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Cabranes, Sotomayor On Kerry’s A-List… Aznar Meets With Calderon, Defends Bush… The Nifty 50 Of Places To Go… Lugo: Feds Took IAU Negotiation Documents, Governor Denies Involvement In Raid… SWMA Threatens To Sue SJ… USPS Will Honor "Churumba" Cordero… Beltran Keeping Options Open… Candidates Stick To Campaign Themes In Final Debate

Cabranes, Sotomayor On Kerry’s A-List

Stuart Taylor Jr.

October 23, 2004
Copyright © 2004 National Journal Group Inc. All rights reserved. 

National Journal

Liberal and conservative interest groups see Supreme Court appointments as a president's most important domestic legacy. So now they are in their quadrennial lather about how Republican appointees could swing the closely balanced Court decisively to the right, and how Democratic appointees could swing it to the left.

Listing possible Supreme Court nominees is largely guesswork, especially in the case of Kerry, who, unlike Bush, has never picked judges. But lots of guesswork is going on.

Possible Kerry Nominees

Jose A. Cabranes, New Haven, Conn., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 63. The nation's most prominent Hispanic judge, he is respected by fellow judges and practicing lawyers, has long been touted as a potential Supreme Court nominee, and would probably get a close look from the Kerry team. Cabranes, who was born in Puerto Rico, had practiced law in New York and was general counsel of Yale University before President Carter made him a federal district judge in 1979. Clinton elevated him to the 2nd Circuit in 1994. Pluses: Hispanic ethnicity; scholarly excellence; moderate enough to have been considered by the first Bush White House and easily confirmed for current position. Minuses: lack of enthusiasm among left-leaning Latino leaders and Democrats; his trenchant criticisms of harsh federal sentencing laws, which might spur Republican opposition; over 60.

Sonia Sotomayor, Manhattan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 50. Perhaps the second-most-prominent Hispanic judge, especially in the Northeast, she is also of Puerto Rican descent, is also exceptionally smart, and is more liberal than Cabranes. After growing up in a Bronx housing project, Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, and Yale Law School, where she was on the law review. She worked in New York as an assistant district attorney for five years and later became a commercial litigator. Sotomayor, chosen for a district court seat by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., was appointed by the first President Bush in 1992. Clinton elevated her to the 2nd Circuit in 1998; she won confirmation after a long stall by conservative Republicans who feared that she might become an unstoppable candidate for a Supreme Court vacancy. Pluses: Hispanic ethnicity; up-from-modest-origins background; stellar academic record; strong support from liberal and Latino groups. Minuses: painted by some conservatives as a liberal judicial activist.

Aznar Meets Calderon, Defends Bush

From Wire Services

October 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had breakfast with Puerto Rico's governor on Sunday, a day after protesters heckled him at a hotel.

Aznar, prime minister from 1996-2004, gave a lecture on terrorism Saturday at a $200-a-plate luncheon in San Juan.

Speaking before an attentive audience, Aznar called on the US people to vote for President George W. Bush in the November 2 general elections if they do not want to present terrorists with a new victory.

Aznar’s party was ousted from government three days after Madrid's March 11 train bombings. "Terrorism is an old phenomenon, but the determination to fight it is a new thing," said Aznar in an ardent defense of US foreign policy following the September 11 attacks.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the hotel where the conference was held to chide the Spanish politician for his "fascist" and "terrorist" stances.

On Sunday, Gov. Sila Calderon met with Aznar, his wife Ana Botella and their son Alonso at the governor's mansion in Old San Juan. Calderon presented Aznar with a bronze medallion and a copy of Puerto Rico's constitution.

The Nifty 50 Of Places To Go

October 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004 The Star-Ledger. All rights reserved. 

"1,000 Places to See Before You Die."

One thousand places? At best, he normal American traveler should count on visiting perhaps 50 major cities or islands in the course of a lifetime- an ambitious travel program that will challenge the limited vacation and travel time of most Americans.

That number allows a reasonable sampling of almost all the major cultures and important physical attractions (both manmade and natural) of the world, as I think I can prove.

In the United States, there are perhaps 13 indispensable visits to make.

In the Caribbean, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) reveal the history and enduring aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the New World.

Lugo: Federal Agents Took IAU Negotiation Documents

October 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Federal agents that occupied the headquarters of the Independent Authentic Union for 15 hours not only charged with information about the medical plan administered by the union, but with the discs where they stored the preliminary drafts of the collective agreement.

This was announced by IAU President Hector Rene Lugo, who showed this as another reason for delay in the negotiation for the collective agreement, a conflict that is the reason for the strike, which began Oct. 4

"We had all the information related to the negotiation and of the progress of the negotiations and we were recording the discs and they took them," Lugo said, according to press reports.

Labor Secretary Roman Velasco called for a new meeting between both parties Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Labor Department headquarters to return to negotiations with the intent to put an end to the strike.

Governor Says Her Administration Not Involved In Raid

October 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

GUAYAMA (AP) — Gov. Sila M. Calderon on Thursday denied any bond between her administration and the raid that took place Wednesday by federal agents at the Independent Authentic Union headquarters.

The governor said the intervention by federal agents from the IRS and FBI temporarily halted negotiations on the collective agreement between the IAU and the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority.

The operation carried out by the FBI is one by the federal government, it had nothing to do with the government" of Puerto Rico, she said.

Solid Waste Authority Threatens To Take City To Court

October 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Solid Waste Management Authority threatened to take City of San Juan Friday to court if it continues its non-compliance with the Law of Reduction and Recycling and does not deliver information requested about the recycling program.

The executive director of the SWMA, Guillermo M. Riera, made the statement in a letter sent to San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini.

"We hope you will reconsider your decision to not provide us with the requested information. On the contrary, the Authority will be obliged to take it to a judicial forum to demand the city’s compliance with the Law and deliver these documents," Riera said in the letter.

He said, however, that the intention of his agency is not to take the city to court, but to boost recycling and the best management of solid waste.

City officials were not immediately available for comment.

According to Riera, San Juan does not comply with the law to file reports with the SWMA each trimester - recycling statistics and reports of how the community deposit centers are, as well as strategies for diverting recyclable material. "The city promised to present the information in October, but their lack of responsibility with the environment hasn’t permitted this and time is running out," he said.

Postal Service Will Honor Birthday Of "Churumba" Cordero

October 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service here will commemorate the birth of former Ponce mayor Rafael "Churumba" Cordero Santiago with a commemorative stamp in his honor.

The federal office said in a statement that the ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in front of the Museo Parque de Bombas in Ponce.

The commemorative stamps have the figure of a lion — characteristic of Ponce — with the text "Natalicio Station, 24 de octubre de 2004, El León Mayor, Ponce, PR 00730", it said.

Cordero Santiago died Jan. 17 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 61.

Astros' Beltran Keeping Options Open

October 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Carlos Beltran's bat was silent in Game 7 of the NL championship series. Now, the Houston Astros center fielder will take some quiet time to ponder his future.

After going 0-for-3 and scoring a run in Houston's 5-2 loss to St. Louis in the decisive game of the NLCS, Beltran heads into free agency, unsure if he has played his last game with the Astros.

``I'll got back to Puerto Rico and we'll consider this team,'' Beltran said. ``It will be the best decision of my life, you know. It will be a good decision.

``I'll consider where I'm going to be for how many years.''

Beltran batted .417 in the NLCS with four home runs, five RBIs and four steals after hitting .455 with four homers and nine RBIs in the division series. The numbers, no doubt, will make him the biggest offseason catch.

"Everything is important,'' Beltran said. "You want to get paid well and at the same time it's not always about money. It's about being happy.

"I've just got to look for my happiness.''

Candidates Stick To Campaign Themes In Final Debate

By Ricardo Zuniga

October 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Sticking to the themes of their campaigns, the three candidates for governor debated Thursday night for the second and final time before the Nov. 2 elections.

Popular Democratic (PDP) candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila lost no opportunity to attack Pedro Rossello of the New Progressive Party (NPP) on the subject of corruption, and Rossello in turn accused Acevedo Vila of protecting taxpayers of the group. Ruben Berrios insisted that both are the same and neither party has solved the problems of Puerto Rico.

The topics addressed were crime, education, health, political persecution, and civil rights and status, but corruption overshadowed the entire debate, and also the controversy generated by the NPP proposal to impose a sales tax.

The subject of the sales tax, which was not on the debate agenda, was brought up during the meeting.

Acevedo Vila accused Rossello of wanting to increase taxes with the so-called "sales tax", and Berrios said the PDP will do the same, but not announce it publicly as the NPP did, they will do it "under the table."

"Ruben, I repeat to you, I do not think of new taxes for consumers, never in my life have I thought about them," answered the president of the PDP. "I am not going to sign a law that creates a new sales tax," he said.

When his turn came, Rossello said that he wanted to speak to the people "without intermediaries," just as he had done in a series of television messages about various subjects.

Berrios sharply criticized his two rivals, imploring Rossello to answer questions about acts of corruption during his terms as governor and called Acevedo Vila "a third-class candidate."

And the PDP candidate drew a contrast between himself and his style of "progress with dignity" and the "old ideas and lack of honesty" of Rossello.

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