Stumping for Delegates, Clinton Pledges Voting Rights to Guam

By MichaelJames

May 2, 2008 11:44pm

Guam’s four Democratic delegates (not to mention its five superdelegates) are up for grabs in Saturday’s primary, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has told residents of that Pacific territory that as president she will work to give them the right to vote for president. 

Residents of U.S. territories do not have the right to vote in presidential elections, nor do they have full representation in the U.S. Congress.

In an interview with KUAM-TV, Clinton, asked about giving Guam citizens the right to vote for president, said, "I am in favor of full voting rights for every American and that includes the people on Guam."

Watch the video HERE.

"It seems to me that it is long past time that we remedy this inequity," Clinton said. "It doesn’t reflect American values; it is out of step with the move toward equality and full citizenship rights, and I will do everything I can to make sure the people of Guam’s votes are counted. It seems to me that it is long past time that we remedy this inequity. It doesn’t reflect American values; it is out of step with the move towards equality and full citizenship rights, and I will do everything I can to make sure the people of Guam’s vote are counted."

Clinton also expressed her support for legislation to offer up to $126 million in reparations to Guam residents for their suffering during World War II at the hands of the Japanese military, which occupied the island. 

The U.S. would pay the reparations, since it long ago forgave Japan its war debts.

"I think sometimes it takes unfortunately longer than it should to educate people about the justice of a cause like war reparations, or for the people of Guam that suffered under the Japanese occupation during World War II," Clinton told the Guam TV station. "All these years later we still haven’t provided the reparations that the people of Guam were promised. As your president, I will work very hard to remedy this injustice. I am committed to doing so."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has expressed support for the reparations legislation as well.

- jpt

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: This morning I e-mailed the Clinton campaign to find out more about this pledge. I wrote: "Am interested in learning more about the senator’s plan to give residents of Guam the right to vote in presidential elections. Would that mean making Guam a state? Bestowing citizenship upon these US nationals?  Same with Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa? Would they get Senators and full voting members of Congress? How about DC? Wouldn’t this require major constitutional changes?"

Will let you know what they say.

SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE: They got back to me — nine hours after I asked. Read their explanation HERE.

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