Will focus on insurance companies
FORMER Gov. Carl T.C. Gutierrez will give the public auditor position a shot as a write-in candidate, challenging incumbent Doris Flores Brooks, who ran unopposed in the last two elections.
Gutierrez, who is running under the slogan “Everybody is Accountable,” announced his decision to run in the September primary during a gathering of his supporters at his Agaña Heights residence last night.
When asked why he decided to seek the public auditor position, Gutierrez said the Office of Public Accountability has “failed during the last year and a half to hold everybody accountable. She picks and chooses.”
If successful in his bid, Gutierrez vowed to go after Guam’s insurance companies, specifically Calvo’s SelectCare, owned by the family of Gov. Eddie Calvo.
“There is a deafening silence on this insurance issue,” Gutierrez said in an interview with Variety. “What is the rebate on Calvo’s SelectCare?”
Gutierrez said SelectCare has not been clear about the actual amount it overcharged the government of Guam. “Is it $18 million? How do they get it down to just an $8 million rebate?” Gutierrez asked. “We don’t know what the fact is, but somebody should step in and take a look at it objectively.”
Gutierrez, chairman of the Democratic Party of Guam, said although he is running for a nonpartisan office, “I can’t remove myself as a Democrat, neither can she (Brooks) remove herself as a Republican.”
Gutierrez recalled that he had been in a race against Brooks when she ran for lieutenant governor with gubernatorial candidate Tommy Tanaka in the 1994 elections.
Brooks was left as the only registered candidate for the public auditor position when Zenaida Asuncion-Nace, a comptroller at the University of Guam, backed out right before the deadline for candidate registration.
Earlier, Brooks asked the Legislature to cancel the primary for uncontested public auditor, citing the cost it would entail.
“That was entirely against the law,” David Saysay, one of the movers of the Gutierrez for Public Auditor team, said of Brooks’ request. “You have to allow for a write-in candidate and not limit the voters’ choice.”
Under Guam election law, “The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary election shall be certified accordingly and placed on a separate ballot for the general election.”
Carlo Branch, executive director of the Democratic Party of Guam, said based on the party’s interpretation of the law, Gutierrez will need a minimum of 4 percent of the ballots cast in the primary to be able to head to the November general elections.
“Although it’s a nonpartisan position, we still need to have somebody go out there and look at everything that is going on,” the former governor said.
Gutierrez appealed to his critics to “get to know Carl Gutierrez as a person instead of relying on opinion-molding articles ran by Republicans” and those who were “out to demonize and vilify me.”
“A lot of my critics right now don’t even know who I am except for what they read in the media,” said Gutierrez, who has survived 158 indictments.
“I did not just go through all those false indictments and spent millions of dollars to clear my name,” Gutierrez said. “If the U.S. Attorney’s Office followed us for seven years with the FBI and didn’t find anything, then obviously all the narratives that you are believing right now are erroneously inculcated in your mind by [the media],” he said.
Will focus on insurance companies