Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, October 04, 2014
Kakaako: How to Buy Hawaii State Senators--Legally
By Andrew Walden @ 9:53 PM :: 7034 Views :: Ethics, OHA, Politicians

by Andrew Walden

The Ethics Commission is only as good as the laws it enforces.  That's what one Kakaako resident is learning after Hawai'i Free Press exposed the fact that Senator Brickwood Galuteria was on the payroll of a non-profit chaired by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Robert Lindsey while going against his own constituents to push OHA's multi-million dollar Kakaako Makai development scheme in the 2014 legislative session.  

In an October 2, 2014 letter, the Ethics Commission responds to a September 29, 2014 complaint by Kakaako resident Richard Baker against Galuteria.  The Ethics Commission tells Baker it cannot initiate an investigation, explaining:  

We understand you to allege that Senator Galuteria may have violated the conflicts-of-interests section of the State Ethics Code by introducing and voting in favor of legislation relating to the Office of Hawaii Affairs ("OHA'') during the 2014 legislative session. Your allegation appears to be based on Senator Galuteria's employment with the Pelatron Center for Economic Development ("PCED"), a not-for-profit organization established to advance and promote the economic welfare of the Native Hawaiian Community. The article indicates that Robert K. Lindsey, Jr., is the chairman of PCED's board of directors; Mr. Lindsey is also a-member of OHA's board of trustees.

The State Ethics Code does not prohibit legislators from introducing or voting on legislation, even legislation that affects their non-state employment interests. More specifically, the fair treatment section of the statute, which prohibits a legislator from using his official position to secure "unwarranted" advantages for himself or others, expressly does not prohibit a legislator from "introducing bills ... or from making statements or taking official action as a legislator[.]"1 Similarly, legislators are not subject to the part of the conflicts of interest law that prohibits state employees from taking official action that directly affects their private employers.2

Although legislators may not, for pay, assist or represent a private entity before the legislature,3 based on the information you provided, it does not appear that Senator Galuteria was doing so. The article contains no suggestion that Senator Galuteria was assisting or representing PCED during the legislative session; rather, the article simply details the actions that Senator Galuteria took in his legislative capacity: he made statements about a bill that transferred Kakaako Makai to OHA; he introduced Senate Bill No. 3122 and other OHA-related legislation; and he voted in favor of Senate Bill No. 3122 on a number of occasions. Senator Galuteria's actions, as described in the article, appear to fall within his official duties as a legislator. Thus, the alleged conduct that appears to be the basis of your complaint does not appear to raise a prohibited conflict of interest or other misconduct under the State Ethics Code.

The lesson here?  If you ever need to buy some Senators and Representatives, create 'positions' and give them 'salaries.'  They can introduce legislation on your behalf, push it through their committees, and speak in favor of it on the floor and in the media. 

Until legislators rewrite the law, it is all legal.

Read:  Ethics Commission Letter



Galuteria Pushed Kakaako Makai Bill While on Payroll of OHA Trustee

Ethics Complaint Filed: Call for Galuteria to Resign


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii