The lone ranger

Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas made a mark for defeating the once unbeatable Madeleine Bordallo, who everyone thought was glued forever to the congressional seat.

He is smart, aggressive, enigmatic and full of youthful idealism. But, serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, the young delegate was off to a bad start. He is facing an investigation by the House ethics committee for allegedly having an inappropriate affair with a staffer and receiving an excessive campaign contribution from a local businessman.

Back home, the Democratic delegate has been in conflict with his party mates, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, over clashing policy direction and political strategies in the nation’s capital. His pragmatic approach to dealing with Guam-related issues often collide with the sentimental mode of most local leaders. His let’s-allow-everyone-to-vote position on the self-determination issue is frowned upon by Guam leaders who continue to fight for exclusivity.

At times, they engage in a contest of information and interpretation of federal laws and policies— as they did during the discussion on the war reparations for Guam last year. And then again at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, they clashed over the reading of the CARES Act programs in relation to their application to Guam.