by Andrew Walden
Senator Ron Kouchi got himself elected President of the Senate and headed straight to a Turkish celebration of Azerbaijan.
A few days later, Governor David Ige and Lt Gov Shan Tsutsui signed a proclamation naming May 28, 2015 "Azerbaijan National Day" in Hawaii.
'Ozkur Yildize' in Yellow on Kouchi's left?
Photos from Kouchi's Facebook page show him celebrating with five other senators at a May 6 "Turkish-American Cultural Reception" sponsored by the "Pacifica Institute" and the "West America Turkic Council." Arm in arm with Kouchi appears to be one of the Gulenists' two Ozkur Yildizes featured in our 2011 article, "Did Sen Mike Gabbard get hoaxed by fake Turkic President?" Other Senators joining the celebration included J. Kalani English, Clarence Nishihara, Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Donovan Dela Cruz and Suzanne Chun Oakland.
Both groups are fronts from the Islamic Gulen cult which in 2011 tried and failed to take over Mokapu Elementary School on Kaneohe Marine Base and convert it to a charter run by a cult-connected union-busting firm out of Chicago. The Gulenists finance their operations by milking the budgets of charter schools which they operate all across the USA.
Until recently the Gulen groups pushed low-level US elected officials on Turkish-US relations, but after a severe falling out with the Government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Gulenists have switched to promoting the interests of neighboring Turkic country, Azerbaijan. Turkish prosecutors in December issued an arrest warrant for Gulen claiming their President's former ally operates an "armed terror group."
The Gulenists also give lots of campaign contributions and sponsor junkets. They used to pay for politicians travel to Turkey. Now they pay for travel to Azerbaijan.
In 2013 then-Senator Mark Takai joined Rep Rida Cabanilla on an $8000 Gulen-funded trip to Baku, Azerbaijan.
The Daily KOS called the trip "an oil industry-funded junket."
The Washington Post May 30, 2013 called it, "Time to Cash In".
Politico described the trip as part of "a multimillion-dollar industry of recruiting current and former U.S. officials."
The Washington Diplomat, June 26, 2013 explains, "Some state legislators may even one day end up in the halls of Congress. So courting them is important to Azerbaijan."
For Takai the campaign cash started rolling soon after he returned. By September, 2014 twelve of his top 150 contributors ware Turkish including several executives of identified Gulen cult organizations. The total payoff for Takai, $20,000 and counting.
The Washington Post, May 13, 2015 reports: "The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan secretly funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference in Baku for 10 members of Congress and some of their spouses in 2013, according to a report by the Office of Congressional Ethics. Lawmakers received a number of gifts, but only one lawmaker reported them on his financial disclosure form."
The Hill, May 13, 2015 explains: "(The junket) came at a time when energy companies — including (Azeri state-owned oil company) SOCAR — were seeking clearance for a pipeline that would need exemptions from U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran."
Takai apparently escaped the attention of the Office of Congressional Ethics since his junket occurred before he was elected.
From Hawaii Senate Majority FB Page May 6, 2015
The Turkish-American Cultural Reception was held today at the Capitol. This reception is held in all 50 states to increase cultural understanding and strengthen the relationship between Turkey and the United States. — with Ron Kouchi, Senator J. Kalani English, Clarence Nishihara, Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Donovan Dela Cruz and Suzanne Chun Oakland at Hawaii State Capitol.
(Turkic, Turkish? -- Who cares as long as the contributions flow in and the tickets arrive. They'll find out it was supposed to be Azerbaijan when they land in Baku not Istanbul.)
Ron Kouchi Pictured with Tezcan Inanlar, Pacifica Institute Northwest Regional Director.
From Sen Ron Kouchi FB Page
From Sen Ron Kouchi FB Page