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GOP president criticizes Rep. Tina Sablan’s ‘divisiveness’

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CNMI Republican Party President James A. Ada on Thursday described Rep. Tina Sablan’s  Facebook article that criticizes the GOP’s “legacy of chaos” as a “continuance of her effort to fracture the [local] community.”

As she has repeatedly done over the years, Ada added, “Sablan dismisses the majority of voters of the CNMI, suggesting that their overwhelming voice was somehow illegitimate.  She attempts to reframe, repaint and completely negate the legacy of the party that has ushered in the fastest tourism growth, the highest median wage growth, and the largest economic growth in CNMI history to meet her political ends.  She also completely ignores that over the last five years the CNMI has been hit with the worst natural disasters in the history of the Commonwealth.  In fact, if you read her latest piece of fiction, she ignored the fact that the CNMI was severely affected by Typhoon Soudelor, Typhoon Mangkhut, and Super Typhoon Yutu, or that we were in the midst of this current Covid-19 pandemic.  That lack of any mention of these things is of course, purposeful.  Why?  Because not only did the Republican leadership tackle each of these historic disasters exceptionally, but after each one, the CNMI economy was brought back to a position of historic growth.”

Ada, who is also the secretary of the Department of Public Works said Sablan’s claims are “offered to counter the damage that has been done to her party in the wake of the resignation of a ‘flagship’ candidate of the Democratic Party, Mr. Ed Propst, who left under a cloud of very serious charges and before an ethics committee investigation could be convened.  All very convenient timing.”

Ada likewise alleged that as a proprietor of a restaurant from 2011 and 2014, “Sablan saw much of the food served at the restaurant prepared at an off-site, unpermitted, and unsanitary site, often by persons who also carried no food handling certificates.  Sablan not only violated the laws of the Commonwealth and completely disregarded the requirements of the Bureau of Environmental Health, but also put the health and safety of the public, restaurant patrons, at very serious risk.” 

But Glen Hunter, owner of The Shack, said “Tina was never the ‘sole proprietor.’ (A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself.) of The Shack. The Shack did not start operations until the end of 2013 so their dates are also not accurate. Also, Tina left to school in Hawaii when The Shack opened its doors to the public in August 2013. To say that she oversaw any operations at The Shack would be a complete inaccuracy as well. The Shack has never been found to have violated any government regulations since our inception. This is unfounded and the source is simply trying to harm not only Rep. Tina Sablan but the reputation of one of the most loved businesses on island. It is pretty disturbing that the head of the Republican Party would attempt to harm a local small business that has struggled through two catastrophic storms and now a current pandemic. Such a sad state these islands are in today.”

Ada also alleged that Sablan has  been “under the spotlight lately for the revelation that she remained on the payroll of the current U.S. congressman, while she was a sitting elected official.  That one elected official was on the payroll of another elected official is a first in the Commonwealth’s history.  Shortly after this scheme was revealed, Sablan was no longer on the Congressman’s payroll.  This scheme prompts some very serious questions.  Was Sablan’s salary padded by the Congressman to encourage her to run? Was it necessary to convince her to leave her significantly higher paying job in Washington, to run?  Were there promises exchanged related to this scheme?  It is all very unsettling, and whether illegal or not, is highly unethical.”

Moreover, Ada said, Sablan, “despite her lamentations about expenditures and public resources, was (and may still be) attempting to use public funds to hire an attorney, to the tune of $150 per hour.  This when the House of Representatives has in their employ two attorneys who are available to all of the members at no additional cost to CNMI taxpayers.”

Ask yourself, Ada added, “What has Sablan done to bring the community together to help us get through, as safely as possible, this Covid-19 pandemic?  The answer is nothing, and in fact she [has] actively [sown] divisiveness at a time when the community most needed to get behind our leadership, for the safety of the community.”

“Over the course of her two terms,” Ada added, “what bills has Sablan authored to bring economic diversity or new investment to the Commonwealth?  The answer, Sablan has done nothing at all for the precincts she’s represented.  She has simply used these precinct positions as platforms to attack the administration and forward her political ambitions.”

The rest of Ada’s statement can be found on https://www.facebook.com/notes/cnmi-republican-party/tina-sablans-era-of-divisiveness/10158710222290330

Asked for comment, Rep. Tina Sablan said the allegations against her are “nonsense,” adding that she will issue a statement.

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