Gov. Arnold Palacios and the new majority in the Commonwealth Legislature are working miracles to keep the CNMI government from going under. Austerity is on the horizon for many, while cronies of the previous administration suddenly have the means and money to start businesses, invest in land, go on exotic vacations, and thumb their noses at the struggle of the people they left behind.
The Commonwealth is in the wake of the squandering of the greatest among of money the federal government has ever deposited into its treasury at one time. There’s nothing to show for it but a $300+ million deficit in the General Fund, and an over-obligation of federal pandemic funds by more than $80 million.
The agencies are severely underfunded. Federal grants are in jeopardy. Infrastructure is falling apart. Utilities haven’t been improved and are getting more expensive. The airport and seaport are in dire straits. And poverty is growing.
Where did all the money go? Congressman Ed Propst intends to find out. Asked whether he will be calling for the resumption of the BOOST scandal hearings and a new inquiry on corruption, he replied, “Yes, I am willing and hopeful. We need to know where all the money went. I am discussing this with Speaker Villagomez and Vice Speaker Joel Camacho.”
Mabel Doge Luhan
03/09/2023 at 10:23 PM
The only thing that’s remarkable here is that it’s remarkable and newsworthy for a legislator to do the bare minimum of his job and investigate corruption that the perpetrators didn’t even bother to hide.
We elected P-A because they hadn’t pulled off any major heists and they’re not women. It reminds me of when Teddy Roosevelt won in 1904 on the brilliant slogan “Didn’t Shoot McKinley,” or Eisenhower in 1952 with his massively vote-drawing platform of “I’ve Never Made Out With Stalin.”
Which is not a knock on Si Edwin. He is doing the best he can in this political world that’s more topsy-turvy than The Mikado! Even if what is remarkable here would be just the minimum in most any other jurisdiction.
But what about all those eager legislative possums who ran, and won, on anti-corruption platforms? Is “I haven’t actively stolen anything, yet” really good enough a performance for us? Why are they hiding in the taga-taga instead of doing like Mr. Ed and learning to talk? Especially if they’ve spent many years singing Hey, Jude?
Shouldn’t we demand that instead of introducing a litany of meaningless feel-good bills declaring cultural identity this and honoring voter’s family that, they perform their Constitutionally mandated duty of hearings and investigations? We do have a full-time legislature which apparently is needed here in the CNMI, but not needed in smaller jurisdictions such as Texas (population 30 million, one THOUSAND times more populous).
At least we don’t need to be Scooby-Doo to figure out why the Chief of Staffs BOOSTed a tearoom and a salon for beards!
03/15/2023 at 8:56 AM
If I had known about the BOOST money, I would have asked for some.
Saipan desperately needs good pizza. That is, coal fired, a 600 degree brick oven, a pizza master imported from New Haven, and the skill to make Apeetz, with Mootz.
No brick oven, fuggetaboutit. We’re dying here.