WATCH: Sablan says cronyism, police & public corruption will end in her administration

Rep. Tina Sablan, the CNMI’s democratic gubernatorial candidate, said in a news conference Monday morning that as governor she will not tolerate the cronyism, and the abuse by politicians of police and regulatory power that has accrued throughout the current administration.

“Corruption happens in different forms,” Ms. Sablan said. “It could be as common, sadly, as the governor picking up the phone and  telling somebody in law enforcement or one of the regulatory agencies, ‘hey, don’t enforce the law and give this guy a break.’ That is corruption! And I can tell you, right here, right now, Gov. Sablan and Lt. Gov. Staffler will never do that. We will never tell a law enforcement agency not to enforce the law.  We will never tell any government employee not to do their jobs. And moreover, there will not be retaliation or political intimidation for people who do; for people who wanna do the right thing; for people who want to report any unethical or illegal activities that they see.”

Her running mate, Rep. Leila Staffler, added their administration will reverse the culture of threats and intimidation that has enslaved government employees to the political service of elected and appointed officials.

“Whistleblower protection says a lot to how we can combat corruption,” Ms. Staffler said. The freshman lawmaker, who hails from Tinian, is the mother of the CNMI’s Whistleblower Protection Act, which is making its way through the legislative process. The proposed law would protect government employees from political retribution if they report (so-called ‘blow the whistle’) misconduct in and by the government.

Watch the candidates’s comments in response to Kandit’s question about corruption solutions, and Ms. Sablan’s comments expressing her concern about Gov. Ralph Torres’s current control over and use of federal funds.

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