Brooks says Gutierrez politicizing OPA - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Brooks says Gutierrez politicizing OPA

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - It was late last week when former governor Carl Gutierrez announced his bid to run as a write-in candidate for public auditor. Considering the public auditor position is non-partisan, KUAM News had asked Gutierrez if he planned to step down as the chairman of the Democratic Party.

He responded by saying, "No I cannot separate myself from my being but I will not maybe as involved in maybe after if by chance if I take the office then I have to remove myself from partisanship of course but not between now and the end of the election."

However according to Brooks, Gutierrez's position directly contradicts the OPA Enabling Act, which states the public auditor is a non-partisan office and that no candidate for the position of public auditor shall declare a political party affiliation. Brooks maintains Gutierrez's declaration to remain chairman of his political party will politicize the office.

Republican Party of Guam chairman Mike Benito meanwhile agrees, saying Gutierrez is already using the office as a partisan tool and that's not what it's designed for. "Well again, if the Democrats feel that that is a problem, that's really up to them, because that's their party issue. Personally, I think that if I were him, I would step down from that office, I would step down from my party chairmanship because the focus should be on your party not your individual race."

The Guam Election Commission states that the only requirement for Gutierrez to move forward to the Decision 2012 General Election is to be one of the two highest vote-getters for the OPA race. 

Democratic Party of Guam chairman Carlo Branch meanwhile responded saying because the former governor is not yet a legally qualified candidate under the law, the issue that is being brought up is not yet right but should he qualify as a candidate for the General Election he will resign as chairman. Branch adds that brooks statements is like "the pot calling the kettle black" because Brooks - who is a former Republican senator and former Republican lieutenant governor candidate - attended the Republican National Convention back in 2000, about a month before running as public auditor.

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