Tuesday, November 4, 2008
SO today I went to vote. I woke up ass early so I wouldnt have to wait in horrendous lines all day. But ofcourse, the person who was supposed to open the polling place had not gotten the memo and was not there to open up the building on time for the pollster people to set up. Luckily they did most of the complicated setting up the night before (thank god for foresight), and the wait was not as long as expected.
Just like last time I voted, they did not ID me. They just asked me for my name and crossed it off the list. Personally, I think they SHOULD ask for some kind of photo ID. Why dont they do this? Anyone? Anyone?
Then the nice poll lady gave me the brown ballot protector-slider-thingie and my ballot and off I went to make history. I started to eenie meanie miney moe my way down the list when i looked at the brown ballot protector-slider-thingie and saw that there was a piece of paper stuck inside it. The edge of the paper just peaked out, one corner . The paper was kind of folded in a diagonal fan crease. I pulled it out to see if it was a ballot and it was.
The worst part was it was a vote for Lizama. IT TOOK EVERY OUNCE OF INTEGRITY I HAD TO DO THE RIGH THING. All I wanted to do was crumple that ballot in a ball and burn it. I wanted to slide it into my news paper and no one would ever know. I mean why give him one more vote to ruin the CNMI. He is a loose cannon with no ethics and inegrity.
I couldn't sink to his level. So with all the will I had, I went to the lady and showed her my brown ballot protector-slider-thingie with the ballot inside it still. She looked at me funny and I was like, hey man this is your job to be checking these things.
I felt like God was watching me.
But now that I think about it more, I was the 18th person to vote... so why were they recycling the brown ballot protector-slider-thingies already. When I went to show the lady by the counter, she had a huge pile of empties sitting there... Now I wonder if there is any impropriety going on. I guess we will find out tonight. If lizama wins I think the others should protest.
What Tom Arkle wrote in the paper makes sense though...We will probably have to have a run off after all...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"Squinched up your face and did a dance
You shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone elseBut you"
I was curious about a group who was sampled by the new Chevy Traverse commercial with the shoes. The voices sounded like that song at the end of the Juno soundtrack. So I looked them up on Myspace. Their bio is a little strange and I wonder how real it is. They have interesting lyrics that is for sure. This one gave me a chuckle. In college, there was this star soccer player guy who lived in my dorm. Too funny.
That new commercial for Dr. Drews celebrity rehab show is a heart stopper. I love how creative people get with marketing. It really is an art. Cleverness and wittiness make me want to watch commercials. I guess their magic is working heh heh heh.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
"Several public hearings were held on all three islands, and for the most
part comments submitted on the bill were very supportive. The bill was
amended on the floor to allow restaurants with attached bars to opt for the
exemption from the smoking ban after established dining hours or 10pm, whichever
is earlier (the bill had previously exempted only bars, not restaurants with
attached bars). 15 members voted yes on the bill including myself; Reps.
Hocog and Reyes abstained; Rep. Stanley Torres voted no. "
LEGISLATORS: Note to selves --This is what happens when you people hold hearings! You hear what the people want! DO THIS MORE OFTEN! Put fabot!
Stanley! Shame on you!
I like reading her thoughts because they remind you she is human. I think of most of those old goats as robots. They are cold and heartless.
"This particular vote bothered my conscience a great deal when I realized what
had happened . . . it was still a hard lesson for this freshman legislator. Though I am always disappointed by the gamesmanship . . . we often demonstrate in the House on appropriations bills, I was also frankly disappointed in myself for letting my guard down and trusting in the information I had been given on a bill that was being voted on. "
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Places - Cities, mountains, rivers
I am sure there are more but I am only in the first chapter.
It saddens me to read how brutal colonists could be. I thought Pocahantis got with John Smith. Why did Disney change his name? It makes me think about how in Japan, they dont teach what atrocities went on in WWII and don't teach that they surrendered. It makes me wonder if what they teach in american history is totally skewed too. It must be.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
All but 2 of the candidates for the delegate seat were there. It was said that they did not respond to the notice. COWARDS!
The MCs were Ed Salas, Ambrose Bennett and Greg Sablan. It was very organized, with timers, warning signs and even a whistle! Thank god for the whistle. Some of those people could have gone on and on and on I am sure. Questions were taken from the crowd and screened. The organizers chose 9 from the large stack and commenced the forum. The panel had 2 minutes to introduce themselves. Then they would have two minutes to answer the audience questions.
This is my take on the events that night. I came in honestly wanting to know more about each candidate so I could make the best decision when I vote this November.
- Gonzalez expounded on his numerous credentials and education. I didn't know this, but he was a founder of the Kagman Komunitidat.
- As Won was pronouncing the tipping point that made him decide to run, CING had the audacity to laugh and smirk.
- Cing ofcourse, being from Tinian, mentioned his Saipan connections by mentioning his wife's full maiden names. He also chose to speak mostly in Chamorro.
- Lizama spoke in circles and didn't say anything of worth. He is a terrible speaker. Maybe it was nerves, but I didn't really get any of what he was trying to say. He repeated legislative process and aspects of legislative processes over and over.
- Tenorio refered the crowd to his brochure which he had laid out on a table at the entrance.
- Davis sat with a very stoic face during all of this. I thought he out to soften the face a bit. Electable faces smile more. He looked angry. Then he spoke. He said, "What you see is what you get. What you hear is what you will get."
- Sablan started off a bit slurry. Again, it could have been nerves, but he sounded better as time went on.
The first question was:
- What is the most important reason we should vote for you?
- Gonzales came out swinging. He started benign enough. Said he is our son, our brother etc, for 15 years (is that how long his shows been on?) THEN he said he honors his wife, has integrity, education, HAS NEVER USED DRUGS, (kilili smirked) again said honors his wife.
- Won says it is because no one with self intrest is pushing him. His only priority is to do what is right.
- Cing said the forum is useless if you dont know how to attract attention of the US congress. He likes to speak loudly and slowly so he SOUNDS like he is making a point. He had the whistle blown on him numerous times throughout the night. THANK GOD FOR THE WHISTLE.
- Lizama said we hae a problem with our image and then lost himself in "must understnad a myriad of issues... you have to articulate legislations, (LEGISLATION is like deer. S is not necessary for pluralization. Argh) issues issues," bla bla bla circle talk again. He said nothing.
- Tenorio drew on his 6 years of experience, he has perspective and understands how congress works.
- Davis said three things. "1. Honor 2. Truth 3. Integrity. All elected officials must have these attributes" He also said he, unlike EVERYONE else on the panel, he has NO familia or political connections.
- Kilili was very animated gesticulating a lot, although his answer did not go with the question. Said that the economy is the number one problem facing us today. We need a livelyhood. That doesnt tell me why I should vote for you.
2. What is your stance on the pending federal lawsuit filed by Fitial?
- Gonzalez was very eloquent about the issue and seemed to know it well having read the brief. He said we should draft regulations with the INS and OHS to protect our economy.
- Won said of the government really feels it is the best thing for the CNMI, then do it. If he is doing it for other reasons, then NO.
- Cing said the lawsuit should be the last resort. Said it would be hard to be a delegate in Congress with this sort of thing looming. (not his words, paraphrased)
- Lizama said there was no black and white answer because you dont know what the issue the lawsuit is without reading it. This was his most coherent answer all night.
- Tenorio said he was a negotiator FOR the Covenant. He is obviously AGAINST it. It is a waste of time and money. The Governor should focus on getting along with the US governemnt. Said we shouldnt reneg on the Covenant.
- Davis said the Governor has the right BUT just because you can doesnt mean you have to. This is souring our relationship with Congress. The Governer should spend time governing the island. Our Governor is spending a lot of time being the Washington Representative. He is AGAINST it.
- Kilili said he would immediately propose legislation in congress for clarification of the issue instead of a lawsuit to make it unnecessary to spend publick money on it.
3.What is your plan for deplomacy in Congress?
- Gonzalez said our credibility is zero, for those who do know is it is bad. Again, tooting his own horn, he said " I articulate well, " and will promote the CNMI people. The will trust me like you trust me.
- Won said with straightforwardness and honesty. Democrats and Republicans, it don't matter. We need assistance on both sides. In the past we sided on the Republican side and what did it get us? The abramoff scandal!
- Cing said he would develop a good report with Congress. HE is a Democrat and belives he has a good relationship. Political affiliations matter.
- Lizama referenced a book he read called the Dance of Legislation. He said he must establish deplomacy with not just congress but also with staff, secretaries, bla bla bla. He too got the whistle more than a few times.
- Tenorio said to be yourself, be humble, respectful and truthful. The number one thing you MUST do is KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. I totally agree. You can't fake it on the hill.
- Davis admitted he has no plan. He will not be a diplomat. A diplomat is an appointed representative. He said he is a Vietnam Vet and will "make nice and network"
- Kilili said he will have conversations like he does with you the voters, at your homes. he will not consent to legislation that is not in our best interest. Plug plug plug
Question 4 was what does a delegate to Congress do. I will skip it because it wasnt that informative for WHY or WHO we should vote for.
5. What is your experience in public service, politics or community service?
- Gonzalez - polisci major, legislative staffer writing bills and reports, Truman Scholar in DC, ConCon delegate and participated in 902 negotiations.
- Won said he has no political experience. He is hardworking and honest. He was a police officer and is part of the Kagman Church.
- Cing was a legislator for 12 yes TWELVE years. obn obn obn!!! Was part of the Tinian casino initiative, and a ConCon delegate. There could have been more...
- LIzama was not a politician but was in private practice, then a Judge.
- Tenorio again said you could read in depth his credentials in his handout.
- Davis said he has no experience in politics. He DOESNT LIKE POLITICIANS. He is an active member of Veterans Affairs or some Veterans association.
- Kilili was a Legislator. He worked at the government for many years, obn obn obn! Disabilities office and more.
6. What is going to be your first order of business as US Congressional Delegate?
- Gonzalez would restore trust for the CNMI. He would knock on every door and market the CNMI and get US home mail delivery.
- Won said he would hire the best staffer, not family, then go out and find funding to fix our problems.
- Cing said he too would hire professional staff and go around and introduce himself and the CNMI then I lost him in Chamorro and long drawn out pauses and verbage.
- Lizama said funding is our biggest issue. He would make legislation regarding funding interity issues and trust issues... again, he talked in circles.
- Tenorio CUC is his first order of business. Getting funding to construct a power plant with reliable affordable power for the people.
- Davis said he would intoduce legislation to turn over the EEZ and submerged lands. Our first step of economic self sufficiency is to get the foreign investgors out.
- Kilili said he would improve the economy and introduce legislation to give the us the authority to regulate the EE "G". (I think he meant Z). He would also get programs that are available in Guam but not here such as the needy familys program, and some other welfare like programs (not his words but that is what they were).
7. What can you do to help reduce Unemployment rates in the CNMI?
- Gonzalez didn't do so well on this question. He siad he would prioritize grants and have us reclassified as a rural area instead of urban. THEN he said he would hire the best PHD and masters holders and some other stuff I lost. I think he meant to keep the brain drain from perpetuating, but it made him sound elitest.
- Won said he doesnt have a plan on unemployment. He said that fixing the economy will improve that.
- Cing went off in Chamorro and I couldn't follow. (I understand conversational Chamorro, but that is the depth of it)
- Lizama said he would start hiring local people. We need to train locals. We need more CIP money to hire locals. He would encourage all development and try to bring back JAL.
- Tenorio said in the long term we must beef up the educational support systems to take a closer look at the trades. We must train our youth in trades and technology. In the short term, we must increase the minimum wage.
- Davis was indignant. He said how can we claim we have unemployment when we KEEP BRINGING IN PEOPLE to do work? How is it possible there is unemployment. He said people need to stop saying woes me and get off their butts and work!
- Kilili said he would take stock of Non-resident workers and send hom the ones not being productive. We should expand investments so they will hire locals.
8. What can you do to help the CNMI economy?
Of course everyone gave an aswer, but Tenorio gave the best answer: "This is a question for the Governor and Legislative candidates to debate. A delegate position should be to get funds from feds for infrastructure. Local government should be the one to improve the economy. After that, Davis concured with Tenorio saying that the problems we have today are of our own making.
9. What is your stance on foreign investment and its affect on the CNMI economy?
- Gonzalez said we need to tap our educated business minded individuals. They are all in America because opporotunity is in America. We need our own people to be investors.
- Won said we need outside money. He is not sure what or where to get investors, but we need it for more jobs.
- Cing said he supports it but we should study what kinds. We dont need foreign investors to take money out.
- Lizama said it is good to have foreign investment but we miss opporotunities.
- Tenorio said he generally supports it in the form of Hotels and golf courses. He said any investors must be sensitive to social cultural and environmental needs. We need to maximize employment of residents and get investments that give revenue to the government.
- Davis said foreign investors take and leave. They take more out than they bring in. We should invest in ourselves. We invest in the education of our youth and they dont come back. Then he ran out of time.
- Kilili said he supports investment that supports all economy and has good productive paying jobs.
The Closing statments were 5 minutes long. They started from the end and went down.
- Kilili said we have wasted opporotunites. some parts owe did not receive from the promise of the Covenant. Reading first program is in Guam and we arent included. More welfare programs (temporary assistance for needy families for example) are what he wants to get for us. In addition to grants available to Guam but not us. He sited some Medicaid stats that the CNMI gets a lot less percapita and wants that increased.
- Davis started off saying he was not the typical candidate, he does not pollute the island with the ugly billboards. Yes he said, i think bill boards are ugly. He tried to remember his website address. He said the economy is our major issue. We need to stop begging and stop blaming. We need help but we dont do anything to help ourselves. We are not a stupid people. He has lived among us for 20 odd years and knows we are not stupid. Opporotunity and jobs are in the US. He said he is TOTALLY AGAINST FOREIGN INVESTMENT. He said, why shouldnt a Chamorro or a Carolinian own the hotel? We need to have a stronger small business administration.
- Tenorio gave a written speech. I dont recall anything. It was all talking points. (an experienced congress man already =)
- Lizama WENT OFF! He was so fervent and wildlike. His face even changed and distorted in his impassioned diatribe about how he VOTED AGAINST THE COVENANT in the 70's and how if Justice Villagomez were running he would step down now. (He totally lost me on that) He is VERY AGAINST FEDERALIZATION.
- Cing again went off in Chamorro I could not follow. He did get pretty loud and emphatic as he usually does.
- Won was heart warming but naive. He did poke at Cing who went before him saying he wouldnt YELL (as he proceeded to YELL for emphasis) just to get attention. He would be bi-partisan. He said many people look at the fact that he is Korean decided then and there. He said that he has no experience but having no experience makes him motivated to learn and being motivated makes you successful. Give him a chance.
- Gonzalez, being the last to speak, was most shocking and memorable. He started with we all grew up taking care of each other. He motioned to all the people on stage (everyone but Won and Davis) who had ever held a public office (OBN!) saying they have all been in power and all were involved in the death of CUC. (shock on all faces!) THEN IT GOT GOOD. He said "I am not guilty of burning the social fabric of our island. I never used drugs. I dont own poker machines. I honor my wife. I am educated." toot toot toot. He will hire the best of educated people regardless of party lines and rebuild the island with local people.
It was an excellent way to hear where the candidates stood on a lot of issues, but more importantly, how they could answer questions impromptu.
Gonzalez came off elitist but trying not to be. He seemed very well read and was knowledgable about every topic he spoke of. He also seemed to have a plan in mind. He is also not an OBN so that is kind of refreshing. I want to know more about him as a person though. He has a great facade, but I want to know what it was like working with or for him.
I came in with hope to hear something refreshing from Won, but he didnt sound very confident nor did he have a plan. As much as I dont think experience is ABSOLUTELY necessary, does not excuse not having some kind of plan. A real plan. He has heart but he did not sway me much. I was appalled at the behavior of some of the people on stage when Won would talk. At the very beginning, some OBN's had the nerve to smirk when he would give answers or laugh when he said just because he is a Korean . . . >:[
Cing I kind of had bias towards because I know him well being from Tinian and all. He is an OBN if there ever was one. He is a circle arguer and will answer a question with a question and not stop til he makes you tired. He would get the attention of congress but I don't think it would be the right attention. Being loud does not count. He was a Legislator for 12 years. I need to look into what he accomplished. What happened to the cock fighting arena across the street from his house? (built with public money on public land)
I don't have any faith in Lizama at all. I have met him on several occasions over the years and he has never impressed me as a person with much integrity or character. Yes he was a judge but I met him out of a court room. The first time he was a braggart about an insurance settlement he won for a LARGE sum. I was a stranger he just met and he told me all about it. Another time was after his announcement to run. He went on and on about a case and the reasons why the person was mad about the judgment. He never said anything about his platform or anything relevant to his running. His answers at the forum were incoherent, blithering and totally irrelevant to the subjects most of the time. I think only one question was relevantly answered. I honestly wonder about his mental stability. How has he been a judge all this time?!
Tenorio was a well groomed statesman and gave the most relevant answers. He is well practiced after all. I like his stance on Minimum wage for a short term solution and the fact that he also thinks we should support the trades so our people will be trained, BUT he also has been there for years and was even a lt governor when times were GOOD and why didn't he think of these things then? It seems like lip service in that perspective. Also, what has he done as Resident Rep for the last 6 years. They host great barbeques. They get a lot of photo ops and visitors, but other than that, what has he done? Now with pro-federalization , federal assistance for CUC, anti lawsuit and pretty much anything the governor is for he is against and vice versa, is this all just to disassociate himself or what?
I came in liking Davis' ideas, but not having ever seen him in person. His demeanor was, um, corse and he is on the extreme side. Now I still belive in a lot of the things he said such as our dependence on foreign workers and unemployment, on the need to stop begging for handouts and hugely on the support for a stronger small business administration to deter the need for foreign investments. Foreign investors send all the money they make out. Just like foreign workers. We can not build a stronger economy when the money leaves the island in the form of remittances and such. I feel he will not get enough votes because of his hard line views and attitude. I think people wont get that he actually wants local people to empower themselves.
Last but not least Kilili. He spoke well about most of the questions although I totally disagree with his idea that by increasing federal programs of welfare that it will improve the economy. He said his main platform is improving the economy, but the only thing he spoke about after that were welfare programs (temporary assistance for needy families, medicaid, etc). I think, like Davis, that people can choose to work or people can choose to be dependent. People need to stop playing the victim and start getting their ass in gear. How will more welfare programs improve the economy? I fear Kilili is an OBN and will keep the status quo. Not that his past drug use should be an issue, because the past is the past, BUT if he is guilty of that impropriety, what else could he be capable of? He is of the old school government. I do like that he did sound like he did research and was well spoken about many of the issues, but for the most part he, like Tenorio gave their talking points that they knew the crowd would want to hear.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
On another note, the Bishop had a huge mass with full attendance and wreaths of birthday wishes overflowing out the isles and doors. How dedicated catholics are, to spend so much money on wreaths for the Bishops birthday when times are so hard. I was appalled when I later learned there was also a dinner ticket you could buy to have dinner with the Bishop. It would only cost you 75 dollars! geeze! You have got to be kidding me! Priorities are definitly wacked. Come on! Couldn't they lower the price in these hard times? Dont we donate to the church enough?