Superdelegate Watch: Puerto Rico governor indicted

posted at 10:56 am on March 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Those Democratic governors are dropping like flies now. Federal prosecutors got indictments against Puerto Rico’s governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and a dozen of his associates for corruption charges stemming from fundraising operations and tax fraud. Acevedo also holds another position of note — Democratic superdelegate and Barack Obama endorser:

The governor of Puerto Rico and at least 12 others, including members of his campaign finance committee, were indicted in San Juan in the culmination of a three-year investigation into the governor’s campaign finances, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the island.

Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá is expected to be arrested Thursday and charged with six campaign related charges: conspiracy to violate election laws, making false statements, wire fraud, program fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and filing a false tax return.

The 27-count indictment began with a long-running grand jury probe into how the governor funded his election to Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, the nonvoting position in Congress he held prior to becoming governor.

According to U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia González, the governor and his allies in Puerto Rico and Philadelphia conspired to pay off campaign finance debt with fake invoices and straw contributions. The governor, she said, also used campaign funds to pay for family vacations to Miami, Orlando and Costa Rica.

Acevedo also used campaign funds to buy $57,000 worth of “luxury suits” and to send his children to China. But that’s only small potatoes in this indictment. Democratic moneyman Robert Feldman arranged for money laundering through Philadelphia and New Jersey, attempting to funnel cash to Acevedo illegally. Feldman, by the way, has been a big fundraiser for Democrats such as Sen. Robert Casey, Jr and Governor Ed Rendell.

How badly will that hurt the Democrats? For one thing, it brings up the whole Norman Hsu story all over again. Hillary Clinton’s big fundraiser turned out to be a fraud, and now the Democrats have another crook. This follows on the heels of Eliot Spitzer’s hooker obsession and the misuse of public funds by his successor David Paterson. In terms of optics, the footage of Acevedo’s frog-march into federal custody will remind voters of the culture of corruption — and have the Democrats struggling to convince voters that they cleaned up politics.

It will impact Obama the worst, however. He loses a superdelegate in Acevedo, but more problematic, he has once again been associated with election crimes and corruption. He had just gotten past his Tony Rezko problem, and now the proximity of another money-launderer will call into question just how naive or worse the unvetted Obama may be.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Pass the popcorn please!

Maquis on March 27, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Naive or worse? Obama seems to be both, if that’s possible.

JiangxiDad on March 27, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Orville Redenbacher, you magnificent bastard.

hoosiermama on March 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Another Democratic governor falls to corruption.

Allegedly.

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Bombshell!

RushBaby on March 27, 2008 at 11:02 AM

It is amazing how President Bush couldn’t get the justice department to go after (think voter fraud) criminals, but come nomination season (and hildabeast in trouble), they can get in an indictment frenzy.

csvdsaint on March 27, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Does it seem like the Dems are taking each other out now? It seems like a Hillary supporter drops, then an Obama, back and forth… Should we expect more superdelegate political casualties before the festivities are over?

NeoconNews.com on March 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM

It would be nice for this to effect Bob Casey. He’s a super delegate, too, I believe.

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:04 AM

My mom called me this morning (I used to live in PR, my parents are still there) with the happy news. He is a corrupt leader who used fear and lies to get elected. Then of course, I never burdened the Popular Democratic Party (Acevedo’s Party in PR) with an abundance of intelligence.

antoniojvr on March 27, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Democrat, corrupt. This is a dog bites man story, not a man bites dog one.

TooTall on March 27, 2008 at 11:05 AM

This article just barely missed becoming another “Guess the Party” story.

BackseatDriver on March 27, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Pay-to-play hunt hits Puerto Rico

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:07 AM

What, not involved with prostitution? I’m disappointed.

Brat on March 27, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Via AP:
A Harvard-educated attorney and career politician, Acevedo, 45, served in Washington as the island’s nonvoting delegate to Congress, and was elected governor in 2004 after campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.

Dropping like flies….

suzieviews on March 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM

does it really hurt them though if its barely reported and when it is the connection to obama and democrats isn’t mentioned?

jp on March 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM

I heard on the radio this am that 16 tons of popcorn have been donated, and are on the way to our troops in Iraq – so now they can enjoy the show properly as well.

Think_b4_speaking on March 27, 2008 at 11:13 AM

What a surprise ! Somehow, he must be a victim. He sure looks like one.

saiga on March 27, 2008 at 11:14 AM

This is terrible!

It seems I’ve run out of salt for my popcorn!

Be back in a bit.

amerpundit on March 27, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Allegedly

That’s a legal issue . . . in the real world he has fallen.

rplat on March 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Democrat corruption, like spring rains.

tarpon on March 27, 2008 at 11:17 AM

They only mention his party in connection with his claim that it’s a Republican witch hunt against Democrats. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “newsworthy”.

BuzzCrutcher on March 27, 2008 at 11:18 AM

I’m getting a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about how many Democrat governors have yet to be investigated.

I would like to nominate Fast Eddie Rendell as the next target for the federal prosecutors. He’s slicker than a greased slug and has more connections than a box of Legos.

fogw on March 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Allegedly.

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM

No Connie, we know that Vila is a Democrat for a fact.

Immolate on March 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Spitzer forced to resign in disgrace over money laundering.

His replacement admitting to virtually every crime but the Lindberg Kidnapping.

McGreevy still lurking about.

Three Dems propoganda funded by Saddam Hussein

William Jefferson about to go on trial………

Seems to me that the GOP can make a good case that the corruption in DC is all Democrat. After all, all Republicans do is have sex with hookers and prowl around mens rooms!

highhopes on March 27, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Those Democratic governors of indeterminate party are dropping like flies now.

Fixed.

eeyore on March 27, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Daily KoS konspiracy theories about Federal powers of prosecution being abused against Democrats incoming in 5…4…3…2…

Asher on March 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM

I question the timing.

I also wonder if he is being prosecuted by a typical white person.

I also blame Karl Rove. He’s involved, somehow. So is Cheney. And Bush. Possibly Hitler.

lorien1973 on March 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

After all, all Republicans do is have sex with hookers and prowl around mens rooms!

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Immolate on March 27, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Immolate on March 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM

lol!

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Indited superdelegates for Obama:

Kwame Kilpatrick
Anibal Acevedo Vila

Clinton superdelegate problems:

Eliot Spitzer

Someone is keeping track of all this right? I’m sure there is more.

freedomplow on March 27, 2008 at 11:37 AM

From dKos:

Breaking: Puerto Rico Mess

“It looks like it might be a bad day for the democrats today. Given the breaking news posted below, the fallout might be substantial for many people.”

Connie on March 27, 2008 at 11:41 AM

Inconceivable! Unbelievable! Outrageous! I can’t believe they did this! How could they!

The paper admitted that he was a Democrat. Whooda thunk?

29Victor on March 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Oh I know my family in PR are all laughing at this idiot.

The island has been a mess since Calderon left (mostly cause fo her anyway), but I knew Acevedo was a crook from the start like the rest.

Nice going Democrats.

j0 on March 27, 2008 at 11:46 AM

freedomplow on March 27, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Who would have guessed the party nomination comes down to the coveted “indicted” bloc of superdelegates! LOL

highhopes on March 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

So if you can’t get a super delegate to support your nomination, perhaps you can get them indicted?

Is this the new strategery?

rockhauler on March 27, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Let’s not forget about our Ill-noise Gov Blogo when we count Dem Govs under investigation.

BobK on March 27, 2008 at 12:08 PM

So if you can’t get a super delegate to support your nomination, perhaps you can get them indicted?

Is this the new strategery?

rockhauler on March 27, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I thought the same thing, then I saw that the article said that the investigation had been going on for three years, so…

29Victor on March 27, 2008 at 12:16 PM

No wonder the Democrats are so eager to keep the FEC unstaffed. Stuff like this keeps happening and they may not have all the toys to play with after November…

Harry Schell on March 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Wait a minute…so, how many superdelegates have been indicted or are under legal investigation (and WHO)? I think a potential outline would be helpful here.

gwallensky on March 27, 2008 at 1:12 PM

“For one thing, it brings up the whole Norman Hsu story all over again.”

(waiving hands desperately trying to swat them away)

Pesky flies!

Seven Percent Solution on March 27, 2008 at 1:13 PM

There’s a union angle to this story as well. The AFL-CIO is entangled with Acevedo in an effort to bust the independent Puerto Rico teachers’ union.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/02/29/2008-02-29_new_york_labor_leader_dennis_rivera_in_s.html

Mike Antonucci on March 27, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Why are we calling this guy a “Democratic” governor? He is NOT from the Democratic Party!

Warner Todd Huston on March 27, 2008 at 1:17 PM

These stupid democraps are just natural born crooks.

Acevedo should have asked Murtha how to do without getting caught.

Zorro on March 27, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Hello Pelosi, not doing such a good job lately are you…yeah, you sure are getting rid of those terrible dishonest Republicans…
What was that catch phrase? Getting rid of what in Washington? Oh yeah, you never mentioned Puerto Rico, or China…

right2bright on March 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM

He had just gotten past his Tony Rezko problem,

Uh, did I miss something. When did Barry get over “The Rezko Problem?

Just because it’s not covered the way Mark Foley got punked by pages doesn’t mean the TR problem is not and should not be over anytime soon.

Branch Rickey on March 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM

SSDD. I have been watching the news for the past 1/2 hour and not a whiff of this story yet, its not on Drudge (that I can see). Glad I have HA to clue me in on the news.

HawaiiLwyr on March 27, 2008 at 1:40 PM

What’s really frustrating is the fact that the Republicans aren’t making a campaign issue out of this. I mean they lost congress over dirty emails. The Dems are committing real crimes. Spitzer; Patterson trading sexual favors for government jobs, these P.R. clowns, hey and let’s not forget Cold Cash Jefferson.
The Dems are begging us to put them out of their misery. Can we oblige them just once?

Iblis on March 27, 2008 at 1:56 PM

For some reason, I have an overwhelming urge to listen to Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same.”

OhEssYouCowboys on March 27, 2008 at 2:10 PM

This won’t even show up in the rear-view mirror tomorrow.

oakpack on March 27, 2008 at 2:23 PM

A million jokes on late-night talk shows about Republican sex offenders. Hear any about these bozos?

WasatchMan on March 27, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Why are we calling this guy a “Democratic” governor? He is NOT from the Democratic Party!

Then why was he a superdelegate to the Democratic convention?!

The thing that’s really missing here is a DRUMBEAT. In reporting recently past Republican scandals, no article was complete without a full list of other concurrent GOP troubles and how this latest development was bad news for the party itself.

From Spitzer to Paterson to Kilpatrick to McGreevy to Jefferson to the Saddam pimps to McGovern and the FARC terrorists to Norman Hsu to Tony Rezco to Reverend Wright’s new mega mansion…..well, if a reporter wanted to he wouldn’t have to look too hard to find a pattern!

jeanneb on March 27, 2008 at 9:02 PM

The price of rope stock just keeps climbing!

canopfor on March 27, 2008 at 9:26 PM

Let’s all watch with bated breath as the MSM splashes this all over the airwaves and newspapers.

waterfall on March 28, 2008 at 2:21 AM