Washington - José Carrión, Chairman of the Oversight Board overseeing Puerto Rican finances, joined the leadership of Latino for Trump, a coalition promoting the President’s re-election and which contributed to launching Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González.
At a campaign kickoff event in Miami, U.S. Vice President Michael Pence announced that Carrión, whose nomination President Donald Trump has just sent to the U.S. Senate, is one of the first 16 directors of the Latinos coalition.
Although not on the list of Latinos board members, González participated in the event and vouched for President Trump’s response to Puerto Rico which was widely criticized on the island.
Although González had indicated that she would wait until the end of the year before making an official announcement regarding Trump's re-election, yesterday she traveled with Vice President Pence on the Air Force 2 to Miami to visit the National Hurricane Center and then offered a message at the Latinos for Trump event, where she clearly supported the U.S. President.
"Facts: Donald Trump approved more funds for Puerto Rico than ever before, $ 42 billion and counting. Under his leadership, Latinos are winning more jobs, higher wages, and better opportunities," said the Commissioner, who chairs the U.S. Republican Party on the island.
Latinos for Trump cochair is Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez of Cuban descent. "More Latino Americans are working today than ever before in history, and Latino Americans are starting new businesses at nearly three times the national average," said Pence.
Another Puerto Rican in the pro-Trump coalition is Juan Carlos Benítez, a native of the island and who has been living in Guam. The committee identifies him as both from Guam and Puerto Rico.
Carrión joins the Latinos for Trump coalition after the President sent his appointment to the Senate to complete his three-year term as a Board member. Recommended to the Board by the then-Republican speaker Paul Ryan, Carrión has been a fundraiser, donor, and activist for the Grand Old Party (GOP).
"José Carrión has long been a recognized member of the Republican Party. In addition, as we have said in the past, this Board is bipartisan," said José Luis Cedeño, Board spokesman.
The same evening President Trump announced his intention to appoint him and the other six Board members, Carrión published an op-ed in the conservative New York Post to, among other things, ensure that they would seek to address Trump’s concerns about the use of disaster relief funds after Hurricane María.
"Part of the Oversight Board’s work is to ensure that President Trump's concerns are addressed: making sure federal funds are managed wisely at all levels of Puerto Rico’s government," saidCarrión in the article published on April 29.
The nominations were sent to the U.S. Senate to comply with a decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals that declared the appointments unconstitutional because they were neither directly appointed by the U.S. president nor confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, Resident Commissioner González gets close to Trump after she avoided backing him in 2016, considering that he did not represent her.
Trump´s candidacy was made official at the Republican convention where González and the other Puerto Rican Republicans reaffirmed their support for Senator Marco Rubio (Florida). Rubio defeated Trump by an overwhelming majority in Puerto Rico’s primaries.
As President, Trump has rejected the idea of making Puerto Rico the 51st state which Puerto Rican Republicans do support. His government has also decided, as public policy, that the 2012 and 2017 referendums did not reflect consensus on Puerto Rico’s political future.
Meanwhile, the slow and inefficient federal response to Hurricane María may have further affected the Puerto Rican perception of Trump, who also sought to stop emergency aid to the island under the false argument that Puerto Rico had received $ 91 billion in disaster relief funds to mitigate the damage caused by Hurricane María.