his political campaign, according to published reports.

Pesquera also received illegal donations from Edison Electrical Contractors, a corporation that contributed to the campaigns of former NPP Sen. Freddy Valentin and San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini.

The NPP president also received illegal donations from Publimer, Galeria Los Paseos Mall, and Coca Cola.

Former OMB Director Urges Government To Cut Expenses

April 23, 2002
Copyright © 2002
WOW NEWS. All Rights Reserved. 

Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Executive Director Jorge Aponte recommended Tuesday that the government refrain from increasing its expenses as a measure to face what he described as the "total incompetence" of current government officials to balance the budget.

The former official said examples of excessive expenses are unnecessary professional-services contracts, lobbyists contracts, celebrations such as the Commonwealth’s 50 anniversary, and the full-page, full-color government ads.

Seventeen months after the current administration came to power and after two fiscal year budgets have been presented before the Legislature, several measures are still being discussed to balance the government budget and get rid of the deficit.

The proposals, which have faced harsh criticism, include an increase in excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, as well as on 4x4 vehicles.

Gov. Sila Calderon said Tuesday that the approval of these measures would help end the deficit "forever."

"I have to ask myself, as a citizen, how government officials dare to lie to the people," said Aponte, referring to the "structural deficit" that Calderon alleges she inherited from the past administration. "The ‘structural deficit’ exists in the minds of these government officials who have shown themselves to be extremely incompetent in the administration of Puerto Rico’s government budget."

Aponte said in a radio interview that this is a strategy to blame the former government for bad administration and to hide the current government’s incompetence. He also said the Calderon administration has more resources than those available in previous years.

Aponte pointed out that taxes were lowered several times during the past administration, and the government did not confront problems to find the needed resources. He also pointed out that the budgets were balanced and presented on time.

The former official said the government proposals are "aimed at affecting the family" and warned that the public are going to be more cautious when buying necessary goods.

"The government is not going to achieve its goal; it is not going to find the resources, and if they can’t do it, they should resign," Aponte said.

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