THE PRICE WE PAY FOR PROPAGANDA AT THE HAWAI‘I STATE CAPITOL
News Release from Rep Gene Ward, July 12, 2023
HONOLULU, HI – – Rep. Gene Ward (R-18 Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley) today has sent a letter to the House Chief Clerk at the Hawai‘i State Capitol. The following message comes in response to communication stating that the recent delivery of a book to State House offices cannot be accepted as the identification of the giver is unknown.
Thank you for giving a heads up to legislators about accepting a book from Hawai’i’s social workers because it might be an Ethics Violation.
You said, “…"A Community of Social Workers." The Ethics Commission has advised that since the item (book) has some value ($18.95), it should be returned.”
Such irony. How are we to understand this high level of ethical consideration you’re preaching when you allow the House Sergeant-at-Arms to freely distribute a Chinese Communist Party newspaper in the hallowed halls of the Hawai’i State Capitol?
According to Wikipedia: “China Daily is an English-language daily newspaper owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party.”
This propaganda rag has been distributed free at the Capitol for years, and one would think by now it has at least caused damages worth $18.95 over the years to legislators’ consciences and patriotism and should be reportable to the Ethics Commission? How is it we get a pass accepting propaganda at the Capitol, but you warn us about accepting an $18.95 book about social workers. How can you ignore one and embrace the other?
The only fair solution to this matter is that you start monetizing the CCP newspaper at the Capitol, and I’m sure you can arrive at a value of at least $18.95 worth of newspaper print over the years. You may thereafter issue a cease-and-desist order for legislators to return the newspapers, like the social workers book - or have them pay for it out of their own pocket, like we would have to with the $18.95 book by Hawaii’s Social Workers.
Until you monetize Chinese propaganda freely distributed at the Capitol, you’re making our ethics laws look unethical. And that’s a big irony at the Hawai’i State Capitol.
Lastly, my question to Mr. Harris at the Ethics Commission is to ask what is the price of propaganda we can receive at the Capitol before we must report it as unethical to receive? In other words, how much pollution of our democracy should we receive at the Capitol before it becomes unethical?
Bottom line: The Ethics Commission should have legislators monetize the free CCP China Daily newspaper if they look at the bigger picture of ethics and what’s worth reporting to our constituents: a social workers book or a socialist propaganda newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party and printed in Hawai’i by Hawai’i Hochi Printing and distributed at the State Capitol by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Thank you for your consideration of this important geopolitical but very ethical matter.
Rep. Gene Ward
SA: Hawaii legislator concerned by distribution of Chinese newspaper