End Caldwell Crony Capitalism
Message to Supporters, August 22, 2016
A major problem in any society comes when the rich and powerful take over all levers of government and use it to benefit themselves at the expense of the people. The problem of crony capitalism in America is one of the main reasons national politics has gone haywire.
Here in our community, crony capitalism is in fully display in the mayor - Kirk Caldwell.
- Although Caldwell owns a multi-million dollar home, he long took advantage of a loophole in the tax code to pay little to no property taxes. Typical of crony capitalism, the ultra-rich pay little in taxes, while average residents foot the bill.
- Now we learn, that even though Caldwell takes nearly $165,000/year as mayor, he continues to take a second job paying $200,000+/year to serve as a bank director. This is a job that Caldwell says he only "works" two-hours a month to net this amazing salary that most local residents can only dream of. Honolulu Star-Bulletin commentator David Shaprio calls this cozy arrangement by Caldwell "alarming" and the mayor's excuses "disingenuous." Shapiro concludes, "[t]he dismal quality of our local government will never improve as long as we let elected officials live with impunity on the ethical edge."
- In the meantime, we have a rail system that is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. As this system runs into ever more chaos, the mayor has accepted over $700,000 in campaign contributions from rail contractors.
Charles is running precisely to improve the accountability in our local government in calling for an complete financial audit of the rail system and capping the amount this project takes from taxpayers. He is running to improve the dismal quality of our local government by reforming the ethics commission. Most of all, Charles is running to restore trust in Honolulu Hale by putting an end to the Caldwell crony capitalism that now pervades our local government.
But we will never see any improvement unless we find a way to win this election this fall. We can do it, but only with your help. This will be a long, hard, difficult fight against an entrenched status quo machine. We look forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you over the next two months to the General Election. This election isn't about us, it is about the future of our entire community and the kind of Hawaii we want our children to live in.