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OPINION | Epitaph 139: Keep-up the good-trouble (2 of 2)

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THIS may sound unreal to readers, but there was once a prosperous time in the CNMI with a surplus of money under a Democrat Governor which I can attest to as I was the last PSS teacher to go on “sabbatical with pay for a year.”

Times were so good that the CNMI House of Representatives even helped to pay for my Master Degree, along with 23 others with the promise to contribute back to the CNMI for at least four more years after we graduated. Those happy days were over twenty years ago and the only people who have been celebrating for the pass twenty years have been Republicans and their LOYAL supporters — for TRUE.  It has been nothing but Good-times for the Republicans which is why toooo many of our citizens got caught-up in all the Republican Casino hype but it has also been virtually all Bad-times for the rest of us regular folks in the cheap-seats. 

The CNMI’s Government was still alive and well as our economy and our Government was so successful and progressive due to the checks & balances that come with a two-party system but the People chose badly for two decades that led to “absolute power” that gave birth to “greed & corruption.”  The Republicans never faced any real good-trouble for two decades and the lack of checks & balances along with the death of the Republicans “cash-cow” (the casino) has literally set us adrift with no real plans to set a new course to restore a healthy economy. Republicans are jumping-ship and changing their banner & colors to Independent in hopes of just surviving to save their seat.

The Republicans can’t even offer a simple platform due to all the failures that have taken place on their watch — they are just running for office hoping voters will continue to make the same mistake of voting for them.  The Republicans are in soooo much bad trouble with the People they work for and the Feds that it is really amazing to see that none of them seem to think they have failed the People and there isn’t a single promise from the Republicans to do better. At least the Democrats put forth a formal pledge to be held accountable for doing things that will surely give us a more accountable responsive and productive Government to the needs of the People. I have high hopes for the CNMI that all the good-trouble I have been making with the TRUTH in these Epitaphs for the Republicans will finally pay off in the mid-term elections with a majority of Democrats in our Legislature because if there ever was a need for a complete change in our Government, it is NOW! 

For me, I think many of our Republican leaders have been their own worst enemy “not seeing the forest for the trees” when it came to dealing with me because they can’t embrace appreciate and endorse the diversity that a Black man brings to the table along with the fact that I am the first outsider to be so outspoken in the CNMI’s Political Arena stirring up good-trouble. I guess OUR deemed Godfather by Kandit (the Governor) didn’t see the Godfather film and doesn’t know the wisdom of “keeping your enemies or opposition close” if you want to be successful. The Governor tried with Legalization to keep me close but couldn’t keep up the “FAKE working relationship” and now he is witnessing the result of his POOR and even absence of wisdom that actually helped to motivate the creation of these Epitaphs — thanks for backstabbing me Governor, as I’m a better person for it and so will the CNMI be better for your mistake that started all the good-trouble I’m making with these Epitaphs.

WE the People need to stir up all the good-trouble we can as it was the pure evil of RACISM driving people to protest on the mainland and WE the People have the pure evil of GREED operating here in the CNMI it’s just not taking lives YET. I have been provoking good-trouble to counter the evil in the CNMI for over two decades because WE the People continue to have a lot of reasons to create some good-trouble for our Governor and Legislature by voting them OUT of office. As far back as the evil by Republicans that KILLED the Retirement Fund and more recently with the evil way the Casino was conceived without the People’s consent and NO obligation to pay taxes it has just been unbelievable! The evil laws the Legislature made led by Angel Demapan to HELP IPI and shortchange the People. It was pure evil for our Government to chase away Kan Pacific and give the Mariana Resort away without a Lease. It was pure evil for our first responders to have to beg for their pay when Cabinet members were already being paid ILLEGAL overtime. It was pure evil for our Governor to use OUR money for his personal shopping trips. It was pure evil for the Republicans to literally ignore holding the Governor accountable until election season and they are still stalling and protecting the Governor from being subpoenaed. But it gets worse, as it was pure evil and even arrogant for the Speaker and the Legislature to refuse to tell the People they work for what they did with OUR money! It was pure evil for our Governor to give IPI our Community Chest Money to hold and now they don’t have it — proof the Governor backstabbed the PEOPLE! The evil of people getting raises while others are being furloughed. But the most social/mental disappointment was the evil of the Governor taking what was literally a “family vacation” with OUR money and giving us a gaslighting excuse of “high-end tourism” while the rest of us folks-in-the-cheap-seats sit out Covid – 19.

In fact, the evil doings of our Governor and Legislature are too much to list yet, with all this evil operating in our faces for nearly two decades there hasn’t been any real “Good-trouble” for the Republicans. The Governor needs to be impeached and the Republicans in the Legislature need to be FIRED — for TRUE. One shouldn’t let their allegiance to the Republicans allow you to be so consumed to the point that you will turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the evil that has gone on within OUR Government.  I truly pray voters, especially the silent majority, will help us all in creating some real good-trouble for the Republicans by making sure you protest in the privacy of the voting booth or WE will all be doomed to continue witnessing evil operating from OUR Capital Hill.

IPI now owes the CNMI nearly 300 million by my calculations and possibly more if you add up ALL of their obligations, which includes the taxes OWED on over one billion in the “credit lines” issued by IPI that our Casino Commission just let happen without any accountability to collect and fight for OUR money! It is easy to see and understand why the Governor could be accused as “the head of a Criminal Organization with the RICO Investigation” given his ties to IPI. WE are now faced with totally rebuilding OUR Economy because the Republicans REFUSED to listen and diversity our economic base just like they have refused to diversify the “thinking & make-up of our Government.” I have been waiting for over 20 years just to see ONE (white or Black) citizen from the mainland being appointed to a Board, Commission or Cabinet position but didn’t happen — genuine RACISM Republican Style — for TRUE! When does the evil end voters as WE the People only get ONE SHOT every two years and we must create all the good-trouble we can in the privacy of the voting booth to re-teach the Republicans the first lesson about being a politician that they need to learn — “YOU WORK FOR ME”!!!  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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