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PDP Defends Second Machado Donation, Calderon Distances Herself Form Scandal, Berrios & Rossello React To $10,000 Donation To Acevedo Vila

PDP Defends Second Machado Donation

May 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) — For Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial campaign Director, Carlos Dalmau, it is not immoral that Anibal Acevedo Vila accepted yet another donation of $10,000 from Dr. Richard Machado in 1999.

"It was moral because the money was not exchanged for anything and was within legal bounds," said Dalmau in a radio interview.

Press reports detail that Acevedo Vila received a second donation from then San Juan mayor primary candidate for the PDP, Richard Machado, during a luncheon in 1999.

Acevedo Vila denies having accepted any donations personally, including the $20,000 which began the contribution scandal.

"I say that I did not receive the checks personally in that lunch meeting. In that meeting effort to raise funds were discussed, but no money exchanged hands," said the Resident Commissioner.

According to Acevedo Vila the donations do not constitute a violation of Electoral Laws because in 1999 he was not running for office.

Calderon Distances Herself Form Donation Scandal

May 6th, 2004.

SAN JUAN (AP) — On three different occasions Thursday, Governor Sila M. Calderon distanced herself from the scandal prompted by campaign donations made by Dr. Richard Machado to the Popular Democratic Party and reiterated that Anibal Acevedo Vila should answer all question related to the controversy.

The Governor said that the PDP’s Governing Board, which she was a part of in 1999 when Machado made two donations totaling $30,000, did not take any individual action concerning the donations.

"It is up to Acevedo Vila to answer questions for himself, like he has done so far. He is the person that needs to address that matter," replied Calderon in a serious tone at a press conference in a Rio Piedras school where she was inaugurating an Internet system.

"The Board stands behind all aspects of the Electoral Laws. I am not an expert on that matter…the explanations he has put forth thus far are acceptable," she added without her usual ardent defense of the gubernatorial candidate.

Machado revealed that aside from a $20,000 dollar donation, which Acevedo Vila recently returned, he also gave a $10,000 donation on behalf of "Plebiscite 98."

When explaining what the $20,000 was used for, Acevedo Vila categorically denied receiving any other donations from Machado.

The Governor also made it clear that she sees no reason to refer the case to the Dept. of Justice.

Berrios & Rossello React To $10,000 Donation To AV

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News


The news of an unreported political donation of $10,000 that Popular Democratic Party (PDP) former pre-candidate for San Juan mayor Richard Machado gave to Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila in 1999 prompted the reaction of New Progressive Party (NPP) and Puerto Rican Independence Party gubernatorial candidates Pedro Rossello and Ruben Berrios, respectively on Thursday.

Berrios said he believes the disclosure of donations whose legitimacy has yet to be proved by regulating agencies doesn’t surprise him.

According to Berrios, as far as clean government practices, the NPP and the PDP share the same credibility problem.

"Nobody is surprised anymore whenever they point their fingers at each other," Berrios said.

Rossello assured the press that the NPP finances are open and legal, but that Acevedo Vila’s claims that the donations were used to help the PDP’s meager finances back in 1998 should be investigated. He said the State Elections Commission’s (SEC) records show that it was the NPP, not the PDP, which accumulated the largest debt as a result of the 1998 status plebiscite.

Rossello also said he preferred to stay out of the controversy, as it is the government’s regulating agencies such as the SEC, the Justice Department, the Government Ethics Office, and the Treasury Department, which must look into it, not him.

Nonetheless, he accused Gov. Sila Calderon of having a double standard when it comes to investigating the finances of political parties in Puerto Rico. Rossello made this remark after learning of the governor’s inclination to not order an investigation when the Treasury Department is currently investigating his income tax history.

"This is an administration that persecutes those who differ from its thinking," Rossello said.

When asked about his thoughts as to how the controversy would affect his PDP contender in the gubernatorial race, Rossello said Acevedo Vila has always been a vulnerable candidate.

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