Democratic Party of Guam executive director Chirag Bhojwani talks about his party’s proven track record, the achievements of the Democratic Party, and its advantage over the Guam GOP in this PNC special election day Q&A.
Are you confident about the election today? Do you think the Democrat senatorial candidates will retain the majority in the legislature?
I think there is a proven track record – one group gets to work: protecting the lives of people, improving public safety, and reducing the BPT for small businesses. Democrats have been able to spearhead legislation that makes our community a better place – and during trying times like these, we have been able to get creative and think outside the box to explore new ideas to improve the quality of life for our People. When we see a problem – we find a way to fix it, not just complain about it. Based on that, I think the People are cognizant of our successes, and YES, we will retain the majority.
If yes, why? What do you believe the Democrat candidates have going for them and what do you think are the Republicans’ weaknesses? What areas did the Republicans fail in?
It comes down to the demonstrated work ethic and results that we have been able to deliver on – War Claims, reducing the BPT for small businesses who had to bear the burden of the Calvo BPT increase, ensuring that the E911 fund was replenished, and most recently, completing the necessary fixes to GMH 10 days before the deadline as a result of 16 years of neglect by Republicans. While some choose to just sit there and write press releases to identify the problem – they don’t actually try to fix problems.
Being a leader takes the ability to lead – not complain. The GOP has been making a lot of noise about the BPT – as if it’s a one size fits all solution to all our problems. When the GOP asked to place it up for debate this term – after over a year of pontificating on every media outlet, we saw our economy was thriving – and moved to entertain the measure ON THE DAY HE ASKED TO DO IT. Unfortunately, this Senator choked and dropped the ball when he said he wasn’t ready. I think its clear that their intention is to simply talk about it – not get it done. When we give it to them – they are the victim. When we tell them no, we can’t do it for these following reasons – we are the bad guys.
Democrats, whether it be working with the Trump Administration in Washington, or the United States Congress – we get creative, work together and get the job done.
For the congressional race, who is the Democratic Party supporting? Underwood or San Nicolas?
One of the biggest drawbacks with the Democratic Party is that we accept anyone and everyone who wants to run under our banner and make this island a better place. I say drawbacks because it makes it hard to better organize because we have such a big group – with different individual ideals. While many have criticized the Democrat Super-Majority, I think the 35th Guam Legislature has demonstrated that there are competing schools of thoughts. We all have debated passionately against the measures of our fellow Democrats – but that is what makes this party unique, and the final product better. With that being said, the Party supports all candidates that choose to proudly associate with the values this Party believes in. I have had the privilege of knowing all three Democratic Candidates (yes, my friend Wil is a Democrat at heart) since my high school days. They have each taught me different skills that I am grateful for – and have the potential to contribute to our Island in their own respective ways.
Is the Democratic Party already preparing for the gubernatorial election in 2022? What do you think are your prospects and why? What advantages and accomplishments does the Democratic Party have over the Republicans?
As a Party, we are focused on ensuring our community is safe from this deadly virus; keeping People alive, and safely re-opening our economy. While some have the luxury of pointing fingers and planning campaigns – we have the sacred obligation to govern. Again, it is no secret that there are disagreements between Democrats – but one thing we have going for us is our ability to put those differences aside, and come together to rally for our community as we overcome this pandemic TOGETHER.
Does the Democratic Party think that this midterm election is a referendum on Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s performance and approval rating?
I personally think there is no established rubric to evaluate how to overcome a global pandemic. If we are going to penalize her for doing all she can to keep ourselves, and our friends and family safe – last time I checked, she is a trained nurse. She is governing based on her professional background and driven by her compassion for people just like you and me.
And finally, in the national election, do you think the Democrats will capture the presidency and the Senate and retain the House?
I think the country is looking for someone to make America the UNITED States of America once again. The last four years has shown that our current leader has chosen to divide this country – and COVID-19 has taught us that for us to overcome this pandemic, we have to do it TOGETHER!
Similar to the games, fear-mongering, and divisiveness of the local GOP – I am confident that our Nation as a whole is done with this failed science experiment – and ready to vote for real leadership.
(Interview by Gerry Partido)