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Attorney, Private Practice 2000-present Former Senate Legal Counsel 1994-2000, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature Chief Consultant, 1985 Northern Marianas Constitutional Convention

Friday, October 19, 2007

3. Deceptive campaigning

Certain deceptive tactics of proponents of the Saipan Casino initiative have come to my attention. It appears that multiple "identities" from a single computer have been used in Tina Sablan's forum to create a false impression of large numbers of outspoken supporters of the casino initiative. Here's what Tina has to say about it.

Similarly, there is this letter to the editor in the Saipan Tribune in which the author asserts that he has changed his mind and will be voting "YES" on the initiative. Yet it is fairly plain from the argument and style of the letter that the writer never had any such change of mind -- he clearly has been a supporter and advocate from the get-go. The substance of the reasons for allegedly changing his mind are all the standard pro-casino arguments used for the longest time to try to sell casinos for Saipan.

2. Time Flying . . . .

Given that there are just 15 days to go until the election, which is on Saturday, November 3, it is unlikely this neophyte blog will be of much service to the public this time around. But at least I'm learning something about how to do this.

Kilili is doing a great job at the Commonwealth Election Commission, and he certainly doesn't get the political support he should (our legislators have been more than happy to change the law to relax CEC duties, such as in public education, instead of doing what they should: supply CEC with the resources to do a bang-up job). Still, there are some basic improvements that could be made.

For example, the Commission website does not even indicate the date for this year's general election. It really ought to be on the front (home) page, but I don't see it anywhere. Kudos go to the Saipan Tribune for their front page countdown to the election, which I think is a real public service, alterting voters and focusing attention.

Neither is there on the CEC website a list of candidates with party affiliation, ballot position, etc. Copies of sample ballots also would be nice. So far the best source I've seen for this sort of information is Joe Camacho's website. It is my understanding that the information in his polls is accurate right down to even having the names appear in the same order they will on the actual ballot.

If you are looking for the text of the proposed Saipan Casino Act initiative, you can find it here on Google Docs. The Election Commission also has all the initatives now on their website in PDF. There is also an excellent discussion of the subject thriving on Tina Sablan's website.

Monday, October 15, 2007

1. Beginnings . . . .

I am creating this blog as public service to give the voting public of the CNMI a place to find information on the candidates and issues for the 2007 election. Here I hope we can assemble reference information on all candidates, links to candidate and issue web sites, and provide an opportunity for public and candidate comment and debate. Questions? Want answers? Have a message you want to get out? Put it all here!

So . . . to get the ball rolling, I'm calling on all candidates to either post here or email to me for posting: 1) a picture, 2) a short description of their candidacy (the main reason for running), and 3) any links to their web sites or other web sites recommended for citizen perusal.