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Matt T
(@Matt_T)
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August 11, 2016 9:51 am  

We need change in our leadership of the US Virgin Islands. It seems that voter turnout this year was less than usual due to no real alternatives to the status quo.

If someone were interested in running for a seat in the legislature for the next election, how would they go about doing that and what kind of capital is necessary to even have a shot at getting elected? Yes, I already know about holding a good fish fry lol.

We need change and there is only one way that is going to happen. I feel that the local VI population is really tired of the same people getting elected and making promises that they don't keep. If real change were offered, Virgin Islanders may be willing to vote for someone they are not familiar with if they agree with their platform.

Thoughts, comments? Lets try to keep this discussion civil and positive. Thanks 🙂


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Alana33
(@Alana33)
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August 11, 2016 10:09 am  

The primaries generally have low voter turnouts.

One thing I believe would help new candidates along with their platform
is getting their background information and history out to the public, including educational qualifications, job history and community service.


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ms411
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August 11, 2016 11:00 am  

I agree, Matt, and am thrilled to hear you want to get involved. You live on which island?


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ms411
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August 11, 2016 11:11 am  

"One thing I believe would help new candidates along with their platform
is getting their background information and history out to the public, including educational qualifications, job history and community service."

The Daily News publishes a Voter Guide. Unfortunately the Voter Guide for the primary came out after early voting was over. I know some people who early voted did not know anything about any of the candidates.

There were candidate debates on WTJX the week of the primary. Those were very revealing.

The candidate forums will be broadcast on WTJX, but no date yet.

If you want to submit questions for the candidates' forums, PM me.


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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August 11, 2016 11:14 am  

Call the radio talk shows dem A LOT and let the public hear your views.


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ms411
(@ms411)
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August 11, 2016 11:25 am  

Yes, two STT senatorial candidates are regular callers, and have built a loyal fan base. But, they appeal to the audience and can be very questionable with facts.


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DonExodus
(@DonExodus)
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August 11, 2016 1:04 pm  

Can you throw a good fish fry? That is more important than anything qualification / platform-wise.


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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August 11, 2016 1:11 pm  

Can you throw a good fish fry? That is more important than anything qualification / platform-wise.

And give away lots of free stuff. Virgin Islanders love free stuff.


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tedc
 tedc
(@tedc)
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August 11, 2016 1:32 pm  

Platform that would get a lot of attention: "I will submit a bill that makes the job of senator a volunteer (or mini-stipend?) position."


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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August 11, 2016 1:36 pm  

Can anyone provide a copy of the fifth proposed USVI constitution from 2010? I found the DOJ's response condemning it - but not the document itself.

Nonetheless,the DOJ's response is a tell tale as to why politics are so mucked up on the VI. Please note that if this were to become law, non-native Virgin Islanders would not be allowed to vote for the Gov/Lt. Gov and would be responsible for paying the lion's share of property taxes.

These attitudes are deeply imbedded in the VI culture.

The political landscape is far more complicated than fish fries and call in shows.

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/2010/02/31/usvi-doj-view-ltr100223.pdf


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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August 11, 2016 1:52 pm  

And that is why it was not presented for consideration.

It was unconstitutional from the beginning and never had a chance.


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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August 11, 2016 1:59 pm  

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg55534/html/CHRG-111hhrg55534.htm

The same old constitution amendment activists pop up every few years to gather around and waste time and money to solemnly come up with the same proposals worded differently which are then duly presented and dismissed as, well, unconstitutional.


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Gator's Mom
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August 11, 2016 2:15 pm  

I understand the process and how it is smacked down by the Feds.

Nonetheless, there is a constituency in the VI that agrees with what is proposed.

Do you think these ideas are prevalent?


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OldTart
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August 11, 2016 2:29 pm  

I understand the process and how it is smacked down by the Feds.

Nonetheless, there is a constituency in the VI that agrees with what is proposed.

Do you think these ideas are prevalent?

Not just smacked down by the Feds but smacked down locally. No, the continually recycled proposed amendments aren't prevalent and are condoned by a very small minority of the population. As mentioned, this is nothing new, it'll probably still be going on long after we're all gone and really isn't worth even getting into a long discussion about.


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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August 11, 2016 3:42 pm  

We need change in our leadership of the US Virgin Islands. It seems that voter turnout this year was less than usual due to no real alternatives to the status quo.

If someone were interested in running for a seat in the legislature for the next election, how would they go about doing that and what kind of capital is necessary to even have a shot at getting elected? Yes, I already know about holding a good fish fry lol.

We need change and there is only one way that is going to happen. I feel that the local VI population is really tired of the same people getting elected and making promises that they don't keep. If real change were offered, Virgin Islanders may be willing to vote for someone they are not familiar with if they agree with their platform.

Thoughts, comments? Lets try to keep this discussion civil and positive. Thanks 🙂

I would become an expert on something positive - maybe the environment, improving public education, taking care of senior citizens, animal welfare. Join the board and become an officer of a non-profit that could put you in front of the Senate, get you on the radio and quoted in the newspapers. Pick a cause you believe in and work it hard using social media, attend local events. Build a constituency and start talking to it. Be consistent, stay focused.

Find someone you admire that has some positive public notoriety and let this person know about your ambition. Ask for ideas and then really listen. Polish your public presentation skills. Dig in for the long-term and plan for success one step at a time.

Begin to construct a personal brand - avoid off the cuff behavior that you might regret later.


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ms411
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August 11, 2016 4:16 pm  

If anybody running for senate here did what Gator's Mom advocated, they'd get maybe 500 votes. Take a look at numbers from last election.

http://www.vivote.gov/Election%202014/GEreports/Territory%20wide.HTM

I know only 2, Sheila Scullion and Real Deal Bruce Flamon, who are not from the VI or another Caribbean island. Real Deal is running again this election and will probably get more votes this time. He's been here almost 20 years and has done most of the things recommended by Gator's Mom.

I think more people need to be involved regardless of whether they run for senate.


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islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
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August 11, 2016 4:27 pm  

I remember watching the gubernatorial candidates debates on tv, and I kid you not, Sheila Scullion said "the virgin islands should be about fun and relaxation" or something to that effect (cannot remember the exact quote).

I nearly fell off my chair laughing! To think about all the problems in the VI that need to be fixed, and a gubernatorial candidate was talking about fun and relaxation?

I couldn't take her seriously after that.


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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August 11, 2016 4:40 pm  

If anybody running for senate here did what Gator's Mom advocated, they'd get maybe 500 votes. Take a look at numbers from last election.

http://www.vivote.gov/Election%202014/GEreports/Territory%20wide.HTM

I know only 2, Sheila Scullion and Real Deal Bruce Flamon, who are not from the VI or another Caribbean island. Real Deal is running again this election and will probably get more votes this time. He's been here almost 20 years and has done most of the things recommended by Gator's Mom.

I think more people need to be involved regardless of whether they run for senate.

Thus back to my original supposition that the VI political landscape is far more complicated than fish fries unless you're a native Virgin Islander as defined by the proposed constitution. However, Matt wanted a positive route to possible political success - I laid out what he might do. Success might just be getting recognized as an advocate if not elected. Baby steps.


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DonExodus
(@DonExodus)
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August 11, 2016 4:42 pm  

So whats the status on medical marijuana? Saw that it won by 54% or something.


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IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
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August 11, 2016 4:53 pm  

Voter turnout at the primaries is usually pretty slim. General election is different, especially if there are some prime spots up for grabs.

Also many of us are honestly "Independent" and therefore ineligible to vote in the primaries.

A lot of the candidates run as independent. Reason being is that they can make the ballot for the general election and avoid being beaten out during the primary process.

Many of those that do make it to the senate have run for office 3 or more times before. If you really want to do it, it needs to be a long term plan. Having an intelligent platform of manifesto is not a guarantee of being a viable candidate. I've attended many debates and found some intelligent candidates who would do a great job, but aren't 'popular' as they don't have the 'fish fry' factor.

And when the occasional good candidate does make it, they are often drummed out by the cacophony of chaos that is our senate in action. Spend some time watching the legislature in action and you'll quickly know what I mean. Unfortunately voices of logic and reason have no place under the big tent. Wholesale change is needed, yet unlikely.

I could go on, but then I'd be accused of being negative. 😎


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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August 11, 2016 5:05 pm  

VI political landscape is far more complicated than fish fries unless you're a native Virgin Islander as defined by the proposed constitution

Judy Fricks broke that mold, but I believe that she was pretty active with Crimestoppers and other community stuff, which gave her recognition.


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ms411
(@ms411)
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August 11, 2016 5:07 pm  

Politics is complicated everywhere. The fishfry chant is just another way to say it's not politics as usual here.

Yes, Matt T could become recognized as an advocate, but he asked about running for the legislature.

To answer the question of capital, there is no minimum. I'm not sure if there's a fee to file your nomination papers. When I looked at the Board of Elections website, I couldn't find a reference to filing fees.

Some people get on the ballot, and it looks like they don't spend a dime. They don't tend to get elected, though.

The candidates are supposed to file their campaign finance papers after the election, and they're supposed to be accessible to the public. You can find out what the congressional delegate spent last year, because that form is online on, I think, more than one site.

From what I have heard (or should I say, "Many people are saying"?) the incumbents get to spend money from their senate budget for their re-election, so they have an advantage over new candidates. I think only one of the new senatorial candidates had soup/food sales to raise money, and he did make it past the primaries. The others may have only had brochures, if that.

One of the reasons we have so many people running as Independents is to avoid having to go through the primaries - they're guaranteed to get on the general election ballot if they meet the qualifications.


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ms411
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August 11, 2016 5:11 pm  

Yes, I remember Judy Fricks. Didn't Diane Capehart break it, too? Since they're St Croix, I don't know much about them (not that I know that much about STT, either!)

You'd have a much better chance, IMO, of getting in if you move to St John. they don't have many people running, and I got the impression many people weren't happy with the choices they had for the primary.


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ms411
(@ms411)
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August 11, 2016 5:16 pm  

So whats the status on medical marijuana? Saw that it won by 54% or something.

The AG here is against it, because marijuana in any form is still illegal at the federal level. The senate has drafted at least one bill, but I don't think they've been able to pass it out of committee. At one point I think they were trying to modify it to make it easier to pass. It will be a while before the bill comes up again. The budget is/should be priority now.


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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Joined: 7 years ago
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August 11, 2016 5:21 pm  

And even though we have close to a population of 100,000, you can get elected with only 6,000 people. Focus on them and don't try to please everyone.


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