Rodriguez: Corruption ‘rotting this island from inside out’ | Guam News

Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr. has taken aim at what he called Guam’s “political elite” accusing them of robbing from the poor and the middle class, and dividing Guam between the have and have-nots.

Rodriguez, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, told members of the Rotary Club of Guam on Thursday that he is “sick and tired of the same political BS.”

“Political corruption,” he declared, “is rotting this island from inside out.”

“Sure, there are drug users on our streets,” said the senator, “but their crimes pale in comparison to the thieves in our government.”

“The political elite have had their way for so long,” said Rodriguez, “that even they can’t see how the money they’ve taken away from the poor and middle class has truly divided Guam.”

The senator said he’s never been a part of “the elite establishment” and he’s “never had affection for those who’ve used their power and money to rob from everyone else.”

The senator did not name any members of “the political elite,” nor did he provide any specific examples of the corruption that he believes is “rotting” Guam.

Instead, he talked about what he would do to rid GovGuam of corruption if he were elected governor.

He said he would end favoritism for the rich and powerful and would “go after every regulator and manager in GovGuam who provides this favor.”

He spoke about reducing the number of regulations, saying “too many regulations breed the conditions for corruption – all it takes is one vendor to pay off one regulator for a break, and the entire market is corrupted.”

He promised transparency saying, “There will be no such thing as a government employee who cannot speak to a reporter,” and he vowed to provide “real-time access to every unrestricted (government of Guam) checking and savings account … online, indexed and categorized.”

He said his first spending cuts would be to the governor’s office and the Cabinet.  

Rodriguez said he would not reside at Government House. Instead, he said he would “turn this beautiful facility” into a “a real house of the people” by converting it into a rehabilitation center for those suffering from substance abuse and “a place of healing and care for our homeless.”

“The term ‘deputy director'” will be a thing of the past, he said. There will be “no more deputies.”

The senator said he would reorganize GovGuam and consolidate numerous agencies.

“What we know today as the Department of Agriculture,” said Rodriguez, ”will take the center stage in this reorganized government.”

“House by house, we are going to turn backyards into farms,” said the senator. “If every household on this island can replace at least one commodity purchased from Payless,” he said, “just imagine how much stronger this economy will be.”