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Prominent Republican Tea Party Member’s Nomination Held Back By Rules Committee


  NOMINEE: Vince Danet

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The Senate Committee on Rules, chaired by Sen. Kenneth Gittens of St. Croix, voted today to hold prominent Tea Party member Vince Danet’s nomination to the board of the Public Services Commission in committee for further review.

But the Senate sent Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s nomination of Stacey Bourne to serve on the Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors on to the full Legislature for a vote.

During the meeting, Danet, who is a prominent Republican, was asked by Sen. Neville James about his politics. Specifically, the Senate President asked Danet if he supported more or less government.

Danet said that he was surprised to be asked about his politics, but that he was in favor of less government. James told the governor’s nominee that he respectfully disagreed with him.

Gittens questioned Danet about a speeding ticket that he was issued on the U.S. mainland. Danet said that he had no knowledge of the citation and that he had lent his car to his brother to use at one point.

But Gittens objected to that answer, saying that the ticket was issued to a person named “Vincent Danet” and not the documents inside the driver’s vehicle.

Sen. Novelle Francis Jr., a former Virgin Islands Police Chief, asked Danet if he would try to get along with his fellow PSC board members, or look to be an obstructionist. Danet said that he would get along with his fellow board members if approved.

Sen. Janette Millin Young accused the Mapp Administration of nominating people who would make life difficult on boards and commissions in the territory. Danet is a retired U.S. Navy Lt. Commander.

Danet, in his closing remarks, thanked the Gittens’ Rules Committee for allowing him to appear before them and said that he looked forward to their review as they “follow the law.”

The Virgin Islands Legislature is made up primarily of members of the Democratic Party, with few exceptions.

When Mapp ran for the Senate in the 1980s and 1990s, he was elected to the Legislature as a member of the Republican Party. He currently lists his political status as “independent.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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