by Andrew Walden
Legislators have a plan to send swarms of homeless people pouring into the streets just as voters begin to cast absentee ballots this July.
This is just one part of a multi-prong Hanabusa Mafia assault designed to create chaos and force Ige to alienate powerful interest groups.
Can David Ige block Hanabusa’s plan for his campaign summer?
He is already trying.
One example would be Ige’s last-ditch effort to kill SB2990, Paid Family Leave.
Ige March 21 announced:
“Paid family leave would benefit Hawaiʻi’s working families, and I fully support the Legislature’s efforts to establish a plan for moving it forward.”
Kill? The casual observer might be excused for thinking that Ige is announcing his support. But the real meaning is in the timing, not the words.
The veto list for bills sent to the Governor after April 17 is due on June 25 and vetoes must be delivered by July 10.
Hanabusa Mafiosi are trying to corner Ige into rejecting overreaching demands by key interest groups just before the July 30 through August 11 Primary voting period.
With an early announcement of his intent to sign, Ige is informing legislators that it is up to them to kill this turkey.
The next hearing for SB2990 SD2 HD1 is March 28 in front of the House Finance committee chaired by Hanabusa supporter Sylvia Luke.
Paid Family Leave is not the only bill being advanced with the intent of trapping Ige.
The juiciest Hanabusa Mafia bill is HB1900 – the House Budget. In current form, as amended by Luke’s House Finance Committee, Ige would be obligated to choose between a veto or mass closure of all homeless shelters on July 1, 2018—just a few weeks before absentee voting begins.
To defeat the Hanabusa homeless plan, Ige would have to credibly show that, even without a budget, he has a way to keep the cash flowing to homeless shelters and housing first programs so they stay open without a hitch at least through Saturday August 11th. If legislators believe this, then they might drop their scheme. The next hearing is before Senate WAM March 29.
This type of gamesmanship works only because most Legislators face no real opposition in the elections. They can vote ‘aye’ without concern and there is nothing voters can do to them -- but Ige has a Primary.
As the Legislative session opened, the Star-Advertiser January 17 pointed out:
“When Hanabusa formally launched her campaign to try to unseat Gov. David Ige at a press conference this month, she was joined at the event by a gaggle of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, including House Speaker Scott Saiki, House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke, Senate President Ron Kouchi and Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani.
Those lawmakers have more than enough political juice among them to dictate the fate of almost any proposal at the state Legislature, and Hanabusa supporters seem to have little incentive to support Ige’s plans or ideas this session….
Now we are starting to see their plan unfold. Several bills which feed Democrat interest groups at the expense of the State have been turned into legislation. In a normal year, a Committee Chair or a Conference Committee could be expected to quietly kill these bills after legislators spend a few weeks collecting campaign contributions and making it look real.
Not this year.
We can expect the Hanabusa Mafia to advance as many of these as possible to Ige. Ige will have to play the heavy and he will pay the price a few weeks later in the primary election.
In response, Ige may soon make more counter-intuitive announcements of support or opposition.
These bills would be disastrous for the state. But Ige would alienate core Democrat interest groups by vetoing. Normally Legislators would protect the Governor by killing them off before they reach his desk.
Ige could alienate large numbers of voters by signing these bills.