Talking points

LIKE New York City — and with apologies to NYC — politics never sleeps, and so seven months after the last elections, and 17 months before the next one, some of our energetic politicians want us to talk about, again, the cabinet officials’ Yutu OT pay and the office of the governor’s expenditures. Since last year, some politicians have repeatedly declared that laws were violated, and it says so in their report posted online, and their supporters agree, and so for them, this issue is an open and shut case, never mind due process, and if you dare disagree then you’ve been “bought” or worse.

That, of course, is an opinion, theirs, but there are other opinions which should also be heard when the moral crusaders of the House finally re-launch their, well, crusade, livestreamed, for sure.

So let’s  hear it from the governor’s legal counsel, the AG’s office and OPA especially regarding the governor’s expenditures, including travel. And let’s get a clearer and better picture of the “controversy” by looking into the expenditures of the previous governors starting, at least, in 2002. Surely, the records are still there.

We also want to know what “reform measures,” if any, will be proposed by the morally upstanding House members to “address” their “grave concerns” regarding their political opponents’ public-spending habits.


IF it’s not too much to ask, can the House leadership likewise discuss other issues that are urgent and crucial not only for the political fortunes of our moral betters and duly elected scolds?

For example, the  $7 million that will be or is being wasted on the Guma Hustisia. Did anyone in the House ask the judiciary if it has a new and better maintenance plan for its white elephant? What steps were taken or are being taken to prevent another breakdown of the judicial building’s A/C system and another mold infestation?

And what about the continued funding for the retirees’ 25% benefit payments ($13.6 million) — and the federal-court-mandated payments to the Settlement Fund (about $40 million in FY 2021)?

Notice that these amounts are way, way more than the public funds supposedly misspent by the political opponents of the House leadership.

And we haven’t talked about CHCC and medical referrals yet — and their pressing need for tens of millions of dollars each year.

Then there’s PSS, NMC, NMTI, DPS, DFEMS, Corrections, Public Works, CUC…

The federal largesse provided to the CNMI government should be good for at least two years. And then what? More public hearings and oversight investigations? More expressions of concerns? More thoughts and prayers?

You betcha.


Zaldy Dandan is the recipient of the Best Editorial Writer Award of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the CNMI Humanities Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. His three books are available on

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