Karma: Tulsi Gabbard’s Cult Eyes $16B US Yoga Market
I Feel Pretty: Gabbard’s looks cost campaign thousands
SA: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has spent $7,939 of her campaign cash on high-end hair and makeup stylists over the past year and a half — expenses that she’s classified as “media prep” on her campaign spending reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Erika Tsuji, Gabbard’s press secretary, said Friday that the hair and makeup expenses were related to television interviews and digital communications that “help the congresswoman communicate her positions on issues important to voters.”
The total of 23 payments dating back to January of last year are to vendors such as Panci in Hawaii, which bills itself as a “full service boutique fashion management agency” and boasts clients such as Kelly Ripa, stars of “Hawaii Five-0” and “Lost,” and former Miss America Angela Baraquio.
Gabbard made 10 payments to the agency between May 2015 and June of this year ranging from $104 to $523.
Other vendors include Washington, D.C., stylists Valentina Gretsova, Nicholette Nicci and Richard A. Bernal Makeup and Hair, which advertises a long list of celebrity clients on its website, including Adam Sandler and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
There is also a $350 payment in April to Gloria Pelo, a makeup artist and hairstylist in Miami who, according to her website, specializes in “serving the fashion, entertainment and bridal industries,” where she has earned the nickname “guru to the brides.”
The FEC documents also show a $1,256 payment made in February 2015 to the Taj West End, a high-end hotel in Bangalore, India, that includes a luxury spa.
Gabbard visited India from Dec. 14, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to her financial disclosure report. The purpose of the trip was to, in part, “build relationships with high-ranking officials in government and the military,” according to a news release from her office.
The $1,256 payment covered “multiple hair and make-up services in preparation for numerous media interviews and major speeches during her India trip,” Tsuji said by email….
In 2007, while campaigning for president, John Edwards used campaign funds to pay for $400 haircuts by a Beverly Hills stylist.
His famous “$400 haircuts” became fodder for his opponents. Not helping matters, a YouYube video showing him primping before an interview — with the song “I Feel Pretty” added as the soundtrack — went viral….
read … Gabbard’s looks cost campaign thousands
Caldwell Ethics: Muzzled, Tarnished, Credibility Lost
SA: The Honolulu Ethics Commission, its reputation tarnished by the inept disciplining of longtime executive director Chuck Totto, has work to do.
It must strengthen a perpetually overworked and under-resourced staff. More important, it must restore its standing as an effective — and independent — government watchdog.
The rebuilding has begun. The commission last week hired Jan Yamane, the former acting state auditor, to replace Totto, who resigned under pressure in June. It also brought back associate legal counsel Laurie Wong-Nowinski and is looking to hire an investigator….
filling vacancies won’t be nearly enough. The commission lost a lot of credibility when it muzzled and then suspended Totto, who had spent 16 years rooting out corruption and ethical lapses in city government — no doubt making enemies along the way.
First the commission, led by members newly appointed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, adopted a strict policy against talking to the media after Totto publicly questioned the validity of the votes of some City Council members who allegedly had improperly accepted gifts from lobbyists and other parties without disclosing them — serious infractions that led to some Council members paying hefty fines. Only after a public outcry did the commission revise and soften its media policy.
Then the commission suspended Totto without pay for alleged mismanagement of his staff. Eventually, Totto quit.
As a result, the commission has become a political football, with two candidates for Honolulu mayor claiming Caldwell went after Totto because he investigated a luau sponsored by Caldwell’s supporters in 2013.
At a recent PBS Hawaii forum, Charles Djou charged that “the city Ethics Commission has been completely railroaded.”
Peter Carlisle, who was hired by Totto as his personal attorney during his travails with the commission, said that “there has been the complete evisceration of ethics in the City and County of Honolulu.” …
Caldwell is being disingenuous.
The mayor may have kept his distance, but the city’s lawyer, Corporation Counsel Donna Leong — whom Caldwell appointed — did not. She publicly criticized Totto’s comments about the City Council votes and supported the commission’s resulting ill-fated media policy. Furthermore, because the commission is administratively assigned to Leong’s office, the Caldwell administration has control over its budget — and has not hesitated to make funding decisions over the objections of Totto. These are not the hallmarks of a “strong, independent Ethics Commission.”
If the next mayor wants to restore the integrity of the commission, he can start by backing off.
(Better idea: He can start by losing the election.)
CB: Against the mayor: That he simply can’t be trusted
read … City ethics staff needs greater independence
Kenoi coattails taint Lau
WHT: …Who else should have protected the public trust during Kenoi’s tenure? Attorney General Doug Chin indicated that others who work for the county who might have known that this was going on and didn’t report it should be looked at also. Which brings us to Wally Lau.
Mayoral candidate Lau held the position of the county’s managing director during Kenoi’s spending spree, second in command to the mayor. As managing director, he “doesn’t know” who had oversight of the mayor’s pCard. Lau hedges when asked directly what he himself knew about Kenoi’s activities, and more recently just hasn’t shown up for candidate forums, possibly over-confident in the power of his daunting election war chest. However, at one candidate forum, Lau admitted that he was aware of the activities, but “Billy was my boss,” so he kept quiet. Lau hasn’t demonstrated that he deserves to be the mayor or that he can do the job well. He has shown us how much he follows in Kenoi’s footsteps with his practices, campaign funders and advocates. Kenoi’s coattails taint Lau.
The lack of accountability and absence of checks and balances is mindboggling. We had the fox guarding the chicken coop and then claiming he didn’t know “not to put the eggs in his own basket.” Are we really going to trust another fox in the 2016 election?
Public officials should seek ethical practices, not violate them. We count on our representatives to make sure the government is playing by the rules that the rest of lawful citizens live by and expect from their leaders. And when they don’t, we need to let them know that we mean business about this, and vote our conscience….
read … Tainted
TOD Kalihi: Shipping Containers, Then No Parking
SA: …Jennings presented the plan for the property at a recent conference organized by the International Council of Shopping Centers, and joked that if the city fails to build the entire planned rail line to Hawaii’s largest mall, Ala Moana Center, then 2200 Kamehameha would become even more of a prime location just beyond the Middle Street station that would become the end of the line.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation projects that an initial section of rail transit from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium will open in 2018. The rest of the line reaching Ala Moana is projected to open in late 2021.
A timetable for Chang’s project is uncertain. One challenge is having DPP enable permitting for stacked containers. But if that can be resolved, Jennings said the initial phase could take just six months to build.
The initial phase is conceived as new shipping containers stacked three high to create homes above ground-level retail as a relatively inexpensive and interim use.
A midrise and high-rise residential and retail complex would replace the container project. Jennings said this phase draws inspiration from some mainland TOD projects, including 1611 West Division, a rental apartment building in Chicago that contains no car parking, and Hassalo on Eighth, an apartment building in Portland, Ore., that has 1,000 bike stalls with valet and repair services….
CB: Excuses for High Construction Costs
read … Rail
Ex-HPD sergeant pleads guilty to shooting bartender
SA: A 57-year-old retired Honolulu police sergeant Monday pled guilty to accidentally shooting a South King Street bartender last year.
Sgt. Anson Kimura, who retired from the police force in May 2015 with 25 years of service, will be sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Colette Garibaldi on Oct. 19.
Kimura was charged with second-degree assault in connection with a shooting that occurred April 3, 2015, at King’s Sports Bar while he was off duty.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ayla Weiss said her office will seek the maximum jail term of five years when Kimura is sentenced.
Thomas Otake, Kimura’s attorney, said he will seek probation for Kimura….
read … Shooting
EV Drivers Caught Using Handicapped Parking Spaces
SA: Question: I had knee surgery recently and got a temporary placard allowing me to park in handicapped stalls. I have noticed that a lot of people who have hybrid cars are parking in handicapped stalls, even though they don’t have a placard. Is that OK?
Q: I’m noticing more and more electric vehicles parking in the disability parking spaces at the mall and other locations. Sometimes the disability parking spaces are next to the EV spaces that have electric chargers, but I didn’t think they were interchangeable. Are they?
Answer: No and no.
“Having an electric vehicle does not convey any privilege to park in a stall reserved for a person with a disability unless the driver/rider also has a disabled person parking placard,” said Francine Wai, executive director of the state Department of Health’s Disability and Communication Access Board.
read … Kokua Line
Civil Beat Deletes Commenter(?)—Then Engages in Petty Bickering
CB: “…after I originally read Conrow’s comments, on the article Pellegrin flagged and others, and Civil Beat changed commenting systems, all of Conrow’s comments disappeared from the Civil Beat site….”
(lets just skip to the comments)
This reads more like an attack on a specific person than a general request. The title implies that she’s being paid to post here and the entire article is about one commenter when the same issue could be raised about solar industry professionals commenting on solar articles or the anti GMO commenters.
This seems like an uncivil hit piece singling and targeting one person.
This is very interesting because it would apply to the very people being used as sources for many of the stories on here, including Ashley Lukens of the Center for Food Safety. Not a single media source in Hawaii has presented the truth about that group and others like the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Humane Society of the US, and any of the activist groups here. Many of their paid activists would have to be applied to that same standard.
Brett, that bias that you speak of should also be noted by all Civil Beat journalists when they report purported news stories but include a strong political or other bias that slants the story off the board. I have seen pure hatchet jobs in CB by journalists that are on the CB staff against particular persons.
You also need to learn to prune your own articles, as this one shows a particular axe to grind on a particular writer and additionally, demonstrates a marked case of verbal diarrhea. Journalists should have specific limits on character count as is applied to commenters. Frankly, my eyes glassed over before I finished your lengthy discourse.
I think most of us are aware that commenters are offering opinions rather than reporting facts. The argument in this piece conflates those two activities under the umbrella of “journalistic discourse” and “journalistic contexts”, which I think weakens it considerably.
You preach the ethics of journalism while attacking one person, is Civil? I think not. I’m with you, though, How dare Joan question Civil Beat a supposed news reporting organization which now claims to be a non-profit while having questionable special interest ties and ethics.
Civic journalism?are you seriously an educator?the standard is so low that now Civil beater refers to the comments section as journalism.
If you do not give a professional bio before every comment than it will be deleted.It is up to the public to prove that civil brat is censoring the comments section?That is not transparency.Either stop all comments or back off! Your work should be able to stand on its own without worrying who commented on it.Are you worried that Conrow might change the readers mind after reading your BS?
SA: We Really Like Anti-Pesticide Hypesters
read … Civil Beat: Do Journalism our Way or not at All