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Sunday, July 26, 2009
July 26, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:24 PM :: 10195 Views

"Facilitate voter fraud"--Democrats push for Voting by mail in Hawaii

"The budget crunch is an opportunity for us to think out how we can make the system work better," says Brian Schatz, Hawaii Democratic Party chairman. "We have got to take a serious look at making some aggressive and quick changes."  (Hurry before you figure out what this is about!)

Schatz is worried that Kevin Cronin, state chief elections officer, will not have enough money to properly plan for the 2010 election.  (Schatz and Cronin are singing a duet!  Its a hustle.  Don't be fooled by the act.)

"The election chief is saying he's worried he can't pull this off," Schatz said. "Well, I'm not interested in rolling the dice next year."

The feeling of experimentation is not shared by Schatz's Republican counterpart, Jonah-Kuhio Kaauwai.

The local GOP chairman is against mail-in ballots because "they facilitate voter fraud," Kaauwai said. "Brian Schatz and other Democrats would be for mail-in ballots because they know their campaign financiers and major supporters, the union bosses, will do whatever it takes to ensure their candidates win."

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(Obama attacks tourism AGAIN!) Resort travel policy could burn Hawaii

When the annual Asia-Pacific Homeland Security Summit and Exposition was held in Waikiki in 2004, the mainland media zeroed in on then-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and several aides relaxing by a resort pool. ABC News reported that Ridge and other top department officials "could be found basking in the warm Hawaiian sun for a meeting they said was essential government business."

In April, Gov. Linda Lingle, 90 business leaders and the state's four mayors urged President Obama to oppose restrictions on companies receiving federal funds from using business meeting "as a legitimate business tool." By that time, 132 groups and companies already had canceled meetings and incentive trips to Hawaii in the first three months of this year, causing a loss of $98 million to the state's economy.

Some 442,000 business travelers -- 7 percent of all visitors -- attended meetings in Hawaii last year. Government officials often appear on forums at such meetings, as Ridge did five years ago. If they are unable to make such appearances in Hawaii, businesses and associations may be discouraged from convening in the islands.

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Kalapa: Raising the GET rate not the same as raising the sales tax rate

In the heated debate over the proposed furloughs of public employees, calls came from labor unions to raise the general excise tax rate by a percentage point or two. The increase was trivialized as just being another penny or two and it would still make Hawaii's rate low by comparison to California's combined retail sales tax rate of just under 9 percent.
The problem is that the low 4 percent or 4.5 percent rate belies the true impact of the tax on Hawaii's cost of living because it is often referred to as the state's sales tax. It is this misnomer that misleads people into comparing Hawaii's general excise tax rate with sales tax rates found on the mainland. Once again, the general excise tax is not the same thing as a retail sales tax.
First of all, one has to realize that the general excise tax is imposed on nearly all transactions of sales of goods and services, whereas a retail sales tax is almost always imposed only on the sale of goods.

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Philadelphia junket: States act to plug deficits

When Gov. Linda Lingle announced that 1,100 state workers could lose their jobs because of the state's budget deficit, she suggested it could be much worse.

Nationwide, stung by the drop in revenue collections because of the recession, states had to close a $142.6 billion shortfall in budgets for fiscal year 2010, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states missed budget deadlines on July 1 and scrambled to pay state workers and bills while rushing to patch holes that may grow larger if the economy does not improve.

(This is a report from the Philadelphia conference which numerous Democrat State Legislators traveled to on Hawaii taxpayers' dime.)

State House Vice Speaker Michael Magaoay, D-46th (Schofield, Mokule'ia, North Shore), who attended the NCSL's summit, said lawmakers he spoke with are going through budget pain similar to that of the Islands. He said some other states have used rainy day funds and other special funds, while Hawai'i lawmakers have been more cautious and have so far preserved the state's rainy day fund and hurricane relief fund.

"Right now, we just have to hang on," he said. "We have to look at making cuts where we can and at being creative. Until we see the bottom, we won't know what we're going to have to do."

(Magaoay was not quoted as saying: "All I know is that if I can't line my campaign coffers by shaking down non-profits, then I am going to go on as many junkets as possible.") 

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Death of 221 will weigh heavily on Lingle's legacy (death squeal of a subsidy pig)

In the process, she also gave the anti-221 forces in the Legislature, namely Isaac Choy, Kyle Yamashita and Pono Chong, what they wanted. There may be no justice, but surely there is the political memory that will deride Choy's defensive, disingenuous piece in The Advertiser on Monday. He should not be in the Legislature.

(Attention candidates!  Donors await you.)

Act 221 was brilliant and visionary, and it made the capital show up. 

(Translation: I made a bundle on this hustle.)

Here's a key line from the "disingenuous piece":

"The restructured high technology investment income tax credit is still very generous to serious investors who believe in the future of the high tech company, but it is no longer attractive to people who only want to avoid taxes. For every dollar invested, one dollar of income tax credits is given for Hawai'i state residents only. It gives a credit for up to 80 percent of a person's state income tax liability in 2009 and 2010. Any investments in a QHTB prior to May 1, 2009, will not be affected."

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Last Kahuku bon dance brings smiles, tears

(Hawaii traditions dying as socialism pushes more and more people to the Mainland.)

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Kane'ohe site to add care beds for elderly

To accommodate a graying population, it is estimated that Hawai'i will need 2,392 more long-term care beds by 2020. That's 56 percent more than the state had at last report.

The planned Kane'ohe facility will add 120 to 240 beds on 4.8 acres. The state Department of Health, which oversees the State Hospital, would provide the land at a reduced lease, said Janice Okubo, DOH spokeswoman. The state will stipulate that 30 percent to 40 percent of the beds be set aside for State Hospital users.

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Elder abuse on rise

"They say that elder abuse is where domestic violence was 20 years ago. Nobody talks about it, nobody thinks it's happening. But it is happening, everywhere," said Spallina. "As you know in respect to the Kahala Nui case, it was only brought to light because of the defendant being seen. Imagine if this person did it when no one else is around?"

RELATED: Examples of abuse tell an ugly story

(And what if the alleged abuser is the spouse of a Mayoral candidate?)

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Public housing audit must be all-inclusive

It's time for answers to some persistent questions. Is the management of the Kuhio projects meeting its contract requirements? Is HPHA now firmly on the right track?

The contracts for managing these projects involve a lot of taxpayer money. In the case of the KPT and Kuhio Homes complex, the management firm of Realty Laua LLC is being paid $9.36 million for a three-year term. Many of the same people, operating under different company names, have held the reins at KPT for years.

Based on the past inspections of this HUD project, and on the tenants' court complaints, there is good reason for the state auditor's office to go over the records here.

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Democrats miffed over Gay Civil Unions opposition by Gabbard

O'ahu Democrats voted yesterday to reprimand state Sen. Mike Gabbard for organizing opposition to a civil-unions bill that was before the state Legislature last session.

Gabbard, D-19th (Kapolei, Makakilo, Waikele), said he has not decided whether to appeal to the party's state central committee. A reprimand is the least severe punishment. The senator could have faced censure or expulsion.

"It's a sad day when, one, you start penalizing lawmakers for having the free will to do what's right in their hearts. And, two, for penalizing them for voting on an issue that reflects not only the majority of his constituents but also the majority of voters in Hawai'i," said Gabbard, who left the Republican Party to become a Democrat two years ago.

The O'ahu Democrats' rules committee had recommended that the complaint against Gabbard be dismissed. The committee's recommendation was rejected yesterday by a narrow vote.

"It was a great day for civil rights within the Hawai'i Democratic Party," said Carolyn Martinez Golojuch, a party activist from Maka-kilo who filed the complaint.

(Here is another Goloujch story about "respect for civil rights" -- stealing lawn signs.  BTW those who engage in homosexual acts have EXACTLY the same civil right to marry a member of the opposite sex as every body else does.)

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Sunshine Law: Corporation Counsel finds himself in tough spot

Ashida had included in his reply brief to the court an affidavit from Council Chairman J Yoshimoto, of Hilo, contradicting a statement made by Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann that Yoshimoto had told him several days before the June 16 meeting that he had five votes to change the council leadership.
The council subsequently adopted the reorganization 5-4.
Lining up votes in advance of a meeting is a violation of the state Sunshine Law, as are serial communications involving more than four members when discussing council leadership.
Almost all of the council members met either in person or by telephone to discuss the reorganization

Related: Sunshine law gets teeth—Council reorganization ordered

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Isle rally draws protests of Iran crackdown

Dressed in a green T-shirt, Ali waved a sign saying, "Iranians, we stand with you," and "Stop the killings."...The rally coincided with worldwide demonstrations on the "Global Day of Action" to stop Iran's ruling regime's violent crackdown on opponents who call the election a fraud.

United4Iran, a group that aims to restore human and civil rights in Iran, organized yesterday's demonstrations and said protests were planned in more than 100 cities.

LINK: United4Iran

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