SENATE HEARING ON ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT
‘No law was broken in social media ad campaign’
Today, the Republican Party of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands issued the following statement relative to the Senate Hearing on the Articles of Impeachment:
Based on the sworn testimony of Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo, the “Deer Meat for Dinner” promotion delivered a return on investment that exceeded all expectations. She stated that the promotion served a public purpose. Integrating Mr. Rob Arringon, who is a world-recognized online influencer, would benefit the Commonwealth and is consistent with the authority’s strategy of maintaining a strong online presence.
The MVA managing director stated that inbound flights were suspended as a result of COVID-19 so MVA decided to invest in and maintain a strong online presence. The MVA board of directors approved the “Deer Meat for Dinner” budget of $59,000. Total actual expenses did not exceed $50,000.
“Deer Meet for Dinner” produced 20 videos. Total views for the videos exceeded 35 million. Exposure value is approximately $35 per view. Given this, the reported ad exposure value is in excess of $1 billion. MVA managing director Iakopo compared how successful this promotional program was in comparison to other sponsored activities.
Attorney Anthony H. Aguon summarized by stating that no laws were broken for the “Deer Meat for Dinner” promotional videos. He states that no specific law was cited in the impeachment article and that the promotional videos served a valid public purpose. Promoting the CNMI is a legitimate promotional segment.
The bottom line is that no laws were broken in pursuing a social media promotional strategy using the “Deer Meat for Dinner” video series. Ironically, the CNMI Legislature approved and presented social media influencer Mr. Robert Arrington with a legislative resolution for the work he did to promote Saipan, Rota, Tinian and the Northern Islands.
On one hand, to award a social media influencer for promoting the CNMI and then on the other hand turning around and impeaching a governor for the same promotional video series is hypocrisy and betrayal of public trust at its worst. It is clear that the Democrats and allied independents have put their political power grab agenda before the people and common sense. Their legal argument fails on its face again.