Don't Waste the Paper

August 30, 2010

The Marians Variety reported that an "optional survey" will be given to voters at the polls in November to allow voters to express their view on the DOI Report that was released in April 2010.  The report, which was mandated by PL 110-229, made recommendations on the status of the foreign workers.  The Fitial Administration and Covenant leadership voiced objections to the report, although none of them found time to submit their opinions over the two year period before it was due.

Who is going to tabulate these "surveys?"  According to the article, the Elections Commission is "not authorized to include such a question on the November ballot."  So who will oversee this survey? Let me guess - the Governor's Office or the Office of Indigenous Affairs?

Who will decide what questions are on the "survey" and how they are worded? Will "voters" write their name and addresses on the surveys? What oversight will there be to ensure that no one rigs the outcome to fit the agenda of the Administration and anti-federal leadership?

Can anyone place a survey at a polling place? Could other individuals print and have a separate survey/s?  How many surveys can government agencies or individuals offer at an election site?  Could supporters of the DOI Report conduct their own survey? Who determines this?

Where and how exactly will these surveys be handed out? After the person exits the voting both at the poll?   Are there regulations for distributing ballots, surveys, or questionnaires that are not supervised by the Commission of Elections?

The article said, "...the question will be in a separate paper and will serve as a “survey” that the governor will use as reference when he goes to Washington, D.C. again and testify on the status of guest workers in the CNMI."

I would like to hear how the governor justifies this survey as a true representation of the peoples' opinion.


Anonymous said...

Very likely illegal election interference. The point is not "surveying" voters, but the survey reminds the voters in the real election that Kilili is the one "responsible for" (in the Covenant goons' eyes, anyway) the DOI report. If they are smart about their thuggery, the survey will be handed to voters together with the ballot, or as they enter the polling place, not after they've already voted.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 6:53

I do not believe that any paper or survey can be distributed with a ballot in a federal election.

Anonymous said...

Is there a law that says that?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 7:23

I am looking to see if there is a CNMI law. I know that we had a primary last week in Orlando and I asked, and was told that I could not hand out anything (I had campaign flyers for a candidate) unless I stood behind the cones that marked off a certain number of feet from the door of the polling place.

I guess if there isn't a law concerning distributing of surveys with ballots or near polling places,then that means that any organization, any person, and/or any government agency could also conduct a survey on the same or another issue of interest. What chaos that could be.

Anonymous said...

Must quote from the MV on this topic:

" #1 tarklejr August 31, 2010 10:26AM
Wow! Are they completely crazy? Does he not understand that "voting" on ANYTHING is ALWAYS voluntary? Have you ever heard of a "mandatory" vote? But this whole thing is rife with potential fraud - and should NEVER be allowed - especially if it may impact a governmental position on a topic. We all know what Fitial's stand on this is. Will he (and his minion's doing the dirty work) "mandate" that government employees "vote" on this separate sheet of paper? Will the "government" simply print up THOUSANDS of "votes" by marking all the copies themselves? ("no", of course). What a JOKE!!! and woe be unto ANYONE who actually believes the results of such a crock of crap! To all the people who dreamed up this fiasco - SHAME on you - you shouldn't even be allowed to hold the position of "pooper-scooper picker-upper", let alone as a legislator!"

Yes, they will print thousand of votes and then have gvt. employees mark them the way they want on gvt. time.

Anonymous said...

We are not talking about any private or even governmental agency simply handing out a survey.

We are talking about the CNMI government, the same institution charged with running local elections, submitting this advisory question to the voters on what is undoubtedly the most significant issue to face the citizenry in a generation.

Presumably this would be done solely pursuant to validly enacted or promulgated CNMI law or regulation.

Wendy said...

Yes, exactly and since the survey is politically motivated it should NOT be allowed.

Anonymous said...

ELECTIONS are politically motivated!

Candidacies are politically motivated!

Voter initiatives are politically motivated!

The more important concern is to ensure that this voter exercise is in fact validly authorized by law or regulation. Otherwise, there could be a lawsuit filed for injunctive relief in CNMI Superior court.

Does a mere legislative resolution authorize this under CNMI law?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Fed Ombudsman can find out from the Feds. if this is allowable. (since Pam has direct access to many Fed agencies. I wonder also what Jane has to say about this.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't want to get off subject, I just wanted to say something about the new Casino bill pending.
First, if passed as it is, Tinian and Rota will get 50% of the revenue (25% each). That is why the Senators will vote for it.
Second, the law says that the new casino CANNOT be put in an existing Hotel. An new Hotel must be built...or a Hotel that was shut down could reopoen.
Third, Palms Resort is shutting down for "renovation" on October 4th.
How convenient.

Anonymous said...

18 U.S.C. § 595 : US Code - Section 595: Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments

Anonymous said...

Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof, or by the District of Columbia or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or any political subdivision, municipality, or agency thereof, or agency of such political subdivision or municipality (including any
corporation owned or controlled by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or by any such political subdivision, municipality, or agency), in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants
made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the
office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be
fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Anonymous said...

The Marianas Variety:

"There might be “an appearance of conflict of interest,” but the Office of the Public Auditor has yet to receive a formal complaint, acting Public Auditor Ross Zapanta told the Variety.

“It’s all speculations,” he added.


Anonymous said...

noni 12:34pm,

You are correct on all count except the second (about the existing hotel). It turns out that it can be put in an existing hotel. Someone misread it.

I have talked to some people that have confirmed that the Governor met with Tenorio and the Senators last week and from what they have said it looks as though this bill will become law.

Glen Hunter said...

I filed an official complaint with OPA.

Anonymous said...

Similar story in the mainland US: Dept of Education official sent email asking employees to go to a Sharpton rally. Though Sharpton is not a political candidate, and this is making news only on the right-wing-nutjob circuit:

President Obama's top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. Al Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.

"ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the 'Reclaim the Dream' rally and march," began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

I also filed one, prior to Zapanta claiming OPA hadn't received one.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:26

Similar? What is similar about announcing that a CAMPAIGN event is being SPONSORED by the AG and his OFFICE and a Department attending an event where the keynote speaker is the Secretary of Education and the event os UNRELATED TO A CAMPAIGN?

the teacher said...

It would be easier for Fitial to request Wendy or Angelo conduct a blog poll to decide this issue, or perhaps we could count votes by donations received like they do for local beauty queens.

Anonymous said...

This thread is about the legality of the proposed “advisory vote” about alien status.

The blog post about the Buckingham Palace shenanigans is below.

Anonymous said...

And above.

Anonymous said...

The MV already has a "poll" Even though it lets you vote more than once, it still has "status" leading.
This is probably more accurate than one that Fitial and Assc. would conduct.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the technical term for this is "push polling." Under the guise of a "survey" or "poll," you push some ideas into people's heads for the election. Made famous by Fitial's buddy Karl Rove, but truly taken to extremes (a push poll distributed with your federal election ballot!) if this is allowed to happen.

You can see an introduction here:

Anonymous said...

See also Haidee V. Eugenio, “House finalizes language of exit poll on Interior report,” Saipan Tribune, September 2, 2010, available at

Anonymous said...

This is a transparent attempt to influence the results of the federal Delegate Election!

Is Bruce Lee Jorgensen, Stephen C. Woodruff, Mark B. Hanson, or another of our human rights stalwarts willing to seek an injunction in federal court as soon as this bill is signed into law?

There won't be much time, and it will require skilled advocacy. Are any of them up to it?

Too bad Edwin Propst and Glen Hunter aren't lawyers. But maybe they could be the clients! Or file pro se.

Anonymous said...

This "exit survey" to be enacted into CNMI law is clearly a Covenant Party legislatively sponsored push poll, targeting Congressman Sablan, the only Delegate candidate who is (somewhat) sympathetic to the plight of the guest workers and their demands for status.

He might consider hiring the best election lawyer he can find to oppose this. Yet this may cause some voter backlash to his campaign, so maybe he would be better off letting the civil rights lawyers handle this "independently," perhaps with some campaign financial support for their attorneys fees.