‘Fire’ metaphor fires up bickering between Democrats, Republicans


Guam – A brawl of words between political parties over the recent passage of the property improvement tax bill seems to be getting personal.

“Senator (Wil) Castro isn’t against taxing you; he’s just against taxing the few people who own million-dollar properties,” the Democratic Party said in a statement, in response to the minority leader’s criticism over the legislative majority’s insertion of the bill into the session agenda.

“We won’t forget that Senator Castro voted to increase the business privilege tax, voted to tax you more for gas, and voted to create a sales tax. Now he says taxes are bad. He’s like the guy who starts the house fire and wants a medal for trying to put it out,” the Democrats’ statement said.

The scathing words directed at minority leader Wil Castro did not come without rebuttal from the GOP, which issued the following statement: “To personally attack the minority leader in such a manner is uncalled for and un-statesmanlike in conduct. It is no secret that Senator Wil Castro’s family home burned down as a youth, leaving his family displaced and homeless, the effects of which are felt to this day. Alluding to such a horrific and traumatic incident says more about the Democrats than it does about us.”

Smarting from the Democratic Party’s figure of speech, Castro said: “It was a shock that that kind of metaphor was used. It wasn’t even a metaphor for me. It’s a direct reference to a personal traumatizing moment in my family’s life and I know it wasn’t by chance. I know the people on that side and they know those folks the chair of the party or the executive director, who wrote that, whoever had the audacity to endorse that knows that I actually went through a house fire.”

The Democratic Party said the alleged attack on Castro was not intentional. “Obviously, our analogy was not intended to reference Senator Castro’s personal circumstances, but I think the problem is the Republican Party seems more offended by an analogy than by the senator’s hypocrisy on raising taxes.”

Donning his hat as a Democrat, Carlo Branch also chimed into the conversation on Newstalk K57, saying, “A metaphor is just a metaphor. I apologize and I think most Democrats will acknowledge that our intent was never to reference Senator Castro’s personal circumstances. It was to highlight that if he were to create the problems, it is unfair for your party to claim to be the people that will solve that problem. Because I cannot count because there were none, the number of republican press conferences held to side against governor Calvo’s call for tax increases.”

Intentional or not, the Republican Party said, “The truth of the matter is that Democratic senators voted “no” when it came to fully funding the healthcare for working families at the Guam Memorial Hospital, when the hospital sorely needed funding. Today, after campaigning on no new taxes and collecting more, ten senators raised taxes on the people of Guam. If the governor keeps to her commitment, the bill will be vetoed.”

Further saying, “The Republican Party will continue to work toward what is best for all the people of Guam.”

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.