Losing Bet

December 23, 2010

Why would an elected official continue to propose raising revenue for empty coffers with a plan that has "sure to fail" stamped all over it? Only because he is expecting a kickback or has some other self-serving interest in the venture. Speaker Froilan Tenorio is once again proposing introducing a casino bill that has continually been rejected by the Senate. If passed it will put money in the pockets of only the few people making deals with the investors.

The CNMI's one casino is dying a slow death. In 2008 the Tinian Dynasty was virtually empty and a large curtain divided the casino.  Employees explained that the electricity bill was enormous and the curtain was an attempt to shrink the casino's size.  The hotel and casino appealed to the CNMI government to forgive their debt of $310,000 that is owed to the Commonwealth Ports Authority. While the Tinian Dynasty pays "locals" every pay period, the foreign workers are now 4 weeks behind on their pay.  The Dynasty has a huge 10 year tax break granted by the Commonwealth Development Corporation.  Does this sound like a way to raise revenue?  How can revenue be raised with casinos that are awarded hefty tax breaks and gasp to stay alive?

What's worse is that Tenorio is attempting to blackmail fellow legislators into accepting his casino proposal saying:
“If anybody thinks we will approve any increase in taxes, business license and other fees — they can just forget it, because we are not going to approve them in the House,” he said.

He added, “If we are going to address our fiscal problems, the casino bill is the only way to do it.”

Tenorio said the governor can easily “persuade” the senators to pass the casino bill.

“He should just start laying off people from Tinian and Rota,” he added. The two islands, which have casinos, have six seats in the nine-member Senate.

“We don’t have enough money so lay off employees on Tinian and Rota,” the speaker said. “Shut down those municipal councils over there because they are not doing anything.”
Forget any sensible revenue-raising proposals coming from the Speaker.

For years lawmakers have known the need to increase revenue, but have failed to act.  They watch as the debt and suffering increases. No wonder the Governor has failed to make a constitutionally-mandated State of the Commonwealth address.


Anonymous said...

Tenorio sounds desperate. Sounds like the "casino goons" whoever they are, have provided him with an ultimatum. Froilan is a horrible representative, but worse are those who actually voted for him.

Anonymous said...

The casino has never made money, they don't have to. The casino is owned by the People's Republic of China.

Anonymous said...

I just wish Froilan would do us all a favor and make like a tree and LEAF!

He makes me sick to my stomach. What a moron.

Anonymous said...

It has been suggested many times in the past that Dynasty is a "money laundering" operation. But at any rate it has not been productive from the beginning and the "curtain" closures and other inside "rearranging" of the premise has been going on from the first year of operation. Nothing new. Same with the unpaid payroll.

Anonymous said...

That Casino is an offshore money laundering outfit set up by the PRC and it's military.

The 'we're struggling' facade keeps the Feds off their backs and makes for a good defense. Sure they haven't paid their workers for a few months, but what do you expect? They're Chinese.