We now have a full slate of political candidates for this November election. Some are returning legislators, other are former legislators who want to try their lucks again, and still others are newbies. Never been touched. For the current legislators, I ask what have you accomplished that makes you want to continue as a legislator? “Crackerjack legislation?” What is that? Crackerjack legislation is a bill or resolution which does not do anything to the economy of the CNMI.
For example, a bill or resolution instructing the CNMI, government or business, to pay its employees on time. Another example is the resolution, which appropriates money for the ship Luta, and extended to others. The obvious error here is that a resolution is simply a document expressing a legislative concern, not appropriating money. Standard legislative procedure. Never mind the Roberts Rule of Order. To appropriate money, a legislator introduces a bill, a special kind of bill—it is called an appropriations bill, not a resolution. You want to honor Elvis Presley, do it via resolution. Of all the legislative procedure seminars that I sat in, the difference between a bill and a resolution are defined quite specifically. The last seminar I sat in was that held for the in-coming Congress of Micronesia members. Dr. Meller of the University of Hawaii, was the head of the seminar. Some members of the Mariana Islands District Legislature were also trained in legislative procedures at East-West Center back in the 1970s. Perhaps, the CNMI Legislature could negotiate or invite the University of Hawaii East-West Center for a special seminar in legislative procedures. I’m sure the university would be very happy to do that. The trainers have been here before. So, after all this suggestions, I ask again, what did you accomplish during your previous tenure as legislator?
And you’re running again. What do you have in mind to introduce? Put aside the Best Sunshine money for a moment, and think. What else could you do? Other investors—this time no tax incentive. Our government needs money, and that from Best Sunshine is simply not enough for all the things our government wants to do. Our government has goals and objectives. Split the two into three parts short-term objectives, mid-term objectives, and long-term objectives. Plug those objectives with your plans and ideas and hopes. What, then, is your individual plan? Your plan? Your idea for the party’s platform? How would you help Tinian and Rota? Their struggling infrastructure, specifically water pipes, the sewer pipes, and electricity-the high tension wires, the telephone poles, the up-transformers and the dropdown transformers, and their roads, and salary for the employees-CNMI and municipal? Would you help their delegations? Where would you get the money for all these, and more? Tinian and Rota are famous for farm produce. If the farmers need your help, would you help them? Where would you market their produce? What, then, would be your plan and platform contribution? What about a review of our Covenant and constitution? We have had three Con Cons, two of them successful presentation. If you could, which part of our Covenant would to amend? How would you do that? Would you improve the constitution? The special election, I mean? What about the land lease money, would you change the lease rate for the better for the next lease period, instead of the status quo?
Ask yourself as a favor, what would you do after the lease on Farallon de Medinilla (FDM) and Anatahan and Puerto Rico and North Field and West Field expired? FDM and Anatahan are pockmarked all over with American bombs. What about the USMC’s plan to use Pagan to practice beach-storming, to be followed by live fire?
DPL is now looking at partitioning Pagan for residential and or agricultural homesteading. That places you in a quandary, between a rock and a hard place. What would you do? And the CW? It seems as if the CW issue is settling down for a while. How do you feel? think some of the CWs want to settle here. Good for the business but questionable on the capability of our infrastructure. What about availability for regular work? And, if you let them stay here and become island citizens or someday become U.S. citizens or IR of their American citizen children, then they would have to pay FICA and income tax, CUC user fee, CCHC fee, etc. You see, all these things I hear at gatherings, cookouts, Minachum Atdao, Kilili Beach, fast food restaurants, etc. But I don’t hear from you. Would you come out on television and radio and talk about your plan and contribution to your party’s platform? I would be on the other end of the wave and screen. I vote in Precinct 3.
Rudy M. Sablan