Friday, May 7, 2010

Brogdon: Obama, Pelosi and Fallin Smooth Path to Puerto Rican Statehood

Following revelations that Congresswoman Mary Fallin cosponsored legislation to give Puerto Rico a vote for statehood, her gubernatorial opponent, Randy Brogdon, slammed the move.

Obama, Pelosi and Fallin Smooth Path to Puerto Rican Statehood
Simple majority required in Puerto Rican vote, 2/3rds required for Alaska, Hawaii

Congresswoman Mary Fallin continues to assert her opposition to statehood for Puerto Rico, despite the fact that she co-sponsored legislation calling for the island to conduct a series of elections on their desire for statehood.

“This is not in any way putting Puerto Rico on a ‘fast track’ to statehood and it is -misleading to suggest otherwise.”

This is a fast track to statehood, because only a simple majority is required in this federally sanctioned plebiscite. Hawaii and Alaska required approval from 2/3 of voters in their pre-statehood, federally sanctioned plebiscites. An amendment by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, requiring a 2/3rds vote was rejected. Why does Mary Fallin favor a lesser standard for Puerto Rico than our last two states?

Also, this is a fast track because this bill won’t take no for an answer. If Puerto Rican voters reject the plebiscite, HR 2499 directs the Puerto Rican government to conduct elections every 8 years until it passes.

Fallin explains what she thinks the bill does:

“the only difference is the people of Puerto Rico are now given a chance to express an opinion about their political future before Speaker Nancy Pelosi determines it for them.”

However, if Congresswoman Fallin’s goal is to deny Puerto Rico statehood, wouldn’t that be easier without a vote where Puerto Ricans might overwhelmingly agree with Speaker Pelosi. As shown previously, the outcome of this election is far from certain.

“Mary Fallin does not support nor will she vote for Puerto Rican statehood. Mary Fallin does support, however, the ability of the people of Puerto Rico to hold a non-binding vote expressing their wishes – which in this case, I believe will be in opposition to becoming a state. “

Apparently, Rep. Fallin intends for us to believe that she sponsored a federally sanctioned election, so Puerto Ricans can feel better about themselves when they are denied statehood. No, that can’t be it. I doubt the Puerto Ricans will feel so included when we promptly ignore them.

Oh, but if we are to ignore them, Republicans have to be back in power. Democrats won’t ignore them, they will give them 2 Senators and 5 or 6 seats in the House, perhaps one of Oklahoma’s 5 seats. This plan is really a gamble, and the Democrats have been handed the cards. It might not happen this time, but in eight years, or eight more years? It might take 30 years, but eventually the Democrats will use one of those recurring plebiscites to justify statehood, and more Democrat seats.

Perhaps this kind of thinking is clever in Washington, but Oklahomans find it wasteful. Co-sponsoring HR 2499 is a lousy way to oppose statehood for Puerto Rico. However, it is a great way to become an unwitting dupe in the Pelosi / Obama plan for a long-term Democrat majority.

You can view the Fallin statement on the Puerto Rico resolution here.

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