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OPINION | Epitaph 135:  RICO begins & bad leadership ends (Part 1 of 2)      

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THERE is really just no end to what WE the People are going to learn about the criminal activity that has gone on with our leaders and IPI.

The release of the first sealed RICO Indictment is already telling a “Tall-Tail” and it’s only going to get worse even more interesting given the FBI have been working on this since 2015 —  WOW as God nor the FBI are sleeping! We are just seeing the tip of the gigantic criminal organization that was created on our leaders’ Private Jet Trip in China that created and gave the casino to the Chinese as the bidding for the exclusive rights was just for show — it was a done crooked deal which WE can all now see!  It is almost unreal with “movie potential” but it was also to be expected as the People of the CNMI were not really fooled but they were HELPLESS because the Republicans went unchecked with ALL Power in the Legislature and Executive Branch. We are just seeing some of the horrible results of having a Dead Democracy and why I documented this phenomenon and the ugly results in these Epitaphs for “posterity” and as a reminder to learn our political lessons taught by history or be doomed to continue repeating the same (voting) mistakes.

The People were duly WARNED about the casino by our late Bishop Camacho, myself, Mr. Long of Tinian and others as to the potential corruption and crime that the casino might bring. Now the Feds are starting prove how right all of us were to say “NO to the Casino.” Maybe ONE DAY, as my mother might say, voters will believe me when I say “time is on my side.” The Feds even open the door of corruption in their RICO case with proof of the former Lt. Governor “tipping-off” IPI about them being investigated by the FBI virtually becoming a “co-conspirator after the fact” — WOW!  It was truly disappointing for me as I thought he was “real-people” but I guess I was fooled. It’s starting to look like a lot of leaders and citizens are going to jail once all the indictments are unsealed. WE the People had a good idea the casino might not work when the exclusive rights were given to a Chinese Company and we don’t have a single Chinese Tourist site killing the last Japanese Hotel and the Japanese Tourist Market — duh! Now IPI is virtually dead which was evident to me when the owner flew in on her private jet and seemingly emptied the bank account and now IPI is not paying anyone and WE can’t find a single IPI Executive to speak for IPI and the owner is trying to find a way out of the deal.    The RICO Indictments have only begun and it’s sending a signal loud and clear that it is also time for our BAD Leadership to come to an End on election day — for TRUE Voters!

I think one of the CNMI’s biggest problem is the business sector has really dictated entirely too much about what should be done which is why WE the People not only need to get rid of the “brain thrust” that has been doing the dictating starting with Jerry Tan. I respect the man as a fellow human and for being a good business man but the CNMI has been under the Tans’ thumb TOOOOO long and we need NEW Ideologies and FRESH Blood. He is on the MVA Board and he is the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors chairman and president of Tan Holdings Corp.  FYI readers, our previous Governor met MORE with Tan Holdings than he did with his own cabinet which I wrote about while he was in office — no disrespect is intended but a vital fact.  The Kanoa Hotel is the only hotel that got a free “facelift and renovations along with a nice contract” and its owned by none other than Tan Holdings. Why wasn’t OUR (the People’s) Mariana Resort used in the first place as we could have used the money we spent on the Kanoa on the Mariana Resort to make it more viable for a new lease in the not too distant future? Why isn’t a “Local Person” like Joeten’s Grandson (Chamorro or Carolinian) in such a powerful position as Chair of our Economic Advisory Council to dictate OUR Future? MVA also has people who worked FOR IPI on its Board which tells me that WE the People have a LOT of cleaning house to do even after the election.

This pandemic is the perfect time to “reset” not restart our economy and WE need NEW People with NEW ideas if we truly want a fresh start. I’m not saying Mr. Tan is a bad person or wrong about some of things he is saying but I am saying he is working  in the Best Interest of his Businesses. Tan Holdings used to be NUMBER ONE in helping the community but  the Garment Industry died, so did all the donations from Tan Holdings even though they still conduct significant business activities within the CNMI. Yes, we still get a few hand-outs from Tan Holdings for show with sports and a few other things but that’s about it. In addition, WE shouldn’t forget how Best Sunshine also did the same thing and gave the People 10 million for our power bills which was really a “tip” for letting them make nearly two-hundred million on the Stock Market but they left leaving IPI holding the bag and now IPI is DEAD figuratively trying to pass-on the casino’s liabilities to some sucker(s).  WE the People were bamboozled and fooled by the Republicans and now WE have overwhelming PROOF that it is time for a COMPLETE REGIME CHANGE in ALL facets of our Government and Governing Boards & Commissions that are ALL under the complete Republican Authoritarian Control. This is why the pending midterms are soooo darn important because WE the People only get ONE shot every two years to fix this humongous problem of bad leadership that must come to an end.  To be continued:  One People One Direction.

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman III.

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