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OPINION | Epitaph 136:  RICO begins & bad leadership ends, Part 2 of 2   

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THE RICO Investigation and the first released indictment has literally unveiled what we can look forward to in the not too distant future but WE the People should be trying to fix OUR own problems like Rep. Ed Propst said and not depending upon the Feds so much.

WE (voters) are the main reason we are in this awful predicament being fooled and bamboozled by the Republicans causing the death of our Democracy and now THEIR Casino is Dead TOOOO!  It’s not just about the elected officials but also about the “Appointed GOP Figurehead Officials” who need to be replaced and they can be replaced “upon DEMAND” by the Legislature and the People but WE need the Right People with the Right Stuff (Democrats) to be in “driver’s seat” (majority) in the Legislature — a simple challenge but a complex challenge to get the majority of voters on the same page voting for Democrats. If there was ever a time for One People One Direction it is NOW!!!

But when I saw that the Government and Business Leaders were discussing ways to revive our economy and being led by Jerry Tan I had to say something because I have seen ENOUGH, especially being an Economist myself!  He seemingly was behind this “high-end tourism dream” that will only serve to help the “high-end tourist operators” associated with Tan Holdings and not so much FOR the Local People in jobs and Government funding as the income from these types of operations will not produce large numbers & income and may not even equal 1% of the budget. The CNMI must STOP listening to “Politicians & Business Leaders” on our economy and start listening to the “professional Economic Artists & Scientists with a BA or BS (or) MA or MS in Economics” when it comes to our economy like we are listening to the medical scientists and doctors on the pandemic and not the politicians. OUR previous Republican Governors have been putting Jerry Tan over our Economic Development for nearly two decades voters and you can bet there isn’t a single person on the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council who has a BA, BS, MA nor MS in Economics, duh and HELLER voters. The Republicans have continued with their favoritism towards Jerry Tan and Tan Holdings to this very day which is why we have been following bad and unqualified leadership on our rollercoaster economy for two decades that figuratively had “more LOWS than HIGHS” which is why sustained prosperity continues to elude us all — for TRUE.

It is not so much about reviving our economy and it’s not about restarting our economy but about RE-BUILDING our Economy that has been torn apart by the Chinese Investors who have now left in the night just like they did with the Garment Industry. WE can’t find an IPI Executive to even talk to now so I must ask when are we going to learn the SAME lessons that OUR own history with the Garment Industry has ALREADY taught us when it comes to dealing with certain Business People??? China IS NOT one of our allies, voters, so let’s get REAL about this especially when we learn the Chinese Government was even involved in the Casino.  Remember, BC Cook and I both wrote about how the Chinese “salami-slices” its way into controlling and influencing the Pacific islands and now there is PROOF that WE the People of the CNMI were actually victimized by the Chinese Government.

It is ALL about the “mind-set FOR the People in our Executive’s brain trust & thrust” as Albert Einstein said: “you can’t fix a problem with the same (GOP) mentality that caused the problem.” WE the People not only need new officials in the Legislature we also need new people on some of the critical Boards and Commissions that we are so heavily dependent upon like in Education the new Cannabis Tourism & Hemp Industries for our economy to grow and flourish.   Just look at how the Casino Commission let the Casino get away with delay after delay, robbery with phony credit-lines & thief of taxes, money laundering and everything else. Look at how Jerry Tan and the MVA Board eliminated Locals in the Tourism operations and workforce replaced by Chinese and the list on bad leaderships goes on. So voters need to be aware of WHO is really a Republican Emissary and WHO is a really an Emissary FOR the People in the pending elections, not only for the Legislature but for the Board of Education (please vote Woodruft) and the Municipal Council(s) that are full of GOP Emissaries who must GO!  Remember how the BOE Officials wanted to side with the Governor in the “Retiree v Teachers Fiasco” — those siding with the Governor on BOE are Republicans who must GO!  WE the People are in a WAR to save the very LIFE of our Democracy voters. So please vote SMART this time and give Democrats a chance to literally resurrect our dead Democracy for the sake of us ALL!

Our scientists in America are about to deliver vaccines for the Covid-19 but until then we can forget about restarting and reviving our economy. WE must now look at how to use some of that half billion in Federal Infrastructure money to Re-build and Expand our Economic Base that is in shambles with no primary Tourism market anymore.  This Casino deal should have taught us the lesson to stop depending on “one primary market” but how to expand and promote our economic base that will have a “World Rated Tourism Appeal” like Hawaii fascinating and attracting people from all over the world, which is the BEST possible future for our Tourism and I will share the Economic theoretical and proven methodology if I’m ever asked.

But what really got me was the lt. governor admitted that “federal permitting rules are also delaying critical infrastructure recovery projects in the Commonwealth”. He also said “the CNMI government itself is also struggling to comply with the requirements of federal agencies” — WOW. For me, if they had been working to follow Federal Guidelines over the past two decades all along, they wouldn’t be struggling now but now they want to meet the Guidelines because the CNMI is still “poised to receive close to half a billion dollars in federal assistance for infrastructure.” The Republicans FAILED in our progression over the years to meet Federal Guidelines but now they want their hands on a half-billion dollars. I could see GREED just floating off the page as I read.  OMG, voters please don’t let the Republicans and the FAKE Independents be over this money as WE the People know it will be abused, misused and even stolen through “nepotism & favoritism contracts” if there are no “checks” on the Governor. WE the People really need the Democrats to “check & balance” everything that is going on in the Executive Office with this half-billion dollars as we can already see how they are horrible with the Stimulus money that other states have already spent. Heck they took forever to get the unemployment money out and then they made everyone lineup in a “single line” standing all day when they could have divided the disbursements into three or four groups by alphabet in separate locations to shorten the long lines and stress that is already stressing the unemployed workers. Remember the ARRA Funds and how the Republicans created a “favoritism business” to handle that money that took the Republicans almost two years to spend because they were so busy spending the money on themselves when some states spent the ARRA money righteously in the first month after being issued. WE the People can’t let the Republicans get their hands on that half-billion dollars at all cost — so please vote Democrat.

OUR (voters) challenge in the CNMI is really simple especially when the Feds are already giving us a glimpse of the what’s to come for our Republican Leaders — so simply vote Democrat if you truly want our bad leadership and our troubles to 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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