As a matter of fact, Faleomavaega suffered yet another setback this week when the Obama administration took away Obamacare (ACA) from the territories. He and the other congressional delegates had backed their island governments’ pleas for tailoring the program to their special needs but up until now the response always has been “the law is the law and there is nothing we can do.” However, some government official discovered the Public Health Service Act definition of “state” had not been broadened to include the territories, so they solved their headache by pulling the rug out from under the islands altogether.
Clearly he was trying to desperately make amends with the exiting chief U.S. diplomat but it is likely too little too late. That time was when he chose to endorse Obama. Yet, by all indications, he plans to push on. The American Samoa election office has made filing papers available to prospective candidates and six campaigns have picked up petition packets. The media have identified five candidates who have announced for the seat but the election office has declined to identify who has picked up the six packets.
More telling as to his plans, he already has raised substantial funds since falling ill—over $40,000. That is more than all than all his opponents combined. As usual, many of the donations so far have come from big donors with Asian names. Perhaps surprising, however, he also has attracted a number of large donations from tuna interests. Surely they knew at the time there was little he could do for them, particularly while still recuperating in bed, but a more likely explanation is they donated to keep him from hurting them, even if he cannot help.