Last week we looked at the extremely low turnout for the primary election – only 40% of registered voters.
This is despite overall candidate spending levels — specifically, the current administration’s primary election spending level of nearly $1 million.
We have also addressed some of the largest and most serious issues in the litany of long-term issues facing this community and all of the elected employees of the people of Guam have paid little or no attention to solving or, at best, have approached it very weakly.
As I was typing this column, the governor has added another extension to her emergency order covering the island, which has been just under 2 and a half years now since she was allowed to maintain such orders so that the current soft-wrist, rubber-stamp legislature has continually refused to challenge and reverse such sanctions on our freedoms.
It makes you wonder if the current legislature works for the people or if it is little more than a group of collective buffers for the administration.
During the past week, we also had the opportunity to listen to the debate between the two candidates vying for the position of Attorney General of Guam, Leevin Camacho and Douglas Moylan.
It was an interesting comparison between the personalities of the two men as well as their philosophies regarding what an Attorney General is really supposed to do.
Things such as how to deal with the growing crime rate on the island, how prosecutions and dealings with the courts should be handled, as well as the candidate’s perception of what the job, in total, entails. Actually.
As I listened, Moylan came across as a crime fighter and, in his words, “a pit bull,” and Leevin Camacho came across as a softer, yet aggressive individual who seemed more interested in collecting and managing federal grants and working on criminal crimes. recovery instead of ensuring the bad guys are incarcerated to protect the community.
They also varied on their perception of responsibility when it comes to prosecutions and how criminals end up in jail.
Camacho blamed the courts for whether a criminal ultimately ended up in jail or released, while Moylan placed the blame on prosecutors and how they presented their respective cases in court.
Moylan noted that while the court made the final decision, it was almost solely up to the prosecutor to establish the basis on which judges would make decisions about whether the defendant went to jail or was released into the community. All of this based on applicable law and legal precedents.
In short, it was up to the prosecutor to convince the judge that the criminal in question deserved to be incarcerated.
‘Catch and Release’
Any other position potentially puts the community at greater risk in what has been called the current ‘catch and release’ situation the island is currently facing.
Another aspect of the debate was whether there was enough space to house criminals in the current Department of Corrections.
On this subject, it appeared that Camacho had taken this into account when Moylan clearly had not.
Moylan seemed to clearly project the reality that this was not the attorney general’s concern, but rather one that rested squarely on the shoulders of the administration and the legislature.
Moylan’s position was that the Attorney General should prosecute the crime, not take responsibility for maintaining and expanding the Department of Corrections, nor responsibility for the social work side of the equation.
In fact, when it comes to social work, while Camacho seemed to be all in on the effort, its competitor, Moylan, placed this aspect on the shoulders of the administration and the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
While the two attorneys were in agreement on punishing criminals, for much of the debate the two men were nearly at odds on the majority of how to approach the overall responsibilities of the Attorney General’s Office.
Moylan was very clear that, in his mind, the primary responsibility of the Attorney General was to protect the public and prosecute criminals to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Politics is a dirty game, but criminal behavior is even dirtier and should be dealt with firmly but fairly.
Although the interests of criminals require fair and proper attention, the safety and security of the public should always be the primary concern of the Attorney General’s office.
As for the accommodation, care and food of those found guilty and imprisoned for criminal activities, this responsibility rests entirely on the shoulders of the administration and the legislators.
Courts should always have the ability to incarcerate criminals. The administration and the legislature must ensure that appropriate correctional facilities are always adequate, well managed and available.
This part of the equation and process has been essentially ignored by both the administration and the legislature for far too long and now appears to be putting the public at unnecessary risk.
When you vote in the general election, keep the safety of your family and our community at the forefront of your vote and decision-making.