Leadership, anybody?


It is said that for every year of failure in public office you send the livelihood of your people three years back. Quietly, I paced the 36 years of constitutional government if only to see whether leadership has moved the needle of growth and prosperity forward.

Had leadership succeeded, the CNMI won’t be having mind-numbing bouts with budgetary shortfall or persistent fiscal crisis today. In fact, the CNMI is broke! Is this failure cause for celebration as the old warriors twist in the wind or somersaulting in the carnival ground of failure? Or must we not take critical ocular review to steer clear repeating royal failure?

There were the boom years of the mid-’80s and ’90s that disappeared into the ash heap of history when the feds imposed immigration takeover. It has “Plan A” but neglected that there’s supposed to be a “Plan B,” a transition period to minimize the economic impact of a hasty policy decision. The result is pure annihilation that sent the local economy into a tailspin. It has since been unable to turn the corner on bankruptcy. Then there’s the threat of ending CW workers.

Taken together, I fail to see signature accomplishments that factually fostered an even playing field of economic prosperity. On a scale of one to 10, the performance rating never moved past one. It fizzles and crawls into humiliation land. Why was this the case? Did they know any better about the concept of “wealth and jobs creation” and the accompanying responsibility to ensure solvency? Whatever happened to mathematical or accounting wizardry?

Choosing from damaged goods

In the calm of the night you could hear the eerie, creepy, hissy sound of bankruptcy crawling nearby. The deepening fiscal crisis is stubbornly persistent. The guys and gals found casino as the savior.

Not only is it questionable, given its obvious shortsightedness it’s likely to become a larger pile of financial mess from the outset. As though this isn’t enough, leadership rolled out the red carpet to welcome new partners who we know nothing about, including their backgrounds. Aren’t we digging a wider and deeper hole? Gee! Whatever happened to placing a premium on reasoned analysis?

Here we are literally struggling to wiggle out of the vicious cycle of persistent bankruptcy. This as we listen intently to new spouts from gubernatorial tandems re-echoing exhausted assertions for brighter break of dawn. Did they forget we have brains too?

Occasionally, I’d defer listening to marshland reed social scientists in search of fodder for comedy. It’s fun their shallow takes on issues spouted without credentials. Combine it with the lethargic bunch on the hill and you begin to see why the CNMI has “advanced to the rear.”

Fortuitously, I started navigating the minds of gubernatorial tandems. Appalling the belief that they’re ready to repeat failure once more as though we’ve forgotten their sterling failure of recent past. Appalling the lame warriors are out walking the campaign trail once more prep with more lies. It seems we’ve heard that song before, right?

They slip in and out of holes braved only by slimy fresh water eels. Or have they upgraded their skills to fruit bats, you know, cover their faces pretending there’s nothing out there, including predators? Interesting!

Height of betrayal

It’s the height of betrayal of the highest order! Does your failure require refinement? Don’t you think the people you’ve betrayed and victimized know you like the back of their hands?

Have you anything to say about costly power, health insurance, basic goods, and work hour reduction in private industries, while biting our fingers staring at serious family obligations? Did you improve the salaries of the 52 percent underemployed folks?

Were you a part of the scam to permanently ruin the Retirement Fund? If you wish to deny it, didn’t you leave office failing to remit some $48 million in employer’s contribution?

If all of your government career you’ve done nothing to salvage the Fund, why did you unilaterally cut 25 percent of pension pay that doubled up hardship for retirees when the 40 percent increase in health premiums kicked in? What did you do to ease the 20-percent jump in the cost of living and did you intervene with salary raises for the 52 percent of employees who are under-employed?

And so another grand politico—a switcheroo boasting lack of credibility moving freely from Democrat to Republican—jumped into the fray for the “want of power” at all cost. Oooops! How about explaining a signature accomplishment as a Democratic legislator? With a foundation swinging loosely at the base, is there a chance attaining your last will and lame political testament? Or should we just dust you off like passing cotton ball?

Yes, I enjoy moments of golden silence but remain critically keen on issues. Should be able to put into context any and all assertions of failure and lame success as the campaign season heats up.

Seeking legislative seat

Of course, incumbent legislators are out in full force lamely seeking re-election. Nice try! At least you’ve disrupted traffic in intersections that sent a lot of folks fuming as they step on their gas pedals. How many of them would vote for you? One, two, three, none?

Remember the story of the snail that leaves a trail behind you could literally follow him? What’s most noticeable in his trail? Isn’t it the shiny slime as he inched his way forward? It’s something that is visible, true?

In like fashion, what trail or signature accomplishment did you leave behind that has factually improved the livelihood of villagers? Casino? Or unintended predatory policies derailing fresh and lasting investments? Have you any conception what “wealth and jobs creation” entails?

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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