By Eric Rosario
(Hagatna, Guam) Republican senatorial candidate and longtime anti-corruption advocate Ken Leon Guerrero has filed a complaint alleging the Democratic Party of Guam violated the Mini Hatch Act.
The statute is codified in Guam law under a chapter governing what political activities government employees are allowed and not allowed to do.
This past Saturday, the Democratic Party of Guam held a petition-signing drive for its candidates at the Adelup breezeway, the hut-shaped canopy at the entrance to the Governor's Complex. The gubernatorial incumbent - Lou Leon Guerrero - is a democrat.
"I am filing a complaint against the Democrat Party and Democrat Candidates who violated Guam Election Laws, specifically by having people who are employees of the Government and political candidates campaigning on Government Property using an unfair advantage of the power of the Democrat incumbency to show special favors and discriminate against other political candidates running for public offices in the 2020 Primary Election, as they used their “exclusive privilege” to be on the grounds of the Capital of the island’s government to solicit voters for signatures on their political campaign petitions," Mr. Leon Guerrero wrote to Guam Election Commission executive director Maria Pangelinan in the complaint he filed with her office this weekend.
Mr. Leon Guerrero went on to state:
"4 GCA § 5106 states that, 'No person, whether or not an employee, shall solicit or receive a contribution or distribute literature for any political purpose in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by any person employed by the Executive, Legislative or Judicial Branches of the Government of Guam. For purposes of this Section, soliciting a contribution includes solicitation by letter or circular addressed to and delivered to an employee in said room or building. Any person who violated this Section is guilty of a misdemeanor.'
"By posting signs and banners and having trucks with billboard signs in the parking lots of Adelup, the Democrat Party and candidates also violated: Article 5 Title 21 Chapter 61 Section 61542 - (d) Restrictions on Posting Political Signs - (3) No political sign may be erected on or within any government building, or nailed to a tree or attached to any fence on government property."
He is asking Ms. Pangelinan to have the GEC file a criminal complaint with the Attorney General for violations of the Mini Hatch law.
A section of that law does state that government property may be used for political activities by political parties, partisan political organizations, or candidates if a rental agreement is in place.
Section 5104 of Chapter 5, Title 4, Guam Code Annotated states: "Nothing in this Chapter shall preclude the use under a rental agreement of government of Guam facilities by a political party, partisan political organization or candidate."
Kandit News is awaiting a response from Democratic Party of Guam chairwoman Sarah Thomas Nededog on this matter, and has sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act to the Department of Parks and Recreation for copies of any rental agreement and receipts of payment that may exist for the use of Adelup this past weekend.