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Just some random musings .

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Saipan Casino Act Conspiracy

So I have for a few weeks now been wondering what is going on in regards to this Saipan Casino Act and the heated debates we are seeing on both sides of the issue. I was not very surprised that when mentioning Gambling in the CNMI it will rouse up a good debate. What has surprised me the most is the way these debates have gone.

I have read the letters tot he editor, visited the PRO and CON web blogs, read comments and posts on various forums, personally spoken to people on both sides of the fence, etc. The thing that surprised me the most (and was the most alarming to me me) was that the PRO side almost never referenced or acknowledged any clause or provision actually contained within the SCA itself. Even more ludacris they would shun any debate dealing with exact provisions or the SCA initiative. They instead have been staunchly touting the SCA passage as a way for the CNMI to gain extreme wealth. They also speak loudly about how the passage of the SCA will kill the poker industry. They also speak of how this will save Govt Jobs and so on and so forth. Never once have I seen any of the proponents reference any clause within the Act that spells these benefits out.

How can people so blindly support something? I understand that their maybe a few people who will personally gain from the passage of this Act (7 Commissioners and Employees of NMDIC) but what of all the others?

Why would they purposely avoid looking at the SCA itself and instruct the voting populace to just blindly vote "yes" based on unproven, unfounded claims?

Why would they shun any question from a concerned voter that references any part of the SCA itself?

Why would they not want people to read and understand fully all of the provisions of the SCA?

I thought at first it was due to a strong influence by a few connected individuals who have already been given the head nod to have a Commissioners Seat ($4k/month and then readjust it themselves personally after 4 years) or perhaps one of the people who are connected personally to the relatively unknown NMDIC (Who is NMDIC? Does it exist?). I thought that perhaps their lobbying efforts were garnering so much public support and blind faith. I have seen this in the past. But I still was not conviced that this would be the root cause of a cluster group to so strongly and vehemently defend the SCA against any type of challenge or questioning.

There must be more to the SCA than I first saw (a few fat cats wanting my hard earned tax dollars to go to their mansions on the hill and fancy SUVs).

I think I have found it:

The PUBLIC LANDS PROVISION in the Saipan Casino Act. This provision has the strength and power to justify NMDIC pay top dollar to ensure that the SCA passes.

Here is the section in it's entirety:

ARTICLE XII - Section 8. Public Land. The Department of Public Land (DPL) or any future entity responsible for the administration of public lands in the Commonwealth, upon this Act becoming law and at the request of the NMDIC, shall issue public land to NMDIC. NMDIC shall hold leasehold interest to all public land issue by DPL and pay one dollar ($1.00) per year for the land or lands issue by DPL for as long as NMDIC is in business. The land or lands issue to NMDIC shall not be transferable. Upon dissolution of NMDIC, the land including all improvements shall revert back to DPL or its future named entity without cost.

If the SCA passes it will give NMDIC the rights to ALL PUBLIC LANDS at $1/year forever. That is right ANY AND ALL PUBLIC LANDS can be given to one for-profit corporation. The SCA does not state what the land can be used for. It does not state that it can not be sublet. It does not bar the NMDIC from doing anything at all with the land.

This is huge. There is no saving clause in the SCA that gives DPL the power to deny any request for land from NMDIC.

NMDIC can request ALL/ANY PUBLIC LAND in ANY DISTRICT. Yep Tinian and Rota too. There are no safeguards in place what so ever.

NMDIC will be the the sole lessee of ALL PUBLIC LANDS if they choose to request them. Why wouldn't they? They are a for-profit corporation. They will issue requests from the get go. They will amass all the public land. They will build whatever they want on the land and they will pay $1/year forever for it.

You may say that the this is no big deal. We can pass the SCA and if they do try this we can have the legislature amend the SCA to prevent this.

WE CAN'T. The legislature can not in anyway alter this Act once it is passed. In order to change it it would have to be through legislative initiative. The same drawn out process it is going through now.

This is INSANE.

Someone stop the madness.


lil_hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silly Socrates said...

Two words: Irrational exuberance.

glend558 said...

Why give a shit anyway? let 'um fuck themselves...

Pragmatic Plato said...

I am making plans to leave for atlantis.

I will save you two a couple seats.


"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it."
~ Ayn Rand

Silly Socrates said...

Silly would like to ask readers to visit his blog for his two cents on the Chamber of Control.

Pilar said...

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