“Banquete Total,” by journalist Jay Fonseca, is an excellent book. It reveals how every branch of Puerto Rico’s government – the governor, legislature, courts, and 78 mayors – all became completely corrupt. For several decades the island became a “complete banquet,” a bottomless buffet table for politicians…every one of whom should go to jail.
The book is so detailed that it needs a three-part series. The following article is Part II: Governor Luis Fortuño buys half the judges in Puerto Rico. Of all the politicians, Gov. Luís Fortuño (2009-2013) is the first one who should go to jail.
$2.6 BILLION FOR “ORIENTATION” AND $1 BILLION FOR “PUBLICITY”
In four short years, Fortuño fired 30,000 public workers…and then handed out billions of dollars in private contracts to his own personal friends. This included:
As recently as last week, the U.S. Senate asked for a specific accounting of where this $4,863,000,000 (nearly $5 billion) for “orientation, publicity, consulting and personal services” actually went. In other words…who exactly got this money, and what “work” did they perform?
There is a strong and growing suspicion that the money was:
Due to Jay Fonseca’s book “Banquete Total,” the last of these suspicions is difficult to ignore.
HOW TO BUY AN ENTIRE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
As reported in Fonseca’s book, in just four years (2009-2013), Gov. Luis Fortuño appointed three judges to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, and 203 of the 385 judges in the island judiciary.
This represents 54% of the entire judicial system of Puerto Rico (see Banquete Total, pp. 53-59).
At the same time that all these new judges were appointed, nearly $5 billion in slush fund money was injected into the island’s economy.
The easiest way to buy a judge, is to hand a contract for “orientation, publicity, consulting or personal services” to one of the judge’s family members.
In this case, Gov. Fortuño was handing 203 judges their own job, and spreading $5 billion for “orientation, publicity, consulting and personal services” all over the island!
HYPOCRISY IN WASHINGTON
After spreading $5 billion in political slush money throughout Puerto Rico, after losing his campaign for Mitt Romney, and after losing his own re-election campaign, Fortuño escaped to Washington D.C.
Fortuño cheers for Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate for president
He now makes millions of dollars, as a partner in the Washington law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. According to his Steptoe & Johnson bio, Fortuño represents “Fortune 500 companies in regulatory, financial, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate matters throughout Latin America.”
After spreading $5 billion in slush funds and buying the island’s judicial system, he now has the gall to write “good government articles” such as this one, titled “Puerto Rico has a spending problem.”
ADVICE TO EVERY YOUNG LAWYER
In New York City, there are currently over 500% (five times) as many lawyers, as there were thirty years ago, in 1986. Both in New York and Puerto Rico, young lawyers graduate with enormous student loan debt, and fewer career opportunities.
Not to worry.
All of these young lawyers can follow the Fortuño business model, to fame and fortune:
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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