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May 21, 2008

C.U. in court!?

Rumor has it that Howard Willens, advisor to Governor Fitial, has already drafted a complaint that would initiate a lawsuit against the U.S. to block federalization. No word on whether the complaint is in final form, or whether the Governor has actually made the decision to proceed with a lawsuit. Would this be a good use of CNMI taxpayer funds? Clearly, people who favor the federalization bill recently signed by President Bush would say no. However, are there any opponents of federalization out there who nonetheless believe that this would not be a good use of CNMI taxpayer funds?

23 comments:

Ron Hodges said...

To quote myself, "this is a ploy by the powerful to stall long overdue decency".

cactus said...

It would be a betrayal of the people to NOT challenge the bill.

Ron Hodges said...

Only harm to the people of the CNMI could come from a challenge of this bill.

A court action would cost money that the NMI does not have, it would increase economic uncertainy, and would be another waste of the NMI's dwindling resources.

sidelines guy said...

"However, are there any opponents of federalization out there who nonetheless believe that this would not be a good use of CNMI taxpayer funds?"

yes, they are called the voting majority. certainly there are thousands of people for federalization, but they're not part of the equation.

foreign citizens should never determine the politics of the cnmi. it's a shame that it's already happened.

vote for it locally and move on. my guess is that the local voters will over overwhelmingly cast their ballots to oppose federalization.

i'd bet my pig on it!

Island Girl said...

Just to be clear, Sidelines Guy, the question is whether you oppose federalization but still believe that spending public money to challenge it in court is a bad idea. Does that describe your position? Just clarifying.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about spending additional public funds?

The same CNMI employees who worked so hard resisting federalization and reforming our labor department can now use that time for a lawsuit.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accepts electronic filing, and “[a] State Attorney General or that official's [state employee] designee . . . may appear and represent the State” without becoming a member of the D.D.C. bar. See D.D.C. Local Rule 83.2(f). The CNMI and Washington, D.C. also have public-spirited attorneys who may volunteer to assist such a worthwhile endeavor pro bono publico (for the public good).

Freedom is never free. “It is never too late to do the right thing.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anonymous said...

Barf.

Anonymous said...

Wooa. Why the hell were CNMI employees "work[ing] so hard to resist federalization"? Didn't they have actual jobs that they were supposed to be doing? Is that why the CNMI doesn't have enough time to investigate labor abuse (with a few token exceptions) and make sure that workers get paid? Because the CNMI labor department was working so hard to "resist federalzation" rather than doing its job?

Hon Rodges said...

hmmmm......Ron Hodges and..... decency?......What a novel idea!

geek goddess said...

fitial has said repeatedly, he would consult the legislature, businesses, and other stakeholders on how to proceed with federalization (i.e. to sue or not to sue the federal government)

both the senate president and the speaker say a lawsuit is a waste of public funds. the chamber of commerce says all it wants now is a place at the table when the regs are drafted.

makes you wonder who those "other stakeholders" are that seem to have the governor all ears.

geek goddess said...

... ok, other than howard willens and deanne siemer.

Think it through, for once said...

By all means, let's challenge this in court! Or, we can save a LOT OF MONEY by hanging a big banner at the airport that says, "DO NOT INVEST MONEY IN THE CNMI." The banner and the lawsuit would have exactly the same effect.

What potential investor would want to invest money in a place without knowing what the rules would be?

Anonymous said...

An "other stakeholder" that might have an influence on Fitial? Who could that possibly be, Geek Goddess? I'm stumped!

Anonymous said...

“Why the hell were CNMI employees "work[ing] so hard to resist federalization"? Didn't they have actual jobs that they were supposed to be doing? Is that why the CNMI doesn't have enough time to investigate labor abuse (with a few token exceptions) and make sure that workers get paid? Because the CNMI labor department was working so hard to "resist federalzation" rather than doing its job?”

The Ombudsperson had so thoroughly politicized the operation of his office that almost anything the CNMI government had to do with it qualified as “resisting federalization.”

To the extent the Ombudsperson has moved on to bigger and better things creating his own version of the CNMI Guest Worker program, and to the extent his imperious demands no longer matter now that federalization is a “done deal,” CNMI government employees can move on to other things as well.

Such as fighting federalization in a fair forum, where “legislation by ambush” and “trial by ambush” are not condoned.

But don't believe every rumor you hear about litigation. If the community's goals can be achieved through negotiation, especially if more reasonable minds come to the table under, for instance, President Hillary Rodham Clinton, then there will be no need to fight in court.

All the people of the CNMI have ever been interested is fairness. Not grossly unfair and racism-tinged political attacks of the sort perpetrated by Allen P. Stayman, David B. Cohen, and the Ombudsperson.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Look at all of the good decisions that have been made thus far.. why would you want to break that chain? Can't generate consistent or affordable power, almost no investment, forgotten or lost projects, vacations in California and afternoon fishing, badly managed departments, repression of local and non-resident workers, unfunded retirement program.. etc. etc.. what would make you think that throwing funds to the wind in a futile attempt to protect personal interests is any concern of theirs?

ombudsperson responds said...

To anonymous:

I must take issue with your statement accusing me of engaging in "racist-tinged political attacks." I do not condone racism, and do not engage in such attacks. Neither do David Cohen or Al Staymen, who are both very fine gentlemen. Nor, for the record, would I characterize the job my office has done as political, or my calls for improvement of the CNMI's labor and immigration problems as "imperious demands." But put the latter points aside for the moment.

Why don't you come out from behind your anonymity? If you believe in what you say, why not come out and take responsibility for it? Perhaps you don't reveal yourself, because you don't have the courage of your convictions?

From the tenor of your words, I gather you are well-educated, and that you have some sort of personal inadequacy that drives you to attack others in order to boost your own self-esteem. Perhaps you are a lawyer (unfortunately, people with your problems seem attracted to our profession), who bullies others in order to bolster your ego? Perhaps you are getting on in years, and feel you have little to show for your worthless existence? Perhaps your spouse no longer finds you sexually attractive, or you have 'lost that lovin' feeling'? Perhaps you are frustrated at not having your advice and opinions taken seriously? Perhaps your personal and professional relationships are so disappointing that anonymous libel is your only real outlet to express yourself and boost your self-esteem?

You are not beyond help; counseling may be an option for you. With a little effort and introspection, you may be able to transcend your personal problems and begin dealing with the rest of the world, and yourself, honestly.

That means you will have to take a chance. Honestly expressing your opinion exposes you to the risk that people might find your ideas unpopular, and then you would have to do the hard work of actually thinking about your ideas critically, and reassessing them in light of other's views (something I gather you have never been willing to engage in).

I urge you to think about what I have written here. You are obviously not a happy person, and that's really sad. You will one day find out that the black hole in the center of your being cannot be filled by attacking others, but only by learning to love and respect yourself. I fear if you do not make some changes soon, you may do something to harm yourself physically, as you have long been harming yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Jim Benedetto
Federal Ombudsman

Anonymous said...

“From the tenor of your words, I gather you are well-educated, and that you have some sort of personal inadequacy that drives you to attack others in order to boost your own self-esteem. Perhaps you are a lawyer (unfortunately, people with your problems seem attracted to our profession), who bullies others in order to bolster your ego? Perhaps you are getting on in years, and feel you have little to show for your worthless existence? Perhaps your spouse no longer finds you sexually attractive, or you have 'lost that lovin' feeling'? Perhaps you are frustrated at not having your advice and opinions taken seriously? Perhaps your personal and professional relationships are so disappointing that anonymous libel is your only real outlet to express yourself and boost your self-esteem?”

Nice try, Ombudsperson. Look in the mirror.

ombudsperson responds said...

Just think about it, anonymous. You don't have to be a cowardly weasel anymore. Just own up. Show a little class. You'll feel better about yourself if you don't have to hide in the shadows anymore. Your ideas can stand up to scrutiny, right? So why are you afraid to let us know who you are?

Jim Benedetto

Anonymous said...

The ideas of most bloggers stand or fall on their own merit.

Not via anonymous two-faced communications to vindictive federal bureaucrats in Washington.

In time, much of the federalizers' duplicity will be revealed, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act. But not all, due to convenient Congressional exemptions. Too bad there's no Tina Sablan in Washington.

As the federalization process has proven, it was your ideas that couldn't stand the scrutiny of public airing and a fair process.

If it makes you feel better villifying an anonymous poster, so be it. That's chicken feed compared to what you did to the CNMI.

Just don't be so surprised when people won't submit to your underhanded bullying personally.

ombudsperson responds said...

See, anonymous? Every time you post, you prove my point. You are deeply unhappy, and you project it onto everyone else. I'm not the cause ofr your unhappiness or feelings of inadequacy. Didn't you ever wonder why it always seemed like everyone else had the problem? It's you, anonymous. Wake up. Heal thyself.

Jim Benedetto

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Hmmm? Is that really you Jim? If so.. :} Good stuff. If not, hey.. stop falsely portraying someone else. At least come up with an original pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

The Fitial folks (including anon above) certainly are seething with bitterness and a (misplaced) sense that they've been bullied and victimized. It's pretty ironic, and it's pretty ugly.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering why the hell is the CNMI going to file a lawsuit againt the US when this whole federalization issue is a done deal!..What a way to waste taxpayer dollars, as if we have the money to pay for it.

I am changing my W4 to reflect only what I owe on Ch. 2. I will keep my tax dollars and pay the CNMI a minimum during tax season just so I know that I am not contributing to such blatant spending.

Hurry up 2009! This administration has got to go!

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