Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. By. GOV'T HOUSE
Governor Albert Bryan wasn't timid when expressing what he deems to be an impressive track record of getting his agenda maneuvered through the V.I. Legislature, boasting during an interview with the Consortium on Thursday that he always wins.
Mr. Bryan listed several pieces of legislation that at times looked to be too controversial to win approval in the Senate, but in the end were successful. "I does want to know if people know me," he boasted when asked whether his legislation to address derelict buildings in the territory would survive the Senate. "It's three times I went for the GERS. People protested against St. John, we got that; they ramshackle about the$150 million in the Legislature for the line or credit, I got that. It's like you don't know I win all the time. Even the opponents, they don't like it when I tell them..."
While senators approved the line of credit, it was not at the original $150 million the governor had requested — he received $100 million. And although lawmakers approved the Matching Fund Special Purpose Securitization bill, whose aim was to avert GERS insolvency, the measure saw several iterations with large input from legislators before successfully passing the Senate.
Even so, Mr. Bryan is correct to say that his controversial measures have succeeded, even if not on the first offering.
The governor then moved to those who ran against him during the last general election, stating that they need to move on. He bragged that he would win again if he could run for a third term. "People have a serious hangover because they got their butts whooped in the last election, and the only thing I'm sorry about is that I can't run again so I can whoop their butt again."
Mr. Bryan then encouraged unity, stating, "Isn't it time to sit down and get with us and start to talk about how do we make the Virgin Islands better? The governor said while opposition in a democracy is vital, most of his opponents are democrats like him and their stance on big issues align.
"It's not like they are for abortion and I'm against, it's not like they are for guns and I'm against. The only thing they are arguing about is who is in control," the governor contended. "Is that a good argument to have? The election is done. Right now we have to make sure that we're looking out for the most vulnerable. If we're serious about getting the students to where they need to be, why aren't we coming together as a community and saying, what can we do.... What can we encourage students to do positively that's going to make our outcomes better. Why does it always have to be a political struggle about who is in power? The election is done."