PDP CANDIDATE for
José A. Hernández
PDP CANDIDATE for
|That is very probable,
||If you were elected Resident
Commissioner, would you and your whole family move to the Washington
||My family would
stay in Puerto Rico until the end of the school year, which by
that time would already be in progress. At that point, my wife
and I would decide.
|According to the
law, the Resident Commissioner is the representative of the Government
and the people. In order for his administration to be successful,
his agenda must be the result of a team effort with the Governor
and all the other government officials.
would dictate your agenda? You yourself? You with the elected
government officials? Just the government?
||The agenda would
be in harmony with the government and the mayors in accordance
with the platform promises made by the PDP. Nevertheless, this
agenda mandates the well-being of all Puerto Ricans.
|The first thing
I would do is to be a Commissioner at the service of all Puerto
Ricans and, on behalf of the people, I would take to Congress
and to the White House what is the true feeling of the Puerto
Rican people regarding the Commonwealth and its development,
Sections 936, 30A, Vieques.
|| If you were Resident Commissioner
now, what would you do differently from Carlos Romero Barceló?
||I would not adopt
a contentious attitude against any of the other ideologic sectors
in Puerto Rico.
|I would maintain
a good relationship with the Republican and the Democratic Party
for Puerto Rico's benefit. Nevertheless, based on my personal
philosophy regarding social justice, I am a Democrat.
|| Would you become an active member
of the Democratic wing?
||Yes. The social
thinking of the Democratic Party is closest to my own way of
|That would require
an amendment to the US Constitution, which is a very complicated
thing. The path to take must be to grant more autonomy to the
|| Do you believe it's possible
for the Resident Commissioner to have a vote in Congress under
||That would depend
on what is required or what would have to be sacrificed in exchange
for that right to vote.
|I obtained my Masters
Degree in Law at Harvard, and I worked for a year at the Federal
Court of Appeals in Boston. Obviously, I am fluent in English.
|| How good is your English? Do
you speak it fluently?
||I speak it fluently.
I did my bachelor studies at Harvard, and my law studies at Stanford.
|A great part of
the Commissioner's work is of a legislative nature in Congress.
That requires great skill in debate, negotiation and teamwork.
Obviously, previous legislative and political experience is of
the utmost importance.
|| Do you feel that legislative
experience gives any advantage to the person who aspires to be
||No. No PDP Commissioner,
except for Polanco Abreu, had previous legislative experience.
It's the same situation with the NPP. Just one person has had
previous legislative experience: Carlos Romero Barceló.
It is more important to have clarity, strength, consistency,
motivation and a genuine willingness to serve in this capacity.
|My successes in
public life have revealed new ways of participating in politics
with respect, uprightness, and credibility, which is attractive
to people of all parties, whether a Popular Party member or not.
|| Do you consider nonpartisan
voters to be an attractive option to the Popular Party?
||Yes, because I
understand that democracy is not just government by the majority,
but respect for the minority. For this reason, I don't go about
with an oppressive, bullying attitude toward my opponents. Therefore,
despite the fact that I'm an autonomist, I recognize the existence
of a movement for statehood and one for independence. Although
they are minorities, those of us in the majority must attend
even to the least of their concerns. This non-bullying attitude
must prove attractive to the nonpartisan voter.
|My youth, the way
in which I dialogue and search for consensus, the respect that
I have for the people of Puerto Rico and my commitment to the
Commonwealth and its development.
|| What makes you more attractive
to the voters than Carlos Romero Barceló?
||The fact that I
have neither a contentious nor a bullying style.
|I am my own letter
of introduction, my own credentials through my work, what I have
done on behalf of the Popular Party and Puerto Rico. I offer
the Popular Party my youth, my experience in Washington defending
the Commonwealth, through my experience in Puerto Rico defending
the Popular Party, my legislative experience, my ability to work
together with Sila Calderón and the whole Party leadership.
|| What makes you more attractive
than the other candidate?
||I prefer not to
answer that myself, but rather that it be the voters who determine
who is the best option to defeat the NPP and Romero, the best
option to attract the nonpartisan vote and to motivate the various
sectors of the PDP.
|The question is
offensive to the intellectual capacity of women.
|| Do you feel that you possess
better physical attributes than your opponent to help you capture
the feminine vote?
||My wife thinks
so, but that is not for me to determine.
|The fact that he
is the son of a great leader of this party.
|| Honestly define your opponent's
||His position of
vice president and ex-president.
in politics and government.
|| And, also answering sincerely,
what is his greatest weakness?
||I'm not going to
get into that. It is not for me to point out the weaknesses of
my opponents in the PDP.
|In life, that would
be my father, who taught me that there is no substitute for work
and individual effort for people to achieve what they desire
in life, and he educated me on the sanctity of public and political
|| Who do you consider to be your
spiritual sponsor or mentor?
|Her ability to
dialogue and achieve consensus, and her commitment to honesty
in public service.
|| Now, tell us what is the greatest
attribute of Sila María Calderón.
administrator. She does not tolerate mediocrity.
|I am not familiar
with him as a leader.
|| ...and the greatest attribute
of Carlos Ignacio Pesquera.
||At this time, I
can't [comment]. Pesquera seems to be a good person, but I don't
know him well.
|| If you had to choose just one
virtue of Pedro Rosselló, what would that be?
|| ...and, on the other hand, if
you had to select one of his faults, what would you mention?
|That together we
are going to win the 2000 elections.
|| Finally, if you should lose,
what would you say directly to your opponent?
||That I congratulate
him, and I put myself at his disposal to achieve a victory in