PROTESTERS AGAINST MOVE TO RECALL GUAM'S GOVERNOR

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By Steve Limtiaco

AGANA, Guam (Oct. 4, 2000 - Pacific Daily News/PINA Nius Online)---Governor Carl Gutierrez, of Guam, said he felt humbled by the support of hundreds of people who gathered at the Legislature to protest a proposed recall measure.

He said lawmakers should not consider the recall resolution introduced by Sen. Tony Blaz until they have held public hearings on the matter.

Gutierrez also said a recall survey being conducted by attorney Curtis Van de veld is a scam.

Van de veld said he plans to give his survey results to lawmakers, but Gutierrez alleged that thousands of signatures already have been collected by his opponents during the past couple of weeks, stacking the cards against him.

"That's what I heard from inside sources, that there's already 5,000 signatures that they have, and they're going to use some of that," Gutierrez said. "They already have them signed. This is a scam; it's such a big scam."

"That's utter garbage," Van de veld said, adding that he has collected only 20 signatures from people for and against a recall. "That just goes to show they are not being truthful."

"The senators are looking for numbers. Why don't they have a public hearing?" Gutierrez said. "This is such an important matter. It's such a serious matter. You can't expect some scam like this to go on to make your decision. Have a true public hearing. We deserve it. I deserve it."

"It was a beautifully planned, spontaneous demonstration," said Blaz (R-Chalan Pago/Ordot). "That demonstration only helps to keep the recall movement alive. It gets people discussing it."

Gutierrez used a bullhorn to address supporters, saying it is unfair for lawmakers to consider a referendum with the general election only a few weeks away.

"It's inhumane to think that you can put a question on the ballot two weeks or one week before the election to say get rid of Carl Gutierrez as governor. Do you think that's being fair?"

Gutierrez also accused lawmakers of sacrificing government jobs in order to save money. He said it costs more to keep an unemployed person on welfare than it would cost to keep them working.

"It doesn't make sense. We have to hold hands, we the common people. Somehow, something there's missing in this Legislature. I think they're missing a heart," Gutierrez said.

"We have been doing what we can to better the lives of our people with very limited resources. This Legislature has not given me one penny for the last three and a half years for infrastructure development to help the people of Guam."

"(Gutierrez) used all the money and paved driveways," Blaz said, adding that the money could have been spent on village streets so everyone can benefit.

Gutierrez also said he believes someone in the Legislature is bankrolling efforts to get him recalled. "This is not about politics right now. It's about big money... Somebody here is putting up big money for this (recall) election. If the shoe fits, you wear it. You know who you are," Gutierrez said.

"I think this is clearly an inappropriate time to be considering this," Guam Delegate Robert Underwood said. "It's meant to electrify the political situation."

Underwood said officials should instead focus their efforts on ensuring that the general election is conducted properly.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

GUAM GOVERNOR NOT CONCERNED ABOUT RECALL RESOLUTION

HAGATNA, Guam (September 27, 2000 – Hawai‘i Public Radio)---An effort to recall him does not worry Guam Governor Carl Gutierrez.

He says seven senators have indicated they will reject the recall resolution introduced by Senator Tony Blaz.

In order for a referendum election to be held in November, the resolution needs the approval of ten out of 15 senators.

And, even if a referendum election were held, Gutierrez says he is confident there will not be enough votes to remove him from office.

A minimum of 30,149 votes would be necessary to remove him from office, provided that is the majority of votes cast during a referendum.

The resolution by Blaz calls for a referendum because Gutierrez failed to submit a budget bill, has not provided reports on government finances and allegedly misspent government money.

Lawmakers voted earlier to place the bill on the agenda for legislative consideration, but it was not clear when they will discuss the measure.

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