My fellow Democrats and people of the CNMI, I want to express my concern and share with you my personal perspective on the present organization of the CNMI Democratic Party. This perception is not to be interpreted as a tool to undermine the Party and the efforts of many members, with exception of some within the Party, but to acknowledge the existence of organizational problem within the Party and to make serious efforts to correct such organization mistakes.
I grew with the Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Popular Party, from which I built my political career as your public servant. I had the honor and privilege to have served you in the municipal council, in the Congress of Micronesia, in the transitional CNMI Legislature and in the first CNMI Senate. I had the pleasure of being the leader of the young Popular Party movement. I am proud as your public servant to have contributed in the grand blueprint and shaping of our CNMI political future and quality of life for our people. The contributions of our political forefathers and my peers during the Trust Territory era leading up to the signing of the Covenant Agreement with the United States of America, our people obtaining U.S. citizenship and the introduction of a robust monetary economy into our lives warrant continuous celebration and appreciation.
Sadly, I have grave concern that the present Democratic Party leadership have exhibited little regard and lacking appreciation for the magnificent efforts and contributions of previous CNMI leaders in the shaping of our political status and our role in the American political family during the infancy stage of our government. The present Democratic Party leadership top official denied a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Pedro R. Deleon Guerrero, who is a lifetime member of the Democratic Party and who happens to be my brother, whom I had asked to be my proxy to represent me at a Democratic Party Central Executive Committee meeting involving a negotiation with another political group. The Democratic Party chairwoman and her cohort behaved unprofessionally and lacking decorum. For chairperson Nola Hix, a young and arrogant Democratic official to tell a former CNMI speaker of the House and to any former public official for that matter, “This is not your time,” is insulting and condescending. It is very disrespectful and offensive when she is a Refaluwasch treating an elder Refaluwasch official that way in an official meeting. There is an old saying in our Refaluwasch culture, “if you don’t know where you came from, you won’t know where you are going in the future.”
While this other issue may be moot because an action initiated by the Democratic Party chairwoman had already taken place and decided by a few select individuals within the full CEC membership to vet applicants for the gubernatorial candidacy, Rota and Tinian Democratic CEC members and some others from Saipan did not participate nor represented in the gubernatorial vetting process. In short, the vetting process was railroaded to select the preference of the Democratic Party chairperson, vice chairperson and a select few. Full participation by the CEC membership was absent.
The Party professes to cultivate transparency, participation and fairness but its top officials do not live up to these values in practice. The Democratic Party membership must do something to correct these serious faults being perpetuated by arrogant and self-aggrandizing individuals within the Party.
The Party also must attend to procedural reporting on the following: (1) fund status on the DNC financial assistance; (2) overall Party financials, which include private donations and special election contribution; (3) travel reports of Party officials that attend national Democratic Party events; election of officers of the Party must be held according to the bylaws that is not being followed; (5) strategic planning report by CEC members.
There are too many loosely arranged organization planning that oftentimes are incoherent and thought out on impulse. I am sharing these concerns as constructive criticism and should be taken as measures to correct weaknesses of the Party and not as a weapon for any purpose because that is not what this letter is intended for.
Herman R. Deleon Guerrero