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Senator Larry Craig

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Statement before the Senate Energy Committee, November 15, 2006, p. 12.  [I]t is the responsibility of the federal and local government to ensure that commonwealth proposals the U.S. Department of Justice has labeled “illusory” and “deceptive” are not allowed to appear on self-determination ballots.

What would be truly unfair and biased would be to include an unviable option on the ballot in a status vote.  That is what happened in 1993, when a definition of commonwealth that was constitutionally unrealistic and legally invalid was presented to voters.  This results in an “artificial plurality” for a commonwealth option that does not exist and is impossible.

It is understandable that in the absence of a federal policy on status, local political parties would begin to develop their own status definitions that would benefit their interests.  At the same time, those definitions might not fit within U.S. federal law or under the constitutional definition of a territory.

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