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Sun Dec 16, 2018, 03:45 PM

Gittens Says 'Dictatorship' Behavior Led to Disharmony Between St. Croix Democrats

ON RADIO, GITTENS SAYS ‘DICTATORSHIP’ BEHAVIOR LED TO DISHARMONY BETWEEN ST. CROIX DEMOCRATS; FRANCIS RESPONDS WITH SCATHING REBUKE


ST. CROIX – St. Croix made history when it elected seven Democrats to the 33rd Legislature, a feat that had never been accomplished in the past, and one that placed the island in the strongest position to move its agenda forward for the next two years. But that was on election night. Now, just one month following the November 6, General Election, the once-promising unified team is history, and an open verbal battle between five of the newly-elected Democrats and the two incumbents is now being waged in the public, while St. Croix residents look on in amazement.

The crux of the matter? Senators Kurt Vialet and Novelle Francis believe that with St. Croix having seven Democrats, the island should hold the most powerful committee in the Senate: Finance. In the 32nd Legislature, it was held by Mr. Vialet. Eight years prior, it was held by St. Thomas senators. In the 33rd, it was given to Senator-elect Donna Frett-Gregory, an incoming senator in the St. Thomas-St. John District. Mr. Vialet wanted the seat — or if he could not have it, a least a St. Croix lawmaker. But the Finance chairmanship reverted back to the district that held it for eight years prior to the 32nd Legislature, a move Mr. Vialet and Mr. Francis determined to be ill-advised.

Senator Vialet last week made the rounds on radio stations, painting the five St. Croix Democrats who supported the Finance chair being given to Mrs. Frett-Gregory — Alicia Barnes, Allison DeGazon, Javan James, Kenneth Gittens and Oakland Benta — as weak. On Friday, the senators-elect took to the airwaves themselves to respond.

They contended that holding the chairmanship of a particular committee does not give a senator unilateral power. And they vowed to never turn their backs on St. Croix, reminding the listening audience that St. Croix citizens were the Virgin Islanders who voted them in.

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/news-2/on-radio-gittens-says-dictatorship-behavior-led-to-disharmony-between-st-croix-democrats-francis-responds-with-scathing-rebuke/

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