Milking the wrong cow!


A Marianas-wide casino industry is prohibited by the NMI Constitution. However, each senatorial district is allowed, via legislative or popular initiative, to vote for or against it.

Strangely, regardless of the expressed views of the people, the Legislature, via a simple up or down vote, could change it all instantly.

Rota and Tinian have voted for casino and reined it in successfully. Sad, though, that neither one is working; one never started the other slowly puts on shutters.

Saipan shot it down twice but it is now law! Wasn’t the voice of the people violated in this case? I mean it only took a simple up or down vote in the Legislature to change what the people of Saipan have shot down twice! Is the true expression of the people invalid? This definitely needs fixing, big time!

It goes to illustrate that the evil geniuses of such law have no respect whatsoever for the will of “we the people” who said “no” twice. Isn’t the popular initiative the loudest and surest expression of governance on Saipan, saying “no mas” to casino? That expression came directly from the people as a matter of public policy, isn’t it?

Whatever happened to “responsible and respectful leadership”?

This is what happened to the approval of the Saipan casino law. We said, via an initiative, “no” twice! The Legislature tiptoed and changed it in less than a day.

Did legislators know it was the sentiment of Saipan voters they changed when they voted to approve the Saipan casino last year? So what good then is the “popular initiative if it’s subject to whimsical change by a simple legislative procedure”? Where’s the inherent value of the initiative?

Isn’t it logical that change, in this case, could only come from the people? So where did legislators fail to read and understand the logic in the argument in favor of “we the people”?

Why would legislators from Tinian and Rota meddle in the decision of Saipan voters who twice said “no” to casino in a plebiscite? What business do you have changing the sentiment of the people of Saipan on such substantive issue solely theirs to dispose of? Talk about arrogance of the highest order! Did we ever interfere in your decision to approve casino at home where both have failed? Why would the tail wag the dog?

But then the two senatorial districts have had chronic problems milking Saipan taxpayers of whatever it could inflict for as long as it meets its special interest. Nah! This has gone on for far too long. Let’s bring it home, people!

It’s good to point out, though, that Tinian’s casino is likely to shut down by month’s end per recent press reports while Rota’s casino touted as “internationally lucrative” never got off the ground! Lucrative? If so, how come it’s stillborn and dead in its track?

Please approve legislation and call it 80/20 revenue sharing where you pay 80 cents per every dollar you make in taxes into the NMI coffers while keeping the balance. All senatorial districts must pay the same. It ensures mindfulness how taxpayers’ tax contributions are spent responsibly! This ought to end the cavalier sucking of more blood from our empty arteries, sayu?

Rota’s casino just never came into existence and perhaps the leadership has an explanation other than “sorry lai.” Tinian’s casino is going down the tubes at the end of this month. Need we follow failure to learn what it is to fail? One never came to fruition; the other going out of existence?

Evil geniuses that served as the architect of this failed tax venture please step forward and explain where your shortsighted vision would take us! What are your chances of fixing up your own self-concocted mess? Eh, fair is fair, di ba?

Are the likes of senators Jude Hofschneider, Francisco Cruz, and Francisco Borja anywhere nearby and could they explain the wisdom of their half-cocked tax scheme and where did it benefit Saipan taxpayers? Nothing can be further from the truth! Aren’t we supposed to be drawing lessons from these experiences?

New circus in town!

Senators brave displaying humiliating misperception on the FY 2016 budget with suspect professorial dissertations. And they are not even Ph.D. candidates anywhere in academia. Thus the persistent delusional viewpoint as though etched in stone.

In fact, if the suspect professors of budgeting had any sense at all then the focus of the debate would have been to do away with earmarking so that authority, constitutionally the sole preserve of the House of Representatives, is returned forthwith. Did you say that or did I? Eh, even we for da kine for confuse braddah! Or is it only the leyisleche?

The persistent shallowness demonstrates clearly how a certain concept could easily be misconstrued and mangled to mean anything under the sun. Add the sorry state of affairs in the reading comprehension of so-called policymakers and there you find yourself quizzing if this is the latest revision of the “new” circus in town!

Future of civil servants?

Often this apolitical bunch gets to stare down the longest road on the islands in terms of their future wellbeing. That nobody champions their cause or listen to their concerns makes their individual and collective future even more suspect.

Nearly half the contracts in government are for political hires or 1,100 of them. Out the window goes the civil service system. But isn’t the system the more organized method in the implementation of a real merit system? Why ignore now? Furthermore, it is through the system that we get employees into some meaningful skills training, true?

It should be public information how many were hired since the days of impeached and convicted, oh sorry—also, commuted guv Benigno Fitial. Let’s get this information out forthwith!

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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