Sunday, February 25, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Up to 72% of Council Campaign Contributions from Hoopili and Rail
By News Release @ 3:06 PM :: 6916 Views :: Ethics, Development, Rail

Aloha,    January 11, 2016

Today, as the president of The Friends of Makakilo, Inc., I sent the following letter to each of the Honolulu City Council Members.   As you can see, we are challenging their capability to cast a valid vote on any Rail issue, stating that the huge amounts of donations they have received from supporters of Rail and Ho’opili have made it impossible for them to have the independence of judgment and freedom of choice required to cast an unbiased, ethical, and legal vote.  (See these amounts and the percentages at the bottom of this page.   See the attachments for listings of all contributions between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014, with Rail and Ho’opili donors highlighted in yellow.)

We have asked the Budget Committee to defer further consideration of Bill 23 indefinitely.

We are also challenging the validity of the past three Council and Committee votes on Bill 23, based on the fact that no Council Member has declared the support received from Super PACs.  It is our contention that the Revised City Charter Article 11 requires this.   As examples of this support, Forward Progress, the morph of Pacific Resource Partnership, spent $86,000 to get Carol Fukunaga elected, and $105,000 to get Brandon Elefante elected, and more on others.

Our city government has been corrupted by all of these donations.         

Dr. Kioni Dudley

President, The Friends of Makakilo, Inc.

  *   *   *   *   *

Dear Council Member ______,

Attached is a listing of your reported campaign contributions for the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014.  This listing was prepared by Friends of Makakilo, Inc.   Highlighted in yellow are contributions we believe to be from entities that profit directly from any positive vote on the Rail or Ho’opili.   Because Rail and Ho’opili have been treated in city actions as entwined and completely inter-dependent, we have treated donors who would profit from votes for each as also profiting from the votes for the other, and have included both in our highlighting.

We wish to explain the process through which we came up with our choices on your list.  We first highlighted all of the companies, unions, and individuals we recognized as involved with and supporting the Rail and Ho’opili.  We then went, line by line, through the rest of your contributors, checking for references to them on the Internet.  If we found that an entity was positioned to profit directly from yes votes on Rail and Ho’opili, we highlighted them.  For example, lobbyists for Rail were highlighted.  Lobbyists for GMOs were not.   Realtors on the West side were highlighted.  Realtors in East O’ahu and Windward were not.  If we could find no Internet references to a person or business entity, we did not highlight them.   Great care was taken to include only persons and entities that would profit directly from a yes vote.  We have apologized, and again apologize, to all for any mistakes that we have made.   We believe, however, that we have been conservative, and that while we may have incorrectly highlighted some entities, there are numerous others which we did not recognize.

We are sending you the listing so that you can look through it yourself.

We do not claim that any of these donations was technically illegal. 

We do maintain that the highlighted contributions comprised ___% of all of the donations you received. 

We know how difficult it is to get donations from the general public.  We believe that Council Members are aware that their large percentage of contributions from these easier sources would go to an opponent in the next election if they voted against Rail or Ho’opili.  We believe that the size and the percentage of these contributions and the expectations that clearly come with them present a pressure that is so great that it deprives Council Members of the independence of judgment and freedom of choice which are fundamental requirements for an unbiased, ethical, and legal decision. 

We believe that while one or more Council Members might vote in opposition to Rail, none is capable of voting in opposition if his or her vote will determine failure for the measure to pass.    We believe that votes cast under such conditions are invalid.

We are aware that another vote on Bill 23 (2015), CD1 - Relating to the Transportation Surcharge, will be required of Committee members at the Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday of this week.

Because it is clear that not one Council Member has the necessary prerequisites of independence of judgment and freedom of choice to cast a valid vote on the extension of the rail tax, or on any other issue concerning Rail, we therefore ask the Budget chair to lay aside Bill 23 (2015), CD1 - Relating to the Transportation Surcharge, deferring the vote on it indefinitely.

There is an additional problem with the series of Council votes on Bill 23.  At least five council members have received major campaign support from Super PACs.  This support has not been reported in Campaign Spending filings of “contributions” because it did not come in direct contributions to the Members.  In fact, it was supposed to have been provided without their knowledge.  These contributions were large, however, and the Members are fully cognizant of their value.  Council Members know why they received this support.  They know what is expected of them.  This has created a clear conflict of interest.

Since this Super PAC support is neither solicited or accepted, it is not covered by the exclusion in the Revised Charter of Honolulu, Article 11- section 102.1(a) which reads: “Nothing herein shall preclude the solicitation or acceptance of lawful contributions for election campaigns,” which would allow it to go undeclared.  It is an “interest,” and section 103 requires that it be declared before each vote on bills that will directly benefit the contributor.  During the last three votes on Bill 23 (2015), and until this date, no Council Member has declared the conflict of interest caused by Super PAC support.  We believe that this invalidates their votes in all three cases.

For all of the reasons above, the Friends of Makakilo request the Budget chair to defer indefinitely further consideration of Bill 23.

Dr. Kioni Dudley

as the President of the Friends of Makakilo, Inc.

Cc:  Chuck Totto,  Ethics Commission 


These are contributions for the most recent election, which were received between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014:

Name                            Total                    Amount from            Percent from

                                contributions          Ho’opili and Rail      Ho’opili and Rail

J. Ikaika Anderson       $139,518                     $100,668                     72%

Brandon Elefante        $  37,322                     $  24,292                     65%

Carol Fukunaga           $258,321                     $104,565                     40%

Ann Kobayashi             $  57,136                     $  24,450                     43%

Joey Manahan             $182,215                     $  83,512                     46%

Ernest Martin              $451,240                     $268,017                     59%

Ron Menor                  $  48,405                     $  34,650                     72%

Trevor Ozawa             $183,320                     $104,550                     57%

Kymberly Pine             $160,879                     $116,801                     72%

It is likely that these amounts considerably under-report the total contributions linked to those that will profit from a “Yes” vote on Ho’opili and Rail, since no employer was listed for most donors, and it was not always possible to identify a spouse, relative, or employee of a principal donor.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii