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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Mayor Kenoi’s defense of use of County addresses in campaign raises more questions
By Andrew Walden @ 5:35 PM :: 7784 Views :: Hawaii County

KENOI Internet Use HEADLINE HTH Shot

by Andrew Walden

RELATED: Kenoi campaign website registered to mayor’s office

Today’s Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today carry front page stories based on Hawai`i Free Press revelation Sunday that Hawai`i County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s campaign website was registered to the address, phone number and email address of the Mayor’s office. This means that the two papers have given this Internet abuse issue more ink than they gave to the Hawai`i Free Press exposure of Kenoi’s fundraising effort on behalf of Mafia murder Malu Motta.

From the article by WHT reporter Nancy Cook Lauer:

Kenoi said Monday it was all news to him.

"In no way was it created by me," Kenoi said. "I wouldn't even know how."

The Kenoi campaign paid Puna consultant Kate Almony $1,500 to design a Web site and campaign ad, according to information filed with the Campaign Spending Commission….

"At the time, we just didn't know what to put, I guess," Almony said.

The response from Kenoi and Almony does noting to dispel the perception that Kenoi used County facilities for campaign purposes. If Almony truly “just didn’t know what to put” then the question is how it came about that she put the mayor’s office address, phone number and email address instead of Kenoi’s personal address, phone number and email address or a Kenoi campaign committee address, phone number and email address.

A little mathematics illustrates the situation. Presuming that Almony was randomly selecting information to place on the website registration form and restricted herself to the addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the roughly 180,000 people who live in Hawai`i County the chance of her randomly using the mayor’s office address, phone number and email address would be approximately 180,000 x 180,000 x 180,000. This equals a one-in-5.8 quadrillion chance that the three pieces of information were placed there by accident.

So where did Almony get the address, phone number and email address that she used?  Did she get them from a contract she signed with Kenoi?  Did she get them from other campaign-related information Kenoi provided her?  The excuses Kenoi and Almony offer inevitably lead right back to the original question.

Kenoi has no shortage of non-governmental addresses which he could have provided to Almony. He has a home address. He owns a rental property. He is managing partner of an LLC owning building at 614 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. The building was used as Kenoi’s East Hawai`i Campaign HQ.

In the articles of organization for “Hui Kaulike LLC” Kenoi filed in June, 2007, Kenoi listed himself as “initial manager” with four “initial members” who together own the building. Kenoi listed a mailing address for the LLC as PO Box 7268, Hilo, HI 96720 and a “registered office’ for the LLC at 505 Kilauea.

According to testimony before the Campaign Spending Commission October 8, 2008 Kenoi’s LLC partners are “Bradley Chong and Todd Eddins”, both attorneys. Kenoi himself is also an attorney.  As Mayor he oversees the County’s multi-hundred-million dollar budget.  But he apparently wants the public to believe that County addresses and phone numbers ended up on his campaign website by magic. 

LINK TO: “Whois” report for BillyKenoi.com , Kenoi defends use of county addresses in politicking , Campaign Spending Commission debates Kenoi’s use of 614 Kilauea as Campaign HQ.

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