Former Gov. Felix Camacho did not mince words at the unveiling of his gubernatorial platform with runningmate Sen. Tony Ada Thursday morning.
“Look at the newspaper and look at all these ads that are paid for with federal funds,” Mr. Camacho, the former two-term republican governor from 2003 to 2011. “I always think when I see one of those three-quarter or full page ads paid for by federal funds– ‘How much of that could have gone to poor families and those struggling out there instead of paying for political ads that are paid for with federal dollars?'”
The statement – an impromptu critique of the Leon Guerrero administration that strayed from his prepared remarks – was met with applause from Guam’s republican establishment. Senators, former senators, mayors, former mayors, village leaders, and top lieutenants of the former Calvo administration gathered together with party leaders, and the families of the candidates to hear the former governor’s stances on the issues.
“We have heard you,” Mr. Camacho said of the plight of Guam’s struggling middle class and poor. “We have heard the cries of our people. And what Tony and I are most concerned about, is we need to hear and to help our people that are struggling. You see, the role of the leader is not about themselves. It’s about helping the people that need the help most. And on Guam, we see that.”
Mr. Camacho said Guam needs a governor, who will make decisions that will revive the economy and pay attention to workers, the homeless, and small business owners. He was critical of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s handling of the pandemic and the ensuing economic disaster that has forced many Guamanians to close down shops, sell their homes, and relocate.
“Our island faces unprecedented uncertainty with great fiscal, social and economic challenges, and over the past two and a half years has suffered through the longest and most severe economic downturn in our island’s recent history,” the Camacho Ada platform – Seven Pillars of Influence & Opportunity – states. “Many of our people have experienced the burden of lost jobs, lost homes, and lost hopes. Meanwhile, the government of Guam has expanded its size and scope.”
Asked how he would deal with those the current governor has hired using federal pandemic funds once those funds run out, Mr. Camacho said the governor needs to be honest with those workers now.
“They need to explain the realities before it’s too late,” he said.
Camacho and his team released a platform that touched on solutions for the economy, public safety, health care, education, infrastructure, housing, and policies protecting freedom and human life and strengthening faith-based initiatives.