by Andrew Walden
Meeting in Honolulu today, the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission heard powerful testimony from several members of the public in favor of counting all persons in Hawaii for the purpose of apportioning legislative districts. Some Democrats have advocated counting rapists, child molesters, pimps, drug dealers and other convicted felons and prison inmates but not counting the military personnel who put it all on the line to defend America. The final decision was postponed until the next meeting.
Commissioners voted 8-1 to reject formation of canoe districts and also voted 5-4 to reject a proposal advanced by Governor Abercrombie and Progressive Democrats to base reapportionment on multi-member districts. Apparently believing that it was an argument in favor of MMDs, Abercrombie has stated that he believes that neither he nor Ben Cayetano would have ever had a start in politics if not for MMDs.
Republican former Senator Fred Rohlfing has called for a return to the old system, but several current Hawaii legislators have privately expressed concern about being forced to run in larger districts where the majority of voters have never elected them before.
Commissioners voted to make public the legal opinion from the State Attorney General’s office outlining the case for the legality of multi-member districts. Read it here: LINK.
The Maui and Kauai advisory commissions have voted to reject counting military personnel and students based largely on the false belief that the two counties would lose legislative representation if military personnel were included in the count. The Hawaii County advisory commission met today and the Oahu advisory commission has yet to meet.
SA: Multimember districts OK, redistricting panel told
HFP: Reapportionment: Democrats don’t want to count Military Personnel, do want to count Felons
AP: Reapportionment Commission will avoid districts that span islands
SA: State's top lawyer doesn't represent you