When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Mar 25, 2008

Ben Again?

Is Fitial's decision to seek re-election good news?


Weird Elle said...

And read these statements from Fitial, as quoted by the media, AND WEEP:

"There is bound to be a change in our present economic situation, change that will involve better times.”

“I will cure the CUC crisis before the end of our next term.”

“The lieutenant governor and I strongly believe that the most viable cure now is to bring in people or companies who are experienced in that field. [Those] who have been working on that field-power generation, transmission, operation, development-to help us cure our CUC crisis.”

“I strongly believe that I still have the political will and the resources-meaning I still have business connections in the world-that would help me and my administration, together with the lieutenant governor, to stimulate the economic growth we need to turn the economy around.”

“I'm very healthy now [and] my circulation is going at around 100mph so I'm ready to rock and roll.”

Anonymous said...

This is as good of news as getting told you just got herpes. I am laughing so hard. This clown wants us to give him another four years??? Please, I would like some of what he is smoking. Governor, you are finished!!! So is the covenant party! Lol! You suck Governor!! You are a liar and a traitor and are an insult to our people!

glend558 said...

A sick perverted April fools joke?

Anonymous said...

C'mon, tell us what you really think.

Anonymous said...

Fitial please give us what u r smoking! It must be some good shiznit cuz u must b high as a kite to think our people wud ever give ur corrupted stupid ass a second chance. Hell no u lying rat! U suck!

Anonymous said...

Better Times was promised but Bitter Times was delivered. What would be the new slogan for Ben and Tim campaign? Basta sa Taya

Anonymous said...

The governor could win given another extremely weak field of four or even five...no no why not six candidates. Thats the answer...he needs only 17% to win...sure sure...we can give that many jobs away.

"Give us a break"

Anonymous said...

If more locals get layed off and move and 5 run...one could win with 2k votes.

Anonymous said...

The current odds are 9 to 5 that Ben Fitial will be in federal prison before the next election.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Constitutional amendment pass that required a runoff if no governor candidate get more than 50% plus one vote? If so, it makes no difference how many candidates there are.

HBM said...

Also, if the Republicans have a primary this time, they probably won't risk splitting their vote between two candidates like they did last time. That would change the dynamics of the race.

Anonymous said...

Fitial is FINISHED! Good bye Fitial! Say hello to Jack Abramoff please when you get indicted and sent to PEN FED.

Fitial's Grand Ideas:

1. No to minimum wage increase.

2. Double CUC power rates.

3. Hire lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

4. Hire Ray RACIST Mafia Mafnas, a good choke artist able to choke NMC Korean students and beat up on Filipinos.

5. Privatize CUC and award it to Willie Tan Incorporated.

6. Bring in peanut butter factory and hire more slave laborers.

7. Tell the US to go fuck itself.

8. Hire more relatives without any degrees.

9. Go to strip bars with Mafia Mafnas. Yes, we have pictures!

10. Tell Filipinos to go home.

11. Give raises to his cabinet.

12. Better times for only his supporters.

LOL! This governor is funny, but those who vote for this lying bastard are funnier. BITTER TIMES you idiots, not BETTER TIMES!

Four more years of you is like four more years of chlamydia. Fortunately chlamydia is treatable and so is our problem. Voting for Fitial is like voting for misery. Sorry loser, your time is up. Good bye. We will celebrate when you get sent to jail.

Anonymous said...

It will be like the Nov. 2005 gubernatorial elections.

Ben and Tim - Covenant (Republicans)

Heinz and Dave -- Independents (Republicans)

Juan and Diego -- Republicans

Froilan and Tony -- Democrats

At that time, the incumbents placed only third.

bradinthesand said...

do you really think that anyone could have done better during fitial's current term? if so, who and how?

i think the governor is doing the best he can with what we've got. anyone who won the last election was going to face a rough road.

i just don't think anyone knew how rough it would be...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brad.. you can't compare the amount of resources that this Governor has been given to work with vs. any other past administration.... and then factor in all the issues surrounding us globally, including the $109 price per barrel on the world market that has effected just about everything from gas at the pump to airline seats arriving in the CNMI..

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous 1, how easy is it to be the one responsible for adjusting the past budget of $264m to $164m.

glend558 said...

I could have done better, but no one ask me, Brad. How hard is it to do nothing? Guess you have never been in a productive competitvate situation, where smarts, brains and manuvering count. It's not hard if you know how to do it! Don't make excuses for dumb asses! The problem here is no one knows shit! Take this ... A budget, An amount of time and produce a profit. I've done it, no one here has ever done that.

glend558 said...

Spell competitive for me please.

Anonymous said...

Brad, Brad, Brad

Resources is not the problem. Name me any city in the U.S. with 60,000 residents who wouldn't be swimming in gold-plated cadillacs with $150 million a year. All he really needed to do is lay off 500 to 1000 unnecessary workers. 73% of the budget is payroll. He ran as a savvy businessman. How come he never learned not to spend more than he takes in? How come he never learned to get rid of the deadwood? For a guy who likes to pretend he's such an iron-fisted strongman, he's really turned out to be a very petty criminal. His administration hasn't dealt with a single issue that was above his pandering and ham-handed brand of politics. He is an utter failure. He will go down as a footnote in the history of the Marianas--the man who gave control of immigration to the feds, the miserable toady to his Chinese masters, the man for whom no bribe was too small to take, no blunder too big to avoid, and no "adviser" too obsequious not to put on the payroll.

Anonymous said...


Are defending the Governor? If so, you may be his only visitor... because if you have not heard, he is in deep Kimchi...and his time as a free man is running on empty.

Anonymous said...

Name me any city in the U.S. with 60,000 residents who wouldn't be swimming in gold-plated cadillacs with $150 million a year..

a city in the U.S. is very different from an Island in the Pacific.. logistics alone are a huge difference. apples and oranges buddy.

bradinthesand said...

"All he really needed to do is lay off 500 to 1000 unnecessary workers. 73% of the budget is payroll. He ran as a savvy businessman. How come he never learned not to spend more than he takes in?"

good point.

how about the first part:

"All he really needed to do is lay off 500 to 1000 unnecessary workers."

of the people who ran for governor last election, whom would have slashed the government jobs in that fashion?

of the people running next time around, whom do you think will promise to do so?

okay, that won't happen. but whom do you think is both capable of cutting all of those jobs and willing to do so?

"He will go down as a footnote in the history of the Marianas--the man who gave control of immigration to the feds..."

i think that the immigration control issue shouldn't be shouldered by this governor. it's something that's been in the works for more than a decade.

i think our governor does more to stand up for the locals than the philippines consulate does for the filipinos.

does that mean that the consulate will be remembered as the one who saved the filipino guest workers with federalized immigration?

"Name me any city in the U.S. with 60,000 residents who wouldn't be swimming in gold-plated cadillacs with $150 million a year."

fine, but name me any city in the u.s. with 60,000 residents that has to import literally everything.

Anonymous said...

This governor stands up for the locals? He stands up for the foreign businessmen who made him rich, fighting to defend a system that has made it impossible for locals to find jobs in the private sector. That's why so many locals are leaving the islands--to the foreign workers. He has screwed the locals and gotten rich doing it.

Anonymous said...

Fitial stands up for the locals in the same way that Lestor Maddox and George Wallace used to stand up for the white folk.

bradinthesand said...

i think that goro cruz is a better comparison for wallace...

"He has screwed the locals and gotten rich doing it."

so the wages were kept artificially low only since the governor took office in 2005?

the governor isn't the one who created the foreign worker system. actually, if the rules were enforced, the qualified locals could get the priate sector jobs at a better rate.

people need to go to labor and help themselves when they're wronged by companies.

heck, i did it. while i'm not sure that it made all of the difference, i made it clear to my former employer that i went to labor with my concerns.

soon thereafter, things changed. i'm leaving out the details, but i believe that there was some intervention on behalf of labor.

but you have to stand up for yourself.

then labor has to act on a case by case basis, not the governor.

...and whether you like it or not, the governor is sticking up for the cnmi by fighting against the federalization of the local immigration system.

by all means, raise wages (me first), but let the cnmi maintain its control over immigration.

why are these two issues continuously joined together?

thus far, nobody has presented an convincing argument for the federalization of immigration.

"because we can" just doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout, cuz they can't?
The status quo?
A bankrupt govermnent?
Need more?

Anonymous said...

The immigration here is a nightmare with no control on shipping in and out of the commonwealth, not to mention the loss in revenue we will not see from insecure borders.

Besides that, why Brad, would the broke CNMI not want the feds to pay immigration out of US coffers instead of ours?

bradinthesand said...

"why Brad, would the broke CNMI not want the feds to pay immigration out of US coffers instead of ours?"

because we retain the right to determine who is allowed entry into the islands.

vacationers from china and russia will find it difficult to travel here under the new federal guidelines.

so my question is, why would the broke cnmi want the feds to take away potential tourists?

like it or not, china is gonna provide the cnmi with a huge number of tourists in the near future.

i'm not a fan of their human rights record or their stance on the reunification with taiwana, but china's economic and military growth is staggering.

frightening, actually.

that said, there will be a lot of money coming out of china and the cnmi stands to lose a sizable portion of it should washington federalize our immigration.

"insecure borders"

what insecure border? we're surrounded by water, for cryin' out loud.

what, are there illegal immigrants swimming over from anatahan?

Anonymous said...

Brad, I would like to have some of what you are drinking. I could list ten people off the top of my head who would have done a better job.

Brad, are you trying to get a job with Gov Fitial? Or are you seriously insane?

Anonymous said...

Bradley, it is nice to know you are covenant. Lemme guess. You applied for a govement job? PIO? Please stop sucking up to Uncle Ben. Kissing ass does not look good on you.

bradinthesand said...

"Brad, I would like to have some of what you are drinking. I could list ten people off the top of my head who would have done a better job."

then name them...

bradinthesand said...

"Bradley, it is nice to know you are covenant. Lemme guess. You applied for a govement job? PIO? Please stop sucking up to Uncle Ben. Kissing ass does not look good on you."

i'm a registered republican since my high school days but i don't vote strictly on party lines.

i vote based on the issues, and the issue here is that anyone who won the election in 2005 was bound to face the same challenges.

none of them would have slashed 500-1,000 jobs. fitial almost did, but he didn't.

people bitched and moaned about the austerity holidays but they were at least able to keep their jobs.

that's one solution, isn't it?

cuc is a train wreck, but it didn't start in 2005. nobody really had to do anything about it until the oil prices doubled in the last four and a half years.

you can't blame that on the governor. it doesn't matter to which party platform you subscribe. these problems would have hammered any of the candidates.

glend558 said...

"cuc is a train wreck, but it didn't start in 2005."
"you can't blame that on the governor."
Brad, how about the director at the time, Tim Villagomez, the one now assigned to 'fix' it. Could he have been part of the problem and now we are asking the fox to guard the chickens?

bradinthesand said...

i think it's best to identify when the problems at cuc began. during his presentation to the scc, kumoi said it was over a decade ago.

how long was the lt. running the show?

i don't think it's in anyone's best interest to let the cuc go down in flames.

i also don't think that anyone is intentionally causing the problems down there.

my guess is that the situation is so messed up that nobody knows exactly where to start.

and cuc is only one of the problems facing the cnmi.

-73% of the budget is the workforce.

-for tens of thousands of citizens (resident and non), a gallon of gas is more than an hour of work.

-violent crime is on the rise (i blame angelo).

-the quality of local newspaper reporting is going down the toilet.

-cats and dogs are living together.

okay, so the last one is a joke. either way, i don't think that all of these problems are or were caused by the governor.

i'm not canonizing him, or anything. i'm just saying that anyone who ran in the last gubernatorial election would be facing the same problems with similar results.

the yellow guys were already having the problems.

the blue guys never had a plan to offer.

the red guys (was froilan red or white?) were running on what they accomplished about a decade earlier (a term in which they weren't re-elected).

was there anyone else?

i don't think any of these teams would have slashed jobs, solved the cuc crisis, lowered our fuel rates and righted the economy in two years time.

if you disagree, then please tell me who would have made those changes.

Anonymous said...

That's not the question, Brad. The question is, do we give this Bozo four more years, when HE didn't make those changes. Babauta didn't make many changes, and he's gone (although in retrospect, he would have done a damned sight better than his successor). To let Fitial off the hook because other people didn't do what they were supposed to is a cynical evasion of our responsibilities as voters. This guy turned out to be a do-nothing hack (worse, he turned out to do more damage than good). Now it's time to give someone else a chance. Diego and Heinz are waiting in the wings, and they are looking pretty good to this voter!

bradinthesand said...

"That's not the question, Brad. The question is, do we give this Bozo four more years, when HE didn't make those changes."

well, i think that your points are valid, but i think it's a little short-sighted to say that we need a change just to have a change.

if a change is needed, then pick someone who has a real plan in place to deal with all of our issues.

...and if they are current office holders who have plans, ask them why they haven't done anything about making the changes.

"This guy turned out to be a do-nothing hack (worse, he turned out to do more damage than good)."

i think that anyone who was elected governor in 2005 would've been faced with the same issues.

fitial at least called it like it was. not once did i hear him refer to our economy as pretty darn good.

when he took office he said we were in for a world of hurt. he was right. so what did he do?

fitial didn't live in a dream world. he slashed the budget by a hundred-million dollars.

how? one way was by cutting a huge number of government salaries via austerity holidays.

sure, it wasn't popular, but he would've been forced to create a wave of jobless in the process. instead, fitial saved the jobs of hundreds of local citizens.

it would've been easier to cut the fat, but he let people continue to provide for their families.

sure, he hired on a bunch of cronies in the different position. i'm not saying it's always in the best interest of the cnmi to do so, but name me one local politician (aside from the virtuous and beautiful tina sablan) who hasn't done the same?

i'm not anointing anyone, but i'd like to see what the other guys would've done in his shoes.

it was a bum deal for anyone who came into office in 2005.

"Diego and Heinz are waiting in the wings, and they are looking pretty good to this voter!"

that's great. i think diego is a good guy and that his heart is in the right place. chalk me up as a fan of him and his wife. good people.

i can't say much about heinz because i've never met him and i don't know much about his politics.

the only thing i remember about heinz was his interview with kspn2 after the election when he said people came up to him in tears.

he said that they came out of the booth and apologized to him for voting for his opposition, knowing that they made a mistake.

i thought that was laughable...

either way, he did have a lot of supporters. i need to learn more about the ketchup king, but until then i'll go with "i guess they all can't be wrong."

so what are they prepared to do?

it's fair to say that you're not happy with what's happened and what hasn't happened during the current governor's term.

so, what do you think the h-d team will do for the cnmi that the current governor failed to do?

how will they help the cuc crisis?

how will they stave off federalization?

how will they curtail the cnmi's budget?

will they cut jobs? re-institute austerity holidays?

change is good, but make sure it's for the better. to all of the prospective candidates: i want a plan!

tell us what you'll do to save the economy.

tell us what you'll do to fix the cuc.

tell us what you'll do to improve our quality of life.

don't tell us you'll lure investors. tell us who you've contacted and how the talks are going.

don't tell us you have all of the solutions but that you're saving for the election. if you really care about the cnmi you'd do something about it now!

and that goes double for current office holders!!

Armchair Lawyer said...

Here's who I've supported in the past:

'93 Froilan C. Tenorio
'97 Jesus C. Borja
'01 Juan N. Babauta
'05 Heinz S. Hofschneider

Next year, for the first time since living in the CNMI (in 1989 I still considered myself domiciled in the mainland), I likely will be voting for the incumbent, namely,

'09 Benigno R. Fitial

Do you realize we have not re-elected an incumbent since 1985??!!!

What does that say about political instability and the "crab" mentality?

Diego T. Benavente and Heinz S. Hofschneider are both decent and honorable men. So is Governor Fitial.

People around here so like to talk trash about other people, delivering slanderous asides such as the alleged Abramoff crimes Ben is guilty of. Guess again. The CNMI was a victim. [And any statute of limitations will have long expired, not that he did anything wrong in the first place.]

No, Governor Fitial has not been ruthless enough in slashing jobs. But the CNMI's merciful culture is part of what makes these islands so special.

Brad is 100% right. Who else would have done anything different? What did Rep. Benavente do when he was with Babauta? Heinz is inspirational and charismatic, sort of like Obama, but he will be just as good, if not better, in four years.

We need a steady hand on the tiller.

Governor Fitial has maintained a straight course through stormy weather. He is wealthy enough that he does not need the job to enrich himself.

He is giving his all, risking his health and possibly his life, for the betterment of his community.

I agree that the Lt. Governor might not meet every high standard that the Governor embodies, but after the health issues Gov. Fitial has overcome, I think we can rely on his continued energy and perseverence.

We do not need more false starts, more learning curves. The incumbent has already started to encourage some new investment.

We have not hit bottom yet. But now, more than ever, is time to stay the course.

I am fully open to change. But after every failed administration, folks think things can't get any worse. The past two decades have shown that they can.

"Throw the bums out" is not reason enough to reject a hard-working, self-sacrificing, principled governor.

I'll vote for someone better if convinced he or she is indeed better. But unless that is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, I'll stay with an experienced navigator.

Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us!

Maybe after almost a quarter century, it is time for the CNMI to demonstrate its political maturity and re-elect another incumbent governor.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider cutting your own throat, "political maturity". Stupidity maybe.. not "maturity".

Anonymous said...

"But now, more than ever, is the time to stay the course."

You had me going for a while there, Armchair Lawyer, until I realized that your entire silly defense of the governor was satirical. Well done, and too funny!

Anonymous said...

A more effective governor could have waged a principled fight against federalization without going out of his way to so thoroughly piss the feds off the way that this governor has. His disfunctional relationship with the feds has cost the CNMI, and this was all entirely avoidable.

bradinthesand said...

it also wouldn't hurt to have a washington rep who's on the same page as the governor.

my guess is that the mixed message that the feds are receiving from the cnmi had something to do with them being "pissed" at us...

Anonymous said...

Well, the Washington rep got about 65% of the vote in the last election, and the governor got about 28%. The fact that they don't agree has nothing to do with why the feds are pissed. It has everything to do with the arrogant, needlessly confrontational approach that has been taken on a whole host of issues that are truly important to the feds, including the refugee protection program, federal grants and the GAO's attempt to get information.

bradinthesand said...

"refugee protection program?"

Anonymous said...

The U.S. is required by international treaties to have a proper program in place to make sure that possible refugees are given due process, and that no one is returned to a country where he or she may face torture or other serious persecution. This applies to the CNMI as well. As long as the CNMI controls its own immigration, the U.S. is responsible for verifying that the CNMI has a proper refugee protection program. The CNMI, however, has not cooperated with the federal government's requests for information that would enable it to confirm that the CNMI has a proper program in place. This is a very serious issue.

Anonymous said...

In fact, it's a serious enough issue, in and of itself, to make continued local control over immigration an unacceptable risk to the federal government.

bradinthesand said...

interesting points...

has the cnmi ever knowingly sent someone back who "face(d) torture or other serious persecution?"

if not, what sort of information has the cnmi been withholding? what would the cnmi stand to gain by not releasing information about its compliance with the refugee program?

Anonymous said...

The answer probably has to do with paranoia that China might be pissed off if the CNMI granted asylum to worthy applicants. In any event, there is no way that the U.S. could tolerate being in violation of its international treaties because of the way that the CNMI is running its refugee program. I don't think that any patriotic American could justify that situation if they knew the true facts.

Anonymous said...

And what, pray tell, are the 'facts' that we patriotic Americans should know that would convince us? Could it be that asylum, Homeland Security issues and worker protections have nothing to do with ongoing attempts at Federalization and are simply trucked out as red herrings to keep attention diverted?

If asylum issues were at the forefront of this Federalization movement in what way would it be in the best interest of the Department of State , or any other US agency, to hide that fact?

Last, is it not true that the DC reps 65% vote total was garnered before he sold his own country out in exchange for a delegate seat? A vote today might show a different result.

Anonymous said...

Asylum issues may not be at the "forefront" of the federalization proposal, but the CNMI's lack of cooperation with the feds on this issue is sufficient to make federalization a necessity. No one is hiding the fact that this is a very important issue. It was spelled out in the Bush Administration's testimony in favor of federalization. The issue hasn't gotten much attention because very few people understand it.

hafa lai said...

"Last, is it not true that the DC reps 65% vote total was garnered before he sold his own country out in exchange for a delegate seat? A vote today might show a different result."

does anyone really believe that the cnmi is a country?

Translate: saipanmiddleroad.blogspot.com


About this site

This site is the Saipan Middle Roaders' blog--the wannabes, the frustrated ones, and the repressed ones...

There are several thoughts that have been written on paper, online or on the walls of every NMI building's bathrooms.

This site is for the geeks, for the shameless bitches, and for the restless drunks.

This site is for everyone.


Posts on this weblog are entirely the authors' opinions and views only.