Calvo does damage fix on call for territorial vet vote
He really meant to say all U.S. citizens in U.S. territories should have a mainland vote
On Thursday, Guam Gov. Eddie Baza's Adelup communications office put out a news release, titled "A Veteran , A Vote Governor of Guam advocates voting rights for U.S. Veterans of the Territories." As the release made clear, Calvo was hoping to trade on his developing relationship with President Donald Trump to advocate a vote for all U.S. territorial citizens, given that Trump generally seems ill informed about the territories and his administration has been faulted for failures to provide hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
August 2017: Trump assures Governor Calvo on the phone he's 100 percent behind Guam in the North Korean rocket threat (YouTube)
Predictably, "how about us non-vets" outrage ensued and by Friday morning a follow-up FAQ came out of Adelup, quoting the governor:
"Question: Why is the Governor only advocating for the voting rights of Guam veterans, when the Congresswoman is advocating for the rights of all citizens of the territories? Answer: We agree with the Congresswoman and support voting rights for ALL US citizens of the territories, until such time that our final political status is determined. However, change in Washington DC is incremental and voting rights for all citizens of the territories is a monumental ask that may never happen, if approached in full."
As the follow-up makes clear, the large U.S. veteran population in the territories makes them a popular and often cited group in making the case for the national vote for all their fellow citizens:
Q. Why would the nation get behind a vote for Guam and territory veterans first?
A. At a time when America is divided on the rights of immigrants, it has fallen short in championing the rights of its own U.S. citizen veterans of the territories There is an ironic injustice that men and women who served their nation in the armed forces, and were put in harms way, cannot [vote] for their Commander in Chief."
(Right) Governor Calvo with President Trump in Hawaii, November 2017 and (left) with the president during his post-Singapore summit stopover on Guam, June 2018