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INDEPENDENT congressional candidate Jonathan Diaz appears to have gone overboard for criticizing incumbent Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo for not wanting to debate with the other candidates or give a full disclosure of the independent assessment on the U.S. military posture in the Asia-Pacific region that was recently completed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
In a letter to Bordallo from the Committee to Elect Diaz, the organization called on the delegate to “choose the date, time and the location of the event.”
“If you choose not to debate with our candidate, then we are calling for an independent medical assessment of your psychological stamina to rule out any psychological issues that may or may not affect your ability to perform the job for Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives,” the committee stated.
Diaz also sent a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the CSIS report since only certain portions of the report were published. The remainder of the document contains classified information that cannot be released.
“Classified information should not be used in the context of this report or its release because it was an independent study paid for by the American taxpayer and the taxpayers of Guam. Bordallo’s inability to provide the entire report to the people of Guam is a clear violation under the Freedom of Information Act, especially since the report clearly will affect our island and our region,” Diaz said.
Jon Junior Calvo, Bordallo's policy advisor, meanwhile states that “federal law prevents the release of classified information significant to national security.”
“Bordallo is not authorized to provide classified information to individuals without the proper clearance,” he said, adding Bordallo will issue an official response to Diaz’s request today.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party of Guam executive director Carlo Branch commented on Diaz’s statement regarding Bordallo.
“If Mr. Diaz survives to qualify in the primary, feel free to challenge the Democratic candidate for Congress. Until then, he should show a little more respect to someone who has served the people of Guam for more than 30 years,” Branch said.
Also reacting was Democratic candidate Karlo Dizon who expressed his respect and admiration for Bordallo’s decades of service.
“I respect Mr. Diaz’s passion, but to elevate politics on our island we must begin by elevating our discourse,” Dizon said in a statement. “My focus remains on building a better economy for the people of Guam.”
Bordallo campaign chairman Clifford Guzman also expressed surprise, saying he was “flabbergasted” that Diaz’s committee would direct the concerns in such a manner.
“This is offensive not only to the congresswoman but also to the people of Guam who have placed their faith and have been trusting her for decades and for good reason, because she continues to get things done,” he stated.
“Our focus as a campaign is on soliciting support from our Democratic party constituents and that’s what a primary election is all about; and perhaps this is what Mr. Diaz should be concentrating on as well – soliciting support from his own Independent party,” Guzman added.
Republican candidate Sen. Frank Blas Jr. was contacted by Variety late yesterday afternoon for comments and was told he would get back to the Variety for a response, but there was no call back as of press time.