Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Election is Finally Over

"No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe
while the Legislature is in session."


-Gideon J. Tucker, 1866

I've seen that quote attributed to Mark Twain and every time the topic of politics came up in the last year I quoted it to Cinta as such .

I was wrong.

I owe this community an apology.

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Congratulations are in order for the 20 new members of the 16th Commonwealth Legislature. My good friend Jeff tells me that I missed a fun election while I was on vacation. I'm sorry I missed it....um, OK, that's a lie. I'm glad I missed it.

Just a few thoughts:

Regardless of their politics, I was happy to see two lawyers elected to office. While I'm all for equal representation of our people, it is nice to have a couple lawyers working as lawmakers. I was also happy to see two women elected to office. I'd like to see that number increase in the future. If we aren't electing women to office, 50% of our population is going unrepresented. I was also happy to see that there were a good number of people elected under the age of 50. Young minds tend to have fresh, new ideas. That's a good thing these days.

I've heard a lot of complaints that all we did was return the old guard back to office. I disagree. Although dominated by the Republican Party (although a few of the Rs were dumped by the party or have dumped the party themselves in the past), the new House has a balance of young and old, inexperience and experience.

The House is no longer the exclusive playground of older, male clan leaders. While we still need the old guys for their experience, we need the new guys to keep the old guys on their toes. That mix will be a good thing.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

******

While it was disappointing that Beautify CNMI's two biggest supporters in the Legislature, Absalon Waki and Cinta Kaipat, were not reelected, it is my hope that some of our new lawmakers will pick up where they left off.

As for Waki and Cinta, I expect them to continue to participate in other ways. Instead of writing environmental legislation, the two of them are going to have to get really comfortable using a bushcutter.

...man, I'm going to have to pay for that little joke later.

******

Here are the 20 winners, separated by political affiliation:

Republican:

Diego Benavente - Saipan
Heinz Hofschneider - Saipan
Arnold Palacios - Saipan
Joseph Deleon Guerrero - Saipan
Joseph Reyes - Saipan
Ralph Anthony Torres - Saipan
Ramon Tebuteb - Saipan
Stanley Torres - Saipan
Ray Yumul - Saipan
Joseph James Camacho - Saipan
Edward Salas - Saipan
Rosemond Santos - Saipan

Covenant:

Oscar Babauta - Saipan
Raymond Palacios - Saipan
Francisco Dela Cruz - Saipan
Edwin Aldan - Tinian

Democrat:

Justo Quitugua - Saipan

Independent:

David Apatang - Saipan
Tina Sablan - Saipan
Victor Hocog - Rota

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