Pierluisi Urges Other Candidates to Renounce Public Campaign Funds
SAN JUAN – Amid serious budget difficulties at the State Elections Commission (CEE by its acronym in Spanish), Pedro Pierluisi, president of the New Progressive Party (NPP) and one of its two contenders for governor in the upcoming November elections, called on Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial candidates to renounce the Special Fund for the Financing of Electoral Campaigns.
By virtue of the fund, established under Puerto Rico political campaign oversight law, candidates for governor may receive matching funds of up to $5 million from public funds to finance their campaign costs.
“Puerto Rico faces a fiscal crisis, and it is clear this administration has not had the capacity, experience and knowledge to address it. Retirees, special education children, the government’s suppliers and the unemployed are among those who are suffering the consequences,” said Pierluisi, who is facing Ricardo Roselló in the June 5 general primaries for the NPP candidacy for governor.
“The example is set at home, so I am willing to renounce the Special Fund and invite the rest of the candidates to do the same,” Pierluisi said in a statement.
While the Special Fund works by matching up to $5 million, in place of these funds, candidates or parties that prefer to do so may opt for a voluntary fund that matches up to $1 million.
Pierluisi estimated that if the gubernatorial candidates were to renounce the Special Fund, it would result in a saving of $15 million, which could be used to provide essential services to people in Puerto Rico.
He explained that for his proposal to work and for electoral campaigns to take place on a level playing field, “all candidates have to make the commitment of renouncing” the matching funds.
“I am convinced that renouncing the matching funds is a step in the right direction. We will prove to voters that we are a breed of committed leaders, with new styles,” he said.