Ombre Ga’chong: It’s election year, and they’re spending our money to pander to us

Lee Webber

By Lee Webber

We have recently seen how the elected legislature has risen to the occasion and once again donated $15 million of taxpayer funds to a $300 gift to voters (in increments of $100 per month for three months) and [Guam Power Authority] rate payers to help offset the cost of personal power.

Rather than encourage them to conserve, this is the third time these elected officials have done this, bringing the total amount of power donations per customer/voter to $900.

However, the total amount of tax dollars they have spent on this vote pandering scheme totals somewhere in the vicinity of $45 million of the people’s money. 

That’s right, they are simply giving you back your own money!

All of this while the governor and the legislature childishly squabble over where the new hospital should be built. A hospital that may well take up to 10 years to complete when you consider design and construction.

So, if the average Guam resident becomes ill and needs medical care at the current Guam Memorial Hospital they have to contend with black mold problems, air conditioning and power problems, on again, off again, lack of needed medications, leaking roofs and windows, etc. at the current GMH.

This begs the question; how many improvements were capable of being made to the current GMH (while the same elected officials fought with each other over the location for a new hospital) with the $45 million that elected officials have frittered away on returning $900 of taxpayer money in gifts to rate payers in an effort to make themselves look compassionate while behind the curtain gathering future votes as our current hospital languishes?

This is nothing short of vote pandering and manipulation while everyone on Guam, power users or not, face the reality of having to be treated in a languishing medical care facility.

While political officials foolishly continue to wrangle over the location for a new hospital.

When are the people of Guam going to wake up and see that they are continually manipulated by these vote pandering elected officials and put people into office who will make more rational adult decisions for the overall good of our people?

This while the entire island continues to suffer with watching the Guam Memorial hospital waste away while the same elected officials doing little or nothing to maintain a proper medical facility to care for our people.

While I do not necessarily agree with senator Frank Blas’s approach to trying to point out basically the same thing in holding back his vote recently, he did make his position known.

These actions are tantamount to the same behavior we have all witnessed from the administration relative to proper road maintenance, schools being properly staffed and maintained, the failure to build a new Department of Corrections, staffing and pay equality for our law enforcement organizations’ and the list goes on and on.

When are we going to learn from the past and only elect people with Guam’s total well-being in mind, not people lining their own pockets or buttering their own bread?

It is time to move to a part-time legislature with one administrative section for all. Don’t vote for anyone who isn’t willing to tow this line.

Don’t vote for anyone who doesn’t have a written plan for where they are going and how they plan to get there along with a realistic timeline for doing so.

Stop any familial voting or voting for people who aren’t willing to pare down the size of government, privatize what can be privatized (like GPA), not raise any taxes and will guarantee that they will live within existing means. In short balance the budget and not on the backs of taxpayers.

Let’s make Guam Great Again!



Lee P. Webber is a businessman and civic advocate, the former publisher of the Pacific Daily News, a former president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, and a former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia


  • Alan San Nicolas

      02/28/2024 at 5:26 AM

    Ti guáilayi na un atsepta I tres-siento para I elekrisidat. Yanggen ti kontentu hao ni hinanao niha I leyeslatura, gobetno pues agang I bankonaire united. Na para I pichipichi mu. AFAÑELOS ESTA I OTRU BIRADA

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