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OPINION: Ray Topasna, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

By Telo Taitague

To my surprise and that of Housing Chairperson Joe San Agustin, an ethics complaint was filed by GHURA’s Ray Topasna alleging I made defamatory remarks against him during a legislative confirmation hearing held on May 19, 2020 for a GHURA board nominee.

I apologize that an honest question for a potential appointee would make Mr. Topasna feel attacked and uncomfortable. But that’s what confirmation hearings are for – to ask the tough questions. The director’s sudden concern nearly two months after the confirmation hearing took place demonstrates that this complaint is purely political, or that Mr. Topasna has something to hide.

Aside from the fact that the committee chairperson and other participants in the hearing did not raise issues with my questions and comments, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me advising a nominee to an agency, board, or commission that by stepping up to the plate – he or she should be prepared for the good, the ugly, and everything in between should they be confirmed by the legislature.

While I understand that my role as a public official particularly in a political position comes with criticism, scrutiny, and even fake news, I will not let Mr. Topasna’s ethics complaint or any other politically motivated effort to silence me get in the way of my work as your senator. I will not allow political forces to stop me from continuing to question public officials regarding their actions or lack thereof, seeking answers on the government’s fiscal health, and demanding transparency and accountability whenever necessary. Ms. Taitague is a member of the Thirty-fifth Guam Legislature.

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