Free association and relations between the RMI and U.S. should always be a bipartisan issue in the U.S. Congress, so the RMI can work in a constructive way with both major U.S. political parties to strengthen the alliance and ensure its success for both countries.  That is why having some recognition of free association as a national interest of the USA in the platforms of both parties would have been very important.

U.S. political party conventions are attended by representatives of other nations, who participate in programs to educate and involve the international community in understanding the U.S. two party political process.  In addition, close allies like Israel and Japan or member nations of the European Union often have U.S. based representatives or organizations seek to ensure that the political party platforms recognize shared bilateral or multilateral interests and goals.

Given enactment of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act by the U.S. Congress and the process of its implementation since the last U.S. national party conventions in 2004, this year was a good opportunity for the RMI and the other FAS to seek recognition of the alliance in the U.S. political party platforms.  Maybe that can be achieved in 2012, now that RMI lobbyist Johnston failed to accomplish it in the 2008 platform of the Democratic Party, even though he is a former Senator in the Democratic Party.

Once again, that was probably because Tony deBrum was at the Kwajalein Kava Club and did not ask Johnston to get the job done in Denver.  Tony was too busy making sure more money for the RMI from the U.S. will go to Imata Kabua, which is the RMI’s top priority with Tony as the de facto head of state.  That is because, as everyone knows, Tony serves at the pleasure of “King Kabua,”  who expects more money if Tony wants to keep his seat in parliament.


The current RMI administration has paid former U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston and his son Hunter a $90,000. bonus, and $1 million to promote RMI interests in the U.S. political process.   Shouldn’t a bonus using RMI funds come after the lobbyist at least gets some results?

According to reports from the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, the retired Democratic Party leader and his son either failed or didn’t try to have inserted in the 2008 Platform of the Democratic Party any policy statement on free association, Kwajalein, nuclear claims or recognizing issues related to RMI citizens living in the USA.

In contrast, the Republican Party convention held in Minnesota adopted language in its platform, under the Asia & Pacific section of the National Security chapter, that identifies relations with the associated states as a national priority.  It reads:

“We cherish our bonds with our freely associated states in the Pacific Islands.”

Even a simple statement like that can be historical in a U.S. national party platform, which is a road map that can be pursued with a new President or members of Congress from that political party.

Why it even matters:   A background analysis for RMI readers on U.S. national political party platforms

As the people of the RMI, the USA and the world know, the Democratic Party held its convention in Denver last week, and the Republicans are holding their convention this week. The conventions are attended by delegates who represent the members of the party from all over America. Every four years the two major national politics parties hold national conventions for two reasons.

First, the party delegates adopt a platform which is a statement of the principles, policies and goals that each party will follow for four years. The platform is what the party will ask the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States to do over the next four years, no matter which party is in power.

The second thing the Republican Party and the Democratic Party delegates do at the national convention is choose their party’s candidate for President and Vice-President. The candidates chosen by the delegates are nominated to be elected in the U.S. national elections to be held on November 4, 2008.

The candidates nominated by the convention become the leaders of their parties, and the candidate who gets elected President will be the leader of his or her political party while serving as President. As President he or she will also be responsible for acting in the best interests of the whole nation, not just his or her political party, and the policies of the USA are defined by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. laws, not by the party platforms.

However, the party platforms are very important, because the political parties and the platforms they adopt are what the candidate promised to their political party and the nation. So the platforms can be very influential on Congress and the President. Each political party holds the President from their party and the members of Congress from their party to the promises in the platform, and if those promises are broken without trying very hard to keep them, then the members of the party may not support the President or members of Congress who did not keep those promises in the next convention and next election.


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