Corrupt Democrat governor Ricardo Rosello, a notorious Trump hater, has been found sticking his hand into the cookie jar:
The administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was engulfed in crisis as top officials resigned and political allies in the U.S. territory withdrew their support after a trove of private messages were leaked.
Puerto Rico’s former Chief Financial Officer Christian Sobrino and Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín resigned their positions on Saturday, after the disclosure of nearly 900 pages of private messages between Gov. Rosselló and top administration officials that included vulgar insults toward prominent public figures.
In a statement Friday, Mr. Sobrino apologized for the chats. Mr. Rivera Marín couldn’t be reached for comment.
The messages, exchanged on the encrypted-messaging app Telegram, put more political pressure on an administration that was already shaken last week after two former high-ranking officials were indicted on federal corruption charges.
On Saturday, a federation of mayors aligned with Mr. Rosselló’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party withdrew support for him as protesters descended on the governor’s mansion, known as La Fortaleza, to demand his resignation.
Top lawmakers from the statehood party also said they had lost confidence in the governor while Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico’s nonvoting delegate to Congress, said he shouldn’t stand for re-election in 2020.
In the chats, the officials also discussed government contracts, attacked journalists and debated how to discredit a federal monitor overseeing the police department. Among the chat’s participants were several people who weren’t public employees, including the governor’s former campaign manager Elías Sánchez Sifonte and two hired publicists. Mr. Sánchez couldn’t be reached for comment.
Ricardo Rosello is one of the major obstacles to any kind of Puerto Rican recovery. The political culture on the island is corrupt. The government has been delaying providing financial statements to the federally-appointed fiscal control board for years, and routinely ignores their requests. They have also ignored such requests from US Senators as well. Additionally, they got caught concealing $6 billion in cash when they claimed to be destitute and out of money.
The state electric utility PREPA was also busted by FEMA for stealing and hoarding supplies, as reported by the Intercept. The story was quickly buried by the media, who were trying to protect Rosello, who was campaigning on behalf of the Democrats in the Florida 2018 elections (which the Republicans won anyway)
Rosello was a product of this culture of corruption. Instead of working with the fiscal control board, he has worked against them at every turn..His proposal to resolve the fiscal crisis has been to insist that Puerto Rico be made a state, this making them eligible for federal bailouts. Instead of seeing to the business of rebuilding his state, he went on an anti-Republican crusade in 2017 and 2018.
When President Trump pointed out this corruption, the media called him a liar and claimed he was making the whole thing up. As usual, the media turned out to be wrong.
Rosello is unlikely to resign. I think he will simply brazen out calls to resign much like Democrat governor Ralph Northam did. However, it has become impossible for the Democrats to keep covering up the corruption in Puerto Rico and opens the door to further legal action by the federal government against Rosello’s corrupt administration. The faster these people are forced out of office, the faster the territory will be able to finally start recovering.