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December 13, 2010


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." Shakespeare


More often than not, the ideals of the CNMI Republican and Democratic Parties do not align with those of the national parties. Of course, every political party anywhere is fluid and changes over time, but the CNMI political parties change like the tide. Many of them were created on quicksand foundations.

The emergence of new political parties in the CNMI, like in the mainland, evolve when someone's quest to seek power; push their own self-serving agenda (think casinos or awarding sole-source contracts); or desire to be elected to office is rejected by the traditional parties.  Rejection and the race for power has led to the formation of new CNMI parties as the Apple Party (Rota 's Joe Inos), the Reform Party (Saipan's Froilan Tenorio) or the Covenant Party (Benigno Fitial and Eloy Inos).

Former Republican National Committee member, Norman Tenorio thinks its a good idea for the Covenant Party to "merge" with the CNMI Republican Party. “When you are in Washington and you’ll say you are a Covenant Party member, nobody there knows what the Covenant Party is. But when you say you are a Republican, you have clout,” says Tenorio.

Wrong. People in Washington, DC who are involved in decisions that affect the CNMI know all about the Covenant Party.  That includes members of Congress, staffers, and personnel within the Departments of Justice, Labor, Interior, State, GAO, and Homeland Security. They correctly associate the Covenant Party with Governor Fitial and his administration.  In Washington it stands for alliances with Jack Abramoff and other lobbyists,  scandals including massage-gate, election-gate, gun-gate, furlough-gate, and parole-gate, pardoning and employing felons, condoning and excusing labor abuses, dysfunction, bankruptcy, and failed pension plans.

Anyone is free to join or leave any political party.  Fitial's announcement to merge the Covenant and CNMI Republican Party seemed more like a takeover plan than the merger that he claimed he wanted. If he wants to quit the Covenant Party that he co-founded, then I am sure some Republican Party members think he should quit and start anew in the established Republican Party at the bottom rung of the ladder.

Does it really matter what party he belongs to? He used the Covenant Party to push his corrupt agenda. Now after every campaign promise has evaporated and his political agenda has imploded resulting in a social, economic and political disaster in the CNMI,  Fitial wants to abandon ship.

Some other opinions on the suggested merger:

  • House Speaker Froilan Tenorio: "If the governor is realigning with the Republican Party then, I think it’s natural to assume that there should be some changes here in the House. I have to step down... The merger will create a supermajority in the House. Therefore, I’m out of the picture."



  •  House Minority Leader Diego Benavente: "A merger of the CNMI Republican Party with the Covenant Party is not beneficial to the GOP, considering the current frustration with the Fitial administration's payless paydays and work hour cuts, among other things."

    Merger or not, the only political action that will cure the ills of the CNMI are those that serve all of the residents.
  • 2 comments:

    It's not your money! said...

    If the Republicans want to have any credibility in D.C. or with CNMI voters, they should start working to repair the damage CovGov has done to the economy, the crony-packed local government agencies, and the CNMI's reputation. Backing down to bullies may be the island way, but non-confrontation in the face of the current crises only ensures the prolonged misery of the people.

    Anonymous said...

    BenTan's attempt to clean up the image of the Covenant Party (his creation) by brokering a merger with the Republican Party puts real meaning into the impression "you can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on its tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig"