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Pain & Profit: The Act 22 Donors Influencing Puerto Rico's Elections

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    Our election disclosure analysis reveals that Act 22 beneficiaries donated over one million dollars dispersed between twenty-one different Puerto Rican elected officials in the last decade, in addition to direct donations to the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) and the New Progressive Party (PNP), the two leading political parties on the island. Politicians in the highest offices secured lucrative donations from Act 22 beneficiaries, including current Governor Pedro Pierluisi and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Jenniffer González-Colón, as well as leaders in the Puerto Rican Senate and House of Representatives. The reach of Act 22 political gifting extends to the local level, with mayors in towns with the highest number of Act 22 holders—such as San Juan, Dorado, and Guaynabo—all receiving political donations. These findings raise serious questions on 1) the power and influence Act 22 investors wield over Puerto Rican elected officials and 2) the impact this has on the Puerto Rican constituents these officials are supposed to serve. For years, community groups have called on their elected officials to ensure that Act 22 beneficiaries comply with the law’s requirements. However, government officials have proven slow to hold Act 22 beneficiaries accountable or pursue rigorous compliance. Their inaction harms Puerto Rican communities who face soaring housing prices, a fragile power grid, shuttered schools, and an ongoing debt crisis. In light of these report findings, we call on Puerto Rican electoral candidates to pledge not to accept donations from Act 22 beneficiaries. Additionally, we reiterate our calls to abolish Act 22/60 due to the harm it has inflicted on the Puerto Rican people.