Bloomberg’s bombshell


Though humiliated by the Bloomberg piece about collusion in paradise, we still must reset our agenda on oversight issues we’ve conveniently neglected for so long. It’s a matter of duty to prove maturity in the disposition of matters of state or self-government.

The Bloomberg narrative pertains to dealings between IPI (Best Sunshine), the governor and his siblings. That it involved prominent people naturally attracts attention like dead fish swarmed by tons of flies. Reaction to the story varies, though mostly negative.

Meanwhile, is it a coincidence that oversight issues were raised at the recent Murkowski hearing in the U.S. Senate pertaining to violation of laws, money laundering, and predatory hiring practices dovetailed by the Bloomberg bombshell? Must we put up with the shenanigans of people who brave ignoring the needs of our people?

Humiliating getting slammed once more as the sanctuary of corruption! Shouldn’t the reputation of paradise be a matter of pride for those in charge of our ship of state? Or are you too busy fattening maggots with your sugar daddies? The voice of “we the people” would reset buttons this November! No mas!

Oversight: The NMI is guilty of violating its own laws exempting a favored business from regulatory review. Ask Arnold Palacios for guideline on this score. All others are subjected to follow the books. It simply ruins policy and investment stability in the NMI.

What about the $400,000 engineered by Biktok Hokog violating constitutional mandate requiring legislative appropriation of all public funds?

The 300 to 500 employees who came into the island to work at a hotel project don’t know who their employer is. It involved the violation of federal immigration and labor laws, including local laws. Some are still here searching for final payment, unsuccessfully. It’s between them and the firm they work for.

What about the IPI yacht ordered sailed to Hong Kong but pulled over when it reached the Philippine Sea? Weren’t people seen dumping blocks of money into duffle bags? Didn’t IPI deny ownership, conveniently saying its yacht was hijacked? Really? Did it take measures to track down the blocks of money removed from its ship?

It goes without saying that disposition from those in charge of our ship of state is abnormally loose. Is this how you see it too?

Number one! The fangs of greed among politicos never end and they do it with impunity. First, it’s their 80-percent salary increase, then came the final touch in what’s known as “annuities.” It’s done as if it’s the only urgent matter of state! And you want Sen. Lisa Murkowski to take front seat how you royally ignore the needs of our people?

Yet, there’s the glaring fact of some 14,000 employees literally struggling with poverty income level and below. Do we have cyclops on the hill that can’t see beyond their Sears Roebuck ties? Or has greed taken the better part of their black-and-white television? Or is it supposed to be vision? Or is the term anomalous to their often-blurred sights? No wonder they’re singing Joy to the World even in February!

Sober: Trying to keep sobriety, there’s the question of the breadth of the story that exploded like wildfire on various sites on Facebook. Bloggers have varied reactions, mostly negative, of people in the story. It’s not the kind of reaction you wish to have when seeking re-election! Raffy and Arnie have got their work cut out for them on this score.

The story fired up the ire of the Torres brothers and Imperial Pacific International, who are talking of filing individual lawsuits. What would be litigated remains to be seen. It’s another chapter in the unfolding drama of alleged collusion in paradise.

Shadow: The story obviously triggered stronger distrust in local government. Perception is such that it raises yet a vital query: Who runs the NMI? Is it officials that ascended per legal chance (without a public mandate) or policymakers turned servile lapdogs of wealthy sugar daddies or both? It’s a relevant query.

It’s a hard question we must ask to see whose hands or filthy fingers are in the pockets of people disposing policies on the hill. A closer look and you’d see the unerring hands of de facto policymakers. Elected officials joining fat sugar daddies wind up establishing the elite bunch. It’s basically a shadow government of sort. Shouldn’t we be concerned about this aspect of policymaking?

Any reasonable minded person could easily see and untangle the myth. The promise to help “we the people” shifts almost entirely to their elite friends. It’s the birthplace of negligence, trashing the needs of the people focused on the whims of the elite. How easily they ignore the promise to assist the struggling multitude. Must we live under the whims of a shadow government?

Resetting: As the head winds work up a storm, there’s sober suggestion made recently by former U.S. House speaker New Gingrich in his assessment of Trump’s first year in office: “Changing the speed of government from the routine, slow, change-avoiding pace of bureaucracy to the high-tempo, innovative, constantly accelerating pace of technology will be the key to success in the next three years.”

Must retreat and reset buttons so we see our pathway in our long journey ahead. It’s time to focus moving away from the usual bureaucracy to the more entrepreneurial opportunities found in technology. This is one humongous task encompassing every sector of the NMI community.

Our school kids are becoming tech-native where everything at their disposal involves a hi-tech device, e.g., iPhone and iPads. It enables them massive volumes of information daily that includes availability of social media. It’s a shift we must adhere to stay in the digital age.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
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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