Monday, January 28, 2008

Faleomavaega Will Try to Halt Wage Hike

Watch the pattern, folks. Faleomavaega is going to try once more the kind of maneuver that has sustained his career for nearly two decades: create a mess by neglect, then rescue the situation with the help of Hawaii's senators and take credit for averting a crisis.

Following the release of a U.S. Department of Labor study that suggests the rise of American Samoa's wage rates to U.S. parity would be devastating to the territory's fragile economy, Eni has announced he is introducing legislation to exempt American Samoa from future automatic wage hikes and return instead to a bi-annual survey to determine what would be sustainable.

He will beg his leadership to do this for him on the basis of its importance to his political survival then will turn to the Senate's twin Hawaii octogenarians, Inouye and Akaka, to carry his water in the upper body.

Will it work? Who knows? He has failed so far to get timely enactment of the 30A wage credit the canneries say they need to remain profitable and once again will need to get a bill passed that will make the credit retroactive to January 1, when the previous provision expired. Another 50-cent wage increase is due in May. It would be pretty tough to get that made retroactive. Getting voters to fork over their increase wage or to be forced into a reduction after a brief rise would be a disaster in an election year.

Maybe Eni will have to curtail his foreign junketeering at least between now and May to shepherd his legislation through Congress. Will he skip his party's presidential delegate caucus in the territory on February 5, especially after Hillary Clinton has made reference to it? He has endorsed Barack Obama, while Governor Togiola and the local party leadership have endorsed Hillary Clinton. The results of the caucus will be a test of his prestige and influence.

If he does make a quick trip home and then go back to Washington, he is going to have to turn right around to come back for the House Insular Affairs Subcommittee hearing he has orchestrated for February 21 and 22.

Poor Eni. He may be forced to stay on the job more than he likes.


Philip said...

Why are you posting anonymously?

Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr. Murphy is unaware of Faleomavaega's reputation for vindictiveness. He and his chief political "enforcer," Lisa Williams, have known to mow people down at the hint of a slight, real or perceived. The only way to be certain to survive until this fellow is finally sent into political oblivion is to get the facts out but stay protected. It is a small island.