Opinion: Closing democrat primary prevents republican mischief


Attorney Peter Santos defends his client, Rudy Quinata, in closing arguments to the jury in Quinata’s murder trial Monday in the Superior Court of Guam.

By Peter J. Santos

Despite what Michael San Nicolas may sincerely believe, the world does not revolve around him. Indeed, he wants the People of Guam to think that he secured federal funds for Guam. He has violated “Franking” rules with his political advertisements using federal funds. This is yet just another violation in an endless series of violations he has. He also seems to think that rules don’t apply to him.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Democratic Party of Guam has limited it’s primary to registered Democrats, based on well-established law and based on concerns that the conditions of this election year has the certain inevitability that the Republican Party who has only one gubernatorial team, will “Raid” the Democrat Party Primary. This is not about Michael San Nicolas. It’s about protecting a party primary against “raiding” by the opposing party. This ensures that the most viable candidate advances to the general election. As an analogy, if two football teams were going to meet at the Super Bowl, the quarterbacks should be selected by their own team, not the opposing team.

A closed primary is what true democracy looks like, so says the U.S. Supreme Court. Michael San Nicolas, who is a master at spinning, claims that the CEC disenfranchised voters by closing the primary. Think about what he’s saying and let’s dissect it. He’s saying that by not allowing Republicans and Independents to vote in the Democrat Party primary to decide the Democrat Party candidates, people will be disenfranchised. Totally ludicrous. First, it’s a primary election, which is vastly different from the general election. There is no right for non-party members to vote in a primary, Michael San Nicolas is just dead wrong. No one is being disenfranchised. In fact, the opposite is true in a mandatory open primary. An open primary dilutes and thus disenfranchises a political party from choosing their candidate without interference by the opposing party. The US Supreme Court ruled that mandatory open primaries are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Michael San Nicolas has a bad habit of not knowing about history and of misunderstanding the law and the rules, which is probably why he violates laws and rules on a regular basis.

If Michael San Nicolas was truly for the People instead of himself, he would understand and embrace a closed primary. But what is he afraid of anyway? If he believes as he has often stated, that people want him instead of Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, then he will very easily secure the party nomination and go on to the general election without any problems, right? But I surmise that Michael San Nicolas doesn’t really believe he’s truly the people’s choice. Why would he? He has only gotten to where he is through spinning and manipulation. He’s upset that the Democratic Party decided to protect against Republican manipulation. He was counting on it.

Michael San Nicolas was invited to attend the Democratic Party meeting where the CEC voted to close it’s primary election based on the law and based on how the Republicans are poised to interfere with the primary election, but MSN did not attend, which seems to be his pattern. He does not attend 95% of the meetings he should, which is a form of disenfranchisement, because as an elected official, he’s not performing his duty to the people he supposedly serves. Michael San Nicolas appears to serve only himself and his donors and closest friends, and thus he has disenfranchised 99% of the people of Guam.

Peter J. Santos is a former Guam Police Department officer, Army JAG officer, Guam prosecutor, and current defense attorney. He is a resident of Agat, Guam.


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