Hawaii voters lobbying against HB 444, as well as one Senator, have been subjected to physical harassment and assault by gay marriage advocates several times over the past few months. Here is an exchange of letters between one of the victims and House Speaker Calvin Say regarding the alleged actions of convicted child molester and gay marriage advocate Leon Rouse who manages the office of Rep Rida Cabanilla. Hawai’i Free Press has withheld the identity of the alleged victim for her protection.
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Dear House Speaker Say, January 27, 2010
Today was a very sad day for the taxpayers of Hawaii and for your own Democratic party. I took the time to travel by bus from Mililani to the Capitol building this morning (Weds Feb 17) for the purpose of visiting some of the House representatives personally. I visited the following offices (by number/no names): 425, 427, 431 (yours), 435 441. Everyone was cordial in each of those offices as I questioned each representative's voting record on HB444.
Unfortunately, when I entered Rep. Cabanilla's office #442 and inquired whether she might be available, the young lady said Ms. Cabanilla was on the phone. When I offered to wait, she indicated it might not be possible to speak with her due to a very busy schedule today. The staffer, when asked, indicated Rep. Cabanilla voted to affirm HB444. I then asked her if this was an election year.
Before she could respond, a male staffer (Leon) who was on the phone during this time and sitting directly to my left suddenly slammed the phone down on the desk ... stood up and became extremely verbally aggressive with me saying "You are in violation by asking about reelection and your remarks are considered threatening and harassing! You need to leave the building now!" I said I was merely asking a question to which he said "Oh, like you didn't know this was an election year? You're wearing an "I vote" button and you don't know whether this is an election year?"
Needless to say Rep. Say, I was shocked at his remarks. When he asked me to leave the building or he would call the Sergeant-At-Arms and have me escorted out, I told him "I'm not leaving the building." He called Kevin Kuroda via the phone and told him to come immediately. Another male staffer was now involved and telling me I had to leave.
I told Leon he was being extremely rude and that I'm a senior citizen whose tax dollars pay his salary. Leon was in a state of rage and acting outrageously! I felt very much at risk physically so I left and literally ran back to Room 441 where I just came from and where I felt I could be safe. Leon followed quickly on my heels and entered that office with me. I was yelling for help and he was yelling the Sergeant-At-Arms was on his way. The whole scene was positively bizarre! When Kevin came in, I was shaking and in a very frightened state due to the actions of Ms. Cabanilla's aide. Kevin asked him to please leave and he proceeded to speak with me and told me no one is going to make you leave the building. We went outside and continued our discussion in the hall. A female staffer from Room 441 brought me a bottle of water after asking me if I needed it.
Kevin said he would wait for things to calm down and then he would discuss a more proper way for Ms. Cabanilla's staff to behave. He then stayed with me as we walked down to your office where you were occupied with other business. I told Kevin I would write to you and also cc Kevin my remarks.
Now, I'd like to say this story ended nicely ... it did not! About an hour later, I was outside of Conference Room 325 talking to some others who were also lobbying House members with regards to voting "No" on HB444. Dennis Arakaki pointed out Ms. Cabanilla and he asked her to please come and speak with me. She came over and before I could even explain my concerns regarding her staffers overreaction, she tried to 'talk over me' by saying "I've instructed my staff members NOT to discuss HB444 anymore." When I began trying to tell her about Leon's inappropriate actions, she said "We don't talk about reelection." Suddenly, with no notice, she turned and walked away! I said "My tax dollars pay your salary too" to which she responded "You're a very rude woman!" Her actions were witnessed by at least four other people.
Mr. Say, I'm extremely disappointed in the vulgar style displayed by a member of your own party and the vicious verbal attack by her staffer. As the House Speaker, I thought you might want to know how poorly some of your caucus members are behaving. There was NO aloha displayed ... only disrespect. I do not hold you responsible sir for the actions of others over which you have no control. But I do hope you will consider their actions when they come to you wanting your support for their agenda. I personally would think twice about supporting any Hawaii elected representative who behaves so poorly and who vindicates and supports the poor behavior of their staff members.
Feb. 1, 2010
Dear (Name Withheld):
I read with much concern your e-mail of January 27, 2010, about Representative Cabanilla and her staff member.
Please be assured that I will discuss your complaint with Representative Cabanilla. House members and their staff should treat the public with respect and courtesy, except when they feel physically threatened or face abusive behavior. From what I have been able to ascertain, you were not physically threatening or abusive to anyone at the State Capitol.
I truly hope that you will view your visit to the State Capitol as constructive and positive, despite the incident with Representative Cabanilla and staff. Further, it is hoped that your negative experience is outweighed by the cordial reception you received by our House Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Kuroda, and the staff members of Representative Cindy Evans (Room 425), Representative Angus McKelvey (Room 427), Representative Jerry Chang (Room 435), and Representative Scott Nishimoto (Room 441).
I appreciate hearing from you. Best wishes for continued good health and happiness.
Calvin K.Y. Say, Speaker
Feb. 1, 2010
Dear House Speaker Say:
Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to investigate my complaint against Representative Cabanilla and her staff member Leon Rouse. In your meeting with Rep. Cabanilla, I hope you will also consider addressing, what I learned after his verbal attack against me, the eight year imprisonment of Mr. Rouse in the Philippines due to alleged sexual crimes committed against an under aged male. I think you will agree Rep. Say that having an alleged convicted pedophile on one's staff is profoundly inappropriate and begs the question ... why?
Yes sir, I was extremely impressed by the very professional demeanor displayed by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Kuroda. His presence was reassuring to me and I welcomed his intervention because I felt extremely vulnerable prior to his arrival.
All of the other Representatives staff members were extremely cordial and respectful despite the fact I may not have agreed with their previous support of HB444. In fact, Rep. Evans staff person gave me an "Emergency Preparedness Guide" as I was leaving her office which I've placed in my wallet. Of course I also was grateful to Rep. Nishimoto's staff member who brought me the bottle of water.
After attending the Assembly hearing on Friday and appreciating your courage to take it upon yourself to introduce the motion to "table the bill indefinitely," my friend and I made a visit to your office to personally thank you. Upon our arrival, the media was preparing to interview you so we quietly went to the back of the room and respectfully (quietly) listened to the interview. Afterwards you quickly walked into the hallway and disappeared into the elevator.
Knowing the angst produced by the majority vote in favor of your motion, I shall pray for your protection and continued strength as you seek to tackle the many problems in need of legislative attention within our beloved State of Hawaii.
Dear Representative Pine,
I just sent a 'group' e-mail to all of the representative in support of recalling HB2311 during today's session where I will also attend. When I saw Rep. Cabanilla on KGTV flippantly dismissing the merits of your bill, it made me very angry. Recently I had some extremely negative interaction with Rep. Cabanilla and her staffer Leon Rouse (see below). Two days later, I learned that Mr. Rouse is a convicted child molester and served eight years of a thirteen year sentence in the Philippines where the attack occurred. For more information, you may go to Hawai`i Free Press January 23, 2010 article where all the details are clearly spelled out.
I'm intrigued regarding the fact that a Representative can continue operating "business as usual" while employing not once (2005) but twice (2009 until the present) a known child molester whose salary is paid by our tax dollars!
Were you aware of this travesty Rep. Pine? Are others in the House aware of this abomination? It certainly gives a black eye to what has always been perceived as the elevated status in our society that our elected officials hold. I'm interested in what your thoughts are regarding Rep. Cabanilla's poor choice when it comes to her convicted staffer. I believe her opposition to your bill is, yet again, another example of Rep. Cabanilla's poor choices.