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The governor Pedro Pierluisi raised $659,879.05 during the July-September quarter, bringing the amount of money you have available in your account to $3,451,194.89according to the most recent income and expense report submitted to the Office of the Electoral Comptroller (OCE) and disclosed by his campaign director, Edwin Mundo.
Although they were presented to the OCE last week, neither Pierluisi’s report nor that of the New Progressive Party (PNP) have been reviewed by their auditors to detect excessive donations.
During that quarter, the PNP president also received income from political acts amounting to $294,688.11, individual donations of $364,983.09 and $206.95 in money refunds resulting from overpayment of invoices for vehicle rentals.
Pierluisi will face the resident commissioner in Washington in primaries, Jennifer Gonzalez, to which Mundo assured that “We have a leader who is ready. His campaign has shown that he has the resources and this is supported by the financial reports, the support of the party base and all Puerto Ricans.”
Ultimatum to Gonzalez
The campaign director took advantage of the occasion to give Gonzalez an ultimatum and ask him to reconsider his position before November 5.
“We want to take this opportunity to call on the commissioner to not allow the party to have to spend the money we have for the campaign on a totally unnecessary primary. She still has time to return to where she needs to be, in the candidacy for resident commissioner in Washington,” she said.
Then, He assured that Pierluisi already has an aspiring commissioner residing in Washington, whose name he did not want to reveal. If there was no change in Gonzalez’s position, they would reveal the name of Pierluisi’s running mate, the campaign director anticipated.
“We already have the evaluation of a person we have spoken with”he maintained, after which he assured that the wounds between Pierluisi and Gonzalez are “can be healed,” and compared the current situation between both politicians to the disputes between brothers.
However, Mundo’s announcement is far from the expressions of Pierluisi, who had said in recent days that he had not approached “anyone” to accompany him on the ballot and that he would wait to see who would come forward.
During the last quarter, Pierluisi focused on political activities; five in total and four of them in September. Among the donors is the executive director of the Puerto Rico Broadband Program, Enrique Völckers-Nin, and the communications director of his political campaign, Lisdian Acevedo.
Mundo said that the governor’s monthly collections are fluctuating between $200,000 or more and that they hope to raise more than $1 million between now and June 2, the official date of the primaries.
From July to September, Pierluisi’s expenses totaled $143,330.22. He spent money on banking transactions, music to celebrate his birthday, flags, printed materials, vehicle and sound rentals, accommodation, food, cell phones and uniforms. Likewise, Pierluisi’s campaign committee paid a musical group for a batucada and the rental of golf carts for the PNP convention, held last August.
Now, with the new income, Pierluisi has $3,451,194.89 available in his bank account; an amount greater than $1,077,381.47 owned by his opponent, the resident commissioner in Washington.
OCE evaluation corresponds
In the quarter from July to September 2023, Gonzalez collected $875,346, as reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC, in English) where she maintains her committee “All with Jenniffer Inc.”, for being an official elected to a federal position.
Likewise, Gonzalez opened, in September, his income and expenses committee in the OCE to comply with the Law for the Supervision of the Financing of Political Campaigns (Law 222 of 2011), which requires every candidate for a political position to comply with that obligation if you receive income or expenses greater than $500.
On the FEC committee, Gonzalez has $327,381.47 and on the OCE committee he has $750,000, which totals $1,077,381.47 in available money. These funds come from the collections it obtained from July to September and which it reported to the FEC. Therefore, the $750,000 was a transfer of funds from the FEC to the OCE, which must be subjected to the scrutiny of that oversight agency.
Gonzalez will see the amount of collections per person that can be collected annually by his committee reduced because, under the legal regulations of the FEC, he could collect $3,300 per year per person. Now, under Law 222, the figure will be $3,100.
Although Gonzalez can transfer the money she raised with her federal committee to a campaign in Puerto Rico, it is up to the OCE to adjust the donations she received previously to the limit allowed by Law 222. This does not necessarily imply that the commissioner must return money, because may remain on his FEC committee.
Electoral Comptroller Walter Velez was not available for an interview.
According to an evaluation made The new day According to the income and expense report, from July to September, that Gonzalez presented to the FEC, there are 16 donations of $3,300 that, if the OCE demands that they be returned, would be equivalent to only $3,200.
According to Mundo, the resident commissioner should return all donations that exceed $3,100 that have been made to her while she raised money in all FEC reports, not just limit herself to the last quarter’s report.
“People could also have donated twice. They donate to you for the primary and also the official candidacy. “They have to return everything raised in excess of $3,100,” she noted.
He estimated that the amount to be returned exceeds $100,000.
Oriol Campos, Gonzalez’s treasurer, did not answer calls from this medium.
As for the PNP, the report for the quarter from July to September reveals that they raised $290,922.39, all funds from political events.