Plaskett makes herself — and the V.I. — irrelevant

The following editorial by National Committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams on behalf of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands was submitted to The Virgin Islands Daily News and St. Croix Source in response to the published editorial by Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett.

I get that Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett supported losing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. That’s fine. She has every right to engage in partisan politics when she is off the clock.

However, that isn’t what she did.

Instead of using the resources of the Democratic Party or her re-election campaign, Plaskett used her official, taxpayer-funded congressional office to produce and circulate an outlandish editorial denouncing President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, both of whom are Republicans.

Besides being an improper misuse of her official, taxpayer-funded congressional office, it was illegal. Members of Congress are prohibited under federal law from misusing their official, taxpayer-funded congressional offices, including staff and computers, for partisan political activity.

Sadly, this is nothing new for Plaskett.

In fact, she has a pattern of improper and illegal misuse of her official, taxpayer-funded congressional office. The congresswoman was even reprimanded during congressional session for taking to the floor of the House of Representatives and delivering a blatantly partisan speech in violation of the rules.

Unfortunately, it has become painfully obvious that Plaskett just doesn’t get it.

It would be one thing if she delivered results, but Plaskett is so incompetent that she can’t even get a Transfer Day postal stamp issued.

Her unabashed partisanship has gotten her constituents nothing. In fact, it only hurts the island communities she is supposed to represent with honor and dignity.

Lacking the political status of statehood the Virgin Islands has no senators — let alone full, voting members in the House of Representatives. The congressional delegation consists of just one member: Plaskett.

Traditionally, delegates to Congress from the five U.S. territories conduct themselves in a bipartisan manner. Some even recuse themselves from party politics because being a member of Congress from the territories requires the ability to work across the aisle.

By her own actions and words Plaskett has demonstrated that she is incapable of working with Trump, who assumes the presidency on Jan. 20, and the Republican majority in both houses of Congress. Without their assistance, Plaskett, a backbench, sophomore congresswoman from the minority party, will achieve nothing.

That’s unfortunate because Trump was just elected on a platform that included a strong commitment to ensuring a better, brighter future for the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas and Puerto Rico.

Case in point: The platform of Trump and Republicans in Congress resolved to appoint a special assistant to the president with sole responsibility for the territories. This plank was written into the GOP platform by April Newland, of St. Thomas, during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

This strong commitment to the Virgin Islands and the other territories is significant because until now the territories were the exclusive responsibility of the obscure, under-funded and politically powerless Office of Insular Affairs in the Interior Department.

Sadly, Plaskett decided it was more important to be a partisan bomb thrower than to come together and work in the best interests of all Virgin Islanders.

As a result, the congresswoman is already irrelevant and neither the new Congress nor the new president has taken office.

Being a sore loser gets the Virgin Islands nothing.

If Plaskett wants to continue engaging in petty partisanship then she should resign and instead seek the now-vacant chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

Virgin Islanders expect and deserve a congresswoman who will put them above party politics.

The writer is national committeeman for the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands. Each GOP state and territorial party is represented on the Republican National Committee by a committeeman and committeewoman.

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