Fitial Pens Support/Character Letter for Convicted Felon Tom DeLay

January 8, 2010

The Monday sentencing of Tom DeLay, ever the performer, is sure to be entertaining. The former U.S. House majority leader was convicted in November on money laundering and conspiracy charges.

DeLay could get up to 99 years in prison. Fifty would suffice, but he'll probably get a slap on the wrist like most well-connected and wealthy criminals do.

DeLay's attorney submitted 31 letters of character and support to Texas District Judge Pat Priest in hopes of a lenient sentence.  

One support letter is from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  He praised DeLay for being "a steadfast champion for a strong and secure Israel."

The CNMI's very own "Corruption Governor", Beningo Fitial, penned his own letter on his official CNMI letterhead. It reads:
Your Honor: 
My name is Benigno Fitial and I am the Governor for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). I am writing today to express my strong support for leniency in the sentencing of my dear friend Tom DeLay.

For more than a decade I have known Tom to be an upstanding citizen who cares deeply not only about the people he was elected to represent but also those that have suffered injustice.

During Tom's tenure in the United States House of Representatives, he was particularly helpful to the people of the Northern Marianas Islands. When our islands were under attack by some Members of Congress, Tom flew to the CNMI to learn firsthand the plight of our people.

We are a very small community located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and our economy is continually under duress. However, with Tom's support and leadership we were very successful in developing and maintaining new industries that helped our economy immensely.

I have also come to know Tom on a personal level and consider him a dear friend. I respectfully ask for your compassion during this process.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at any time.
Yes, the governor's good pal, Tom "helped" the commonwealth by covering up some of the worst and systematic labor abuses ever to occur on U.S. soil. He "helped" at the expense of thousands of innocent foreign workers who suffered at the hands of evil liars like himself, Jack Abramoff, CNMI and U.S. elected officials, and a host of other coconspirators who blocked federalization.

Governor Fitial is one seriously twisted and delusional man.  He wrote that Tom DeLay "stood up for people who suffered injustices."  Actually,  the abused foreign workers who suffered gross injustices were stabbed in the back by DeLay who covered -up their conditions and abuses.  He then twisted the knife when he used his power to bring in others to support the CNMI-Abramoff agenda to protect the dysfunctional labor and immigration system.

Fitial states, "When our islands were under attack by some Members of Congress, Tom flew to the CNMI to learn firsthand the plight of our people."  That was the junket that made international news, is the subject of film, and was denounced in the Halls of Congress. There was a New Year's Eve bash where members of Congress got drunk, DeLay attended a cock fight, golfed a lot, and Willie Tan promised that he would pour money into his campaign and that of the other Republicans who lied about the labor abuses and backed the CNMI agenda to promote itself as "a petri dish of capitalism."  Nice spin.

The governor claimed, "...with Tom's support and leadership we were very successful in developing and maintaining new industries that helped our economy immensely. The governor's "dear friend" helped to promote an economy built on quicksand where foreign workers were routinely cheated of their meager wages, abused and denied basic human rights.  An economy that lasted about as long as the green flash at sunset. What a crock!

Maybe the judge will google Fitial's name and see that the letter is one unethical "dear friend" backing another. Tom and Ben are two birds of a feather - two arrogant. self-serving mafia types who push their agenda at all costs, disregarding the law and any innocent victims that stand in their way. Both have no moral compasses.

Fitial also wrote a "dear friend" letter for convicted felon Jack Abramoff for his sentencing. This governor surrounds himself with criminals, not just in the CNMI, but worldwide.

Former Democratic Governor Carl Gutierrez reportedly may write a letter of his own to the sentencing judge to express his opinion of DeLay.  That letter would attack, not praise, the former majority leader.

Guam News Watch retold the DeLay-Abramoff-Scanlon-Rudy plan to oust the Democratic governor by calling for an investigation in an attempt to derail his gubernatorial bid:
The scheme was allegedly masterminded by Washington, DC-based Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and DeLay staffers Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy. 
A March 31, 2006 Wall Street Journal article states, in part: 
Just after lunch on Oct. 26, 1998, Mr. Abramoff emailed Mr. Rudy: "We want to know if there is anyway to get Tom to call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by this governor," he wrote in a message reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Abramoff said he would draft a statement for Mr. DeLay and suggested that if Mr. Rudy could "issue a press release and letter requesting an Inspector General (I guess from Interior?) to investigate these matters, it should have a major impact on the election next week." 
Within a few hours, Messrs. Rudy and Scanlon released a statement from Mr. DeLay and a letter to the Department of the Interior's inspector general calling for a federal investigation into the Democratic governor. "The allegations and materials I reviewed point to serious corruption" by the governor, Mr. DeLay said in the letter. 
Despite their efforts, Mr. Ada lost the race, and the department didn't conduct an investigation. After leaving office, Mr. Gutierrez was tried on corruption charges but acquitted on all counts. Mr. DeLay's spokeswoman said he declined to comment. Mr. Rudy's lawyer didn't return phone calls. 
The strategists' efforts resulted in what Gutierrez has for years described as a local and national level Republican conspiracy against his re-election in '98. 
Ultimately, the US Supreme Court would uphold Gutierrez's 1998 reelection and Abramoff, Scanlon and Rudy would go down in infamy for other wrongdoings.
The article quoted Gutierrez's attorney, Randy Cunliffe as saying it was ironic that DeLay falsely accused Gutierrez of misusing federal funds, and then DeLay got convicted of money laundering. 

It will be interesting to see who appears at DeLay's sentencing hearing. Abramoff pals, Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy, were offered immunity for testifying against DeLay. The Statesman reports:
Though it might be unlikely that Scanlon or Rudy will need protection from prosecution for anything in Texas, Cobb said a prosecutor would be willing to testify in the federal case, at the two men's expense, about their cooperation in the DeLay proceeding. Cobb said such offers are routine.

Perhaps neither ex-aide will end up in court Monday. Priest will decide how much he wants
to hear about DeLay's association with Abramoff, a D.C. power broker who went to prison for bribing public officials and whose story is being retold in the current movie "Casino Jack."

In earlier court filings, prosecutors said Abramoff's former associates could testify about "the inner workings of Tom DeLay's political organization" as well as DeLay's lobby-paid trips to Russia, Scotland and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Meanwhile in Washington, DC the shadow of DeLay continues to darken the Halls of Congress. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the new House Majority Whip, hired Tim Berry as his chief of staff.  Tim Berry was the chief of staff for former majority whip Tom DeLay.

Berry accepted a trip to the Super Bowl in Tampa, a golf club, and a trip on the Sun Cruz casino cruise ship from DeLay's friend, convicted felon, Jack Abramoff. He failed to report the trips or gift.

On January 9, 2006, The St. Petersburg Times reported:
The plea agreement, signed by Abramoff and federal prosecutors, says the Tampa trip was part of an elaborate quid pro quo. It says Abramoff, Scanlon and others "offered and provided a stream of things of value to public officials in exchange for a series of official acts and influence and agreements to provide official action and influence." 
...Berry left DeLay's staff last year to become a senior lobbyist for Time Warner.

None of them filed a report for the trip, as congressional rules would require for a privately paid trip to a meeting or speaking engagement. Rules allow them to accept travel expenses for meetings or "fact-finding" trips, but there's been no indication there were any such events over Super Bowl weekend. Other rules prohibit members of Congress and staffers from accepting a gift valued at $50 or more, or a total of $100 or more in a single year.


Saipan Writer said...

Interesting news, Wendy.

It's not your money! said...


Perhaps you should send the judge a letter of your own. Or perhaps a copy of "Casino Jack & the United States of Money"?

Too bad Delay wasn't convicted for sexual assault, child molestation or drug dealing here in the CNMI; then his "dear friend" could have pardoned him (or got him out of jail for a massage), as he did for so many others willing to pay for the favor.

Too bad Fitial doesn't work as hard to fix the CNMI's flagging economy, or solve so many other problems facing its people. Apparently he's only got time to help the crooked and corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Delay deserves 99 years, Fitial is corrupt and there was labor abuse. To state that this was a cover up of "some of the worst and systematic labor abuses ever to occur on U.S. soil" however is a stretch, and to some degree a bit disrespectful to all those who suffered much worse labor conditions, including the slaves, the coolies and the early child laborers, many of whom were forced to work, beaten regularly, kept from food, subject to disease and horrid conditions, and whose average lifespan was 27.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 10:07 No it is not a stretch. The labor abuses including human trafficking, forced prostitution, false servitude, physical assaults, coerced abortion, unpaid wages over $6.1 million owed to workers (I hope someday their countries sue the CNMI and U.S), illegal recruitment etc. makes it to at least the top 5 and maybe higher. Please do some reading. There are reports and testimonies on the right sidebar. Read them all. The treatment of the foreign contract workers in the CNMI will go down in history. It left a scar on the face of the U.S. that can't be undone. Minimize all you want, but it won't change the reality.

Wendy said...

Saipan Writer

Happy New Year! I missed you.

Anonymous said...

I've read your site thoroughly Wendy. I'm not suggesting the abuses you've detailed are not serious. They are. They do not compare to the brutal treatment of African slaves, the outright killings of Chinese railworkers and miners, and the aforementioned child workers of the 19th and very early 20th centuries.

Anonymous said...

2:19 I'm agreeing with Wendy on this one. The number and extent of the abuses exceeds anything we've seen for years. Which is another point. There have been many laws passed since the days of slavery, and former labor atrocities in earlier centuries and bygone decades. This makes them all that more serious and horrible. It's not a stretch at all to say, "some of the worst." If anything her statement is too weak considering all of the facts.

Anonymous said...

Then why didn't the feds prosecute? These have been federal criminal violations for years.

Either the abuses weren't as bad as claimed (or weren't readily provable), or the federal government knowingly looked the other way, failing to provide adequate law enforcement resources, so they could instead "punish" the CNMI in a politically motivated nod to organized labor.

Anonymous said...

The feds did prosecute human trafficking and other abuses. But the lion's share of law enforcement is rightly the responsibility of the local government, which unfortunately was not up to the task for a variety of reasons. And for the past five years, the local government has actively undermined federal enforcement by DEA, FBI, DOJ, ATF, etc. With Fitial, Ogumoro, Kaipat, Siemer and the rest calling the shots, it's a miracle that any law got enforced by either government.