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Sunday, February 6, 2022
February 6, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:19 PM :: 8277 Views

Tax Hikes Still on the Table

Republican Legislative Session Update

Mafia Logic: How Kai Kahele Could become our next Governor

Borreca: … As for baggage, Caldwell is toting more than most. As former mayor, Caldwell was the biggest supporter of the disastrously late and overbudget rail project, and left office with an approval rating of 31%, according to a Star-Advertiser poll taken by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy survey in 2019.

(Clue: Caldwell steps aside and Kahele becomes the mafia candidate, thus guaranteeing victory.)

Vicky Cayetano …  has a glittering range of financial supporters ranging from Paul Kosasa, CEO of ABC Stores, to Honolulu resident Dialta Alliata di Montereale, described as an “Italian aristocrat” who is battling for inheritance rights to an estimated $1 billion estate in Italy. Both Kosasa and Alliata di Montereale made $6,000 contributions to Cayetano. Neither, however, is considered a major political force in the same way you would look at the head of a labor union. (Translation: Not backed by mafia, therefore beatable.) 

Green is something of a self-made political force, with no intrinsic political base.   (Translation: Not backed by mafia, therefore beatable.) As an emergency room doctor, Green has fit in as the state deals with the COVID-19 crisis and also has been involved in helping with Honolulu’s homeless problems.  (This gives him popular support--which is meaningless.)

State ballots for the governor’s race will be mailed out starting July 26….

RELATED: Caldwell Should Quit Race Before He Gets Arrested

CB: Kai Kahele has been a U.S. congressman for barely a year but is reportedly already looking at a run for higher office. He served just four years in the state Senate before running for Congress in 2020.

read … Hefty campaign funds can help lift candidates, but political baggage will drag them down

Poll Results: Green 65% Approval

SA: … Lt. Gov. Josh Green, the leading candidate so far to become Hawaii’s next governor, has a commanding 65% overall approval rating among Hawaii voters — and an even more impressive 70% approval for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll shows.

Green’s dominance includes majority support from every county, ethnic group and even 52% overall support from Republicans, according to the poll. His approval rating fell below 50% only once, when Republican poll respondents gave him an approval rating of 47% on his handling of COVID-19.

SA: Undecided votes critical in tight race for Hawaii lieutenant governor

SA: Hawaii Poll reveals isle voters’ attitudes toward Gov. David Ige, Mayor Rick Blangiardi

read … Josh Green’s approval ratings surge in Hawaii governor’s race

Stadium Authority Chair is Big Lobbyist for Capitol Consultants and GA Morris

ILind: … How many conflicts of interest can you count? ….

RELATED: Aloha Stadium: Two Gangs of Cronies Scramble for Simoleons

read … A comment on politics and money

With state’s stadium plan, biggest games aren’t on the field

Shapiro: … key legislators keep pushing a grandiose New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District that would entail a stadium, profitable high-end housing, hotels and retail but little truly affordable housing.

Like the Honolulu rail disaster, there’s an NASED propaganda campaign — including a grossly misleading drawing showing 20,000 affordable housing units surrounding a stadium in the ugliest possible light, ignoring more attractive ways to do it.

NASED has been divided into separate bids for convoluted public-private partnerships few understand to build a stadium and develop the condos and hotels around it.

The two final bidding groups for the commercial piece include a who’s who of prominent local developers and contractors who also often appear in lists of major campaign donors to local lawmakers….

read … With state’s stadium plan, biggest games aren’t on the field

Hayashi is a Shoo-In for Next DoE Superintendent

SA: … Don’t read anything into the fact that it’s been six months and counting that Keith Hayashi has been acting as the interim state superintendent of Hawaii’s public schools. So says the head of the search for the next permanent superintendent.

(Translation: Hayashi is the one)

It does not mean Hayashi is a shoe-in (sic) for the permanent position, says Catherine Payne, chairwoman of the state Board of Education and head of its search committee. This is even though Hayashi has said he plans to apply, and these months are widely seen as his tryout.

(Translation: Hayashi is a shoo-in.)

In fact, she insists, no one has been anointed, or disregarded, for the job of leading Hawaii’s massive 257-campus public school system, one of the largest in the country.  Applications aren’t even being taken yet.….

(IQ Test: Are you thinking about the Honolulu Police Commission Chief selection process?)

(Answer: Chief Rade Vanic.)  

SA Editorial: Superintendent needs many skills

read … Board of Education weighs qualifications for tough superintendent job

Not hearing from the public in person is a big loss for lawmakers, good lawmaking

SA: … At critical times, in Water, Land or Energy, Environmental Protection committees, when the chairpersons were dictatorially controlling the process to pass what a “dissident minority” group of members knew was bad for our environment, we used the questioning process to publicly show flaws in the bills. Back and forth went the questions and testifiers’ answers in front of a live audience, until it became obvious to the chairperson that he/she no longer could push this bill through as drafted. Important victories for Hawaii’s land and water, and they only could be accomplished in an open public forum at the state Capitol.

Lobbyists are skilled at getting their messages across to legislators. But the public’s voice is ever more important now. The closed Capitol effectively silences our community and results in legislators loosing out on sound advice, and heartfelt reasoning. Lock them out and someday soon, they may no longer care. It’s the legislators’ loss….

read … Cynthia Thielen

Will Senate Vote to End Financial Disclosure Requirement For State Boards?

CB: … The Legislature is considering redacting salary ranges from public view because some think that could attract more (connected) and better (connected) applicants…. House Bill 1849 and Senate Bill 2123….

On Friday, HB 1849 was deferred indefinitely in the House, but that does not end the chances for the legislation to pass. Rep. Angus McKelvey, the chair of the House Government Reform Committee, noted that the Senate companion “has fewer committees” — suggesting it could be easier to advance.

SB 2123 now awaits a hearing in that chamber, and it might well receive one, as the proposal has lots of influential proponents….

read … Don't Back Down On Financial Disclosure Requirement For State Boards

Scowling Obama inspects the construction of his new multimillion-dollar Hawaii mansion and controversial sea wall

UKDM: … Barack Obama has been pictured at his new multimillion-dollar Hawaii mansion for the very first time, but he did not yet appear to be on island time.

Far from being in beach mode, Obama appeared to be deep in conversation as he spoke with workers from local  building firm Armstrong Builders, who are currently constructing his beachfront compound on the island of Oahu.

Dressed in beige pants and a grey polo shirt, Obama looked tense as he was pictured speaking with builders and architects.

The former president could be seen scowling as he chatted Saturday with at least four developers who were working on the project.

Obama, 60, had his arms crossed the entire time the group were discussing the next steps in building the massive compound, while at one point he appeared to be gesturing as he pointed out things that presumably needed to be addressed.

Construction has been mired in controversy because the project used a planning loophole to retain a sea wall that is almost certainly causing beach erosion. …

FOX: Obama spotted maskless, surrounded by masked construction workers at new Hawaii mansion

read … Scowling Obama inspects the construction of his new multimillion-dollar Hawaii mansion and controversial sea wall

Lawmakers consider banning peer-to-peer car rentals to Boost Monopoly Rental Agencies

HNN: … Lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban peer-to-peer car sharing programs like Turo, saying that it is not regulated and can lead to overtourism.

(CLUE: Nobody comes to Hawaii because they can rent a Turo.  This has nothing to do with overtourism.)

The app has been a life-saver for tourists who struggle to find traditional rental cars — especially during the pandemic where Hawaii saw a shortage of vehicles. Turo has allowed many locals to bring in additional income, renting out their cars to visitors.

State Rep. Sean Quinlan was one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill. He doesn’t expect it to pass but said it’s a signal to the industry that discussion over taxation and regulation is needed.

“When people go to Enterprise or Hertz, and they rent a car, they’re paying a rental car surcharge and all those sorts of fees that we then use as tax dollars to improve our infrastructure,” Quinlan explained. “When they go to Turo, we’re simply not getting that.”…

Meanwhile, those who use Turo disagree with the measure.

“You can’t really stop somebody from coming here by taking away their rental car,” said Turo Host Kaipo Cabanting. “They’re going to come here regardless of if they want to or not.”

Cabanting has been a Turo host for almost a year.

With the cost of living in Hawaii so high, he said the extra income has been helpful.

“Also, able to catch up on bills and stay ahead of bills and not have to worry and not stress on that part,” said Cabanting.

The car sharing program has also benefited Turo hosts like Aakara Wiegand on Kauai.

She said she was booked all of last year.

“I have been on Social Security Disability for many years and entering into the Turo platform allowed me for the first time in many years to have a sustainable income where it wasn’t actually causing harm to my body in order to facilitate the work,” said Wiegand….

read … Lawmakers consider banning peer-to-peer car rentals amid concern of overtourism

Mrs Sam Kapoi pleads guilty for role in drug ring

HNN: … U.S. prosecutors said Tyrell Silva, the wife of Sam Kapoi, and four others conspired to distribute meth in 2019.

She could face up to 40 years behind bars and a $5 million fine.

Silva is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 14.

Meanwhile, Kapoi is serving an 18-year prison term after he admitted to being part of a drug ring and was caught with nearly three pounds of meth….

Oct 2021: Former Hokule‘a sailor gets 18 years in meth case

read … Oahu woman pleads guilty for role in drug ring

Legislative Agenda: 

Corona Virus News:

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