UH: After Pittsburgh Attack We Must Focus on Trannies
Tourist Count up 3.5% --Big Island Drops 14%
Voting Power: Hawaii Ranks 10th
Prison for Kaniela Ing? Updates may reveal more offenses
SA: …Flights to the mainland, hotel rooms, thousands of dollars worth of meals, rental cars and Uber and Lyft rides are among the hundreds of expenses that state Rep. Kaniela Ing failed to report on his campaign spending reports over the years, according to updated reports he filed over the weekend with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission.
Ing was fined more than $15,000 by the commission in June for filing 23 false reports detailing his campaign contributions and expenditures and for other violations of campaign spending laws. He was ordered to file updated and accurate reports by Oct. 27….
Because Ing’s filings were plagued with errors and omissions, the public lacked that information through much of his time in office. Staff found that in total, Ing only reported about 38 percent of expenditures made from 2011-2016….
Ing provided some of that information in updated filings in April, but much of it remained missing until this week’s filings.
Almost all of the reports that Ing filed between 2011 to 2016 were wrong. Errors continued even after Ing was under investigation by commission staff, updated filings show.
For example, his original reports covering 2017 didn’t disclose that his campaign spent $347.56 at the Residence Inn by Marriott to host an unnamed “visiting supporter,” paid a $143.93 tab at Cafe Julia in downtown Honolulu, and spent more than $500 on rental cars and Lyft rides….
It’s illegal to use campaign contributions for personal expenses….
The new filings show that Ing’s campaign spent about $600 on two airline tickets with Virgin America and United Airlines in December 2016. The report doesn’t provide any detail on who the tickets were for, their purpose or the destination. The tickets weren’t reported in Ing’s original January 2017 filings or his updated report in April that was supposed to have corrected any errors. Ing did not respond to requests for comment on this story, including specific questions about how those expenditures and others were campaign related.
Ing didn’t report $675.84 that was spent at Hotel Wailea in Sept. 2016, which he lists as a “mahalo party.” He also didn’t disclose in original reports a $482 payment to Airbnb and a $241.60 payment to Washington Court, a hotel in Washington D.C., that were made in July 2015.
Updated filings also show that Ing failed to report dozens of meals totaling about $3,000, including numerous trips to McDonalds, Subway and Starbucks and a $556 tab at RumFire in Waikiki in August 2015 that’s listed as a “volunteer and staff kickoff event.”
Those are just a sampling of the errors that are pervasive throughout Ing’s earlier filings. He also didn’t report thousands of dollars in payments for cell phone service, office supplies and printing and postage for campaign materials….
(Handy tip: Brazil. No US extradition treaty.)
read … Updates may reveal more offenses
Honolulu Taxpayers Now On The Hook To Help Build Rail
CB: …The City Council move may satisfy rail’s impatient federal partners, but it also reverses a pledge not to use city dollars for construction….
Manahan and other council members, however, said they were backed into a corner under the terms of last year’s most recent state bailout package for rail. State leaders had required that the city pitch in as much as $214 million — ostensibly to cover the construction’s administrative costs — as “skin in the game.”
To meet that demand, city leaders would have to reverse a pledge (to not touch the HGEA-UPW position-creation fund) first codified under former Mayor Mufi Hannemann back when rail was in the planning stages. Nonetheless, Bill 42 sat in limbo for months until mid-October, with the council leaders reluctant to proceed on such a politically volatile step.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell has repeatedly urged council leaders to take action, and a demand letter from the FTA in September appeared to finally force the council’s hand. Still, council members Trevor Ozawa and Ann Kobayashi voted no Thursday.
The $44 million represents the first of the city’s $214 million contribution during remaining rail construction. Bill 42 contains language that caps the city’s contribution at that amount.
Bill 42 opponents, many of them staunch critics of the 20-mile, 21-station rail project as well, spent more than an hour testifying against the measure. …
read … Honolulu Taxpayers Now On The Hook To Help Build Rail
Because They Were Lying HART Won’t be Going After Rainy Day Funds
SA: …Gary Kurokawa, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s chief of staff, and Budget Director Nelson Koyanagi told Council members that the administration is looking at two or three financing options that are transparent to the public, do not put the city in financial risk and get the funds into a Honlulu Authority for Rapid Transit account by the Federal Transit Authority’s Nov. 20 deadline.
One option would be a short-term commercial-paper form of borrowing, the choice Kuro- kawa described as “least invasive.” Another would involve reopening the current 2019 operating budget to find $44 million in unused funds, an option that “is not the most optimal,” Kurokawa said.
But Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said it makes sense to take the money from operating budget reserves, aka the rainy day fund, rather than borrow money because HART officials have insisted they don’t actually need the cash infusion, they just need to have it on hand for the FTA. (And Pine believed them. Wow. Just, wow.) She urged the administration to discuss the matter further with Council members, “not through press conferences please.”…
The administration likely will need to present a plan to the Council for approval at its next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 7….
read … Council clears way for city funds to pay for rail
Unions spend heavily against ConCon
SA: …Preserve Our Hawaii, a powerful coalition funded heavily by local unions, has spent more than $600,000 in recent weeks on advertising urging residents to vote “no” in the general election on whether to hold a state constitutional convention, campaign spending reports show….
Preserve Our Hawaii is a diverse group made up of major unions, the Hawaii Democratic Party, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, the Sierra Club Hawaii and the Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, among others.
The ballot issue committee, which can spend unlimited amounts, has received contributions from the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state’s largest union, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and National Education Association….
Background: Insiders: How the 1978 Constitution Keeps us in Power
read … A reason to vote ‘Yes’
HTA: Vacation rental homes Account for Nearly All Tourism Growth—Hotel, Timeshare in Decline
PBN: …The use of vacation rental homes by visitors from Hawaii’s main tourism markets rose in September as hotel use declined, according to data released Tuesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
From the West Coast, Hawaii’s largest tourism market, visitor stays in rental homes grew 25.1 percent last month, while hotel use decreased 1.1 percent. Hotel use from East Coast visitors rose last month by 5.7 percent, but this was outpaced by a 37.7 percent jump in rental home use.
Japan visitors staying in rental homes was up 37 percent over last September, while hotel use decreased 2.2 percent. From Canada, the next largest international market for Hawaii, rental home use increased 6 percent while hotel use dropped 15.2 percent.
Timeshare use from Japan and Canada decreased 28 percent and 5.1 percent last month, respectively….
Big Q: What do you think of the mayor’s latest omnibus bill to clamp down on short-term vacation rentals?
read … Hawaii vacation rental homes grow in popularity while hotel use declines
Civil Beat: Send in Police to Keep Telescope Protesters off Roads
CB: … now it is time for Hawaii to move forward.
Should protesters again block the road to Mauna Kea’s summit, Gov. David Ige must follow through on his word that he is committed to “the rule of law,” as he said at a press conference Tuesday, ensuring access should TMT construction be allowed…..
read … With High Court’s Ruling On Mauna Kea, It’s Time To Move Forward
Lucky Prisoner to Cash In after being Locked up longer than legal?
HTH: …A former Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmate who claims he was locked up 20 days beyond his scheduled release date is suing the state Department of Public Safety and three DPS officials.
The suit was filed Oct. 15 in Hilo Circuit Court by Kona attorney Jason Kwiat on behalf of 44-year-old Michael Kaonohi Perry Jr….
At least one other former HCCC inmate has sued DPS, claiming to have been detained longer than was ordered by the court.
Byron Miyashiro, who on Feb. 8, 2014, was sentenced to four years probation and a year in jail for habitual DUI, was supposed to have been released Nov. 9, 2014, applying the credit for time served he was given by Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara, who has since retired. Miyashiro wasn’t released until Jan. 13, 2015, 65 days beyond his scheduled release date.
According to court records, Miyashiro’s lawsuit was settled for $10,000 in April 2017.
The Tribune-Herald also reported on Oct. 7 that since March 2013, 23 inmates were mistakenly released from Hawaii jails and prisons, with 16 — more than two-thirds — released from Hawaii Community Correctional Center.
“It’s an ongoing systemic problem, whether they’re releasing them early or releasing them late,” Kwiat said….
read … Locked up longer than legal?