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Honorable Alliitama L. Sotoa

Chairman, Democratic Party of American Samoa

Re: Congratulations

Dear Mr Chairman,

Congratulations on your recent election as Chairman of the Democratic Party of American Samoa. Although you have lived in California for many years, I am certain you have not lost your basic Samoan values and will make every effort to infuse them into your national party, which has taken some very extreme positions, especially in the state of California. Here are some of the things I am confident you will take up with the DNC when you begin your deliberations for your party’s 2020 national platform.

First of all, as you know, the sanctity of life is a basic underpinning of our Samoan culture. We do not believe in abortion, our churches uniformly teach against abortion and, in fact, it is near impossible to obtain an abortion in American Samoa. The 2016 Democratic platform calls for government funded abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, and calls for repealing federal law that bars federal money for abortion and vows to overturn state and territorial laws that restrict a woman’s access to abortion.

As you know, your national chairman, Tom Perez, has said that anyone against abortion should not be a Democrat. I am confident you will be able to convince him that his position is wrong on that score. That policy, if not changed, should be enough to turn all Samoans away from the Democratic Party.

But there is more.

The Democratic Party believes that persons of gay, lesbian and other non-traditional lifestyles should have the right to marry anyone of their choosing, regardless of gender. As part of our ancient culture, we have a universally accepted fa’afafine community. We do not expect the states and other territories to understand it or accept it but we do not believe the federal government has a role in telling us what to do. At a very minimum, we would ask you to convince your fellow Democrats to leave us alone on this matter. This issue is for our territory and our church leaders to address with our people without interference from Washington.

Democrats also believe that LGBT rights are more important than religious freedom and vow to eliminate tax exempt status for religious universities that do not have transgender bathrooms and showers and oppose organizations and companies that discriminate against people on the basis or gender identity or orientation. Samoans and Republicans strongly believe religious freedom is fundamental and also oppose Democratic attempts to separate church from state by doing such things as removing religious symbols from public buildings and banning the Ten Commandments. Any attempt by Democrats to ban our annual government Christmas pageant would be met with stiff resistance.

Democrats see flag burning as a freedom of speech issue. Our most important secular holiday being Flag Day and with so many of our families having members in the armed services and as veterans, Republicans will not tolerate desecration of our American Flag. Flag burning will not be tolerated or allowed in American Samoa.

Democrats believe in strong federal government authority over states and territories as a means of pursuing their national agenda, including dictating how federal money should
 be spent. Republicans believe the federal government should leave maximum control to the people and their elected officials with non-interference from Washington. We are quite capable of removing from office any territorial politician who is unable to put the needs of the people first in government spending regardless of source.

Democrats believe they are the party for minorities but time has proven that American Samoa receives no greater federal assistance from Democrat administrations or Congress than from Republicans. Many grants are based on per capita income and as long our economy is weaker than the national economy, we will be protected by the safety net that exempts us from unreasonable cuts in federal assistance.

Democrats believe that money should be taken from the military to be reinvested in domestic needs. Republicans believe in a strong national defense and that the defense budget should be increased. We applaud the Trump administration for substantially increasing the military budget for the Pacific and after years of neglect by the Democrats, welcome the increased attention we have received and applaud the role played by our Republican congresswoman in arranging for several congressional committees making more than a refueling stop, arranging for two members of the President’s cabinet to visit and the visit of Vice President Pence to dedicate our veterans’ clinic to the memory of her predecessor, Eni Faleomavaega. We further applaud the Vice President in his remarks saying his visit to American Samoa was meant to convey that America is in the Pacific to stay.

We appreciate the Trump Administration standing with American Samoa in opposing attempts by Democrat-aligned groups to impose U.S. citizenship upon our people through the federal courts and reaffirm our Republican position that any change in our political status relationship with the United States must be generated by the people of American Samoa, not by the courts, Congress or federal executive branch.

RPAS knows you tend to share our party’s views on these matters and we extend our
best wishes to you as you seek to persuade the national Democratic Party to moderate its positions on these issues to take account of Samoan thinking. For our part we will continue to ensure that the National Republican Party maintains policies that are consistent with ours in American Samoa.


Taulapapa William Sword

Chairman RPAS

“Paid for by e Executive Committee of the Republican Party of American Samoa”