by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Shelby Talcott of the Daily Caller reports an inconvenient fact for some Democratic presidential candidates and Puerto Rico‘s struggles.
Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have attacked President Donald Trump over issues in Puerto Rico, but haven’t returned campaign donations from employees of hedge funds that have invested in its debt, an analysis of FEC records by the Daily Caller News Foundation shows.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have spoken out against Trump and his reluctance to help Puerto Rico with aid packages, but have benefitted from its crippling debt. Together, the two have accepted $36,550 from individuals who work at hedge funds with a stake in Puerto Rico’s debt, FEC filings show.
An open letter from progressive activists, first reported by American Prospect Aug. 22, a left-wing public policy outlet, cited the money and urged candidates to give back the donations.
“It’s shameful, the way we treated Puerto Rico and the islands,” Biden said at a campaign stop event in New Hampshire June 4. “I’m not even sure people in the president’s administration knew Puerto Ricans are all citizens. I’m not joking. And so there’s this notion of somehow, why should we have to make and invest that kind of money in dealing with what is a genuine existential crisis?”
While going after Trump for his reluctance to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill for Puerto Rico, Biden has received $25,350 in campaign contributions from individuals working at the hedge funds, according to FEC filings.