The morale of vital youth or the acumen of experience? That is the question, just a little more than a month from the general election, when Guam voters are set to select the island’s next delegate to Congress.
Republican contender Doris Flores Brooks paid PNC a visit at Broadcast Center Acanta on Tuesday to relate how her background stacks up against that of her Democratic opponent, local senator Michael F.Q. San Nicolas.
Guam – Doris Brooks is opening new doors and taking new risks in a long career that spans decades in business and public service. After nearly 18 straight years as the island’s sole elected public auditor, Brooks is embarking on an all-new adventure as the GOP nominee for Guam’s only congressional seat in the heart of our nation’s capital.
“This campaign is actually more unique than all of the campaigns I’ve done,” she told PNC on Tuesday.
After serving three terms as a local senator, directing Guam’s Bureau of Budget and Management in the mid-80’s, teaching accounting and finance at the University of Guam, working in the private sector, and even running for lieutenant governor in the mid-90’s, Brooks insists experience makes a difference.
“I’m running for a higher office in the sense that I’m gonna be in the Congress, and the dynamics are very different. It’s a story that not only convinced me and persuaded the people of Guam that I’m the best candidate—because I am in a Republican administration I’m gonna have access—but my experience!”
Brooks took a moment to reflect on that experience with Pacific News Center, immediately after guesting on a prescheduled Coffee with the Candidates program segment. That content will air as original broadcast material on PNC’s network affiliates FOX6 and ABC7, in association with Red Dragon Productions, all owned by our cluster parent Sorensen Media Group.
Brooks’s campaign message is that she has the experience needed to meet the high cost of Guam’s unfunded mandates and the general welfare of the island’s people. The burden on the local government for the budget-decimating impacts of Micronesian migration, the Earned Income Tax Credit, low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates, war reparation payouts, healthcare for veterans, etc.
These are the kinds of pronounced cost issues that such organizations as the National Association of State Auditors and Controllers and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants might like to see backed with the competence of one of their own who possesses a perennial seasoning spent bridging the gaps of bipartisanism as a woman of color in the tropical melting pot of the island of Guam.
“As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a CPA. There’s only four CPA’s in the Congress!” the former public auditor proclaimed. “The AICPA is gonna take notice of a woman minority in Congress. They have built relationships there. My experience in working with Democrats—for example, Governor Ricky Bordallo, as his Director of Budget—reaching across the aisle. My work as auditor, as the Public Auditor [of Guam], requires reaching across the aisle.”
Down to the nitty-gritty nubs…
All cordial coalitioning aside, with incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo already edged out by San Nicolas in the primary, and with just over a month to go before the general election, it’s down to one Republican against one Democrat in a footrace to the Lower House with a coveted seat in the U.S. Congress at the finish line.
Just over a week ago at the Guam Chamber of Commerce Congressional Forum, Brooks’s Democratic opponent, the relatively young Michael San Nicolas, distinguished himself from the former public auditor by playing a card from his banking background.
“As a financial professional—in keeping with my finance colleagues in the audience—one of the biggest differences between finance and accounting is accounting looks at the day-to-day, finance looks to the future,” San Nicolas told the luncheon audience. “Accounting is able to audit where you’ve been, finance is able to tell you where you need to go.
“How do you get a return on your investment?” he went on. “How do you mitigate risk? How do you achieve objectives? This is the very same kind of mentality that I employ in my lawmaking process. We look at obstacles as something to get around and get over, not as something to just be able to report on.”
Brooks was the other guest of honor that day, but she let the San Nicolas comment slide. When pressed for a response on Monday, however, Brooks took the opportunity to holler back during her news conference at Republican Party Headquarters in Tamuning.
PNC: “Your competitor brought up the difference between your backgrounds. He says that he’s from finance; you say that you like to look back as a CPA. He says that he likes to look forward, because he’s coming from a finance perspective, looking toward the future. Can you rebut that? We had it on the news the other night. We’d like to hear how you’d like to respond.”
BROOKS: “In order to move forward, you have to know where you came from. In accounting, any person in finance has to have some accounting background to know what the numbers are. How do we get a deficit? How do we get a surplus? And where do we go from there?”