PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


‘SAIPAN SUCKS’ WEBSITE DRAWS BATTLE LINES IN CNMI

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 16) – Remember "Saipan Sucks," the website put up in 2001 by a former Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Assistant Attorney General who was unhappy with his job experience in the commonwealth?

Beautify CNMI! says it will now launch a website that will counter what then-speaker, and now Gov. Benigno R. Fitial has described as "a demolition job, the handiwork of a sick mind — an atrocious attack on our integrity."

[PIR editor’s note: The author of Saipan Sucks remains anonymous despite past efforts by the CNMI government to identify the publisher.]

According to the Saipan Sucks website, "Nepotism rules on the islands. Fueled by money paid by American taxpayers and diverted to the far-off territory, politicians run for office primarily for the sake of being in a position to appoint their relatives to high-paying sinecures."

Beautify CNMI! restoration chairman, Angelo Villagomez said on Tuesday that they are "working out something" to "drown it out."

He said they are planning to have 10 websites that will form a "We Love Saipan" network.

These sites will feature "great things about Saipan."

Beautify CNMI! has its own Web site that showcases its cleanup activities, testimony and blogs not only from people who are involved in the beautification campaign, but also those who want to say "something great about the CNMI."

One of Saipan Sucks’s sections lists "entries" to a "slogan contest." The first prize for the winner is "no round trip ticket to Saipan."

Some of the "entries": "Welcome to Saipan — We Make Guam Look Real Good."

"Welcome to Saipan — Striving for Mediocrity."

"Welcome to Saipan — We Apologize in Advance."

"Welcome to Saipan — Where America’s nightmares begin."

"Welcome to Saipan — We accept food stamps."

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