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Old 02-07-2012, 08:43 PM  
alnorth alnorth is online now
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Puerto Rico will vote on the statehood question again this year.

ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE:

Statehood is winning by a very strong margin with 70% reporting.


Will Mitt Romney's Embrace of Puerto Rican Statehood Play in Florida?

Gingrich Promises Puerto Rican Statehood, Cuban Spring at Orlando Event

This is a little-known issue that most people don't know about, but could abruptly surface as a really big deal early next year.

Puerto Rico is currently a commonwealth of the United States, and for the past 113 or so years the US has been trying to get them to decide their island's future (we've asked them, repeatedly, to either ask for independence, or apply to become a state, they are too big to remain a territory forever) We have other little dinky tiny territories of military significance like Guam, but nothing anywhere else close to the population and economy to credibly ask for statehood.

There are many differences between being a commonwealth and being a state, but basically the two big ones are: 1) they have no voting representation in congress and cant vote for president, and 2) They are exempt from paying federal income taxes, though they still pay medicare and social security. Obviously, if you are fine with having no autonomy and not voting, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal, P.R. gets most of the support, federal funds, and benefits of a state, without the federal taxes.

They have voted 3 times in their history on what they want their island to do. The first time "do nothing and remain a commonwealth" won overwhelmingly back in the 60's, but in 1993 a lot of people on the island wanted to apply for statehood, they voted, and statehood just barely lost. (49% stay a commonwealth, 46% apply for statehood, 5% seek independence). They voted again in 1998, and again statehood barely lost, getting 47% of the vote.

This November, 14 years after the last vote, Puerto Rico is going to vote again, and the pro-statehood governor has managed to rig things a little more cleverly this time. They will have 2 questions on the ballot, the 1st one will be "stay a commonwealth or seek a change?" The 2nd question, which becomes effective if change wins, will present 3 options: "seek independence, seek a free association, or apply for statehood". The thinking here is that the few percent of nutty independence-seekers will join the statehood vote to win on question one for change, then the commonwealth people, not wanting independence or a free association, will vote statehood.

If that happens, then sometime in 2013, Puerto Rico will probably formally petition the congress and the president to become the 51st state, and, having seen the people of the island vote to do that, our government will probably have to act. Maybe impose some requirements and a long 8-year or whatever waiting period like Alaska and Hawaii went through, but they wont be able to just flat ignore a request for statehood from a US territory that has more people than 22 other states, and that would be large enough to have at least 4 representatives in the house.

Could be interesting. If you are wondering about politics, they claim to be split. Their governor (who endorsed Romney) is republican, and their elected non-voting member of congress is a democrat.

Last edited by alnorth; 11-06-2012 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #16
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I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.
Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:35 AM   #18
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:50 PM   #19
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BWillie007 View Post
I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.
What benefit do we receive from keeping them as a commonwealth? Sounds like they're getting the free lunch. They should either be a state or declare independence.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.
Already have that in Florida. Racist much?
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #22
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Puerto Rico votes this down in droves every time.

Why shouldn't they?

They get all the federal benefits (except voting in American elections) and pay zero federal taxes.

They even vote in both parties' primaries.
Uhh, you are wrong. Statehood barely lost by low single digits the last 2 votes.

The primary issue for their dominant party in PR is statehood. Its pretty easy to imagine them voting for it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #23
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Already have that in Florida. Racist much?
Oh, now it makes sense. You don't like Curb Your Enthusiasm. This post.

You have no sense of humor.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #24
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If you wanted an offensive Puerto Rican post it would be something about getting 8 of them into a voting booth.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #25
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Already have that in Florida. Racist much?
Florida senators don't represent Puerto Rico. And neither of the senators from Florida have a name ending in "z" anyway.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:13 PM   #26
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Florida senators don't represent Puerto Rico. And neither of the senators from Florida have a name ending in "z" anyway.
I don't think Puerto Rican is a race, either. It seems to be a failure all around.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #27
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They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
Already have that in Florida. Racist much?
It's a word that ends in e, called a joke...You ****ing boob.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.
But what about our Flag?
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.
If no one wants to give up a representative, they could just increase the size of the house.

Up until around 1920 they passed a law to increase the size of the house after every US Census, usually after a lot of haggling and arguing (since they know if they increase it just to X, these states will get new reps, but at X+1, this other undesirable state will get a rep, etc). Early last century they got in a huge fight over what number they should increase the house to, they couldn't agree, so in the stalemate they left the number at 435. (They also did not reapportion the seats, in direct violation of the constitution) After the 1930 census, they again couldn't agree on how to change the size of the house. After that, they basically said "screw it", and left it at 435.
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