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Jul 22, 2008

"Sue the federalizer jerks for the stench of their evil deeds!"

The Saipan Tribune reported recently that the CNMI Attorney General's Office is suing Danny Aranza, former director of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, in connection with a $130,000 contract to develop a port security plan. According to the news story, which can be found here, the report by Aranza's company plagiarized federal regulations.

The first question is how you can plagiarize federal regulations, which are supposed to be used and followed by those who are affected by them. Wouldn't the CNMI government want the report to state the requirements that had to be followed?

The more interesting question has to do with Aranza's history with the CNMI. Aranza led OIA during the Clinton Administration's push for federalization. A Saipan Tribune article in which then-Speaker Ben Fitial calls Aranza a "jerk" over the federalization issue can be found here. Actually, the Marianas Variety's version of the same story is even more amusing. In it, which unfortunately is not available online, Fitial calls Aranza a "jerk" seven times.

Not to be cynical, but might Aranza's support for federalization lead some to wonder whether this lawsuit is an attempt to punish the "federalizers" for the "stench of their evil deeds", to paraphrase one well-connected person's hilariously melodramatic recent comment on this very blog? (That quote proves that even humorless people can be very funny.) Could this be part of the strategy to fight federalization, and indeed the "evil federalizers" themselves, in the courts?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those who wonder are undoubtedly the least familiar with the rule of law under the U.S. Constitution.

sam said...

Of course this is retaliation for Mr. Arnaza's efforts to impose justice and federalization. I know Danny and he is a man of integrity and honor. One could not prepare the report he was writing without including Coast Guard regulations. The lawsuit appears to have no merit. The truth is that the Fitial administration's number one agenda item is to moon the feds. This lawsuit is another way to do that. Hope soon Fitial is behind bars with his pal Jack for his deal with Mendiola and Palacios and other schemes cooked up with his lobbyist friends.

glend558 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glend558 said...

Fitial only needs to read the papers (comments section) to be repayed with name calling. He is amassing quiet a collection from all corners. Not a lot of support for him anymore!

See No Evil said...

"Those who wonder are undoubtedly the least familiar with the rule of law under the U.S. Constitution."

Right, Noni, and those who don't wonder are Kool-Ade-drinking ass-kissers who ignore the obvious.

Anonymous said...

The quote is funny ("stench of their evil deeds"). That shows how wrapped up these people are in their own over the top sense of self pity. They wallow in perceived wrongs that have been committed against them ("how dare we not get our way! we're going to sue!"), and totally ignore all of the exploitation and injustice that they've subjected so many people to (including locals) for so long. These people are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

In these people's minds, they'll always be the victims, which is why they're incapable of having the slightest bit of pity for the true victims in this society. When the ladies from the human trafficking shelter testified about girls that had been forced into prostitution, the only reaction they got was anger and denial from people like Willens, Seimer, Grey and the Governor himself. These people will NEVER clean up their own act because they just don't get it. That's why the feds were forced to come in.

Joe Biden said...

The reason we need an elected AG is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Uh-oh, now he's going to sue me for plagiarism.

Marianas Pride said...

AG Matt Gregory is suing Danny Aranza ...

... while ignoring all the sole-source "emergency" contracts, in which one of them is being investigated by the FBI.

Ooops, I forgot. Those "emergency" requirements required his signature. LOL!

Will Matt Gregory sue me too?

Sue. It's an American tradition!

Yeah right. Only to ambulance-chasing lawyers. Frivolous cases are a waste of taxpayers' time and money.

But who cares, right?

facts on evil deeds said...

To quote the most famous web site about Saipan regarding todays post:

"Nepotism rules on the islands. Fueled by money paid by American taxpayers and diverted to the far-off territory, politicians run for office primarily for the sake of being in a position to appoint their relatives to high-paying sinecures. Politics in the CNMI is a blood sport. In an election year – which includes nearly every year, since there are primaries when there are no general elections – campaigning starts on Memorial Day, with political signs littering the roadsides. During the interminable election seasons government employees commonly take leaves of absence or sick time from work and dedicate all their time to getting either themselves or their relatives elected. And what do the campaigns consist of? Nothing more than photographs of the candidates with their family names exploding on the landscape. One candidate for U.S. Washington Representative, for example, was known by her married name throughout her career as president of the local community college. She was married to a Mainland American. Suddenly as a candidate she became a local, returning in her campaign posters to a long-ignored family name blaring from the middle of the name she had used professionally for years. Her campaign posters, like all the others, screamingly appealed to nothing more than indigenous racial and family interests.

Campaign platforms are non-existent. Political campaigns in the CNMI are less sophisticated, if this can be believed, than a typical high school student council election in the Mainland U.S. They are popularity contests -- family popularity contests and nothing more. Candidates are a conduit for their relatives' government employment. One Senator regularly runs for reelection under the slogan "Why not!" Why not, indeed? There are hundreds of reasons why not. Ignorance and illiteracy are two. The candidate offers not a single reason why he should be given anyone's vote. He is routinely reelected.

Another Senator complained in the local media that because the Legislature keeps passing laws, modifying and then rescinding them, the legislators look like they don't know what they're doing. He has a point: they don't know what they're doing.

The "success" of the Legislature is measured solely on the number of bills introduced and laws passed, regardless of their constitutionality or their ultimate demise.

One member of the Legislature, for example, introduced a bill during the Summer of 2002 to amend the CNMI Constitution to prohibit anyone other than persons of Northern Marianas descent from running for political office. Of course, the prohibition is innate, since nobody else has the slightest chance of being elected. This politician was rightly assailed in the media (by non-indigenous island residents, of course) first of all for racism, but also for having no concept of the CNMI’s obligation to recognize the United States Constitution, which was endorsed and accepted as part of the Commonwealth’s deal with America. Of course, assuming the politician had an even passing familiarity with the Constitution (a dubious proposition), he was speaking plainly for the rest of his ilk for whom the “law” is little more than what the English refer to as a “dodge.”

“It’s odd,” notes P.F. Kluge in his excellent book The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia. “The other islands chose leaders who were exceptional, one way or another. . . . In the Northern Marianas they elected men who were most like themselves, typical rather than special.” And “typical” in the Northern Marianas is anything but special, unless one considers rapacious greed and racism to be special.

The only question in any election is which candidate will be given his turn to steal the money pouring in from the United States government.

In early 2003 two CNMI senators faced trial on federal indictments charging them with official corruption for “employing” the other’s family members in high-paying, phantom positions. Because each senator is allocated $500,000 per year for “office expenses,” theft is laughably easy. Apparently not content to “employ” illiterate family members to sit behind a desk from time to time and chew betel nut, one senator allegedly “employed” another’s daughter pursuant to three separate contracts – not letting the fact that she was a full-time college student living 100 miles away in Guam stand in his way. Witnesses testified that the daughter never appeared for “work.” Of course, the other senator reciprocated. Theft, like sex, is much more fun when it’s done with a friend.

Locals vented their opinions in letters to the newspapers. If you think they were outraged about their elected representatives stealing taxpayer money and paying it to their families, think again. Their principal concern was that the senators were being unfairly prosecuted and they should not be called to account, since it is common knowledge that “they all do the same thing.” Of course, Nazis supporting Hitler and American fascists supporting Bush all spout the same line: “they all do the same thing.” (Another implicit worry was that this prosecution and others of its kind might upset the gravy train.) One defendant, in fact, up until the time of trial, professed bewilderment at his prosecution. So psychologically ingrained is the culture of theft that, even facing jail, he considered the practice to be no big deal.

The trump card of every local politico or public official brought to trial is the jury. Defendants know with certainty that they or a friend will have a relative or dependent government employee on the jury. Faced with blatant intimidation by defendants’ supporters glaring at them from the gallery – even the governor showed up recently in the trial of some local drunks who shot to death a 7-year-old girl at a family barbecue, since the local drunks were family members of the lieutenant governor (guns don’t kill people, assholes with guns kill people) – jurors commonly acquit even in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt. They know which side their bread is buttered on.

Amazingly, in spite of all the protections available to him, the first senator tried was convicted. Pending his incarceration he was actually suspended from the senate. It was unknown whether the presiding senator – a relative of the convict – suspended his pay as well. Indications are that he did not.

One reason the federal government is prosecuting the case against the senators is that their offices and positions – like everything else in the CNMI government – are funded exclusively by federal money. This is federal taxpayer money at issue and the “citizens” of the Northern Marianas – like most people on the dole – pay no federal taxes.

Another reason the federal government is prosecuting the case is that the local government is the biggest crook in the Pacific, and it can’t really be expected to prosecute itself.

An anti-nepotism law in the CNMI might simplify the election process: it would weed out virtually all the candidates, with the probable exception of the perennial gubernatorial candidate who was the unabashed pawn of the garment industry.

That candidate, late in the 2001 election, was shown to have paid a prospective voter $550 by check drawn on his campaign organization. A photocopy of the check was published in one of the two Saipan newspapers – not the one owned by his sponsor and former employer. The candidate's spokesman answered the charges. Unable to deny the allegations of vote-buying, the spokesman defended the practice – claiming the payments were an "accommodation" and that such payments are made out of the kindness of the candidate's heart. They represent "the island way." (He actually said that. You can't make this stuff up.) At least one other payment was disclosed later, also drawn on the candidate's campaign organization and similarly defended. Vote-buying, therefore, is openly argued to constitute acceptable conduct. And where did this candidate's money to buy votes come from? From the garment interests, of course. Because garment workers are paid nearly slave wages, the factory owners are able to amass enormous capital both to pay off United States Congressmen to maintain the CNMI's political status quo and to buy votes for their local candidate.

Bribe-taking by governmental officials in the CNMI is also so common as to be hardly newsworthy. It's "the island way."

Additional garment industry money was devoted to paying for television campaign commercials and print advertisements featuring "conservative" Republican U.S. congressmen (read "whores") supporting a candidate they may never have met but whose sponsor can be very generous.

Partly because of the electorate's resentment of the well-publicized abuses perpetrated by the garment industry, its candidate lost. Knowledgeable observers and islanders themselves also understand that a major consideration in the minds of the voters – and perhaps the controlling factor – was that the candidate's wife is from the Philippines. The prospect of a Filipina as their First Lady was repugnant to most of the locals, who see themselves for some reason as racially superior to everyone else, especially people from the Philippines. A third, unexamined factor possibly leading to the candidate’s loss was his physical ugliness and mean-spiritedness, which were not outweighed by his sponsor’s money."

Anonymous said...

who are the 20 called before the grand jury...names I mean?

Marianas Pride said...

Good question. Is one of them Jack Abramoff?

You must be kidding said...

"When the ladies from the human trafficking shelter testified about girls that had been forced into prostitution,"

There isn't any human trafficking on Saipan. Sheesh. Those ho's know what they're getting into even before they come here.

Anonymous said...

Right, especially the ones who are underage and those who worked in the garment factories for a year before losing their job while still stuck with a massive debt to violent hoodlums back home. Shut up, a**hole.

minor correction said...

...actually, the unemployed garment workers are not necessarily trafficking victims (although they are victims if they were bilked by gangster recruiters), but those who are scammed into coming here with no job waiting for them, and then are forced into prostitution, are human trafficking victims. Either way, the CNMI government will attack anyone who dares to point out that this problem exists, because it undercuts their fairy tale case against federalization. And no, it is not worse on the mainland.

you're wrong said...

"Right, especially the ones who are underage and those who worked in the garment factories for a year before losing their job while still stuck with a massive debt to violent hoodlums back home. Shut up, a**hole."

No, they knew what they were getting into. Do you think they're all that ignorant?

They saw the opportunity for $$ and they took it. They have families and the parents knew what was going on as well.

Violent hoodlums? They owe debts to the illegal gambling operations here. That's their own fault.

i don't think so said...

...And nobody gets "forced" into prostitution.

KAP said...

Moreover, the complaint says Aranza's amendment to the contract violated the Commonwealth's procurement regulations and is void. Aranza also misled government officials, it says, into believing the plan had to be complete by the end of 2003 or else federal officials would bar ships from arriving at local ports.

Why the knee-jerk reactions? OIA people have been pushing pet companies for years. It may be true, it may not. I don't know, do you?

KAP said...

Nobody gets forced into prostitution just like anybody who gets raped 'wants it' or 'was asking for it'.

What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

Hey “Saipan Middle Road,” before casting all those aspersions on the humour-challenged in our midst, and on the great soccer player who actually filed the complaint, did you actually bother to read the very complaint you are asking so many questions about?

I thought not.

Or maybe you're just in favor of alleged fraud and corruption?

How about Fitial's stupid CHC doctors? (!) Imagine them wanting to send people to Japan! What about Fitial's DEQ staff? Shouldn't they be doing something about stenches? Biba korruption!

P.S. This is not the Philippines. Government employees work for the Commonwealth, not the Governor. Someone needs to study a little American civics, obviously, before projecting their foreign values into the U.S. Constitution. Since ratifying it, we have tried “revolution” once. It was called the Civil War.

Peddle that venom elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Government employees work for the Commonweatlh, not the Governor."

Yeah, right. Name me one time that this lapdog AG has ever done anything counter to what his boss wanted. No one's in favor of alleged fraud and corruption, and hopefully nobody's in favor of politically motivated lawsuits that are supposedly brought on behalf of the people. Speaking of stenches, this doesn't pass the smell test.

see ya later bitch said...

"Federalization: I demanded it; I got it"

payback time said...

"Federalization: I asked for it. I got sued."

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