Voting for Saipan casino was not selfish


This letter is in response to the John S. DelRosario Jr.’s op-ed piece “2016 Summertime Blues” that was published in the Saipan Tribune last Aug. 5, 2016. Readers should know that I respect and admire Senot DelRosario’s op-ed pieces especially those he writes in Chamorro. I always hope they will inspire others to write in the indigenous languages spoken here in the CNMI. Every writer is entitled to their own opinion but writers need to be careful with their use of or misuse of facts and information. They are not entitled to make up their own facts.

Sen. Francisco Borja and Lt. Gov. Biktot Hocog know full well and knew full well “the comparative advantages Saipan has over Tinian” which DelRosario referred to when they voted for a casino on Saipan. Nobel prize winning economist, Daniel Kahneman, in his 2011 book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” refers to work on primes that guide us done by psychologist Kathleen Vohs. The priming effect according to Kahneman, “suggests that living in a culture that surrounds us with reminders of money may shape our behavior and our attitudes in ways that we do not know about and of which we may not be proud.” I am proud to have known Lt. Gov. Hocog and Senator Borja for more than 30 years. Despite Senot DelRosario’s denigrating remarks about both gentlemen their constituents on Tinian and Luta love them and have shown respect for them in election after election.

Would Senot DelRosario like to return the multimillions of dollars BSI has pumped into the CNMI economy BEFORE their hotel and casino have even opened? Both new casino investments on Tinian are off the ground contrary to his remarks. The votes for a Saipan casino by the respective gentlemen from Tinian and Luta provide benefits for the entire CNMI. If they had voted against it would DelRosario have written they were selfish by keeping casinos only on Tinian and Rota?

He also seems to object to them reaching out to constituents on the mainland and eating in restaurants (“elite culture”). What is wrong with that? Many groups, civic, governmental, friends, families, join together in fellowship and share meals with each other both at home and in public places. Surely he can’t be proud of objecting to this prime profound manner of living. Isn’t it a well loved and well integrated part of Chamorro, Carolinian, and island culture. Biba Sen. Anke Borja! Biba Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog! Yan Biba gayera lokkue! Si Joey (Pepe Batbon) Connolly, Tinian.

Joseph B. Connolly

Contributing Author

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