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Old 02-07-2012, 08:43 PM  
alnorth alnorth is offline
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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, 05:01 PM   #31
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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.
Mel Martinez was senator from 2005-2009
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #32
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #33
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If no one wants to give up a representative, they could just increase the size of the house.

Up until around 1910 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 1920 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.
I might be getting my history wrong here, but I believe after one of the last two states was admitted, they temporarily raised the house size until the next census and then reapportioned. Maybe that could be a solution. But I don't see a permanent rise - like you said, it opens everything up to a huge political mess.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #34
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It's a word that ends in e, called a joke...You ****ing boob.
Its not very funny asswhipe.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #35
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Just looked it up, apparently the law that was passed to set the number at 435 also was designed to handle new states, and was used for Alaska and Hawaii.

When a state is admitted to the union, they immediately get their rep (or reps), and the house size is temporarily increased above 435. After the next census, it goes back down to 435.

So, if Puerto Rico were hypothetically admitted now, they would probably get 4 or 5 reps, and the house would be temporarily at 439 or 440 members, until after the 2022 election. (Also, we'd temporarily have 439 or 440 electoral votes, which was another reason why increasing the size of the house was hard, the parties could do the math and realize which states would get electoral votes)

edit: actually, we'd temporarily have 544 or 545 electoral votes, forgot about D.C. and the senate, including the 2 from PR. We'd then have 540 electoral votes after 2022, and a majority would be 271 instead of 270
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Last edited by alnorth; 02-08-2012 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #36
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Its not very funny asswhipe.
Yes it was
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #37
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Mel Martinez was senator from 2005-2009
So what?
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #38
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But what about our Flag?
That shouldn't play a role in a decision like this.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:33 PM   #39
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Bump

Statehood is winning by a very strong margin with 60% reporting. If it wins, PR will probably petition the government to become the 51st state. With their population, if the US admitted them, they'd get at least 6 congressmen, and 8 electoral votes.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #40
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #41
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http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDel...IALES_ISLA.xml

Statehood up big with 70% reporting.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:16 PM   #42
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There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDel...CTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I **** that up? Are that voting no to the current status?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #43
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There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDel...CTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I **** that up? Are that voting no to the current status?

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:50 PM   #44
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I don't want them to become the 51st state.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #45
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There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDel...CTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I **** that up? Are that voting no to the current status?
First question is whether they want to keep their current status. That is losing.
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