Aníbal Acevedo, Puerto Rico Democrat, Indicted

On March 27, 2008, in General, by Neil Stevens
Aníbal Acevedo Vilá

Puerto Rico Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, a Democratic Party superdelegate and endorser of Senator Barack Obama, was indicted today as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to systematically violate federal campaign finance law and obstruct FBI investigations into his now apparently illegal campaign for Congress (as a non-voting member) in 2000.

So it’s official: Let’s add another Democrat to þe Olde Culture of Corruption List.

Quoting Jason Zengerle at The New Republic, my source for the CNN link above:

So, if the Democratic race is still unresolved as of June 7–when Puerto Rican Democrats go to the polls–I guess this could be an issue, especially since Acevedo has endorsed Obama.

P.S. By my count, Acevedo is now the second Democratic superdelegate under indictment, joining Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Are there any I’m missing?

Beyond the politics, though, the evidence is streaming out that Governor Acevedo, who as of now will have a vote in the 2008 Democratic National Convention, had no respect at all for the rule of law. According to Wikipedia in its article on Rosa Emilia Rodríguez, the US attorney prosecuting Acevedo:

Current Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño accused Acevedo Vilá of using public funds to finance a lobbying campaign to prevent Ms. Rodríguez from obtaining confirmation in the United States Senate. In response, Puerto Rico Senate President Kenneth McClintock on July 20, 2007 ordered a legislative investigation into the matter. During Senate hearings, Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration director Eduardo Bhatia admitted that government resources were used to pay Republican lobbyist Charles Black to hold meetings regarding Rodríguez’ nomination.

This sounds downright Nixonian. Does anyone think that President Obama, the shining avatar of the Goddess of HopeChange, would have appointed a US Attorney to do anything about it, given that he accepted Acevedo’s endorsement?

Me neither.


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