March 24, 2012
Governor Benigno Fital had a major fallout with the Rota and Tinian Senators last week virtually ensuring blockage of much of his self-serving legislation in the weeks or months ahead. Then yesterday Lieutenant Governor Eloy Inos, the leader of the fledgling Covenant Party, announced that the party is endorsing Delegate Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan in his re-election campaign.
Inos and Public Lands Secretary Oscar Babauta said that endorsing Sablan is for the good of the Commonwealth. Inos noted that the delegate has been very successful in getting federal funds for the CNMI. Inos stated that he wanted programs like the food stamp program and Medicaid to prosper and Sablan backs expanding those programs.
The move will surely anger Fitial who left the Covenant Party that he founded to rejoin the Republican Party in hopes of getting a Republican Delegate in Washington. Shortly after abandoning the Covenant Party Fitial managed to get himself crowned the leader of the CNMI Republican Party. Fitial believes that the Republicans can provide more help to the CNMI than the Democrats, since the Republicans control the House (at least at for now). In the past Fitial worked with felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff to get unscrupulous Republicans to push his agenda in Washington, DC.
So far the CNMI Republican Party has announced no candidate for delegate. Sablan is listed as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but apparently runs as an independent in the CNMI.
A significant number, if not the majority, of the adult population of the CNMI has no representation as they are the disenfranchised underclass in the two-tiered society. The majority of the estimated 12,000 to 14,000 foreign workers have lived and worked in the CNMI for 5, 10, 20, 30 or more years, but remain voiceless and oppressed de facto citizens. Last year Sablan introduced legislation that would continue their disenfranchisement and restrict their travel.