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Sunday, June 19, 2011
Voice Recorder confiscated during Closed Meeting of Reapportionment Commission
By Andrew Walden @ 9:18 PM :: 7913 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

When Hawaii Reapportionment Commission members went into closed executive session during their June 15th meeting at the State Capitol, they discovered something rather disconcerting.  A small recording device had been left on a chair and it was turned on, recording their every word. 

According to sources, the recorder was confiscated by Commission Chair Judge Victoria Marks, and turned over to the State Attorney General’s Office “for appropriate action.”

The recorder’s owner, Nikki Love of Common Cause, claims it was all a misunderstanding.  In response to questions from Hawai’i Free Press, Love said, “The recorder was in the front row of chairs, in plain view of the Commissioners, hardly a place to ‘eavesdrop.’”  Love says, “Immediately after the meeting I went up to speak with Judge Marks and Deputy AG Robyn Chun to explain what had happened…. I insisted that Ms. Chun keep the recorder, so that her office could delete the contents or simply keep the recorder….” 

Common Cause has been following reapportionment closely and has an entire webpage dedicated to the issue.

Meeting earlier in the day, the Oahu Advisory Commission voted to support the inclusion of military personnel in redistricting counts.  But the State Commission again postponed a vote on whether to count military personnel in reapportionment of legislative districts as the Attorney General’s office continues to desperately seek some kind of rationalization for discriminating against citizens who do so much for the community.  Felons, mental patients, and incarcerated prisoners, however, are a synch. 

Federal law requires that all persons be counted for reapportionment of Congressional Districts.  That issue was decided by the Civil War and the 13th Amendment which removed the 3/5ths Clause from the Constitution.  

The next Commission Meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 28.

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