The Fear of Fair
The more I think about Bill 413, the more troubled I am over the way that Governor Eddie Calvo has handled the matter. It was a no-brainer: dead on arrival. However, in another sign of the impending zombie apocalypse Calvo’s “best and brightest” shuffled the election reform measure around so long that they may have kinetically charged the damn thing with life!
The spectre of the controversial and unresolved 2010 elections has resurrected to haunt Adelup’s every waking moment between now and 2014.
but what could have made Calvo and his green-gilled gossamer government starlets so afraid to take a stand with a long-threatened veto? More than a few eyebrows have been raised over this very question, with even erstwhile Calvo supporters beginning to say aloud what Democrat voters have alleged to a deaf public: something was seriously wrong with the last election.
Adelup only focused on the one amendment mandating a proper audit of the 2010 elections in order to understand what went wrong, why and how it was allowed to perpetuate to such a complete failure of the Guam Election Commission. When speaking against Bill 413 all Calvo could say about the other reform amendments was that he was sure it was “good stuff in there.”
Local media and talking heads, along with a substantial number of folks with vested interests - want the public to believe that former governor Carl Gutierrez and his running mate Frank Aguon Jr. lost fair and square to Calvo and partner Ray Tenorio - and wife.
Nearly half of all island voters and Gutierrez/Aguon want to believe that Calvo pulled off one of the most controversial election swindles in the history of Guam.
Both camps are wrong. Sure, the Republicans pulled out their little black bag of dirty tricks (which is what turned people like me off early in the campaign), and the Democrats had their own arsenal of political weaponry to respond in kind with.
But the election was fraudulent not to any of this per se…well, that would be for a court to decide if the AG or anyone actually charged with it does their job….
No, the fraud was committed by the former Guam Election Commission director and his staff. Even the board members of the GEC stand to blame for the gross neglect and damn-near criminal incompetence that robbed half the voting population of their most valuable privilege in a democratic society: the right to be heard through our vote.
The GEC even referred to the flawed elections as fraudulent. But still, one must wonder how such egregious behavior could go unnoticed or unaddressed for so long without the complicity of those in office.
Under Felix Camacho, not much of anything good got done anywhere. Notably, after having stymied efforts by former fellow GOP senator Bob Klitzkie, we now witness Camacho’s successor, also stamping out any attempts at election reform because the broken system has served him so well.
Bill 413 is inadequate to anything meaningful in terms of reforming the electoral process on Guam. The entire election commission should be scrapped and a new process and structure to ensure fair elections put in place.
The 31st legislature has done little to really prepare for such a herculean task. Waiting until 6 months before the next election to discuss reforms and finally drilling down into what went so wrong last time is unacceptable. That requires time and REAL effort….not just a made-for-tv posing session during election season.
Even more unacceptable, is Calvo’s refusal to even consider the truth - that fair and open elections in the future require knowing what exactly went wrong the last time and how to put in place measure that will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
It’s Calvo’s own fault for depending on the criminal incompetency of lazy government apparatchiks to validate his claim to election victory. But, refusing to allow reforms to move forward swiftly only reveals how afraid they are of fair elections and will continue to erode any legitimacy his administration struggles to achieve.