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Monday, November 14, 2022
November 14, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:17 PM :: 3796 Views

Bill 220: Hawaii County Concealed Carry ‘Sensitive Places’ Ban Unconstitutional

40 Years of Corruption: Hawaii Lawmakers Honor John Waihee’s Favorite Trump Lobbyist After She Pleads Guilty

CB: … On Feb. 2, 2021, (five months after her guilty plea) the Hawaii State Senate issued an honorary certificate to Honolulu businesswoman Nickie Lum Davis for her “public service and outstanding contributions to her community.”…

(CLUE: Clinton Asian Money Scandals: 1997, 2016)

It was signed by 21 of 25 senators, including Senate President Ron Kouchi…It even recounted a story about how Davis played a “pertinent role” in securing the release of an American hostage in China in 2017..

(Fun Read: DoJ: Hawaii's Lum Crime Family Trades American Hostages in Trump's White House.)

What the certificate didn’t say, however, was that Davis had pleaded guilty in August 2020 to federal charges and was awaiting sentencing in a complex criminal case. The U.S. Justice Department has accused her and others of secretly lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests….

(USDoJ: Lum Pleads Guilty in 1Malaysia Development Berhad Lobbying Scheme)

That omission has caught a handful of senators by surprise.

They say they didn’t know what they were signing at the time. Even more concerning, they say, is that Davis has since submitted the certificate to a federal judge in an attempt to bolster her character and avoid prison time.

“The bottom line is I’m embarrassed,” said state Sen. Karl Rhoads, who’s one of the nearly two dozen lawmakers who signed on to the legislative certificate….

(IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

He’s not the only one who expressed surprise.

Clarence Nishihara, who announced this year that he was retiring from the senate, said he also unwittingly signed on to the certificate. …

“My guess is that most of us probably don’t know who these people are,” Nishihara said.…

(IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

(REALITY: Everybody in the legislature knows the Lums.  They are a role model.)

Davis has since submitted the certificate to a federal judge in an attempt to bolster her character and avoid prison time….

The certificate was sponsored by Sen. Kurt Fevella, the lone Republican in the chamber, and it was issued just two weeks after Davis was unsuccessful in securing a pardon from former President Donald Trump on his last day in office.

(As explained: Hawaii's Lum Crime Family Pays Lobbyist for Last-Minute Trump Pardon)

Davis has strong ties to the GOP and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Republican candidates over the years.

(The Lums corruption starts with Waihee and reaches Clinton, Obama, and Trump--but not Bush: LINKS: 1997, 2016)

Fevella says he knew of Davis’ guilty plea, but dismissed any notion that he was helping her as a political favor. Instead, he said he wanted to honor Davis for the work she’s done for the community, both in Hawaii and elsewhere, and that he didn’t feel that a single mistake should define her entire life or career.

“Why should that wash away all of her goodness?” he asked….

(EDITOR’s NOTE: Two generations of Lum ‘goodness’ begin in 1985 when the Lums helped John Waihee get a bill to sign legalizing golf courses on ag land.  As a result the Maunawili Royal Hawaiian Golf Course became a $43M property overnight.  This was the beginning of the Clintons Asian Money Scandals and the beginning of the Akaka Bill.)

According to the DOJ, Davis was paid millions of dollars for trying to convince the Trump administration to drop a criminal investigation into Jho Low, a fugitive Malaysian businessman who’s accused of stealing billions of dollars from his country’s state-run investment firm.

Among Davis’ co-conspirators were Elliot Broidy, a prominent Trump fundraiser, and Prakazrel Michel, or “Pras,” a rapper and founding member of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees.

The trio was also charged with secretly working with Chinese officials to try to extradite Guo Wengui, a billionaire Chinese dissident living in the U.S., back to China.

(Details: DoJ: Hawaii's Lum Crime Family Trades American Hostages in Trump's White House)

Their efforts ultimately failed.

Davis’ Hawaii-based attorney, William McCorriston, submitted Fevella’s certificate to U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Oct. 17 as part of an exhibit to a sentencing memo that sought to downplay his client’s involvement in the influence campaign while at the same time highlighting her good deeds.

That sentencing memo was originally filed under seal, but Kobayashi ordered its release in response to a motion filed by the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.

The senate certificate was attached to a letter from Melvin Masuda, a former law professor at Hawaii Pacific University who worked as a session aide in Fevella’s office.

Masusda was one of two dozen people to submit letters to Kobayashi on Davis’ behalf seeking leniency. Others included … John Waihee IV, trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

(BINGO!)

In his letter, Masuda said he was close with Davis’ family and in particular her parents, who were major Democratic Party fundraisers in the 1990s and had been embroiled in their own high profile scandals involving making illegal campaign contributions to congressional candidates.

Masuda wrote that the prosecution against Davis was a “grave injustice” and that he was responsible for shepherding the honorary certificate — which he described as a resolution — through the state senate.

He told the judge that everyone who signed on was “made fully aware of the federal case involving Nickie.”…

ILind: A story with roots going back three decades

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Honored Federal Lobbyist Despite Her Conviction In A Foreign Lobbying Scandal

Alm Admits HOPE Probation has become a Joke

SA: … Public safety in Honolulu is being threatened by convicted felons violating probation without any penalties because a program designed to keep high-risk probationers from committing new crimes by imposing immediate sanctions isn’t being run right, Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation With Enforcement, or HOPE, was created by Alm when he was 1st Circuit Court judge in 2004 to “reduce probation violations by drug offenders and others at high risk of recidivism” by imposing immediate jail time for positive drug tests or a missed meeting with a probation officer ranging from three days or longer depending on the type of violation and the circumstances of the incident.

Since Alm left the bench in 2019, he said, the program is the same as regular probation, with no mandatory consequences for felons who commit multiple probation violations. ….

Alm shared the violation history of seven HOPE probationers convicted of an array of felonies, including burglary, criminal property damage, terroristic threatening, promoting a dangerous drug and forgery, who racked up multiple violations before any motion to revoke their release was filed.

On Oct. 4, 2017, Erin Park was granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea for second-degree burglary for breaking into the Nanaikapono Protestant Church. If she abided by the conditions of HOPE probation for four years, her record would be cleared of that crime.

Since her sentence, Park racked up 19 separate probation violations before a motion to revoke her probation was ever filed.

Among the violations that date back to December 2020, Park admitted to using drugs 11 times, failed to submit a urine sample on command three times, tested positive for drugs, failed to report a January arrest for assault and did not enroll in mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

Kennedy Siaosi Jr. also received a deferred acceptance of guilty plea and four years of probation for a Sept. 20, 2018, conviction for promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree and forgery in the second degree. He racked up 14 violations before a motion was filed Aug. 11 to modify his probation.

Siaosi didn’t take 10 drug tests since March and missed four meetings with his parole officer since January.

None of the 14 violations were met with immediate sanctions, Alm said, and motions for modification of his probation from 2019 show that at that time a single probation violation resulted in the probation officer filing a motion and getting immediate sanctions for Siaosi. That ended in 2019 when HOPE cases were reassigned to more than one judge.

“As the most recent motion for Mr. Siaosi shows (with his 14 violations), the Judiciary is no longer imposing immediate sanctions for HOPE probationers and is instead allowing violations to pile up without being addressed,” Alm said….

Nov 3, 2022: DEA Intercepts 9 lbs of Heroin and Meth Heading for HOPE Probationer

read … Same Probation, Different Name 

Maui County reports about 900 ballots with deficiencies

MN: … About 900 general election ballots have issues that voters will need to fix by the close of business on Wednesday, Maui County Clerk Kathy Kaohu said Sunday.

Kaohu said the county has been mailing out notices to voters whose ballots had deficiencies and asking them to contact the county to fix the issue.

Examples of ballot deficiencies could include an envelope returned with an unsigned affirmation, an affirmation signature that does not match a reference signature image or another issue that would prevent the ballot from being counted.

“If they receive a notice from us informing them of the deficiency, they should call our office because the window’s starting to close,” Kaohu said Sunday.

Voters should contact the Office of the County Clerk at (808) 270-7749 by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, which is five business days after the date of the general election (Friday was a holiday.)…

read … County reports about 900 ballots with deficiencies

New Aloha Stadium plan proponents put hopes in Gov.-elect Green

SA: … The most recent estimate for the stadium opening is in time for the 2027 football season….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

Big Q: On the Aloha Stadium redevelopment, should Gov.-elect Josh Green follow Gov. David Ige’s lead to just build the stadium first?

Stephen Tsai: Elections are done; it’s time to act on stadium issue

read … New Aloha Stadium plan proponents put hopes in Gov.-elect Green

To err is human, but to really foul up a rental market requires rent control

OCR: … So what should residents in tight rental markets support instead? Counterintuitively, policies that increase economic freedom also tend to make rental housing more affordable.

According to data maintained by Apartment List, the five most expensive rental markets right now are Hawaii, California, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts. Three out of these five – Hawaii, California, and New York — rank in the bottom quarter of the Fraser Institute’s economic freedom index, which rates and ranks U.S. states in terms of how market-friendly their laws and institutions are.  New Jersey doesn’t fare much better, ranking 36th out of the 50 states.

I got curious and plotted the relationship between economic freedom and rental housing prices nationwide. Unsurprisingly, to me at least, there exists a clear positive relationship between economic freedom and affordable housing. That is to say, as state-level economic freedom increases, average rental housing prices fall….

read … To err is human, but to really foul up a rental market requires rent control

Having a Heart Attack on Lanai

CB: … Living on Lanai has its advantages, but living on an island without medical specialists is not one of them. We used to joke back in the ’70s that you can’t be born on Lanai and you can’t die here.

Fast forward almost 50 years and things haven’t changed all that much. We have two clinics with (super) all-purpose docs, but even a routine CAT scan or mammogram requires complicated travel arrangements and complex appointments off island….

read … Serious As A Heart Attack

New members elected to Honolulu City Council could affect power dynamic

KITV: … Four seats on Honolulu's city council were open in the election. Three of the people voted in are new to the council….Tyler Dos Santos Tam will be one of the three new faces on the Honolulu City Council. He'll represent District 6, which goes from Aiea to Downtown Honolulu….He joins Matt Weyer, whose District 2 covers parts of Central, North, and East Oahu; and Val Okimoto, the new District 8 councilmember. She will represent Central Oahu….Tommy Waters was just reelected to District 4 that covers Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head, and Waikiki….

read … New members elected to Honolulu City Council could affect power dynamic

Matsumoto chosen to be Hawai’i House Minority Leader

KHON: … Hawai’i State Rep. Lauren Cheape Matsumoto has been selected by the state’s House Republican Caucus to be the House Minority Leader.

The House Republican Caucus met Saturday, Nov. 12 to discuss how they will move forward as the 2023 legislative year quickly approaches.

Amongst the rest of the leadership that was chosen on Saturday:

  • Rep. Diamond Garcia will work as the Minority Floor Leader.
  • Rep. Kanani Souza will function as Minority Whip.
  • Rep. Gene Ward will serve as Minority Policy Leader.
  • Rep. David Alcos will act as Assistant Minority Leader.
  • Rep. Elijah Pierick will operate as Assistant Minority Floor Leader.

Danny De Gracia: Democrats Should Invite Republicans Into Legislative Leadership Next Session  

SA: Republicans in Hawaii House make leadership changes

read … Matsumoto chosen to be Hawai’i House Minority Leader

Two Weird Tricks Reduce Crime: Arrest Criminals, Put Them in Jail

KITV: … “With the new safe and sound measure in place, we’re seeing an increase in arrests and the prosecuting attorney’s office is a lot more successful at giving real consequences for minor crimes. These crimes are addressing the small misdemeanors and it’s making a huge difference,” said Egged.

HPD officers spent around $7,000 of the funding last month. According to a City and County release, officers conducted eight operations that resulted in more than 230 citations involving littering, traffic, and park rule violations.

Some of the small crimes resulted in arrests.

“A lot of the chronic criminals have been taken off the streets. These five individuals themselves were a miniature crime wave,” said Egged.

Several small businesses owners in Waikiki said they are seeing a difference – especially in the past few months.

“I definitely see a difference. There is never any reoccurrences with homeless people. They get resolved really quickly here which makes our customers feel safe to dine with us,” said Lilian Do, manager at Poke Bar….

read … Waikiki non-profit funds HPD to help fight crime

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