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Saturday, April 19, 2014

‘Fitialcare’: A monstrosity

The beastly monstrosity I’ve coined “Fitialcare”—new power plant deal—approaches households like fiery magma underneath. You know it’s coming yet unsure when but you also know that you would see it destroy you in your presence.

How do you translate this new financial monstrosity? It isn’t a measure to empower the simple folks at home as much as fueling an already critically numb pain and hardship in abject poverty and misery against households NMI-wide.

Perhaps it’s fitting to coin the new power plant deal “Fitialcare.” It reminds us of what former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said initially of Obamacare, “Let’s approve it now and find out what’s in it later.” In either case, it’s a nightmare all the way around!

We’ve established “implicit knowledge” by securing and reviewing the contract at face value the derivative being “explicit knowledge” of what it means to our people henceforth. It’s the fundamental issue that drained all trust from our people who quiz: Why is the governor making life egregiously harder for us?

To be fair, I’ve talked to a cross section of people to hear their voice on the recently concluded election. Whether they understand with clarity what’s at issue, a lot of them point to the work of the Special Committee on Impeachment.

The committee has unearthed the existence of the Power Plant Agreement. It has consciously unraveled information that was never made public. It has identified the filthy trappings behind it. The pungent deal definitely merits critical review once more. After all, it deals with the livelihood of taxpayers in all its ugly trappings. And it isn’t about lower utility rates either but more fees and taxes!

Each child, man, and woman would be paying not less than $40,000 annually for 25 years when the NMI begins paying the Fitialcare debt. It is imperative that the issue is reopened and disposed of from one of two fronts: legislative disposition or recall by the people of these isles.

Just so we’re clear: I have no interest blurring an already convoluted issue with masterful spin or rhetorical punt. It’s simply a matter of conscience, no more, no less.

Debt defined future generation

The once mysterious contract remains a mystery in the sense that from the outset the governor remains cleverly reticent or mute. Perhaps it’s difficult explaining the bloated figure of some $2.3 billion in the power plant contract versus what he originally signed in the amount $190 million.

It’s despicable, though, the nerve to saddle future generations with debts during their formative years. Or is this what the governor targeted when he signed the new power plant deal—a legacy of debt, pain, and hardship? Does he really have the authority to mortgage the future of our children without our consent? Does he have the right to permanently block the hopes and dreams of our young people who’ll probably never see another break of dawn or sunrise?

It’s a no brainer that the magnitude of the contract requires following procurement rules and regulations to secure the best deal for NMI consumers. Yet he still maintains that he hasn’t done anything wrong, though he’s ignored due diligence in this case. Sir, neither the laws of gravity nor the laws of hermeneutics play favorites in the interpretation of a wrong. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong! No matter the reasoning method used—induction or deduction—it still doesn’t change the fact that it is unconscionably wrong!

Your mysteriously suspect deal is the reality our children will inherit from your administration. For the millennial generation—kids age 18-34—would they be able to pay off student loans, find meaningful jobs at home or plan a family amidst a debt-ridden future or simply move off island to greener pasture? What legacy!

Role of the former AG

Initially, I admired the former AG for staying legal and constitutional in his role, however a political appointee. But he sprayed off all trust when, after his assistant AGs who reviewed and found 71 anomalies in the PPA, he signed the contract anyway. Was it a blind “just this once” gifting to his boss as to ignore the hardship he and the governor have saddled taxpayers for the duration of the 25-year contract? Whatever happened to cool heads?

It would be to our benefit if all 71 faulty findings are explained and published by the OAG so we know what they are and why the entire deal is bad. I can’t fathom the former AG affixing his signature in servile fashion when his staff has found 71 problems with it. To say I’m disappointed is definitely an understatement. Why did the former AG ignore a substantive issue he should have guarded full press court like he’s done in the past?

Obviously, this explains the governor’s “fast and vicious” role to ensure the former AG wasn’t served the penal summons. Would the former AG ever return to answer questions before the court of law on the PPA so he absolves himself once and for all? Would the governor facilitate his return or would he conveniently leave it be so the former AG doesn’t kick up maggots from under the carpet?

In simpler terms, the voters have definitely repudiated the PPA contract in all its form and substance by soundly relegating the Ben 10 Dwarfs who ignored the public’s interest in favor of the governor’s polished and fully calibrated deceit and dishonesty.

It’s despicably pathetic how he singlehandedly decided to ruin the freedoms and economic future our children. Do they not deserve the benefits of leadership with integrity that moves proactively to protect and nurture their hopes, aspirations, grit and resilience as ordinary young folks searching, via their education and life’s experiences, to find decency and dignity in their future? How sad the wind you’ve ripped your sails!

John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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