Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the governor of Puerto Rico, has written U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and I assume the other 128 co-sponsors of a bill that would make the commonwealth a U.S. state to express opposition to the proposal.
Padilla cites results of a November 2012 election as evidence that residents of the Caribbean island are not in favor of changing their status.
In the letter to Ryan, Padilla wrote that voters of Puerto Rico were asked to vote on a ''biased referendum designed to favor statehood,'' but ''knew better.'' He says 26.5 percent of ballots cast were blank, which he called a ''traditional act of protest to an unfair election process'' and that 44.4 percent of all the votes were in favor of becoming a U.S. state.
Rueters reported on May 15, 2013, the day the legislation was introduced to Congress, reported results from the November election were 54 percent of voters said they were against continuing Puerto Rico's status as a territory. Also, according to the Reuters' report, voters were asked to chose among alternatives. The results were 61 percent favoring statehood, 33 percent voting for Puerto Rico becoming a nation of free association with the U.S. and 5.5 percent wanting full independence.
The Puerto Rico Report reported Padilla followed up with a letter just before Thanksgiving asking lawmakers to withdraw their support.
In it, Padilla wrote the ''issue of status is deeply divisive'' among Puerto Ricans and that resolution is drafted toward ''excluding'' the other options of remaining a commonwealth or full independence. The bill, however, has languished in committee.
GovTrack.us, which tracks votes and legislation, shows the bill, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, was introduced May 15 and assigned to the House Natural Resources Committee that same day.
The bill would authorize the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico to hold a vote on admission to statehood, and if there's a majority in favor of doing so, require President Barack Obama to submit to Congress legislation and Congress to admit Puerto Rico as a state.
l Although Ted Stevenot and his running mate, Brenda Mack of Canfield, got a ''tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement,'' following the announcement he intended to run for Ohio governor, the tea party darling has backed out.
He removed himself from the race just three days after saying he was going to run.
Stevenot claims in a statement on the Ohio Liberty Coalition's website that his decision was not based on concern over Mack, who, it's been reported, has had financial problems, but that he came to the decision ''after much personal thought, as well as in-depth discussions'' with people he holds close.
It's just as well for Stevenot and Mack, who faced a steep challenge against Republican Gov. John Kasich, who's got millions banked in his campaign account and the support of a large base of supporters.