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HomeNewsArchivesRobert Kunkel Seeks to Be a Delegate to Convention

Robert Kunkel Seeks to Be a Delegate to Convention

May 23, 2007 – The voters are being told that this is their opportunity to “take control” of their own destiny by enacting a constitution. What is not being emphasized is how this will interact with existing law. Existing law is not simply that written by the Virgin Islands Legislature. It includes Federal law, administrative law, governmental promises–everything that controls our lives, from the Bill of Rights to taxi regulation.
Legal experience, not just mine, is strongly needed on this Commission. Voters should look to people who have the tools to make the new Constitution work with existing law. Grant experience is needed. A former judge would be a treasure. Former public servants? Consider their legacy, if any.
My reason for running directly parallels the work that I do in law. I intend to be a spokesperson for good government, fair justice and victims of crime. This is not a myopic or overly simplistic agenda. The task is enormous.
I am also running to be a watchdog. Creating a document that can “trump” the Legislature can be a very attractive to special interests. Every sentence in the Constitution should be closely analyzed to avoid the potential of misuse.
The Constitution should enunciate principles that are dear to Virgin Islanders and little else. Once goals of government are addressed, the people can build on the Constitution as we see fit to face the complexities of life in the future.
The watch words of document should be “honesty,” “transparency,” and “simplicity.”
I am Robert Kunkel, candidate for Constitutional Delegate — #57 on the ballot. I graduated from Stetson Law School in St. Petersburg, Florida’s oldest law school. I work for Legal Services of the Virgin Islands as a Victim of Crime and Staff Attorney. I am a specially admitted member of the Virgin Islands Bar.
My practice of law began with a firm in Chicago that represented attorneys and architects sued in civil malpractice cases. Eventually, I moved to Key West, Florida and opened a private general practice. In 1997, my then wife and I literally sailed into St. Thomas. I began with Legal Services in 2002 representing victims of violence.
On a daily basis, I work with Family Resource Center, Women’s Coalition, Safety Zone, the VIPD and the Family Court. I preside over the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Council Criminal Justice Committee. I am grant project manager of Legal Services’ Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program monitored by the Law Enforcement Planning Commission.
I am a member of the American Federation of Musicians (Local 174-496, New Orleans). I play the saxophone, act with the Pistarkle Theater Company and, until recently, I wrote a monthly column titled Eye on the V.I. for the Caribbean Compass.
I am fortunate to be a candidate. If elected I will do my best. Robert Kunkel

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