PNC asked the Congresswoman’s office whether or not her bill was specifically meant for Tony Babauta however they have not responded.
Guam – Senator Frank Blas Jr. has introduced a bill that would ensure that anyone who runs for a higher office on Guam has to actually reside on island prior to the election.
The Senator introduced the bill in response to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo’s HR 4091 which would remove all residency requirements for anyone who wants to run for Governor Lt. Governor or Senator as is currently required in the Organic Act of Guam. Senator Blas says that the Congresswoman’s measure appears to be partisan political legislation that “favors a certain potential candidate.” PNC has heard that this person was the Congresswoman’s former staffer and former DOI Deputy secretary of insular affairs Tony Babauta. Babauta has previously indicated to Patti Arroyo on Newstalk K57 that he was interested in running. This is a piece of legislation that could benefit Babauta if he were to decide to run for office on Guam. PNC specifically asked the Congresswoman’s office on two separate occasions whether or not this bill was intended to benefit Babauta however the Congresswoman’s office did not respond to this specific question.
“I think they should respond. Again the reason I felt it was necessary for us to set it is because there will be no parameters there will be no residency requirements an individual can literally get off a plane and go march on down to the election commission and all of a sudden be qualified to run for position to be in the government,” said Senator Blas adding, “I think it’s incumbent upon her to be able to explain what was the reason for this if it was in fact for one individual and who that individual is then come out with it but there has to be a reason.”
The Congresswoman’s office responded to Senator Blas’ bill issuing the following statement:
“Senator Blas’ bill to establish local residency requirements for elected positions is in line with the intent of my bill H.R. 4091–to empower our legislature and the people of Guam to make local decisions on who qualifies for local elected offices. I agree with him that the U.S. Congress should not be deciding what is best for our island, which is why my bill eliminates arbitrary federal requirements. His bill acts on what my legislation intends to do by empowering local leaders. I’m glad he’s taking the initiative with this bill introduction.”