County Commissioners in Brevard County in Florida recently considered a resolution against statehood for Puerto Rico.
On the surface, it may look odd for a county in the state of Florida to take up the question of statehood for the territory of Puerto Rico, but the State of Tennessee recently passed a resolution supporting statehood for Puerto Rico, and a count has just as much right as a state to take up a political position.
In the case of Brevard County, it was Commissioner John Tobia who proposed this resolution. He waited for a second, but there was no second. When the resolution died, there were cheers. Even though the motion had died at that point, there were still speakers who had planned to participate in the discussion of the resolution, and they did so. Most spoke out for Puerto Rico.
Tobia’s response to the death of his resolution was petulant. “Referring to me as somewhat racist was very disappointing,” he said, and “Clearly my fellow commissioners don’t care about the national debt.”
Tobias claimed that his resolution to ask Congress to deny statehood to Puerto Rico is based on Puerto Rico’s debt.
Florida Rep. Bob Cortes pointed out that the United States is just as responsible for the debt of a U.S. territory as for the debt of a U.S. state. Cortes also called the resolution “disrespectful.”