Those who, in my opinion, will be the most important influencers of the next General Elections in Puerto Rico are already presenting themselves in society: the super PAC's, particularly the one created by the country's industrialists called "Democracy is Prosperity".
A PAC (political action committee) is a committee that, in theory, is created by citizens or interest groups to support ideas or candidates in political processes, be it elections or the approval of public policy. Different rules apply to these committees than to candidates in fundraising.
Super PACs are the same, but on steroids. They have no limit on the amount of money they can raise from individuals, businesses or organizations. Super PACs were legitimized by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that this exercise is linked to the right to free speech. Since then, super PAC's have been on the rise and have managed to be protagonists in the electoral processes in the United States. Here on the island, although we saw certain manifestations of some imported "super PAC's" in the past elections, particularly linked to the unions in favor of candidates such as Manuel Natal and Carmen Yulín Cruz, now we have them in Creole, in a big way, in Puerto Rico.
Democracy is Prosperity, a political action committee (Super PAC), founded in 2023, will support political candidates who support free markets and economic freedom in Puerto Rico. (Photo: https://prosperamospr.org/)
The "super PAC" Democracy is Prosperity, which has already raised over a million dollars, was created by the big industrialists in Puerto Rico to support capitalist parties and candidates that favor the free market. They have announced that they will run aggressive advertising campaigns in that direction either at the national level or in local and regional elections. This is a political game changer in the upcoming elections.
You will see candidates raining down pro-business, pro-capitalism, pro-deregulation and other pro-employer economic development measures. You will also see that they will be flashy and attractive advertising campaigns, envied by any politician because they will come from a sector that is expert in marketing and selling products.
I think this could be a game changer, especially in the Legislature, which is where the country's public policies are approved. It would seem that the cannons of the new kid on the block of Puerto Rican politics will be focused on this constitutional branch. And if they know how to do it, we could have a Legislature in the next four-year term inclined towards everything that the economic power promotes.
It is up to the electorate to know how to distinguish one thing from the other. To scrutinize the real proposals of the candidates and their previous work letter.
Certainly, the subject of economic development has to be the protagonist in this next electoral cycle. Life is at stake. The arrival of the Democracy is Prosperity group will help to bring about a deeper debate on the path we must build as a country to have a solid and stable economy in the long term. This is not to say that the solution is necessarily extreme capitalism and absolute deregulation but discussing it will be good. In this way we move away from light-hearted issues that get us nowhere.
This OpEd was published originally in Spanish in METRO Puerto Rico.