Former senator says Insular Cases are
not as bad as most people think
Robert “Bob” Klitzkie considers himself a “recovering lawyer” and “serial has-been.” He has been a marine, teacher, union officer, lawyer, director of education, director of corrections, senator and judge pro tempore to name a few. In the latest phase of his self-reinvention, Klitzkie now hosts the thought-provoking talk radio show “Tall Tales” on 93.3 FM.
The former senator, a Republican, is never afraid of going against the tide. As a talk show host, Klitzkie is never coy about expressing conservative opinions that may run counter to popular views.
He has been an advocate of fiscal prudence, less government and lower taxes. He endorses a part-time legislature with streamlined functions— a proposal he first introduced when he was a member of the 28th Guam Legislature. He continues to defend this idea — which has repeatedly been reintroduced in succeeding legislatures — although it’s a long shot in a community where the government is the largest employer.
In May, the 36th Guam Legislature adopted Resolution 56-36, rejecting the Insular Case doctrine that has been the basis of unequal treatment of citizens of the U.S. territories including Guam, Northern Marianas, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island.
While demonizing the Insular Cases may be a popular trend, Klitzkie offers a differing point of view. He puts forth some counterarguments that need close attention and discernment if Guam is to rightfully choose its path forward.
In an interview, Klitzkie points out that Guam has unique benefits as a U.S. territory. To wit, birthright citizenship, income tax collections stay on Guam, exemption from federal income tax payment, and duty-free ports and tax holidays are enjoyed. He questions the logic of demanding “equality” when Guam certainly enjoys the perks of being an unincorporated territory.