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Monday, April 23, 2018
April 23, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:20 PM :: 4361 Views

Still Lying About Peter Boy: Blame Homeschooling For CWS Failures

Ed Case 'Looking for a Candidate'

Bought and Paid For: Russian Oil Money Flows to US Anti-Fracking Protesters

Decaying Remnants of Inouye Mafia Line Up Behind Hanabusa, Tokuda

CB: …Jennifer Sabas, a lobbyist who served as the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s chief of staff for 20 years…has donated a few thousand dollars to Tokuda and Hanabusa for this campaign and prior ones. But she’s also leveraged her relationships and extensive political network to help them win their hotly contested Aug. 11 primary races….

A review of campaign finance records and disclosures with the state Ethics Commission shows many of Sabas’ clients and others connected to organizations she has worked with are contributing heavily to both the Hanabusa and Tokuda campaigns….

“That’s like a money machine.”

One of Tokuda’s fundraisers last year was at WCIT Architecture, where Sabas has an office.

Many of her colleagues in the Legislature, along with major lobbyists, lawyers and CEOs, made their biggest donations at the Dec. 5 event. Suggested donations were $1,000, $3,000 or $6,000. 

Tokuda received more than $30,000 from 15 members of the Legislature, including $6,000 apiece from House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chair Donovan Dela Cruz….

Thousands of dollars more came in to Tokuda’s coffers that day from people like Alicia Moy, the president and CEO of Hawaii Gas, who donated $1,000; Bruce Coppa, a lobbyist with Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, who gave $1,500; and former Sen. Matthew Matsunaga, an attorney with Schlack Ito, who contributed $1,000….

The NextEra Energy PAC donated $6,000 to Hanabusa in September. So did NextEra Energy Transmission President Eric Gleason, who led the merger effort. Hanabusa received another $9,000 from NextEra President and CEO Armando Pimentel and NextEra Energy CEO James Robo….

Move Oahu Forward — which is funded by bankers, developers, large landowners, architects and engineers among others — paid Sabas $21,000 to lobby lawmakers during their special session last year to pass a bill to shore up funding for the over-budget rail project. The group has paid Sabas $157,000 since 2015 to lobby the Legislature.

Lau and Hawaiian Electric Co. CEO Alan Oshima each gave Hanabusa $1,000. They have given Tokuda a combined $6,300 and donated $3,445 to Ige in November….

Dods, who has served in top roles at First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Telcom and Alexander & Baldwin, was close with Inouye and Sabas. In September, he gave Tokuda $3,000 and he and his wife, Diane, gave Hanabusa a combined $10,000.

read … About the Mafia

Legislators Can Still Vote to Ban fundraising during session

SA: …legislators are passing around the campaign-fund hat with one hand while signing — or holding back — key bills with the other. It doesn’t take the most cynical voter to wonder whether there might be a connection between donations and decisions when both happen at the same time.

Hawaii lags behind many other states in regulating campaign activities during a legislative session. The time for making a course correction — prohibiting campaign fundraising during the 60-day lawmaking session — is long overdue.

Fundraising while the Legislature is convened is nothing new. Some members take advantage of the fact that many potential donors would be nearby, a logistical plus, during session.

But it’s a growing concern. And there have been enough high-profile examples of powerbrokers conducting fundraisers, while their focus should be on the job at hand, to tip the scales for change.

Blurring the lines between political donations and public policy-making is troubling and should be avoided. It’s the appearance of pay-to-play influence that matters, and it diminishes the voters’ trust that elected officials put the public interest above politics. Powerful politicians asking for donations during a crucial legislative time is consequential and cynical.

The larger point here is the need for standards to be raised, officially and legally. The House and Senate can, and should, ban campaign fundraising during session in language added to their rules of conduct.

There’s still time this session to do that and send a positive, immediate message to their constituents….

read … Ban fundraising during session

Hawaii House Needs To Beef Up Harassment Rules — Now

CB: The House, which currently has a toothless policy, should adopt the Senate’s rules until lawmakers can make additional improvements….

As Explained: Hawaii House Rules Prohibit Staff from Revealing "Illegal or Improper Conduct"

read … Hawaii House Needs To Beef Up Harassment Rules — Now

Water Board Seeks $60M More Rate Hikes

SA: The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is seeking to raise an additional $60 million over four years through rate increases to help finance a more aggressive… (insert excuse here)….

PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULE

HONOLULU  -- Thursday, 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at Mission Memorial Auditorium

KAPOLEI -- May 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Kapolei Hale

KANEOHE -- May 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Benjamin Parker Elementary School

MILILANI -- May 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mililani Recreation Center No. 5

read … $60 Million

State House blocks bills against Thirty Meter Telescope

SA: …The state House of Representatives last week refused to assign any conferees to House Bill 1585 and two other TMT-related bills, House Speaker Scott Saiki said.

“The House’s position is that we need to allow the (TMT) litigation to proceed and be decided,” Saiki said. “This is not the time to create instability for astronomy.”

The state Legislature is now meeting in conference committee — that part of the session when Senate and House members attempt to iron out compromises that allow a single version of a bill to be sent to the governor. Without House members assigned to the Mauna Kea bills, no compromise version is possible.

The bills include HB 1585, which would require a series of audits and other tasks of the University of Hawaii before a construction moratorium at the Mauna Kea summit will be lifted, and HB 1985, which would establish a new authority to take over management of the summit from UH and the state Board of Land and Natural Resources….

Also not assigned conferees by the House was HB 1767, regarding vehicle access to Waipio Valley and the Mauna Kea Science Reserve….

read … State House blocks bills against Thirty Meter Telescope

Lawmakers Question Whether State Should Buy Kauai Farmland

CB: A state agriculture agency that’s already getting scrutiny from legislators because of its resistance to being audited is looking to make a major property acquisition on Kauai.

The deal would include about 100 acres now leased to a seed company.

House Bill 2426 is scheduled for a conference committee hearing Monday. It would provide up to $6 million to the Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corp. to acquire land near Waimea on Kauai’s west side….

The 400 acres ADC has targeted to acquire in west Kauai is now owned by Kikiaola Land Co., said Jim Beaver, Kikiaola’s board secretary.

Founded as Waimea Sugar Co. in the late 19th century, Kikiaola has remained family owned even as the sugar industry has declined. Its current generation of owners has little agriculture expertise and therefore leases about 100 acres to Hartung Brothers Inc., a Wisconsin-based grower which took over Syngenta’s seed farming operations last year….

In light of the potential land deal, Creagan reiterated his call for a management audit of the ADC. He said the ADC may be doing a stellar job, but lawmakers have no way to know.

“This is not so much draining the swamp as it is blowing the mist away,” said Creagan, who is on the conference committee that will determine the fate of the bill to purchase the land, as well as a separate measure, Senate Bill 3087 would require an audit of the ADC.

Nakatani has said an audit, which typically requires agencies to turn over documents and information to analysts, would be too onerous for his small staff to participate in. State Board of Agriculture Chairman Scott Enright has also testified that the ADC staff is too busy for an audit.

read … Lawmakers Question Whether State Should Buy Kauai Farmland

Supreme Court to Hear Travel Ban Case Wednesday

WSJ: The Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider whether President Donald Trump can legally restrict entry to the U.S. for travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, tackling a central issue of his presidency.

The case traces back to a defining moment in Mr. Trump’s campaign, when he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” That idea evolved through three travel bans of varying character and severity, the latest issued in September 2017.

The ban has become more measured in some respects, as the White House has sought to withstand legal scrutiny, though the current travel prohibitions have no expiration date, a contrast from the temporary nature of the earlier bans.

To prevail, the government may have to persuade the justices that the current order is untainted by religious bias, contrary to the findings of some lower courts. The administration also will assert that the ban is needed to help prevent terrorist attacks.

Clarifying the scope of the president’s power over immigration and national-security policy is a momentous task in itself. But in a matter so closely tied to Mr. Trump’s own instincts and style, the case amounts to something of a personal test for the president, as well as a legal one.

read …  The Wall Street Journal

Public input sought for HPD reaccreditation

SA: Public comment on the Honolulu Police Department is being sought Tuesday as part of an on-site reaccreditation assessment being conducted by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc.

To be accredited, the international CALEA program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations and support services.

HPD Chief Susan Ballard is encouraging the public to weigh in on the department’s ability to meet national standards. “It’s important to get the community’s feedback because this is their police department,” Ballard said in a statement.

SA: Lack of officers is hurting operation of HPD, chief says

read … Public input sought for HPD reaccreditation

Kauai County to Distribute Fuel Rations in Hanalei

HNN: …A community meeting for isolated residents of Wainiha and Haena was led by Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho at the Hanalei Colony Resort on Sunday afternoon. 

At the meeting, which had than 400 attendees, Carvalho announced that the county will be collecting household trash starting Monday morning. Residents in the areas between Wainiha and Haena are being asked to put their household garbage outside along Kuhio Highway, where they will be picked up by Public Works employees, and flown out.

Bulky items will not be collected in these trash pickups.

The county will also begin rationing out fuel to residents in isolated areas by providing each household with five gallons of gasoline per week starting Monday.

Residents in those areas can either bring a five-gallon container to the fuel site, or their vehicle can be filled directly.

He also announced that temporary classrooms, serving a mixture of elementary, middle and high school students will be opened using rooms in the Hanalei Colony Resort. About 36 students and three teachers in the area will utilize the temporary classrooms beginning on Thursday.

Carvalho also announced that water pumps were flown in from the Kauai Fire department to isolated areas to help decrease ponding on private properties, where garbage has begun piling up.

"We're trying to be effective and respond as quickly as we can," Carvalho said. "Other areas of sanitation are still being worked on."

All postal mail will be held at the Kilauea post office indefinitely, or at least until the resident is able to pick up their items. …

read … Hanalei

South Kohala developer seeks $725K from state

HTH: Attorneys for a South Kohala developer are seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for their work after recently prevailing over the state in a federal takings claim case.

Bays Lung Rose &Holma, the law firm that has represented Bridge Aina Lea LLC since 2011 when the case was filed in U.S. District Court, motioned Judge Susan Oki Mollway to award $662,227 for attorneys’ fees and $62,810 for associated costs to be paid by the state Land Use Commission, which is funded by taxpayers….

Mid-trial, Mollway granted part of a motion by the state to set just compensation at $1 and in her judgment order issued March 30 entered nominal damages of $1 to Bridge Aina Lea. She also noted that the developer could appeal the amount as well as request payment for court costs, the latter of which occurred April 13.

Bridge Aina Lea has said it plans to appeal the compensation amount. Attorney Bruce Voss previously said the just compensation owed is approximately $20 million….

read … South Kohala developer seeks $725K from state

Hawaii Businesses Are Making Billions Off The Military

CB: Hawaii is second only to Virginia in the amount of money that flows into the state through Defense Department spending….

Data from a relatively new website that tracks the flow of defense dollars into Hawaii, HawaiiDefenseEconomy.org, shows that UH has received more than $435 million through federal defense contracts and grants since fiscal year 2008. 

Much of the money has gone to study climate change, resilience and alternative energy….

read … Hawaii Businesses Are Making Billions Off The Military

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