Sunday, November 23, 2008

15 minutes of fame

When I cast my vote for Washington Delegate I imagined who I would want standing in front of a FOX News or CNN camera talking about being the newest member of the American Family. I imagined that right after being sworn in on January 3, 2009, the winner would get about 30 seconds on TV, repeated every 30 minutes for a day.

That may still happen, but in the meantime Delegate-elect Sablan has made the pages of FOX News reporter Chad Pergram's blog. The post is about the incoming freshman class of Congress. I've posted the section discussing Sablan.
Perhaps the least-noticed member of the freshman class was Del.-elect Gregorio Kilili Sablan (I-MP). For those wondering what MP stands for: It's the postal abbreviation for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Lawmakers decided this year to grant the CNMI a non-voting delegate position to Congress, just like Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. Delegates are treated just like other lawmakers. They can chair committees and caucus with parties. They're given suites in the House office buildings. They just can't vote on the floor.

Well, Sablan certainly looked like a man without a vote at the orientation. Or a state. Or a country.

He sat dejectedly on a couch at the Hyatt as his classmates flitted about. The House Administration Committee initially wouldn't allow Sablan to take part. It cited the fact that his race wasn't certified yet (Sablan was leading by 250 votes out of 10,000 cast, with three other candidates within striking distance). Never mind the House brought in both candidates for orientation from contested races in Ohio and California.

Sources familiar with the orientation told FOX News that the House Administration panel simply forgot about the new seat from the CNMI.

So Sablan waited. And waited. Until they finally declared him the winner later in the week.

I asked Sablan how one gets to Washington from the Northern Mariana Islands. He took a four-hour flight from the capital of Saipan to Tokyo. Then boarded a Northwest flight to Detroit. Then hopped a direct flight to Washington.

"I've been traveling more than 24 hours," Sablan moaned.

And those of you in Washington complain about your commute on the Beltway.

3 comments:

John said...

the Senior Congressmen think that they are part of some elite group and forget that they were put in place by the average person.. by thinking that way they put themselves out of touch with people.. hence, why the Economic mess we are in... too much schmoozing and not enough effort in finding solutions to existing and future problems..

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I think you should trust everything you see, read, or hear on FOX News. They are known for being fair and balanced.

bigsoxfan said...

And why wasn't Bruce elected to the post? Why bother with the desire to vote, when you aren't going to be asked anyway.