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Argument: Puerto Rico statehood does not clearly benefit one party

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George F. Will. "Puerto Rico statehood could help Republicans." Washington Post. July 16th, 2010: "Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that Washington, D.C., is a state — to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico’s case, perhaps six members of Congress). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island’s population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland. Fortuno disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island’s biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature, and three-fifths of the mayorships, including that of San Juan. Fortuno, who calls himself a “values candidate” and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative — 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage, 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax-and-spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent the size of the budget."


US Council for Puerto Rico Statehood: "Politically, would Puerto Rico be controlled by the Democratic Party or the Republican Party? Puerto Rico has a strong and vibrant Republican Party. Former governor Luis Ferre served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Puerto Rico for much of his life. Former Lt. Governor Norma Burgos and many New Progressive Party members of the Puerto Rico Legislature and mayors on the island are Republican. Does this mean the Republicans will dominate? No, because Puerto Rico also has a strong and vibrant Democratic Party. Just ask former Governor Pedro Rossello, or Resident Commissioner Carlos Romero Barcelo. They are Democrats. Nobody can predict how a state will turn out politically. We must remember that when Hawaii and Alaska came into the Union, it was widely predicted that Hawaii was assured for the Republicans and Alaska would only send Democrats to the Senate and House of Representatives. How did it turn out? Just the opposite."


George Will. "GOP should support state of Puerto Rico." Miami Herald. July 18th, 2010: "Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state -- to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico's case, perhaps six members of Congress). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island's population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland.

Fortuño disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island's biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature, and three-fifths of the mayorships, including that of San Juan.

Fortuño, who calls himself a ``values candidate and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative -- 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage, 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax and spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent the size of the budget.

Fortuño, 49, who has degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia's law school, looks half his age. ``Republicans, he says, ``cannot continue to oppose every Hispanic issue. If he is correct that Puerto Rican statehood is, or can become, such an issue, Republicans should hear him out."

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