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. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Jul 25, 2008

Surrender and declare victory

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs has awarded the CNMI government a $333,000 grant to assist the CNMI's labor and immigration enforcement efforts. This is the same grant that Governor Fitial rejected last year, accusing OIA of "outrageous" behavior by attaching conditions that were "unprecedented, unnecessary and unproductive." He accused OIA of holding the grant funds "hostage." OIA defended the conditions as normal, reasonable and necessary accountability provisions designed to ensure that the funds would be properly spent for their intended purposes. See story here.

Well, the grant that Fitial has now accepted has the same conditions that were attached to the grant that he rejected last year. And rather than complain about the "outrageous" conditions, the Governor thanked OIA Director Nikolao Pula "for supporting the CNMI's strong law enforcement efforts by awarding us with these needed grants." In fact, the primary difference between the grant that he rejected last year and the one that he has now accepted is that OIA was offering $420,000 last year, and has since reduced the grant to $333,000.

So what has changed between then and now? And here's a more interesting question: How much of this grant money, which will be used in part to fund attorneys and paralegals for the Office of the Attorney General, will be used to support the CNMI's lawsuit against the very federal government that is providing the funds?

109 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what has changed between then and now?

Why don't you compare the exact terms of the proposed grant and the revised grant to see for yourself? The Variety self-evidently has not done so. (No, I'm not your research assistant.) Some of the original money went to the hard-working folks at Guma Esperanza.

And here's a more interesting question: How much of this grant money, which will be used in part to fund attorneys and paralegals for the Office of the Attorney General, will be used to support the CNMI's lawsuit against the very federal government that is providing the funds?

Interesting, perhaps, but frivolous. (This is not the Philippines; American rule of law applies.)

That one's easy. None. All federal grants are subject to inspector general auditing, and the U.S. government would never allow such funds to be used to sue itself.

cactus said...

"How much of this grant money, which will be used in part to fund attorneys and paralegals for the Office of the Attorney General, will be used to support the CNMI's lawsuit against the very federal government that is providing the funds?"

Hopefully all of it.

Island Girl said...

LOL Cactus. I disagree with what you say, but will defend until death your right to say it. And at least you're consistent and respectful to those with whom you disagree.

Anonymous said...

"So what has changed between then and now? Why don't you compare the exact terms of the proposed grant and the revised grant to see for yourself?

Well, let's see. From today's paper: "Press Secretary Charles P. Reyes Jr. said the grants were awarded with certain conditions and requirements, including the requirement that the positions be exempt from hiring freezes, local government austerity holidays, and other cost-saving measures, including travel restrictions if the travel is necessary and paid for by federal funds. The positions must be filled in consultation with Interior officials, he added."

Those were exactly the conditions that Fitial made a big stink about, and used as an excuse to accuse the feds of being vindictive. And it's not as if OIA has made any recent concessions. As was reported last year in the Tribune, OIA clarified "that the consultation provision may be satisfied by the CNMI's providing a resume for the person hired. The provision is not intended to give OIA veto power over hiring decisions, nor does it require prior approval by OIA of any candidate selected by the CNMI government to fill a position."

There's no way to spin your way out of this one. The Governor is now essentially admitting that the conditions that he threw a well publicized tantrum about a few months ago are in fact reasonable. The reason the PIO has not cited any changes or concessions made by OIA is because there are none. And yes, the hard-working folks at Guma Esperansa are still being funded by OIA to fight human trafficking in the CNMI, over the Governor's strong objection and in spite of his ridiculous insistence that the CNMI does a much better job of fighting human trafficking than does the U.S. government.

Chalk up one for the good guys.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the folks at Guma Esperansa are not so much fighting human trafficking as helping the too many victims of human trafficking here on Saipan. Otherwise, the point is correct, though.

Anonymous said...

So Fitial is now thanking OIA for imposing the same conditions that he said were "outrageous" a few months ago. That reminds me of the secret initiation scene from Animal House: "Thank you, sir! May I please have another!"

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this confirm that Fitial's complaints against the feds are political BS? Not that we didn't already know that.

the nice beggar said...

So the beggar will sue on one hand and keep the other hand out for charity...nice.

Help HT survivors said...

Actually, anon, helping the survivors is probably the most effective thing we can do to combat HT. The services and benefits available to them under the federal and local law are there to strengthen and stabilize them, so they can assist law enforcement by providing testimony in court.

Guma Esperansa helps these women get back on their feet, to a point where they can again think for themselves and live independently. They may be provided temporary shelter, English classes, counseling, necessary medical services, and assistance in applying for work through DOL's Employment Services Division.

They may also be eligible for T visas, so they don't have to worry about being sent back to the country they were trafficked from. In some countries, the traffickers are tight with government officials, and the survivors and their families take an awful risk in cooperating with the prosecution.

If you or anyone else is interested in learning more about HT, you can contact the Federal Ombudsman's Office or the Human Trafficking Intervention Coalition (HTIC). We have PowerPoint presentations for law enforcement agencies, health care providers and the general public. You can also go to government websites (the U.S. State Department has a lot of good info) or NGO websites devoted to the topic.

By the way, the grant that was awarded to the AGO includes money for immigration prosecutors and others who are very much a part of the cooperative effort to combat HT. The Governor and the AG should be commended for requesting the money and dedicating it to the issues intended to be addressed by the Labor, Immigration and Law Enforcement Initiative.

Jim Benedetto

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information on a very important topic that too few of us know anything about, Mr. Benedetto. The way that you're capbable of giving some credit to this Administration that has spewed nothing but hateful bile about you is remarkable, and it really contrasts your character with theirs. If it were me, I wouldn't be able to be so fair to people that had worked so hard to get me fired. I guess you're a better man than I am (and not just because I'm a woman!).

Ms. D. said...

Mr. Benedetto is a frequent exemplar of the civility we all need to display if we are truly to make the Commonwealth a better place.

There have been ample displays of baseless rancor, “bile” and incivility toward “this Administration” in our community and these blogs as well.

Let us follow Jim's example and, before hitting that “Publish this Comment” button, think carefully if we know for a fact to be true the assumptions we are making and publicly stating.

In particular, our friends in the Fourth Estate should pay particular heed to his example of charity and forgiveness.

who is next said...

Speaking of which, The Lt Gov. was arrested today, Sat. at the Gov conferance in the US by FBI

Uppidity hoales with maids and bad politicians are headed to prison

Marianas Pride said...

Perhaps THE REAL BENEFIT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS FEDERAL PROSECUTION YOU FEDERAL HATERS.

The heat is on right now, and the ONLY REASON IS BECAUSE THE FEDS ARE BUSTING SOME BALLS.

Federales: You steal their money, you go to prison.

Marianas Pride said...

And to all the morons who love to sing the same old song, "Suing is American! The feds are sued all the time in the U.S.!"

Hey numb nuts, frivolous lawsuits are frivolous lawsuits, no matter what. This weak lawsuit will be tossed out.

And in case you didn't know this, NO LEADER in the U.S. is willing to get their picture with Governor Fitial because of the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Federalization: you take their money, you go to jail.

interesting times said...

The NMI Lt Governor was in fact arrested by federal authorites in New York.

He, of course, will tell everything he knows on everybody or he will likely spend a long time in prison.

Who is next is an interesting question.

McCain - Fitial 2008 said...

is the news on Tim true?

Yea federal said...

"Federalization: we demanded it; we got it"

Anonymous said...

"In particular, our friends in the Fourth Estate should pay particular heed to his example of charity and forgiveness."

The press doesn't need to engage in charity and forgiveness; it just needs to do its job and report the news fairly and accurately. What this place really needs is investigative journalism.

I wouldn't feel too sorry for the "bile" that's been directed against this Administration. They've given worse than they've gotten, and put out wholly untrue crap in their campaign against Benedetto and in their defense of their own sorry record on human trafficking. These guys are bullies who deserve what they're getting. The kudos to Benedetto are deserved, but it is this Administration, not the Fourth Estate, that needs to learn from his example. Good luck.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

There's a reason for the "rancor".. and it's definitely not "baseless".

What's changed? Different people at the OIA.. and last year's knee-jerk reaction was sadly about personalities. And it's getting closer to elections.. you know how bad it will look, when you turn down federal dollars when we're in the financial condition we're in? I don't think one single federal dollar will be declined from hereonin.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

"
cactus said...
"How much of this grant money, which will be used in part to fund attorneys and paralegals for the Office of the Attorney General, will be used to support the CNMI's lawsuit against the very federal government that is providing the funds?"

Hopefully all of it.

7/25/2008 6:21 PM”


I will second that hope. It would be fitting retribution for the screwing they are giving us, except for two things. One, as was pointed out above, the feds probably won't allow it and two, even if they did they don’t really care. It is not their money anyway. They stole it from taxpayers and use it mostly to pack their own pockets and those of their pals. A few hundred thousand or a few million or a few billion means little to them. They will just take more to replace it as long as the milk cows stay in the barn.

Anonymous said...

Boy, talk about "baseless rancor".

Anonymous said...

Dang, Bruce Bateman, those feds sure sound corrupt! Not like the fine upstanding people we have running things here!

Anonymous said...

...beggars can't be choosy...

Marianas Pride said...

Ah yes, the evil feds. Those damn bastards. The same feds who just gave our local airport brand spankin' new back-up generators. The same feds who gave CUC millions and millions of dollars, which was pissed away on special "consultants" and bogus sole-source "emergency" contracts. The same feds who gave hundreds of millions of dollars on highway projects, yet Mt. Topachau still remains unpaved. The same feds who continue to give more funding to PSS while our local government continues to give less. The same feds who provide funding for all these fully-loaded "Federally Funded" vehicles to run errands. The same feds who have given billions to the CNMI, but only a tithing somehow managed to be used efficiently and effectively.

Every time I hear someone make lewd comments about the federal government, I want to grab them by their ears and pull them around the island and show them just how lousy things are, in spite of the BILLIONS poured into the CNMI.

No government is completely free of corruption, because corruption, like sin, is a part of humankind. But the blatant "in-your-face" corruption we have seen in the CNMI for countless years is downright disgusting!

Why is it that the only time people get a bit worried is when federal funds are stolen? What about when local money is stolen or misused and abused? "It's okay primo, it's local money so you will never get prosecuted."

On my blog, I put out a survey asking about electing an attorney general. 86% said hell yes. Is it the best alternative we have? So far, from what I've seen, hell yes. An attorney general in the CNMI is a political appointee, and we are stuck with that appointee for four or eight years as he or she will act more like a governor's puppet than an honorable law enforcer.

Corruption and incompetence have been intertwined for so long that we have basically learned to tolerate it and accept it. Hey, we can't do anything about it. This is a small community. If enough people were fed up with the status quo, we could change things immediately. But that isn't usually how change occurs. It is a gradual process and it takes a few people pushing for change to inspire a few more people, and that little spark will eventually ignite and turn into a bonfire. Kind of like Amway! ;)

Stop blaming the feds. If you hate the feds, too bad, so sad. CUC is the epitome of corruption and bad governance. Need I say more?

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Yes, Ed, you need to say a lot more. The difference in corruption between the US Government and the CNMI is one of degree and sophistication only. US politicians and their seamy bureaucratic counterparts steal far more, they just do it with a great deal more skill. The average US Senator steals in an afternoon what the entire CNMI produces in a year.

If you love the Feds, too bad, so sad. Your naiveté in believing them paragons of virtue is nothing short of laughable. The CNMI the "epitome of corruption and bad governance"? For the top spot in corruption check out Mexico or the Philippines. As for the bad governance top spot, may I ask when was the last time the CNMI invaded a foreign nation without provocation and killed their women and children right along with their combatants? Hmmmmmm wonder who has? If you would like other candidates, check out any number of African police state dictatorships for some real slit-their-throats style governance.

CNMI politicians are pikers when it comes to real theft, corruption, malfeasance, and world scale evil. Relax a little, Ed. It is far worse in your mind than it is in real life.

Anonymous said...

BIBA HIENZ AND TINA! 2009!

Anonymous said...

Heinz and Tina are already an item....you do not need to wait til 2009.

Anonymous said...

Now, that's "so sad." I guess they deserve each other. Heinz really disappointed me but hey! That's Heinz. When his head grows, so does his ego. Good luck with that combo my friend.

Anonymous said...

Heinz and Tina or Ben and Tim? Which is better? Not even close. Biba reform!

Anonymous said...

Neither is better. Moving from worse to pure radicalism is NOT a good thing. Keep on wishing HT supporters.

realism rocks said...

radicalism? whatever. i don't see anything coming from heinz other than some face time on tv.

he's a zero.

as for tina, she's someone who is focused on moving the cnmi forward. is that radical?

i think the word to describe her is refreshing. i'm not ready for her to take the top spot yet but i am all for her sticking around and weeding out the baddies.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Radicalism? Lol.. that is what the crooked call proper governance.

HBM2 said...

Just because there are governments more corrupt than ours, or that there are world leaders more despicable than those we have now, is no reason not to decry the "corruption and bad governance" that is prevalent here on our "island paradise."

Moreover, I don't think any of us are so naive as to believe that the Feds are "paragons of virtue." However, that is not the point. I don't live in the Philippines or Mexico, or the mainland USA, for that matter, but I do live here! I believe it is not unreasonable for those of us who choose to call the CNMI our home to expect more from our leaders and to hold them accountable when they have erred. Have we forgotten that they have taken a solemn pledge to work for the good of all, and not the narrow interests of their family or cronies?

It is the expectation in a democracy to hold its leaders accountable when they have "strayed" and to have them answer for their actions; actions that, unfortunately, have brought us to the miserable state of economic and social decline we are now experiencing. Could things be worse? Indeed, yes, but that is not the point either. We cannot become a better place unless we honestly address the issues of corruption, nepotism, and self serving interests that plague our island. I believe it is because of the attitude of "business as usual" that we have reaped what we have sown. The economic decline, the dwindling tourist industry is our own fault, not the fault of the Feds!

I am saddened by the ineptitude of this government, and its inability to solve even the most basic of problems. And that is not the fault of the Feds! This is what I would expect from a Third World country, not a Commonwealth of the United States. The blatant nepotism here tells me that "family interests" are more important than "island interests." Until we have leaders that genuinely care about our island, and not the clan to which they belong, we will continue to perpetuate this cycle of despair and hopelessness.

Our population is dwindling and our brightest and most competent are leaving in droves. I applaud people like Tina Sablan who are giving their best to make this a better place for all of us. She is indeed a refreshing change!

Marianas Pride said...

Hi Bruce,

I will relax a little, perhaps once we see less corruption in the CNMI.

I don't think comparing our corruption levels to the Philippines or Mexico justifies our level of corruption. Corruption is corruption, no matter how you try to spin it.

As much as we disagree on things, I know you are a good parent, a taxpayer, and a person who helps stimulate the economy by buying local and staying at some of the beautiful hotels on island that are hurting.

We can disagree on every single issue, and that is fine with me. Bottom line is, you don't steal from our government nor do you benefit from sole-source "emergency" contracts which have contributed to the sorry state we are in today. For those reasons, I applaud you.

Debate is healthy, as long as we don't end up making our differences a personal issue.

Take care,
Ed

Marianas Pride said...

I don't think Tina can run for Governor or Lt. Governor. I think you have to be 35, so Tina has a few years.

Anyone out there want to clarify on Tina's eligibility based on age?

Ms. D. said...

“Qualifications of the Governor. The governor shall be qualified to vote in the Commonwealth, at least thirty-five years of age, and a resident and domiciliary of the Commonwealth for at least ten years immediately preceding the date on which the governor takes office. A different period of residence and domicile may be provided by law. . . .” N.M.I. Const. art. III, § 2.

“Lieutenant Governor. The lieutenant governor shall have the same qualifications as required for the office of governor and shall perform those duties specified in this article and those assigned by the governor or provided by law. . . .” N.M.I. Const. art. III, § 3.

Anonymous said...

Darn, that eliminates Tina. For now. The sad thing is that I can't think of anyone else who would make a better governor.

Marianas Pride said...

When will Jack Abramoff be released from prison? He's got a lot of connections...

Ms. D. said...

As for future gubernatorial candidates, patience is a virtue. See also N.M.I. Const. art. VIII, § 1 (non-exclusive definition of regular general election); N.M.I. Const. art. VIII, § 2 (other elections as provided by law).

Anonymous said...

I agree with HBM2. I don't see why the invasion of Iraq is an argument against federalization, Mr. Bateman.

Anonymous said...

In Bateman's weird world, the United States is evil and Bateman looks like Tom Cruise.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am shocked by the generalization of Mr. Bateman to the U.S.

I respect him as a balance and fair writer but now I am thinking twice by those generalization and narrow minded reasoning about corruption.

Anonymous said...

Corruption is everywhere and evil is everywhere. We are talking about the corruption here and there is no sense if we are compare it to other places, we are somewhat saying that corruption is okey here because there is more corruption in the U.S., Philippines and Mexico. Are you saying that this is okey here because there is greater corruption else where?

Anonymous said...

We might use those higher levels of corruption elsewhere to cover up the corruptions in this place?

So if that will be our reason how can we solve the problem here, because everytime we see the corruption here, we answer, "oooh that is okey because there is more corruption else where so that is not a problem here".

Anonymous said...

I think that Mr. Bateman misses the point about the nature of the dysfunction in this place and why we need the feds. This is kind of like a small town in the Old South where everyone works for the mill owner, including all of the politicians. The workers, who generally are of a different ethnicity than those who run things, all "know their place." The messed up system in the Old South was never going to correct itself, and that is why the feds had to come in and force change. It's not a perfect analogy, but it is in many ways similar to what's happening here. Biba federalization!

Anonymous said...

When the feds tried to bring change and justice to the Old South, they were met with cries of "states rights" and how people prefer things the way they are. Very analogous to the debate here.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Bateman from the South?

Bruce A. Bateman said...

To the anonymous blogger(s)(?) with complaints:
My post was directed to Ed Probst (who, unlike you, at least has the courage to put his name to his ideas).

He said, "Stop blaming the feds. If you hate the feds, too bad, so sad. CUC is the epitome of corruption and bad governance. Need I say more?

7/28/2008 3:12 AM"

Mr. cowardly nony, I suggest you read the definition of "epitome". That word was the basis of my post directed to Ed. Ed is mistaken in his belief that the CNMI is the supreme example of corruption. So are you if you believe likewise.

I didn't say it was 'okay to have corruption here'. It is not. I didn't 'argue against federalization' in this post. (While I believe it is not in the best interest of the CNMI – I also realize that they have a standing army and we do not so the likelihood of changing it, except by litigation, is remote). I did point out, rightly, that US corruption is far greater in magnitude than here.

I didn't miss any point, didn’t mention the South or it's mores and don’t think the nony’s analogy about it holds up. These are the haunted projections of one or more people too scared to even introduce themselves. Sad.

What I did do was point out that there are a lot of places with problems a lot worse than here and that Ed would be better off if he relaxed a bit. I also said that he needed to say more if he wanted that argument to wash. It wasn’t a personal indictment, just an observation. The rest of you nameless clowns have opinions which I value at zero. So bugger off. I’ve given you too much time already.

PS: Thanks for your kind words, Ed. I do try to buy locally to help support business here whenever I can and I think others should as well. A 'good parent'? Well, I'm trying.

Nameless Clown said...

I disagree that corruption stateside is worse than it is here. If you add it all up, sure. But on a per capita basis, this place is pretty bad by US standards (although not so bad by international standards).

Anonymous Blogger with Complaint said...

Ed Propst's name is spelled with a "p", not a "b". But I'm too cowardly to attach my name to that opinion.

Cowardly Nony said...

"I didn't 'argue against federalization' in this post. (While I believe it is not in the best interest of the CNMI – I also realize that they have a standing army and we do not so the likelihood of changing it, except by litigation, is remote)."

I believe you did make mention of the horrible things that the feds are doing to us, and assumed that referred to federalization. In any even, the likelihood of changing it, including by litigation, is remote. The covenant is quite clear. I'm not hating, I'm just debating.

Anonymous said...

We've strayed from the original thesis of this post, which is that Fitial is now admitting that grant accountability requirements that he labeled as "outrageous" in the past are in fact reasonable, and that he's trying to spin it by wrongly implying that OIA, which has not altered any of those conditions, is now being reasonable. It's a face-saving way for him to take money that he rejected last year for no good reason, even though the CNMI couldn't afford to throw such a political tantrum. He's spinning to try to save his face, but his face does not deserve to be saved.

Anonymous said...

And, by the way, Fitial's tantrum has cost the CNMI almost $100K, which is the difference between what OIA offered last year and what it offered this year. That's a lot to pay for political grandstanding. What a fiasco, and what a disservice to the people of the Commonwealth.

Anonymous said...

Actually, no.

The money was put to good use at Guma Esperanza.

Also, the principles he stood up for were worth upholding, and they a were in fact upheld.

Have you compared the former proposed grant conditions with the actual ones? They are not the same.

The CNMI has been well served all around, by Governor Fitial, Jim Benedetto, and Guma Esperanza.

Three cheers for cooperation and doing the right thing!

A big thumbs down to media stirring up trouble where none exists.

No wonder we have so many problems, when our press focuses solely on the negative. You should not be printing a Philippine-style tabloid, but should study American civics and the checks and balances of federalism. It works better than you might expect, since 1787 nationwide, and since 1978 in this corner of the country.

Anonymous said...

Actually, anon, the grant terms are EXACTLY what they were before. But that doesn't take away from your point. The money was put to good use, and everyone is cooperating.

Stop Spinning said...

And actually, Guma Esperansa did not get anything close to the difference between $420,000 and $333,000. I'm glad you're able to admit that the money was put to good use at Guma Esperansa, Ms. D. Gov. Fitial complained bitterly when OIA decided to fund Guma Esperansa, and he and his people sought to undermine GE's credibility as they brought the important issue of human trafficking to the fore. These are the principles that this governor was upholding, and kudos for the press for seeing through the spin to tell the real story.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Bateman

This site doesn't require us to give our real names to be able to leave our comment. It is a choice for every blogger. Your choice is to put your name on it and we leave you with that. If we choose not to show our real names then that is our choice, and nothing is wrong with that because it is allowed in this site. Does that mean that we are scared, so why is this site allowing anonymous comments then? You have chosen to show your name then probably you have to stand for it. For those who chose not to, are they called scared clowns? What do you think?

"Anonymous" is actually my real name said...

Sure, this blog is an anonymous blog, although the resident bloggers (and, for the most part, the commenters) are usually pretty civil. Maybe they're anonymous because they're secretly disloyal employees of the administration.

WTF? said...

"The CNMI has been well served all around, by Governor Fitial, Jim Benedetto, and Guma Esperanza. Three cheers for cooperation and doing the right thing!"

Hey, what's going on here? "Jim Benedetto"? When's the last time they called him something other than the "Ombudsperson" (i.e. refusing to acknowledge that he is a "man")? What happened to the false accusations about Benedetto not passing the bar exam (he actually never needed to take the CNMI bar exam and so never did; he passed a more difficult bar exam stateside), that he took out an ad to oppose the new CNMI labor law (complete fabrication), etc., etc.? What happened to using all of those false accusations as a basis for asking Interior to fire him (which of course they didn't)? And praising Guma Esperansa? What's going on here??!!

Are they turning over a new leaf? Finally realizing that trying to smear good people isn't a good strategy when you have no credibility? Or is there some secret deal, where Jim Benedetto and Guma Esperansa have gone over to the Dark Side? (Nah, not even this conspiracy theorist believes that.)

C'mon, FOB (Friends of Ben), don't go soft on us! Fight, fight, fight to the end!!! No compromise, no surrender!! Victory is just around the corner! :-)

Anonymous said...

Darn, if the FOB (haha!) really stop their name-calling, these blogs won't be fun anymore. C'mon, "Ombudsperson" is a perfectly good insult. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Friends of Ben? Ben Fitial has no friends.

Anonymous said...

No friends? But surely Ben has minions (MOB), co-conspirators (COB) and boneheaded lawyers (BLOB).

haha said...

That's funny. Willens, Siemer and Gregory can be the founding members of Boneheaded Lawyers of Ben (BLOB). Biba stupid and futile lawsuits!

Anonymous said...

That's right, Biba stupid and futile lawsuits! You have nothing to lose but your money, time, reputation and relationship with the feds. Of course, you've already squandered those.

Anonymous said...

Fitial sucks and should be impeached but the house and senate have no balls. Bunch of pussies if you aks me. Tina has more balls than all of themn combine.

Anonymous said...

Fitial, I hope the feds come after you. They already got Tim. Your next!

Justice is blindfolded said...

Mr. Bateman
I think it is good if we check on your first blog here.

You said,
"I will second that hope. It would be fitting retribution for the screwing they are giving us, except for two things. One, as was pointed out above, the feds probably won't allow it and two, even if they did they don’t really care. It is not their money anyway. They stole it from taxpayers and use it mostly to pack their own pockets and those of their pals. A few hundred thousand or a few million or a few billion means little to them. They will just take more to replace it as long as the milk cows stay in the barn."

You are telling that the feds don"t care and they steal taxpayers money for their benefit. In one point I may agree in some degree but not the feds as a whole, to generalize them is another thing. The goal of the federal system is for the benefit of everybody but maybe some of them might be crooks, but not the system and the whole members of the feds.

Ed is telling about the corruption here in his previews blogs, so what's the point of answering and diverting it by showing that there are far more corrupt places than here. Is Ed not talking about the corruption here that it is really happening here? So what is the point of diverting it elsewhere?

You have rated scared clown anon zero, is this how you respond when someone disagrees with you especially when they saw that you wrote that the feds don't care and steals the taxpayers money for their own benefit? Instead of defending your stand.

It is okey you may rate us that way and respect it, it now depends on the readers to balance their views and how they rate us anons.

My time is valuable here especially to defend what is fair and balance.

And please just relax a little bit. I am not hating but debating. Have a nice day sir.

Anonymous said...

BOHICA!

Not So Fast said...

"Fitial, I hope the feds come after you. They already got Tim. Your next!"

Hey, to be fair to Tim, it's been a few days now since the buzz about his supposed arrest and still no confirmation. Hasn't anyone been able to determine whether anything happened? He should get the benefit of the doubt until then. And of course, even if he had been arrested, he would get the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty.

Anonymous said...

Here's the question I have: Would news of any arrest of Tim make Fitial happy or sad? I'm sure Tim's not his favorite person right about now, what with his recent defection making Fitial look foolish and highlighting his lack of popularity. On the other hand, it would reflect on his administration, and maybe Tim would tell the feds things that would make others uncomfortable. Anyway, this is all idle speculation, and is not meant to imply anything about either of them until we get confirmation of whether anything happened. My guess is that nothing did, or else we would have known for sure by now.

Anonymous said...

What's up with all these condescending comments that Filipinos need to take lessons in U.S. civics? Who is that dig aimed at? I think a lot of U.S. citizens need to take those lessons. If you allow guest workers to apply for green cards, then I guaranty you that everyone will take civics lessons.

BLOB wannabe said...

Hey, I want to be a Boneheaded Lawyer of Ben (BLOB). I'm not really a lawyer, but I'm grouchy and argumentative, I like to insult and attack people for no reason, and I'm willing to urge Ben to do stupid, self-destructive things that reflect his worst instincts. Can I qualify?

Anonymous said...

"Also, the principles he stood up for were worth upholding, and they a were in fact upheld."

The principles that Fitial stood up for were refusing to accept perfectly reasonable accountability measures in OIA's grant, grandstanding to the press and trying to demonize feds who were just doing their job, denying the cash-strapped CNMI much-needed funds because he let his big fat ego paint himself into a corner, waiting until he thought no one was watching, and then folding like a lawn chair and trying to claim (wrongly) that OIA, under new leadership, had made concessions to him and was now acting reasonably. In other words, that he wasn't the problem, they were. Way to stand up for principles, Ben!

Marianas Pride said...

Declare Fitial King already! He is moving to take over CDA, and knowing the inefficient House and Senate, they will allow it. The House and Senate will allow King Fitial to do whatever he pleases.

My favorite quote today in the Tribune: 'Sen. Paul A. Manglona, one of the cosponsors of the resolution, said the Senate agreed to increasing the debt cap because Gov. Benigno R. Fitial gave his word that the planned $5-million loan will include the recently earmarked funds to CUC.'

Yes, Senator Paul. Governor Fitial gave you his word. He always tells the truth...even when he lies.

Better Times BABY!

Anonymous said...

I think the terms Fitial agreed to for this grant are more restrictive than the ones he raised hell about last year. Last year, OIA was willing to allow the CNMI government to simply submit a resume of whoever they hired with the grant funds to make sure that they met basic qualifications (rather than using federal taxpayer money to support a pure political patronage position). OIA made it clear that they weren't even asking for advance approval. Now, the Governor is going to have to "consult" with OIA before filling the position. The Governor's tirade means the CNMI ended up with less money on more restrictive terms. BOHICA!

Anonymous said...

That money Fitial pissed away was for the benefit of all of us. Can we sue him for malpractice? Can we sue the idiots that advice him (especially the "volunteers") for malpractice?

Anonymous said...

Fitial's advisors pander to his worst hotheaded, paranoid instincts and his sense of entitlement. They're bad news all around.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to one of the original questions, re whether the grant will be used to fund the lawsuit against federalization: Even though the feds would not condone that, how would you prevent it if the AG's office will be working on the lawsuit and this grant is paying the salary of some personnel in the AG's office? It's a valid question.

Anonymous said...

talk about biting the hand that feeds you

Anonymous said...

80 comments and counting

Anonymous said...

john jones gave the Lt Gov a 100k boat for the power contract and Bob H., boat partner, has said it openly in public.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty said...

Some of the accusations that have been made against the LT lately have not been verified. Is it possible that there is a rumor campaign against the LT? Could it be related to politics? I'm not suggesting one way or the other, but it's certainly a possibility to think about.

Anonymous said...

Anon, it is more than a rumor. Don't you wonder why Tim has declined to comment on the rumors and alleged wrongdoings? Don't you wonder why he hasn't reported back to work? Come on now. Connect the dots. It is that simple.

Anonymous said...

It's a serious charge, though, and I need to see more information before I come to any conclusions.

Anonymous said...

John & Bob had boat + Lt Gov got the boat = John got more NMI power money

Anonymous said...

Can these charges be proven? Have the federal authorities been given this information? I'm not saying it's true or not true, but I do know that some people have it in for the LT since he returned to the Republicans, and the firing of Norita seems to be tied into this as well.

Anonymous said...

But Clyde did not give a boat or get a power contract. :)

Anonymous said...

Clyde was doing a good job. He deserved to be treated better.

Anonymous said...

The comments to Variety seem to confirm that Clyde was fired as part of the governor's rift with Tim. Fitial's people are gloating, saying that's what you get for supporting that traitor Tim.

Anonymous said...

The governor has pissed off the feds, he's pissed off his own LT, he's pissed off his own people. Soon, it will just be him and Willie Tan sitting in the dark on Capital Hill. Except that Willie Tan is too rich to sit in the dark in Saipan.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that the goveror can get so many people to agree: Taotao Tano, the CGW's, his own lt. gov's people, all the Covenant Party people who abandoned his party. He entered office with 28% support and managed to plunge from there.

Anonymous said...

If you want a real Unity March, call one for people who don't like the governor. That will unite the people of these islands like nothing before.

Anonymous said...

Usually Fitial supporters (I think paid) troll these blogs and write defenses of him. When will the Empire Strike Back?

Anonymous said...

Those supporters are usually lawyers. There's a short list of people who they could be.

Anonymous said...

There's a short list of people who would defend fitial, period.

Anonymous said...

Im voting for kilili cause the CNMI needs more corrupt leaders.

1. The '97 opa report $35,000 advanced payment

2. Alleged drug user

3. Failed drug rehab

The Cnmi needs these kinds of people! Biba Kilili!

Also Gv. Fitial is endorsing Kilili

Anonymous said...

Im voting for kilili cause the CNMI needs more corrupt leaders.

1. The '97 opa report $35,000 advanced payment

2. Alleged drug user

3. Failed drug rehab

The Cnmi needs these kinds of people! Biba Kilili!

Also Gv. Fitial is endorsing Kilili

Anonymous said...

They're now saying that CDA should forgive a $6 million loan to CPA. How can they turn down grant money in other areas when this government is so cash strapped?

Anonymous said...

That's why the gov finally had to accept the grant, even though Interior ignored his wishes. With CDA, MPLT, the retirement fund, etc., everyone is just robbing Peter to pay Paul because everyone is broke.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 100 comments! Not bad considering all the blackouts.

Anonymous said...

Heinz Hofschneider's boat came as a gift from the Micronesian supplier of Exxon/Mobile to get the contract.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Diego Benevente's boat was given to him by a representative of the Tinian Gaming commission as sent directly from China by the Tong.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

The third boat over from the big palm tree owned by a local Filipino fisherman by the name of Raul was given him by Gloria M to buy his scilence about her wild lovemaking with Gypsies on her last trip to Bulgaria.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Dengre has a huge yacht moored on the Potomac given him by Mao Tse-tung (Dong) before his demise as a favor for spreading communism in the West.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

What a load of crap you anonymous bloggers produce. Unfounded rumor, patent lies, 98% bullshit, 2% horse shit.

Just make something up and post it….what a bunch of turkeys. Gobbling up each other’s poop.

pc policia said...

"Hey, 100 comments! Not bad considering all the blackouts."

i believe the politically correct term is "african-american-outs"

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, Bruce. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. What about your column about Pat Calvo's arrest being for an "old" case, when it had just occurred on June 11? You never check your facts (or ignore them when it suits your particular twisted ideology) before you write, and your turds are published in the newspaper.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Tell me about it if the charges prove correct and he is convicted. Otherwise I still see an unbelievable timing coincidence. Notice also that my clip commented upon and identified "new Charges". Thanks for reading, you cowardly anonymous puke.

Brucey said...

Boat for sale - Call Lt Govs office

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.

Disclaimer:

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