Acevedo Vilá campaign questions González Colón’s contributions report

By John McPhaul

Juan Pablo Hernández, campaign manager for Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Puerto Rico resident commissioner, questioned on Tuesday a recent report on campaign contributions issued by the campaign of current Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón.

“Everyone in Puerto Rico knows that for years González has filled her accounts with political funds, most of them with contributions from lobbyists and big special interests,” Hernández said in a written statement. “In fact, in her own statement, the [resident] commissioner boasts that she is the candidate who has raised the most money for that position. Let her say how many individual donations she has received and the average of these contributions.”

On Monday morning, the resident commissioner, a member of the governing New Progressive Party (NPP), issued a statement alleging that 88 percent of her collections come from donors in Puerto Rico.

By way of contrast, the campaign manager of Acevedo Vilá presented in a table the details of contributions made to the PDP candidate, where it is evident that the vast majority of his contributions come from ordinary citizens, through donations made via different digital platforms, such as ATH Movil.

“Thanks to those 2,260 individual donations, all identified, we managed to raise $177,256.22 during the period from April to June, for an average of $78.43 per donation, which allows us to have the necessary resources to win this contest,” Hernández said.

Acevedo Vilá’s campaign manager said donors to the resident commissioner for this election cycle include Steven Kupka ($2,432.20), a lobbyist for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority who was recently named as one of the lobbyists used by the NPP to lobby for statehood while he was paid by the government, and the American Maritime Officers ($2,500), an organization that has opposed the elimination of cabotage laws.

“These data are consistent with what has been consistently pointed out, that the origin of the campaign donations of the resident commissioner come mainly from individuals and organizations with million-dollar contracts with the NPP government, or who respond to large special interests,” Hernández said. “That the resident commissioner pounds her chest as the candidate who collects the most money, while her donations come from people and organizations like these, far from being a source of pride, should be a source of shame. It is precisely because of this that I challenge you to open your books, and clarify how many individual donations you received in the period, and what the average donation received by your committee was.”

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