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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Akaku Claims Victory over HB2652 cut to Public Access TV
By News Release @ 2:32 AM :: 12068 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill, Kauai County, DHHL, Energy, Environment

 

Your Voice Was Heard, HB2652 is Dead

Message from Akaku.com evening of February 7, 2012

Thanks to a flood of phone calls and emails from people like you, outraged citizens from all islands, there was a tiny revolt in Big Island Representative Bob Herkesʻ Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee (CPN) on Monday. Last week, after faking the death of HB 2652, a bill designed to kill public access TV, Herkes gave it new life by sneaking it back onto the agenda on the eve of Super Bowl weekend so it could be quietly voted on and sent forward to Finance. Rep. Bob Herkes was visibly not thrilled when citizens from all islands called and emailed committee members over the weekend to register deep and wide dissatisfaction with HB2652.

Maui Representative, Gilbert Keith-Agaran opened up the voting on the measure by firmly stating his opposition and voting "no". Reps. Sylvia Luke and Corinne Ching followed suit and Representatives Cynthia Thielen and Barbara Marumoto looked as though they were leaning toward a "no" vote as well. It was then that former Speaker and Maui Rep. Joe Souki asked the Chair why, if Herkes, was against carving up neighbor island PEGS as he claimed, why was there still language in the bill that does exactly that? In a confusing display of doublespeak, Herkes tried to dance around that one by saying he was not about to change the language in the bill but would make a note in the committee report that CPN is against a split of funds on neighbor islands before sending it forward to Finance. No one in the room was really buying that one and the bill was deferred until next Monday, February 13 at 2:15PM

Today, in a victory for free speech, Representative Herkes reversed himself and sent the following communiqué to the heads of all Public Access Stations:

FR: Rep. Robert N. Herkes

Chair, House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

RE: HB2652 Relating to PEG Facilities

Aloha!

At the recent CPC hearing on Mon Feb 6, 2012, I announced that decision making on HB 2652 will be deferred again until the next CPC Committee hearing on Mon Feb 13, 2012. I wanted to let you know that my recommendation to the committee members will be to “hold” the measure. As such, this bill will not move forward.

Mahalo to you and the community television community for sharing your thoughts and concerns about the legislation.

Sincerely, Bob Herkes

Please thank Representative Gilbert Keith-Agaran for sticking up for your voice. Please thank Representatives Joe Souki , Angus McKelvey and Mele Carroll for their unwavering support. Send some love to Oahu Reps. Sylvia Luke and Corinne Ching as well. These dedicated Public Servants heard your voice and stood up for you but this threat to your voice orchestrated by Time Warner Cable is not over. There will be more attacks coming this legislative session. Stay tuned to the akaku.com. for updates.

* * * * *

UPDATE: Message from Akaku Director Jay April morning of February 7, 2012

Thanks to a flood of phone calls and emails from people like you, outraged citizens from all islands, there was a tiny revolt in Big Island Representative Bob Herkesʻ Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee (CPN) on Monday. Last week, after faking the death of HB 2652, a bill designed to kill public access TV, Herkes gave it new life by sneaking it back onto the agenda on the eve of Superbowl weekend so it could be quietly voted on and sent forward to Finance. Rep. Bob Herkes was visibly not thrilled when citizens from all islands called and emailed committee members over the weekend to register deep and wide dissatisfaction with HB2652. You stopped it today, but it is STILL ALIVE!

Maui Representative, Gilbert Keith-Agaran opened up the voting on the measure by firmly stating his opposition and voting "no". Reps. Sylvia Luke and Corinne Ching followed suit and Representatives Cynthia Thielen and Barbara Marumoto looked as though they were leaning toward a "no" vote as well. It was then that former Speaker and Maui Rep. Joe Souki asked the Chair why, if Herkes, was against carving up neighbor island PEGS as he claimed, why was there still language in the bill that does exactly that? In a confusing display of doublespeak, Herkes tried to dance around that one by saying he was not about to change the language in the bill but would make a note in the committee report that CPN is against a split of funds on neighbor islands before sending it forward to Finance. No one in the room was really buying that one and the bill has been deferred until next Monday, February 13 at 2:15PM where Herkes will once again, by hook or by crook, try to jam this bill through to the Finance Committee. This raises another one of those afraid to ask questions: Is there anyone on the House Finance Committee who works for Time Warner Cable?

Maui Representatives, Angus McKelvey and Mele Carroll were not present to vote but both indicated they are against the bill and will be again when it pops up its ugly head on Monday. While Bob Herkes twists the arms of his committee members this week to get them to see things his and Time Warnerʻs way, we as concerned constituents need to keep our phone calls and emails going. Please thank Representative Gilbert Keith-Agaran for sticking up for your voice. Thank Rep. Joe Souki too but tell him you want a "no" vote next Monday. Tell Representatives Angus McKelvey and Mele Carroll that you appreciate their support too but you need them to show up and vote "no" next week as well. Send some love to Oahu Reps. Sylvia Luke and Corinne Ching and focus your emails and phone calls this week on Oahu Reps. Tom Brower, Cynthia Thielen, Barbara Marumoto, Rida Cabanilla, Ken Ito and Cliff Tsuji. Big Island Rep. Denny Coffman needs a "no" nudge as well. Please stay tuned. email links and phone numbers to all these Reps. will be posted on akaku.org soon. Please Speak up now and throughout this legislative session. There are real forces out there that really want to silence you for good and they will do so in a heartbeat if you let them. Like vampires, they keep coming back every session. Break out your wooden stakes. Now is the time to drive a stake through the heart of every bill that tries to take away your freedom of speech. If you don't do it, who will?

* * * * *

Double Crossed on Super Bowl Weekend

News Release from Akaku Maui

KAHULUI, HI, February 03 -- On the eve of Super Bowl weekend with nobody looking, an outrageous double cross happened at the state capitol. Last Friday, In a ploy designed to destroy Public Access TV, a very bad bill, HB 2652 was introduced in the House of Representatives endorsed by cable giant Oceanic Time Warner. HB2652 would cut the funding to Akaku and all Community Television in the state by two thirds with the money being siphoned off back to state coffers. The bill was introduced by Big Island Representative Herkes on Friday and set for a hearing on Monday not giving anyone enough time to get testimony before his committee.

Despite the late notice more than 45 written testimonies were submitted most all of them in strong opposition to the bill. Hearing the voice of the people loud and clear, the bill was deferred meaning it would die in committee.... A WIN FOR FREE SPEECH, A WIN FOR THE PEOPLE -- so we thought. This Friday afternoon, like a zombie coming back from the dead, the bill was brought back to life. This terrible legislation is scheduled for a vote at 2:15 PM Monday, Feb 6 in House Conference room 325. The word on the street is that Herkes’ committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) will send it forward ignoring your testimony in a classic double cross.

The question is, what happened this week to change the committee's mind? Who in the House of Representatives is working behind the scenes for Time Warner and not for you? To do something about it, you NEED TO ACT NOW to drive a stake through the heart of this bill. Please let your Maui Representatives and the House Committee that you will not tolerate this double cross. Go to the Akaku website and click on the link to register your outrage with the entire committee. Better yet, call or email your Maui Representatives, Joe Souki, Angus McKelvey, Mele Carrol and Gil Keith-Agaran BEFORE 2:00 PM on Monday and tell them to vote an emphatic NO on HB2652. Let your voice BE HEARD while you still have it.

 

 

 

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