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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Caldwell Caught with His Hand in “Pay to Play” Cash Register
By News Release @ 5:32 PM :: 6341 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12

Caldwell Caught with His Hand in “Pay to Play” Cash Register

by Dr. Kioni Dudley

Kirk Caldwell’s claim to reforming “pay to play” is a farce. Yesterday’s report on campaign donations reveals that he continues to accept great numbers of monetary contributions from government contractors, including Honolulu rail contractors. His actions make a mockery of his repeated TV ads where he boasts of creating legislation to outlaw campaign contributions from those holding contracts from government.

Caldwell’s previous filings with the Campaign Spending Commission list a minimum of forty-six contributors with rail contracts. These range from top executives of Kobayashi/Kiewit Joint Venture which has a contract for $195 million, and InfraConsult which has a HART contract for $82 million, to people holding the smaller but lavish public relations contracts, such as Gary Omori at $251,000 and Pat Lee who pulls in $348,000.

Is it in any way conceivable that Caldwell doesn’t recognize these companies as “players,” those who receive pay-to-play contracts?

In the same report, executives of R.M. Towill gave him $16,000. Those from Yogi Kwong Engineers gave him $14,500. As he took these thousands of dollars from the players, how could he not see that these were “payments to play,” and that he is the central figure in the largest pay to play scheme of this election period?

Yesterday’s report of campaign contributions reveals additional money from Rail contractors. Fifteen separate people from Parsons Brinckerhoff paid him $28,150 to continue playing. Eight more donations came in from Infra-consult, the company formed by three employees of Parsons Brinckerhoff to oversee the Parsons Brinckerhoff rail project for the city.

Why are there so many contributions from these companies? To get around the law which limits pay-to-players to $4000 per election. Caldwell knows all of these details. He knows the contributors. Many received their rail contracts or subcontracts from him, while he was Mufi Hannemann’s “primary point person” for rail transit.

Caldwell’s television ad is the height of hypocrisy. “He voted to bar contractors from making pay-to-play contributions to candidates, and made doing so a felony.” How can he face himself knowing that his ad is convincing people that he is a heroic figure fighting against pay and play, while he is raking in the pay from the players? Shouldn’t he shudder each time it is shown?

Caldwell is not only comfortable with his own lies, he embraces the lies of others. Like the ads by John White and Pacific Resource Partnership which flood television at all hours, falsely and viciously attacking former Governor Cayetano for “accepting illegal campaign contributions.” These ads benefit only one person in the world, Kirk Caldwell. The ads are character assassination. They are a lie, a lie repeated to a million people perhaps a hundred times a day. What man of honor would not immediately repudiate them? What man of honor would let them continue, day in and day out, destroying, destroying, destroying his opponent with falsehoods?

Kirk Caldwell has been misrepresenting facts for years. During the Hannemann administration, when Caldwell was “the primary point person for rail transit,” the purpose for the rail project was changed from solving traffic problems for current residents, to accommodating the thousands of people who will eventually move into homes that will cover irreplaceable, prime farmland in Kapolei. It never occurred to Kirk that honesty demanded that the people paying for rail be told that it was no longer being built for them, that they were being tricked into paying for it.

As the project progressed, and no parking was planned to accommodate the hundred thousand Ewa and Ewa Beach commuters expected to travel Fort Weaver Road, Kirk neglected to tell anyone that they were all expected to walk to the bus stop, ride the bus to the train, take the train to town, and ride another bus to work, and do the same returning each evening.

Kirk Caldwell has repeatedly shown us he is comfortable deceiving the people. Is that quality we can afford in our mayor?

---30---

Dr. Kioni Dudley, a Makakilo resident stakes his reputation on the truthfulness of this article.

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