By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) The Republican legislative minority in the Guam Legislature announced Monday that it had elected Sen. Telo Taitague as the Republican Leader and now titular head of the island's Republican Party.
The caucus ousted Sen. Wil Castro, who recently caucused with Democrats aligned with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on a number of issues opaquely pushed through the Legislature with his help.
Instead, Mr. Castro will be running for the Republican nomination of delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, a move that, according to one senator, was meant to get him out of the Legislature.
Since becoming Republican Leader last January, Mr. Castro has not challenged any of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero or Speaker Tina Muna Barnes's commitments and actions. Instead, it was Ms. Taitague and her other Republican colleagues, Senators Jim Moylan, Mary Torres, and Louise Muna, who have been vocal on a range of issues including the prioritization of spending and the reduction of the island's tax burden on the poor and the middle class.
The minority party normally provides a natural check against the power of the majority by becoming a voice of opposition and engaging the administration in debate about complex policies. Mr. Castro has not provided that kind of leadership, opting instead to have a more harmonious personal relationship with his colleagues at the expense of civil discourse.
Ms. Taitague, on the other hand, has been known the past year to, put simply, speak her mind. She has engaged the Democratic Leadership several times on nearly every issue that has come before the floor of the Legislature and has been openly critical of Ms. Leon Guerrero's policies and promises.
Mr. Moylan, who was elected Republican Whip, has demanded information on topics ranging from the increase in the business privilege tax to the lack of resources for law enforcement officers and public schools.
Ms. Muna was elected Assistant Republican Leader.