Promesa Could Play Huge Role in Key States
BY PHILIPE SCHOENE ROURA & LUIS J. VALENTÍN
PHILADELPHIA (CB)—The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management & Economic Stability Act (Promesa) came to the forefront of a meeting of the Hispanic Caucus at the Democratic National Convention early this week during an exclusive interview with Manuel Ortiz, a K Street lobbyist with ties to the Democratic Party. Ortiz was part of a panel discussion on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis that included Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Liza Ortiz, campaign manager for Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate David Bernier.
Ortiz’s informed perspective on Hispanic issues in general elections shed light on the negative impact that Promesa could have with Hispanic voters along the I-4 corridor in Florida where more than 700,000 Puerto Ricans live.
“Stateside there is data from polls in Florida and New York that points to lower popularity with the electorate at a higher rate,” Ortiz told. “There’s always going to be bump in the road, if Promesa is able to create a framework that allows for transparency, the ability to look at the numbers, to work out a plan and provide the flexibility for the new administration that comes in to dictate a vision and not muddle democratic principles, I think it will all be well.”
Promesa could be a double-edge political sword—although some voters see it as a debt-relief measure for Puerto Rico, many others see it as an affront to democracy because all of the island’s financial affairs will be decided by nonelected officials.
In his evaluation, lobbyist Manuel Ortiz insisted it is impossible to delink status from Puerto Rico’s economic issues. On that front, he touted the New Progressive Party gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló’s plan to seek economic development by achieving parity in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.
For more on this story, check out the next print edition of Caribbean Business, available tomorrow.