So, let's talk politics...
ABC News' The Blotter blog is reporting that Rep. George Miller, incoming House Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, who, by the way, received about two thirds of his PAC contributions in 2006 from US Labor Unions, will introduce a bill to more than double the minimum wage in the CNMI.
This bill isn't going to exactly endear him to the people of the CNMI.
Let me just start off by saying that I really like George Miller. He has a perfect LCV voting record on environmental issues over the last two years. He's also a strong advocate for American workers, which is why he receives so much money from Labor Unions. I don't have disdain for the man the way a lot of people out here do.
With that said, it will be really interesting to see how this all plays out. Most of the US media reports on this issue lean left (dang, Liberal Media!) Even in this article, by supposed unbiased ABC, the author writes about Tom Delay staying for free at a "beach front resort" (every hotel is on the beach here) and "wages far below the federal minimum wage" (the CNMI sets its own minimum wage) among other things.
What the people in the Mainland don't understand is that most people out here want to raise our minimum wage...they just don't want it rammed downed our throats by a bunch of millionaire Congressmen in DC. That is the real issue. This is not about human rights, working conditions, immigration issues, homeland security, or anything else. It is about the right of the CNMI to self govern.
The Hill published a really good article on this story, too. I think they do a better job of balancing both sides of the issue. I find it interesting that the author thinks that the CNMI may have a difficult time even finding a lobbyist to represent them....never considered that idea before. Hmmm....