PETTING ZOO: Getting Democrats and Republicans to agree to anything is rare but apparently the corruption in State Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has them singing Kumbaya at the prospect of pushing up the date of an audit of the bloated bureau of beneficence.
According to a couple of newspaper reports, Sen. Jill Tokuda, D-24th (Kane'ohe, Kailua), who chairs the Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs Committee passed the audit resolution (SCR 138) while holding hands with Republican’s Republican Sam Slom, R-8th (Kahala, Hawai'i Kai) flanked by Sen. Russell Kokubun, D-2nd (S. Hilo, Puna, Ka'u) and even ex- OHA trustee Mililani Trask.
Linda Lingle’s mouthpiece Attorney General Mark Bennett presented an abundance of political but no legal reasons why he supported OHA trustee’s contention that no audit was needed and the audit was “punitive”
Meanwhile, Sloam’s Republican-leaning friend Maila Zimmerman at Hawai`i Reporter told the story today of her quest for a few financial records that OHA apparently wants her to pay $11,000 to see, as independently confirmed by Ululani Sexton in testimony at the hearing.
And apparently the Office of Information Practices (OIP) is going to let them get away with the price tag.
If Zimmerman’s story is backed by the records the way OHA treats their funds like an ATM machine for their personal use and pleasure could rival that of Bishop Estate trustees’ during the Dickie Wong and Lokelani Lindsey. days... or so thinks Malia
Her allegations, quests and requests in the matter are well worth the read and may have a lot to do with what both Democrats and Republicans know- many of OHA’s priorities are anything but those of the beneficiaries.
OHA Chair Haunani Apoliona and Zimmerman have clashed a few times in the past both over the records request and over a cartoon Zimmerman published last year when Apoliona drew fire and national attention from First Amendment advocates for being an elected official seeking to silence the media. The cartoon spoofed OHA’s “Kau Inoa” program, one of those Zimmerman alleges benefited the trustees as well as the kanaka maoli beneficiaries.
According to Tokuda and others the request for the audit has come from beneficiaries and the article reports that “(t)he Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly and Hui Pu, a coalition of Hawaiian sovereignty groups, supported the resolution”
“Punitive” infers punishment which isn’t fact finding in an audit. But if the audit goes into depth on the first-class travel, big parties in Vegas, hiring photographers to harass Zimmerman and other financial improprieties and perks for trustees, punishment may indeed be in the cards..
You would think the State’s top investigator would be in favor of finding out wrongdoing instead of calling off the cops before they can track down the crooks or even establish the crimes.. It goes a long way to further show the continual abuse of office that has pervaded Bennett’s tenure as AG under his benefactor Gov. Lingle.
Under the Uniform Information Practices Act (HRS 92F) requested records are supposed to be free with assurances and ability for wide dissemination by the requestor. We’ve asked Malia to share the response documents on the dissemination exemption from the OIP and OHA and she’s said she’ll try to dig them up. We’ll keep readers informed.