Who Can We Beat Up with Property Tax?
Buying the next Governor or Personal Vendetta? Pro-Rail Super PAC spends $461K to Buy Josh Green Lt Gov Seat
SA: Why is a union-backed super PAC spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising to back a candidate for a political office that has little power and that historically has not played a role in the union’s bread-and-butter issue, rail?
“I think that’s the central mystery of this election cycle,” said Colin Moore, director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa….
Some … speculate that the union is hedging its bet, believing Green would make a strong gubernatorial candidate in 2022 should Ige win re-election this year. If Ige wins, he would not be able to run for governor four years from now because of term limits. If Green is the lieutenant governor, he would be in a good position to succeed Ige.
“It’s an investment, a down payment,” Coffman said of the union backing….
Some campaign insiders, political observers and legislators say the super PAC’s backing is more about political retribution than rail support, job creation or the other issues important to carpenters.
“I think it’s a personal vendetta,” said Rep. Sylvia Luke, who noted that Tokuda clashed with the union over a rail bailout proposal last year at the Legislature.
Tokuda, Iwamoto and Espero, the most prominent rail supporter among the five candidates, didn’t get invitations from the union for its endorsement interviews…
The $461,000 also is more than the amount three of the candidates have spent on their entire campaigns as of July 1…..
In the most recent Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll this month, Green was the top pick among likely primary voters surveyed. Green received 34 percent support, followed by Tokuda and Carvalho at 14 percent. Iwamoto came in at 10 percent, and Espero tallied 6 percent.
When the same poll was taken in March, the race was a toss up. Green was favored by 19 percent of likely voters, Carvalho 14, Tokuda 12, Espero 9 and Iwamoto 5. The margin of error for both polls was 4.5 percentage points.
Several of Green’s opponents say Be Change Now’s spending has made a big difference….
Asked about the disparity in its spending for Green and Hanabusa, Koch said “there is still a lot of time between now and election day.”…
read … Super PAC spending in lieutenant governor’s race a ‘mystery’
Voters should rebel against super PAC campaign clout
Shapiro: For the first time since the infamous smear against Ben Cayetano’s 2012 mayoral campaign by Pacific Resource Partnership, a well-funded super PAC is investing heavily in a Hawaii election.
Be Change Now, which, like PRP, is controlled by the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, this year has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising to support state Sen. Josh Green’s campaign for lieutenant governor and recently announced it will become involved in U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s bid to unseat Gov. David Ige….
The carpenters’ spending appears more modest this year — about $460,000 so far for ads in support of Green and about $80,000 for Hanabusa — but the first official spending reports aren’t due until Aug. 1 for the Aug. 11 primary election….
The ads for Green have skirted the carpenters’ controversial priorities — rail and development — in favor of feel-good homilies about public education, women’s rights, homelessness and renewable energy….
read … Voters should rebel against super PAC campaign clout
One Party State: Most Races Will be Decided in August 11 Democrat Primary
SA: …Republicans have struggled to remain viable in recent years as prominent party members such as Beth Fukumoto and Charles Djou have quit the party and the number of GOP office holders has dwindled.
Today there are no Republicans left in the 25-member state Senate and only five left in the 51-member House. The governor, lieutenant governor and the four-member Hawaii delegation to Congress are all Democrats, and it will be extremely difficult for the GOP to capture any of those top-tier offices.
As the Republicans have weakened, they have been unable to field strong candidates for many offices, and in many cases have been unable to field any candidate at all. In those races where no Republican is running, the Democratic primary almost always determines the outcome of the election.
The races for the state Legislature this year offer another dramatic illustration of that trend.
The Republicans were unable to field candidates in 33 of 51 state House seats and were also unable to put up candidates for eight of 13 state Senate seats that are up for grabs this year, which means it is virtually certain all of those races will be decided by the time the primary ends.
Despite the growing importance of the primaries, the number of people participating in Hawaii primary elections has been generally declining over the past 20 years, and dropped to less than 35 percent in 2016….
read … 2018 primary election will decide many Democrat-heavy races
Dead Whale: After Four Years Tied up in Eco-Bureaucracy Anti-Telescope Protesters Saved by Hawaii Admission Act
SA: …The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has dropped the charges filed against two Native Hawaiian practitioners who were cited in 2015 for what the federal agency described as an illegal “take” of the remains of a small, ailing whale the pair had watched over before it died and buried at sea off Kawaihae.
Roxanne Stewart and Kealoha Pisciotta, who said they were facing fines of up to $27,000, escaped prosecution for violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act last week following a long and winding appeal.
The final decision didn’t come until the women engaged in failed mediation with NOAA officials, appeared with their attorney in a hearing before an administrative law judge and appealed to the agency’s administrator, who then asked the judge to review the case again….
Stewart and Pisciotta appealed to NOAA’s administrator, who eventually sent the case back to the judge asking her to review the case, keeping in mind Stewart and Pisciotta’s rights under the Hawaii Admission Act.
The Admission Act, as the defendants’ attorney, Gary Zamber, argued during the hearing, states that all land in Hawaii, including submerged lands, is held in trust for the betterment of Native Hawaiians..,…
read … Charges dropped against women cited for burying whale at sea
Lava Burns Out Insider Land Deal for ‘Open Space’ Funds
SA: …Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim expressed a desire to cancel the purchase earlier this month and had sought feedback from the state on whether it concurred.
The state grant agreement with the county would have provided $1.33 million in matching funds from the State Land Conservation Fund for the acquisition of over 300 acres of property owned by Kahi Inc., which is managed by retired judge Glenn Hara, his wife, Janet, and Gregory Abe.
On Friday, state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case notified Kim of the state’s termination of the grant agreement….
read … State cancels purchase of land engulfed by lava
Soft-on-Crime Policy Responsible for Death of Big Island Police Officer
SA: …How many more times must the citizens of Hawaii have to read or listen to reports that this person or that person who just committed a new crime — this time, the murder of a police officer — has been arrested 10-15 times arrested and has three or more convictions, but is out on bail or probation (“Manhunt underway for Big Isle shooter,” Star-Advertiser, July 19)?
Why cannot the supposed legal system place people on the bench who have the guts to take the right action and keep these thugs in jail while awaiting another trial for another offense? Maybe it is time to have judges elected by the citizens of Hawaii so the voters can vet their record. Many states do this now.
It is time for judges to wake up and smell the injustices that continually happen in our courts….
read … Judges too lenient with criminals
Affordable Housing? Abercrombie Didn’t Finish the Job
HNN: …"We've completed 5,300 new housing units statewide, all of which 2,000 were affordable," Ige said in the July 2 debate.
But when HNN asked for documentation, the list provided by the governor's office included a number of project launched under his predecessor Neil Abercrombie’s administration.
"This business about 2,000 affordable homes. The list I saw, most of that was done in my administration,” said Abercrombie.
An Ige spokeswoman said the governor stands by his numbers and added that the amount affordable units have actually increased since January to about 3,300.
Among the projects listed include 476 affordable condos in the first tower of the 801 South St. highrise in Kakaako. That workforce housing project was initiated during Abercrombie’s tenure and most of it was completed before he left office.
The list also included 200 affordables at the Keauhou Lane project, 100 apartments at Symphony Park complex on Ward Avenue and 88 condos at 440 Keawe Street.
SA: Credit for affordable housing sparks political clash
SA: Gov. David Ige’s housing claims questioned
read … Abercrombie questions Ige administration's affordable housing claims
Should Hawaii have a universal helmet law?
KHON: …a question was raised by lawmakers last session, asking if a universal helmet law should be passed?
In January, eight Hawaii representatives introduced a universal helmet bill which requires all cyclists and moped riders to wear a helmet.
"We found that there have been a lot of motorcycle deaths by people who don't wear helmets and perhaps their lives could have been saved if there were wearing a helmet," said Rep. Tom Brower, District 22 and co-introducer of the bill.
Yesterday, on July 20, a Maui man died in a motorcycle crash on Piilani highway. The day before, a Waianae man died while riding his moped in Makaha, that same day, a Texas man died after his bike collided with a vehicle on Hawaii island….
read … Should Hawaii have a universal helmet law?