The House Minority has filed its impeachment resolution against the governor. Basically, it focuses on two allegations: 1). The abuse of authority violating what is permitted under the NMI constitution. 2). Various questionable actions that include boilerplate contracts bypassing certain procurement regulatory requirements, among others.
Meanwhile, the governor leaves the sunshine state or Florida crossing the country to attend a ballgame in Idaho. Yes, a ballgame amidst a huge storm in the fiscal trauma riddled with glaring budgetary shortfalls for CHC, the Fund, PSS, and others. A lot of folks have asked with disgust why the apathy and arrogance when the NMI steadily sinks into a fiscal sinkhole.
An impeachment is a formal accusation issued by the Legislature against a public official charged with crime or other serious misconduct. The formal accusation requires approval by the NMI House of Representatives.
If the lower chamber approves it, it moves to the Senate where the actual trial is conducted. Upon conviction, the accused is prohibited from continuing in his capacity as a public official. He still could face trial in court for the same offenses.
The issue is a serious constitutional matter. The process would be an involved and protracted undertaking. Definitely, it would be a test of intellectual integrity and resiliency to stand for what’s right by lawmakers in both chambers. We should see how this heavy event unfolds in the next couple of weeks.
The mounting pressure would be unbearably difficult to navigate in rational fashion. It could reach an explosive point where threats and violence become part of the brewing controversy. It shows that it requires fully poised lawmakers whose knees are firm when the going gets rough. We’ll also see who isn’t fearful of sticking to integrity and principled-base reasoning to dispose of the issue with a sense of fairness.
The onus to successfully move the issue forward is in the hands of the minority block that authored the resolution for impeachment. It’s up to their colleagues to weigh the issues before them for appropriate disposition. It makes for an interesting observation given that this is an election year. Would Republican legislators have the courage to face up to their fiduciary duties or conveniently tuck their tails and call in sick? It’s a Catch 22 situation: damned if you do or damned if you don’t!
The governor would find this week embarrassingly unsettling. There’s the impeachment, a decision by the national Republicans to keep him away from Romney in the RNC convention, a humiliating budget-less situation at CHC while he crosses the entire Pacific Ocean and the country for meetings that include the fate of reefs and a ballgame in Idaho. The apathy and grand sense of inconsequence has reached unbearable points and the sentiment found in the move for his impeachment was met with a sigh of relief from across the archipelago.
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Abyss of fiscal calamity
Just as the NMI sinks into the miseries of abject poverty triggered by the consistently deepening economic meltdown, you would think the elected officials would bravely and aggressively step forward to do something about it. At least, their weak-kneed radiant sense of confidence could brace our beaten eyebrows from any further slide into the miseries of abject poverty.
But they have also embraced deafening silence too pusillanimous (too weak) to rescue our people from the privation (poverty) they’ve created and manifested in the severe decline of the quality of life in these isles. Though we may be dying of stage four cancer; we want our doctor to work with confidence as he deals with the irreversible nature of our illness. We ask for nothing less.
Are key politicians so inebriated (drunk) in their teeny world of self-concocted invincibility? It’s inexplicably stunning their arrogance wrapped in dismissive acquiescence.
Admirable though the courage of the House Minority Bloc who refuses to acquiesce the administration’s insolence. How pleasant its action tales that there's still hope in paradise. Win, lose or draw at least the minority’s sentiment reflects that of the majority who pine for some semblance of leadership in a consistently deepening and listless economy.
Out of lengthy neglect and arrogance, it becomes even clearer by the day that this administration’s single most vital agenda is depravity against governance. Sorry, none of us will fall for it. Nah! We still could pick-up the pieces and run with it seriously or fatally injured we may be. The resiliency to do it right atop the ship of hope is more than sufficient to get us there limping or otherwise.
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Former Guam delegate Robert Underwood briefly explained recently in Marianas Agupa why territories aren’t given full representation. As he put it, there’s representation of the 50 states established under the U.S. Constitution. Representation of territories is a creature of the U.S. Congress-established by federal law-thus the absence of rights and privileges accorded state senators and representatives.
We can kick our feet rage and rant but that won’t alter any sentiment for full representation. Too, it would require ratification of at least 38 states in order for territories to be granted full representation. This is one long and arduous journey that would take years before anyone among the fifty states would even listen to our inconsequential voices.
Hope it is also understood that the NMI would be required to pay financial contribution to the federal coffers as a member of the U.S. Congress. I don’t know the initial figure but imagine if we have to pitch-in today. We can’t even pay for hospital operations nor keep the Fund from going broke. It’s a matter of fiscal responsibility as a member!
Admirable Underwood’s recommendation that we seriously and realistically weigh radical aspirations versus the benefits we receive from the feds as territories. If our desire were one of statehood, would such aspiration morph into our joining the State of Hawaii as Hawaii Five-O?
Or would reintegration with Guam lead to becoming the 51st state? Is this an arrangement we could work out with political maturity or would it devolve into ethnicity and geography? It’s a long journey though future scholars would perhaps pick it up as an issue to forge a unified Marianas. It’s all up to our children.
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John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of Department of Public Lands.