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Monday, August 15, 2022
August 15, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:28 PM :: 2537 Views

Hawaii Primary Election Results 2022 (updated)

Caldwell Bribery:  $10K in Contributions ‘Captures’ $19.5M COVID test Contract?

SA: … The state Campaign Spending Commission is investigating whether a subcontractor responsible for COVID-19 testing at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport reimbursed two employees for $10,000 in campaign contributions made to former Mayor Kirk Caldwell (who is not in jail yet).

After entering the 2022 gubernatorial race in March, Caldwell exited the race in early May.

In 2020 the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii Consortium received a $19.5 million emergency contract from the city, during Caldwell’s administration, to “provide fast, convenient, self-administered COVID-19 testing” at the airport, according to the foundation’s Hawaii website. The nonprofit later subcontracted part of the work to Capture Diagnostics LLC….

Yonamine gave the Caldwell campaign $4,000 on Nov. 9, 2021, and Kurokawa donated $6,000 on the same date, according to state campaign spending records.

Capture Diagnostics LLC CEO John T. D’Orazio of Naples, Fla., who is not the subject of a CSC subpoena, also gave $4,000 to Caldwell’s campaign on Nov. 9…

Kurokawa is the son of former Caldwell chief of staff Gary Kurokawa. Gary Kurokawa did not reply to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser request for comment….

On Thursday the Honolulu Ethics Commission posted the first of two tweets highlighting a Hawaii News Now report, which aired Aug. 8, about the investigation, tagging the Campaign Spending Commission’s twitter account that read, in part, “The @hicsc subpoenaed bank records of two Capture Diagnostics employees, which was awarded a $19.5M contract for the city’s testing program at the airport.”

The Ethics Commission posted a second tweet that read, “@hicsc is looking at whether the company reimbursed employees who gave a total of $10,000 to the Caldwell campaign in Nov 2021. Campaign finance experts said the allegations are serious. It’s egregious to use a public health crisis to get campaign contributions.”

read … COVID test firm accused of reimbursing employee contributions to former Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Housing study cites government barriers

SA: … High housing demand, heightened by low supply, drives up Hawaii’s home prices, not out-of-state buyers, according to new research released today by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

The policy brief, “The ‘Outsider’ Theory of Hawaii’s Housing Crisis,” written by Jensen Ahokovi, concluded that out-of-state buyers have had little meaningful effect, if any, on the large increase in Hawaii housing prices over the past 14 years.

Ahokovi’s research showed that between 2010 and 2020, locals purchased the vast majority of Hawaii homes. Home prices kept increasing, and although sales to local buyers trended up, sales to out-of-state buyers steadily decreased….

Ahokovi, a research associate for the the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, also found that “outside buyers,” who in 2021 accounted for about 25% of Hawaii’s residential real estate purchases, were hard to define and typically were not bidding on the same properties as local buyers.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii says the report’s findings show that Hawaii policymakers should focus on reducing the number of governmental barriers such as land use, zoning and home- building regulations that restrain the state’s housing supply.

Grassroot institute of Hawaii President and CEO Keli‘i Akina said: “Using outside buyers as a scapegoat detracts from the fact that Hawaii has the most housing regulations in the nation and consequently the most severe housing shortage.

“We need to focus on the real problem — Hawaii restricts home building more than any other state. We need to allow more homes to be built so that local families can afford to stay in the islands.”

Unless Hawaii’s land-use and housing regulations are liberalized, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii predicts that the state will fall short of the state Department of Business and Economic Development’s 2019 estimate that about 3,600 new homes a year through 2030 are needed to meet demand…. 

read … Housing study cites government barriers

Hawaii has 850,000 registered voters. Barely 40% voted in the primary

HNN: … Hawaii’s voter turnout dipped in Saturday’s primary election.

The state Office of Elections reports total turnout as 336,505. That’s 39.4% of those registered to vote.

In the 2020 general election, turnout was significantly higher — with 579,165 ballots cast, or a 69.6%.  (NOTE: Useless comparison.  The right comparison would be Primary 2020 vs Primary 2022.)

(The 2020 PRIMARY election turnout was 407,190 -- 51.2%.)

(The 2018 PRIMARY election turnout was 286,180 -- 38.6%.)

(This implies the anti-Trump wave election of 2020 was a one-off which has not brought many new voters to the ballot box.)

Numbers also show that Hawaii continues to be a heavily Democratic state with over 240,000 people voting Democrat while over 70,000 voted on the Republican Party ballot….

MN: Maui County turnout reaches 34.8 percent, lowest in the state

CB: The Number Of Ballots Cast Was Down This Year

read … Hawaii has 850,000 registered voters. Barely 40% voted in the primary

Kahele, Cayetano Skip Democrats’ ‘Unity Breakfast’

SA: … Schatz joined U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono; U.S. Rep. Ed Case; 2nd Congressional District primary winner Jill Tokuda; gubernatorial primary winner and current Lt. Gov. Josh Green; state Rep. Sylvia Luke, the winner of the primary to replace Green; and former Mayor Kirk Caldwell in addressing more than 200 attendees.

Caldwell and Hirono were co-hosts of this year’s breakfast. Notably missing were gubernatorial candidates Kai Kahele and Vicky Cayetano….

SA: Hawaii’s gubernatorial race should be cordial unless it becomes close

read … Hawaii Democratic Party rivals break bread after primary election

Big Island Prosecutor’s Alleged Harassment Dates Back Years

CB: … In addition to an ongoing harassment dispute with his Paukaa neighbor, deputy prosecutor Winston Albright had allegedly harassed neighbors in the Puna District where he previously lived ….

Aug 6: Big Island Deputy Prosecutor and ‘Massage Therapist Known as Isis’ Ordered To Stop Alleged Harassment

read … Big Island Prosecutor’s Alleged Harassment Dates Back Years

Judge releases redacted document from Ireland case

HTH: … Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota has released a redacted version of a document apparently related to post-conviction DNA testing performed in the Dana Ireland murder case.

The document was the second of two sought by the Seattle-based organization Judges for Justice that was filed under seal by since-retired Circuit Judge Glenn Hara. The first, from 2007, was unsealed and released last month by Kubota.

The Seattle group believes three men — Albert “Ian” Schweitzer, his younger brother, Shawn Schweitzer, and Frank Pauline — were wrongfully convicted of the 22-year-old Ireland’s 1991 abduction, rape and murder in lower Puna.

The Hawaii Innocence Project and the New York Innocence Project, both representing Ian Schweitzer — who has been incarcerated for more than two decades — are attempting to exonerate him.

Both groups opposed the documents’ release and said the documents’ confidentiality are essential to a collaborative investigation into Schweitzer’s case conducted jointly by the Innocence Project organizations and the Hawaii County prosecutor’s office….

read … Judge releases redacted document from Ireland case

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