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The New Administration Working Against The Bahamas?

The Clifton Review


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires, the links to unsavory characters, the use of the courts for personal agendas, the involvement of a political party, and the attacks on the Government of The Bahamas.


We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings. This series of articles asks the needed questions and presents the arguments in full.


By P.J. Malone



Is the new Minnis Administration jumping into bed with Save The Bays and acquiescing to their agenda?


We lauded the Government the other day for standing up and saying no to the demand that Fred Smith and the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association (GBHRA) be given the lead on the proposed Interception of Communications Bill.


We thought the Government would be consistently independent from the demands of Save The Bays, the Grand Bahamas Human Rights Association (GBHRA) and Fred Smith—as attorney and an executive for these organizations—but it looks like we spoke too fast.


Now it appears that the new Attorney General (AG) has either dropped all court case appeals that may go against Save The Bays or acquiesced to Save The Bays’ demands, specifically to not adhere to the new regulations for non-profits and provide the information requested by the Registrar General’s Department.


Why is the Attorney General doing this?


Now that the AG has acquiesced to Save The Bays’ demands and allowed Save The Bays to refuse to turn over their ‘deemed-public’ financial information, does that mean Save The Bays doesn’t have to turn over anything to the Registrar General’s Department while all the other non-profit organizations do? What’s good for the goose is supposed to be good for the gander.


What message is this new Government sending?


Whether the Government intended this or not, here’s the message the Bahamian public is receiving:


‘Save The Bays can do whatever they want as long as their principals support our political party and give the party money.’ Fred Smith admitted during the election campaign that he had given money to and supports the Free National Movement political party that now governs the country.


Here’s why we perceive this as the message they are sending: A non-profit organization, whose principal has donated money to the political party in power, is having court cases they oppose dropped, is having Government department requirements they oppose dropped, and is having general demands acquiesced to.


Does the Government of The Bahamas really think it is appropriate to drop an appeal of a case that created a constitutional crisis with respect to parliamentary privilege over a non-profit’s financial information that was deemed public by United States Treasury regulations?


Do they know how bad that looks? Do they even care? I’m sure jurists and leaders around the Caribbean are laughing at us. They are probably asking, “How can they be so foolish and shortsighted as to allow this to be recorded in their history books and determine their constitutional future?”


Should we put this new Administration in a category of working against the interests of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas?


Will they also tell the international human rights organizations, “Yes, The Bahamas should be put on the list of rogue nations that kidnap, torture and kill its citizens,” in order to remain aligned with the wishes of Fred Smith and Save The Bays?


Another thing. An argument was made by one of Fred Smith’s law partners calling the Registrar General’s Department’s request of Save The Bays and other organizations, unlawful. He made two main points: 1. The Department’s power to request information does not apply to private companies; and 2. The Department has no authority over non-profit organizations that are not licensed under the Companies Act.


Well, we are not sure what category Save The Bays falls under. What we do know is that private companies should not be begging the public for money.


Either Save The Bays is a private company or it’s a non-profit organization. If they are a non-profit, they should comply with the new non-profit regulations recently enacted by Parliament. If they are a private company, they need to stop begging for money on their website; and they need to go through the proper processes for Governmental approvals to receive millions of dollars from a foreign investor, namely hedge-fund billionaire Louis Moore Bacon.


This new Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas needs to remember that it is here to serve the people of The Bahamas and not the private interests and agendas of Fred Smith and Save The Bays; or else, this new Government will get exactly what they are looking for.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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