Comments on: Senate Candidate Schaffer’s trip to Mariana Islands and ties to Abramoff documented in CSU Archives http://www.historiann.com/2008/04/11/senate-candidate-schaffers-trip-to-mariana-islands-and-ties-to-abramoff-documented-in-csu-archives/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:24:08 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Colorado polls and pols: things are looking up for the Dems : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2008/04/11/senate-candidate-schaffers-trip-to-mariana-islands-and-ties-to-abramoff-documented-in-csu-archives/comment-page-1/#comment-87436 Wed, 24 Sep 2008 02:57:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=252#comment-87436 [...] puts Mark Udall, the Dem candidate for our open U.S. Senate seat, eight points ahead of Republican Bob Schaffer.  And via TalkLeft, a PPP poll reports that Obama is up by seven (51%-44%) and shows the [...]

]]>
By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/04/11/senate-candidate-schaffers-trip-to-mariana-islands-and-ties-to-abramoff-documented-in-csu-archives/comment-page-1/#comment-6228 Sun, 13 Apr 2008 15:31:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=252#comment-6228 Thanks for the informative breakdown and insider info, Indyanna! I’ve heard about the Marianas for the last few years, and don’t understand why the Democratic congress hasn’t moved to end their cozy relationship with the abusive overlords of that place. (After all, it was in part blowback from the Abramoff scandal that elected them.)

]]>
By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2008/04/11/senate-candidate-schaffers-trip-to-mariana-islands-and-ties-to-abramoff-documented-in-csu-archives/comment-page-1/#comment-6078 Sat, 12 Apr 2008 02:38:42 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=252#comment-6078 Mmmm. My uncle spent most of his lawyerly career living on Guam, which is one of the Marianas Islands chain of islands but not jurisdictionally a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (long story). But I suspect the (quasi)post-imperial, post-colonial intersection of politics and commerce there is pretty much the same. It’s hair raising. Lawyers get disbarred, then reinstated, and then elected to the (Guam) Supreme Court. Land developers bribe government officials, are convicted of (U.S.) federal felonies, and then break ground for new developments–which go on to generate years of civil litigation. Governors are arrested regularly and more often than not convicted. Googling “guam” is an internet reality show.

It’s the long twilight shadow of Spanish American War colonialism, refracted through two generations of U.S. Navy hegemony and a half-century of intermittent (and very partial) democratization. There’s an indigenous (though heavily Americanized) Chamorro community, a large and constantly changing “off-Island” and largely American professional/business class, and vast amounts of 1980s/1990s pre-bubble Japanese capital investment. A mainland U.S. politician who got involved there (Guam) would basically have to be crazy. The CNMI has perhaps a somewhat more wholesome profile for having made better bets on the consequences of obtaining Commonwealth status than those of the “Unincorporated U.S. Territory” status that Guam still has. But I’d be scared to touch it, basically.

“Unincorporated,” by the way, means of the U.S. but not technically wholly covered by the Constitution compact. Constitution-level questions arising in Guam law are based on the federal “Organic Act” of 1950, repeatedly amended, which Congress can change or even retract whenever it chooses. Appellate decisions there (including those that rise into U.S. federal appellate courts) are based on considerations of “organicity,” not “constitutionality.” American colonial history and Colonial American history are two quite distinct–though interestingly intersected–fields of inquiry and analysis.

]]>