Over the past week, three national politicians swept through the island.
Hillary and Marco Rubio visited on the same day (Friday Sept. 4). Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited on Labor Day, Sept. 7. All of them stayed just one day, then bounced back to the U.S.
Their agenda was clearly political. No policy gets accomplished or even discussed during a three-hour photo op, while your private plane re-fuels for the return trip.
There was also a money agenda. Hillary held a quick fundraiser which, according to her aides, netted close to $500,000 in just 90 minutes.
TO CATCH A CROOK, FOLLOW THE MONEY
Actually, money is a key issue for both Clinton and Cuomo: specifically hedge fund money.
Roughly half of Puerto Rico’s $73 billion public debt is currently held by hedge funds – and both Clinton and Cuomo are deeply “involved” with the hedge fund industry.
HILLARY THE HEDGE HOG
In recent articles in Latino Rebels and ThinkProgress, journalists Alice Ollstein and Hector Luis Alamo reported that hedge fund executives with significant Puerto Rican holdings – which stand to lose billions if the Commonwealth declares bankruptcy – have contributed over half a million dollars to Clinton’s campaign committee.
As noted by both Ollstein and Alamo:
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign…has received the legal maximum donation of $2,700 from bankers at Fortress Investment Group and four-figure contributions from bankers at Perry Capital, Blue Mountain Capital, and Angelo, Gordon & Co., according to Federal Election Commission filings.
A banker with Apollo Global Management also donated the legal limit to Clinton, and that hedge fund paid her $250,000 for a speech in May, according to her personal finance disclosure.
All of these hedge funds have been deeply involved in the Puerto Rican debt crisis. Several of them, including Blue Mountain Capital, the Managed Funds Association, and Angelo, Gordon & Co., have spent big this year lobbying Congress not to give the island bankruptcy protections.”
CUOMO THE KING
The King of Hedges is Cuomo.
He has received $1.28 million from the vulture funds that are circling around Puerto Rico. All of these vulture funds are fiercely opposed to Chapter 9 bankruptcy assistance to the island, because Chapter 9 could reduce – and in some cases eliminate – the money that Puerto Rico “owes” to them.
In total, Cuomo has received money from 47 hedge funds, all operating in Puerto Rico.
One of these funds, the Blue Mountain Capital Group, spent another $100,000 on eight lobbyists this year, to block HR 870 – the federal legislation that would have made Puerto Rico eligible for limited bankruptcy protection.
While flying down to Puerto Rico on Sept. 7, Cuomo finally announced – from inside the airplane – that he supported Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief for Puerto Rico.
This was the first time Cuomo ever expressed this support – and he did it sotto voce, in an extremely remote setting. It was the political equivalent of reporting a triple homicide on Christmas Eve, on page 87, in half a column, with no headline, just below the crossword puzzle.
The announcement was perfect for Cuomo. It enabled him to step off the plane, a newly-baptized compadre, with a compliant island press corps awaiting him. Less than 24 hours later, Cuomo hopped back on his plane and returned to…his hedge fund friends.
THE MASK OF JANUS
The politics of Janus now dominates Puerto Rico. Neither the PPD, PNP, or “Democrats” from the US, are talking straight and true. They simply put on any mask, and tell any lie, that suits them at the moment.
They do it nakedly, brazenly, in obvious and offensive ways, and with no remorse at all – as if telling a 3-year old child that Santa Claus exists.
Puerto Rico has been treated like this for 118 years.
Hillary Clinton and Gov. Cuomo did it this very week.
It is time to wake up.