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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

Gov. Benigno Fitial of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Impeached in 16-4 vote

Source: Marianas Variety

BENIGNO Repeki Fitial on Monday became the first governor to be impeached in CNMI history.

By vote of 16 to 4, the House of Representatives adopted 13 of the 18 allegations in House Resolution 18-2 calling for Fitial’s impeachment for multiple counts of felony, corruption and neglect of duty.

Fourteen votes were needed to bring the resolution to the Senate where the 67-year-old governor will be tried, probably starting next week. He will be removed from office if six of the nine senators find him guilty of any of the charges.
The chairman of the House impeachment panel, Tony Sablan, greets members of the community who attended yesterday’s session to express support for the governor’s impeachment. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

The charges involved the release of a federal detainee to massage the governor at his house; the awarding of a $392,000 sole-source contract to his former Commerce secretary to perform tasks that the then-secretary was already performing as a cabinet member; the signing of the no-bid $190 million power plant deal with a shadowy firm — a contract described by a Commonwealth Utilities Corp. official as “disastrous” to the CNMI; the governor’s failure to sanction or discipline his then-Attorney General Edward Buckingham for organizing a partisan meet-and-greet gathering at Fitial’s residence — a violation of the Hatch Act; the governor’s allowing the Department of Public Safety and the ports police to facilitate Buckingham’s departure from Saipan and evade court jurisdiction in a criminal action; the governor’s failure to nominate members of the Civil Service Commission, the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission and the Supreme Court; failure to appoint secretaries of the Department of Public Lands and the Department of Public Safety.



Read more: http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/53535-impeached



This will now be moving on to the CNMI Senate. This has been in the works for some time. But following the landslide defeat of Fitial's Republican Party in the November elections - the impeachment became inevitable.

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Reply Gov. Benigno Fitial of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Impeached in 16-4 vote (Original post)
Douglas Carpenter Feb 2013 OP
Hard Assets Feb 2013 #1
loudsue Feb 2013 #2
Douglas Carpenter Feb 2013 #3
starroute Feb 2013 #6
Douglas Carpenter Feb 2013 #7
valerief Feb 2013 #4
Douglas Carpenter Feb 2013 #5
valerief Feb 2013 #9
rachel1 Feb 2013 #8
Douglas Carpenter Feb 2013 #10

Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:44 PM

1. Any connections with DeLay, Abramoff or Reed?

 

Please have him spill the beans so all 3 can go to prison.

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Response to Hard Assets (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:48 PM

2. They were all buddies, if I remember correctly.

Part of the ponzi scheme they had/have going.

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Response to Hard Assets (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:58 PM

3. very much so,, Mr Abramoff graciously referred to Gov. Fitial as a tireless servant of his people

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Response to Hard Assets (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:15 PM

6. A few nuggets from the House committee document release

"The documents reflect the Abramoff team lobbied the administration to withhold support for Juan Babauta, the Republican candidate for governor in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 2001. According to the documents, Babauta was seeking an endorsement from President Bush, but was opposed by Abramoff, who was backing candidate Benigno Fitial for governor. Fitial, then speaker of the House in the Commonwealth, was running under the banner of a third party known as the 'Covenant Party.'”

"On May 3, 2001, Abramoff sent an e-mail to Ben Fitial, who at the time was running for Governor of the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands against Juan Babauta. In the e-mail, Abramoff writes: 'I met with Rove tonight. They are not going to allow Babauta to have his way and they are looking forward to your arrival.' An entry in an electronic calendar indicates that the event probably occurred at a 'Tax Policy Dinner' at Grover Norquist’s home."


http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13417

In April 1997, for example, a longtime Tan aide and island politician named Benigno Fitial went to Washington, where he sang "Happy Birthday" to DeLay in the whip's office. He sent Buckham an e-mail after the trip expressing appreciation for his support and recalling Buckham's explanation that one of his roles was to "stop legislation from getting on the floor of the House." Fitial signed the e-mail, "YOUR 'ADOPTED' BROTHER BEN."

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Response to starroute (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:46 PM

7. very good article

Later on Fitial joined the Republican Party and as Governor appointed Juan Babauta the Chairman of the GOP as well as the CEO of the public hospital. Fitial has pretty much run things like a third world despot. It looked for the longest time that there was no hope of getting rid of him before the 2014 elections. But the anti-Fitial alliance won 16 out of 20 seats in the lower house in the last election. His arch rival U.S. Congressman Gregorio Killili Camacho Sablan (runs as independent but caucuses with the Democrats) defeated his Fitial personally appointed Republican candidate by a margin of close to 81% of the vote to 19% of the vote. At the same time Fitial's former Attorney General, Edward Buckingham known for carrying out Fitial's wishes in the most ethically questionable manners is now a fugitive from justice with a warrant out for his arrest. All this has been read as a mandate to impeach.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:00 PM

4. The Mariana Islands--US Slave Labor Headquarters. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:13 PM

5. actually the last of the few remaining garment factories closed about four years ago

First the full implementation of GATT -the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 2004 made it impossible for the Marianas to compete with China. The $4.00 an hour Chinese workers made in the Marianas could not compare with the $4.00 per day or less Chinese workers made in China - so 90% of the factories closed almost over night. The remaining 10% of the factories closed following the federalization requirements imposed after the 2006 U.S. Congressional elections which required the Marianas to gradually increase their minimum wage to U.S. levels. Currently the minimum wage here in $5.50 an hour - but they are required to increase it step by step each years until it matches the U.S. mainland minimum wage - Also, the Marianas are required to comply with U.S. immigration law from which they were previously exempted. The problem with that is that there are thousands of workers especially from the Philippines who have been here for decades - but since they don't qualify for immigration status - unless the law is changed they will be forced to leave by the end of 2014 even though the Marianas is in many cases the only home they have known most of their lives and the local economy is absolutely dependent on them.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:05 PM

9. Thanks for the info. Still quite sad. nt

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:32 PM

8. Another corrupt repuke? No way!!!

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:49 PM

10. UPDATE: Fitial impeached on all 18 charges - Ball now goes to the Senate

Ball now goes to the Senate
Fitial impeached on all 18 charges

By Haidee V. Eugenio
Reporter

The 18th House of Representatives impeached Gov. Benigno R. Fitial on a total of 18 charges, with the adoption of the five remaining articles yesterday. Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan) said it is going to be an “uphill battle” in the Senate where a trial will be held to determine whether the governor will be removed from office or not.

Fitial, president of the Republican Party, is the first governor in the CNMI and any other U.S. insular area to be impeached.

His four allies in the 20-member House voted “no” to almost each of the 18 articles of impeachment.

House minority leader George Camacho (R-Saipan) abstained from voting on one of the 18 charges for conflict of interest.

Each of the 18 charges got more than the required two-thirds or 14 “yes” votes.


http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=125279&cat=1

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