Friday, February 29, 2008
As an adjunct he also has delved into what the difference between a blog and a newspaper might be these days asking if there is a difference and what it may be. He also reports the latest from anti-community radio KKCR’s reinstatement of Katy Rose and Jimmy Trujillo’s Thursday program as long as they don’t say anything about the lack of free speech on free speech radio.
Capitol Notebook - a hidden blog of the Honolulu Advertiser and must read for Hawai`i Legislature political junkies- is reporting on the Governor’s efforts to keep early childhood education funds out of the hands of the department of Education today. Why doesn’t Lingle just put it in the Dept. of Transportation so Fukunaga and Formby can give the money to the Superferry’s Garibaldi and Lehman... then we can just exempt the kids from learning...
The KIUC candidate forum last night reportedly separated the corporate control of our energy future from control by the people as candidate Ben Sullivan of Apollo Kaua`i lit into the way the usual good old boys have excluded the public from their decision making process.
Candidate Ken Stokes also seems to be championing the members’ right to push for renewable energy but unknown ex-Navy Commander and Alaska Co-op board member, corporate control advocate Thomas Ellis, has now apparently declared himself to be a wanna-be part of the paternalistic current regime. The article may not be fully informative but extensive written answers by most candidate are available at the local newspaper’s web site although not at the link provided on their web site.
PNN is trying to find out exactly which board members got paid what at the rate of $176 some-odd a day, but how many hours a day that means is unclear. Some board members estimate 800 hours a year is spent on KIUC business. A total figure of a S138,000 for the board has been confirmed from KIUC spokesperson Anne Barnes today and she has said she will provide a detailed breakdown of hours served, money paid and junkets/”training sessions” attended- and the cost for the directors to attend them- next week when she gets them from their accounting department. That info is purported to be public, not proprietary, information and we’ll be letting you know what those stats are next week.
Finally the Honolulu Advertiser had a great tease of a head on their editorial today saying “Dem delegate disputes show need for reform” but an examination of the contents didn’t reveal anything substantive about the democracy of the Democrat’s process but rather complaints about the DP’s Super-delegates process.
As we opined in their comments sections “THIS is your big process-problem, Advertiser Ed Board? The Stupid-Delegates?... not the fraudulent free-for-all the Democratic Party laughingly called a democratic process?Political parties are private clubs. If you don't like one either join it and change it or start your own club. THAT is what you should have learned in civics class.”
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Despite seven rejections of districting by Kaua`i voters over the past 30 years Jay is fixated on the idea- but apparently wants to do it illegally.
Jay, a leader in the Superferry fight has formed an organization called and proposes a system based on specific traditional geographically delineated land divisions in the Islands of Kona, Puna, Na Pali and the like called moku (see map), each of which contain the various local watersheds called “ahupua`a”
The problem is that under U.S. and State law a governmental legislative body’s representational districts must be one-person-one-vote, population-based and apportioned thusly every ten years based on the U.S. Census.
The proposal even has an unpopulated “common” Na Pali Moku where- despite the fact that people may reside there, legally or not. Na Pali residents would be un-represented and pay tax but have no vote.. Voters are registered to vote in jurisdictional districting in which they actually reside and all Hawai`i county clerks’ offices will accept anyplace someone may clam to reside as their residence whether under a bridge, at the beach or on Na Pali. They just want the truth and will register you there.
But legalities aside some of the arguments of Pono Kaua`i and its listed supporters make, fly in the face of the political history and tradition of Kaua`i politics .
As a prime rationale the site says that “(a)s things stand now, 6 of the 8 elected officials on the Council and the Mayors office (sic) are all from one part of the island; the Lihue (sic)- Wailua corridor on the east side. The entire west side from Puhi to Poli Hale (sic) has no representation. The same is true of the north shore from Hanalei to Haena (sic).”
For those who don’t or can’t remember that the same rationale for districting that was used 15-25 years ago. However it was the east and north siders complaining that all the reps came from the south and west side.
But what has not really changed from the first time Kaua`i considered Council districts is that, despite the differences in climate, culture, ethnicity, and other demographics of each town on the island we are still, when all is said and done, an island unit. On a small island distant on-island development reverberates more with those who live there than any off island events..
What happens in Ha`ena has a direct effect on Kekaha and vice versa. We all holo holo to the other side occasionally and when things happen there they are our concern whether we traveled a whole hour to get there or live across the street.
We all go hukilau at Makua or Mana often enough to let us have a kama`aina voice all over the island.
Kaua`i likes voting for seven council people- and have shown it over and over at the ballot box by rejecting districting, even as part of the traditionally approved Charter Commission packages like last election year again.
Each Kaua`i CC member is, at least in theory, answerable to every voter on Kaua`i, not just, at worst, a self-interested insular bunch of business interests who use plantation mentality to control the town.
Some of the other silly provisions in the current version of the proposed amendment- which is supposed to be finalized in April or May- call for two-year residencies in the district but, as previously said, the districts would have to be population based and subject to reapportionment, which is a political contrivance (according to the US Supreme Court). It’s commonly and legally used to draw a line around a politician’s house and push them out of their district... to be used at any time, not just during the required every-10-years Census reapportionment. Plus the petition calls for immediate removal for those who move or are “districted out” from their electorate.
Oh and a probably illegal two-years residency requirement.. And what happens when the four “best candidates”- whether defined as the highest vote getters or any other way- all live in one area? And what happens when Bob “I’m-running-so-my-wife-will-take-me-back-after-I-beat-her” Carriffe is the only one living and running in another district... or worse when Derrick “Young Mr. Big Save” Kawakami, skein of the Westside old boys and girls buys, buys his way into office. .
Funny that today’s paper included an article about a meeting of the “the Kaua`i and Ni`ihau members of the Aha Kiole Advisory Committee... a start-up group tasked with recommending how the state Legislature should establish an ‘Aha Moku Council Commission that will assist in the formation and eventually oversee regional ‘aha moku councils”
The article says that “(t)he ‘aha moku councils will consist of residents having traditional Hawaiian cultural and generational knowledge and expertise as farmers, or mahi‘ai, fishermen, or lawai‘a, and caretakers, or konohiki, for each ahupua‘a, the old way of dividing land where a slice of an island went from the top of the local mountain (volcano) to the shore.”.
But though this state advisory committee is a step in the right direction toward the Pono Kauai goal of a grassroots way to control our lives, Kauai- unlike O`ahu- has no officially fully-enabled local “neighborhood boards” whether organized by the western concept of watersheds or the similar ahupua`a system the Kanaka Maoli used before the military overthrow of their governance system.
Though there are ad hoc non-profit neighborhood associations in places like Koloa and Kilauea the only thing “official” on Kaua`i that approximates this is the current administration’s “don’t-show-up-if-you’re-haole” Ka Leo complaint deflection service whose motto is apparently “do it yourself- what am I your mother?”... which the council de-funded but somehow still survives...
As we discussed over and over with Jay leading up to his Council moku-districting proposal over the past few months if there’s a need for a Charter Amendment based on empowering district planning bodies it just might be that geographically designated elected bodies that can represent the “smarts” of the affected area to perpetuate smart growth. That might actually accomplish something through a Charter Amendment
Oh, and while you’re at it order me an elected Planning Commission.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
THE FARMERS’ BEST FRIEND: One would think that the Ag subdivision moratorium bill that the Kaua`i County Council was set to kill today was the most important piece of legislation to hit the Council floor since the big box bill, judging by the dozens emails and blog postings over the last few days
Actually the bill has farm truck sized loopholes and, like the feel-good Kawakami Memorial Anti-Wal-Mart bill fails to do anything that Mayor Bryan couldn’t tell his made-man Planning Director Ian Costa to do administratively.
But unlike the previously proliferating Pandora’s Products there aren’t a lot of ag subdivisions going through right now, not that Grove Farm isn’t smacking their lips over the “important ag lands” study a-comin.
Today was also the day that the Council was to hear a presentation on the “Sustainability 2050” program and the day after the Planning Commission’s approval of a plan to grow a fast-growing, known-invasive-species Albezius bean-trees to produce electricity from it’s wood chips and grow it on the best prime ag land on the island.
Also over the last few days a couple of columns and letters to the local newspaper about our secretive electric Co-op, KUIC and their election with Big Save Owner Derrick Kawakami, who has “taken out paper” to run for Council, pleading to re-elect the apparently ineffective current board rather than a tag team of Apollo’s top man Ben Sullivan and local “Green Economist” Ken Stokes.
So what do all these have to do with each other? Plenty if you delve into the devilish details of each.
The “temporary” halt in ag subdivisions doesn’t really address the problem which is the exemptions from the “one-time-rule” for ag subdivisions on Kaua`i,. by law and administrative rule. The exemptions that one can apply for to the Planning Commission is still possible under the law as originally proposed last year upon mandatory referral by the council.
The bill is designed to be in effect until the highly-anticipated, State-mandated “identification of important ag lands” study. .
Despite attempt to allay everyone’s fear when it was ordered it has proved true... by identifying important agricultural parcels it by definition identified unimportant ones those subject to the executioners development. chopping block, never to be seen in nature again.
Council Planning Committee Chair JoAnn Yukimura helped pass the State law telling constituents not to worry- no one was calling any ag lands important as did every legislator on Kaua`i who spoke of it to us.
But at the 2/13/08 meeting of Yukimura’s Committee she apparently changed her mind. After saying how the study would determine if some ag lands were “inappropriately zoned” she said “we will figure out that some lands may not be designated agricultural appropriately any more” clearing the way to move what has been estimated as anywhere between 50-80% of all ag lands into residential and/or urban use..
Just yesterday the Planning Commission okayed a plan to grow Albezius tress for energy on prime ag land in a secretly-price agreement with KIUC. Despite protestations from the Farm Bureau and the current farmers on Kaua`i it went through the Planning Commission with a slice of the very best ag land here going to forestry.
It’s surprising that with alternative fuels driving ethanol-producing grain and sugar prices through the roof the fuel-growers- and those State and County planners who regulate them - don’t look to those “hard to farm” ag lands before they put a forest in a previously big-producing farmland.
The question that makes environmentally concerned people grimace when they think about ethanol and bio diesel is not just the lack of carbon neutrality but it’s the driving upward of food prices as they are tied more and more to fuel prices, sometimes to the point where oil could remain relatively cheap as soon as the cycle battles between food vs. fuel play out to some kind of stability.
For an small island in the middle of the ocean to grow it’s fuel so that it doesn’t interfere with the food that is needed to achieve any self-sufficient sustainability there’s gotta be a lot of growing space. Cellulose based fuel crops like switch grass and even wood chips- can be grown on any ag land, whether marginal or not
Will Yukimura well- known “Davis, California vision” of creating little walkable communities play out on those “unimportant” ag lands?
With one hand the County planning to get rid of the marginal ag lands, on another it’s giving away prime ag land to grow bio-fuel crops that can be grown on the marginal ag lands. And the electric co-op is secretly making deals for the latter expecting an ever increasing stream of population as those disposable farms disappear down the cul-de-sac.
Oh, I forgot...late last night I heard the screen door slam.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
And if you really want to know who owns elections watch this from ONN, which if you’re like us you’ll have to watch twice after falling off your chair laughing at the first time.
Monday, February 25, 2008
But Lind’s two premises seems flawed. The current system- no matter how it is tweaked- still relies on private contributions while the point of Voter-Owned (V-O) elections is to rid the system of the monetary influence of those “special” interests who give and get something substantive in return.
Lind frames the question as primarily one of how much it would cost taxpayers to fund elections. But apparently the jury is in on that one. All cost-analyses shows the taxpayers pay hundreds of times more in corrupt appropriations and kickbacks to supporters- both the legal and illegal kind- than the cost has been for V-O locales across the county.
When someone gives an politician $2000- or a “bundle” of 10 of ‘em- and gets a millions dollar contract for a half-a-million dollars worth of work it’s the very model of “penny wise, pound foolish” to let them keep buying our money on the cheap.
Second, the worrisome bureaucratic bookkeeping headaches forecast for under V-O’s full public financing doesn’t seem to play out. Campaign treasurers are required now to carefully and electronically document expenditures. But treasurers wouldn’t have to track contributions any more since there wouldn’t be any contributions after the original $5 eligibility contributions are in.
They may call it the Campaign “Spending” Commission but they act as a “Contributions” Commission. That reporting is the main source of “headaches” now and V-O frees everyone from those troublesome “disclosures”.
V-O has posed no problems for Maine and parts of Arizona where it has been successfully implemented for quite a few years. doing it all over the State makes sense- especially for the legislature... which is why one or two people have killed it every session for the last 10 years.
But the best entry was Kaua`i journalist Jon Letman's Gonzo-style piece at Juan Wilson’s IslandBreath detailing the , ahem, “irregularities” at the Lihu`e precinct caucuses
The old joke about the guy who walks into the “59-Minute Cleaner’s” store and is told it’ll take two days to clean his shirts because “it’s just the name of the shop” is appropriate when comparing the small “d” propensity of the large “D” party- apparently it’s just the name of the party.
It comes the day after arch-villain of Democratic- and hero of democratic- proponents Ralph Nader announced he has the audacity to run for President again. Despite tired old conventional election “spoiling” rhetoric from Dave Shapiro today and the media herd, the story of how little the Democratic Party cares about free and fair elections is what lost Florida in ’00 – where Gore actually won and the Democrats failed to ask for a genuine vote count or complain about the race-based disenfranchisement of millions- and Ohio in ’04- where Kerry didn’t care and the Greens and Libertarian candidates had to file suit after the Secretary of State – who led Bush’s campaign in Ohio- administered a similarly bogus election.
Nobody blames the poor party activists who were left to their own devices and when overwhelmed improvised democracy that fateful night. But those who not only ignore it but try to justify it saying “nothin’ to see here folks- go back to your homes” are worrisome.
But they just follow the general DP “party line” because guess what... they not only don’t care what the Republicans do to corrupt elections but they do it themselves given half the chance.
In Pennsylvania in ’04 they sued to keep Nader and a Green Party candidate for governor, Carl Romanelli off the ballot using high priced Democratic Party “election paratrooper lawyers” to convince a Democratic judge to stick Romanelli with an $85,000 bill for having the audacity to think he could run for office outside the “two ‘corporate’ party system”, which, we have actually heard people say, is “guaranteed in the Constitution”.
Nader probably will run as an independent this year rather than challenge former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for the Green nomination in Chicago this July, although he has not really specifically announced his ballot intentions one way or the other as of press time.
But you can bet that the hundreds of thousands the national Democrats spent in ’04 to keep him off state ballots will pale in comparison to the ’08 totals.
It’s quite understandable that the Democratic electoral trust-fund cry-babies who have squandered their inheritance from FDR feel a sense of entitlement to all the votes that aren’t Republican with a knee-jerk repetition of the vote-ownership rhetoric. It takes an independent thinker to think through what that entitlement gets them- voting for war-crime appropriations, constitution-shredding domestic-spying laws, pro-corporate welfare and anti corporate taxes and worker/environmental measures not to mention ballot access provisions that keep anyone not selected in processes much like the Hawai`i caucuses so that a corporate candidate is guaranteed to be their candidate... and a campaign finance system to keep it all in place and ensure they all answer to their corporate masters.
And blah blah blah blah blah- the Democrats stopped listening at Nader and the democrats don’t care enough to do anything about the Democrats.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
and in the midst of a “byline strike” http://blogs.honoluluadvertiser.com/capitolnotebook2008.php
at the Honolulu Advertiser, one byline stood out in today’s paper acknowledging that yes, Kaua`i is part of the State afterall.
After almost six months of regurgitations of Kaua`i County press releases and coverage written by the paper’s city desk, former Big Island Star-Bulletin reporter Diana Leone has airlifted into Kaua`i from the big Island to do the first datelined piece
in the almost six months.. 37-year Kaua`i Advertiser Bureau Chief Jan TenBruggencate was forced- or more accurately bribed- into one of those buyout/retirement deals as part of the widespread purge of veteran reporters last summer due to “cost cutting measures” instituted by noted el-cheapo owners Gannett and their Editor/hatchetman-in-Chief Mark Platte.
The piece is pretty much a regurgitation of other news-sourced coverage of the poisoning of Waimea school children by GMO-purveyors Syrgenta and is datelined Lihu`e and bylined by Leone. According to two sources close to the Advertiser, she has never lived on Kaua`i. and is working “part-time”.
Despite her expertise and familiarity with Kaua`i, long time resident and reporter Joan Conrow lost out on the job apparently because of her blog’s http://kauaieclectic.blogspot.com/ investigative coverage last year of the Superferry and attempts to discredit her objectivity by forces with a direct line to Platte.
Conrow, a former Star-Bulletin and Advertiser staff writer and Reuters stringer who has lived and covered the Kaua`i beat for more than 20 years had the inside track on the permanent job until the Advertiser editors said this fall that they were just pulling her off the Hawai`i Superferry (HSf) story but the action didn't close the door on future employment they gave Leone the job, without ever interviewing Conrow for the position.
Conrow’s work on her blog and in Honolulu weekly http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2008/01/uss-superferry/ was instrumental in uncovering State and HSf misconduct and recently exposed the military boondoggle involving the HSf and it’s defense contractors Austral.
But apparently Conrow’s earlier investigative expertise in uncovering State and Superferry evasion and misconduct was unacceptable to Platte, whose duel role as head of news and opinion sections violates most journalism ethics guidelines.
Platte seemingly has so much to do that his regular Sunday horn-tooting “After Deadline” column
takes credit for scooping other news sources’ originally reporting. Today’s column http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/NEWS0102/802240350/1004/NEWS0102
takes credit for “breaking the news of Obama's TV ads” despite PNN’s 2/12 report http://parxnewsdaily.blogspot.com/2008/02/mad-mutt-money-obama-campaign-has-made.html
scooping the Advertiser three days before their Feb 15 article. http://search.honoluluadvertiser.com/sp?aff=117&keywords=Obama+launches+push+in+Isles+&pubDate=14&author=DePledge&submit=search (see #4).
PNN corrected Platte although in ridiculing sneakiness, http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/OPINION05/802240326/1114/OPINION05#Anchor-StoryChat
but has not as yet seen or heard a correction.
Welcome to the fray Diana... do us proud. Battle for your stories with the Advertiser’s “Kaua`i?... where’s that?... did somebody die?” city desk attitude....
... not that the S-B and the TV news’ aren’t even worse when it comes to not knowing we’re here unless someone kills someone or some kids are getting poisoned by GMO companies.
But isn’t that why they said they had to do these frankenfood experiments out here in the middle of the Ocean in the first place...
Diana Leone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: My apologies to Diana Leone regarding her byline. According to a NY Times blog (thanks Ian Lind) the byline strike ended Friday.
Friday, February 22, 2008
harass the often elderly, often disabled and often hard working souls recently expelled O`ahu-style by Kaua`i “from the heart” Mayor, Bryan Baptiste.
In response to PNN’s questions regarding permitting,
County PIO Mary Daubert e-mailed “(t)he required permits for the work being done at Hanamā`ulu Beach Park are at various stages of the approval process”.
It doesn’t say if any permits have actually been obtained but it does say some have not.
The county announced
that the park needed “cleaning” in an attempt to rid the park of homeless by the “closing the park” It has reportedly been rousting the homeless for the last few week in anticipation of “Closed for Cleaning” signs going up Thursday.
The admission also indicates that the work could not have possibly started Thursday as the county asserted- either that or the Parks and Recreation and Pubic Works Departments never thought about needing a permit, a commonly claimed occurrence in the Batiste administration
A late mid-Thursday drive-by showed no tents, but no “cleaning. As a matter of fact “it looks beautiful” as our driver observed. There were quite a few families enjoying the spotless shady picnic tables. At first someone thought they saw an ice-head in the bushes but it was just an eight-year-old on the rope swing.
In addition to a Special Management Area (SMA) permit, a grubbing and grading permit could be required and if it does indeed need an SMA permit- unless it’s exempted- it certainly needs a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP), which is even stricter than an SMA and covers all shoreline areas.
But the grubbing and grading permit could be major concern. Tons of dirty sand, apparently cleared the from unpaved shoreline road, sits mauka in artificial dunes all along the way leading to the River where it was apparently piled as the road was cleared of ocean debris and graded.
(Official PNN “opinion”- Almost everyone who goes there agrees those pavilion/bathrooms at the north end need to be torn down and new ones built- even those who have lived and loved there over the years.... hey, I like this blogging stuff)
Since the County is still getting its permits together it is unknown tonight whether they will stop the police harassment of people who are down there, down on their luck and down to having to live on the beach in our insane island minimum-wage, maximum-rent economy... even if it is the place tourists see first when they go to the “closest beach”..
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The picture- not apparently available on TGI’s web site but published above the fold in Wednesday’s print edition- shows the Director of the newly created Parks and Recreation Department and former Kapa`a High School, UH and NFL star awaiting HDP caucus voting instructions from long-time Kaua`i DP honcho Betty Matsumura, standing among blue card holding sign-ups although it doesn’t identify him by name or affiliation.
Carvalho has or had been a Republican crony of Baptiste’s in search of an important title despite his well-known Baptize-like dullness-in-the-knife-drawer department. This year the new P&R Department was created via a Charter amendment just for him after he spent four years as the head of the unofficial-official “Community Relations” anti-Departmental concoction Baptiste created for him shortly after taking office.
Carvalho has been widely rumored among Kaua`i political observers to be preparing to run, if not for Council this year, for Mayor in 2010 when Baptiste term-limits out, much as Baptiste did in 2002 after valiantly taking bullets for the scandal-plagued Marianne Kusaka administration while serving on the Council and before that, like Carvalho, as a political appointee in the administration.
Both started their government career as the head of the “Ho`olokahi” community volunteer program designed to supposedly save taxpayer money on visitor industry beautification programs, the program being an outgrowth of the do-noting, political-plum job of Convention Hall Director.
Is Carvalho joining Jimmy Tokioka and Jay Furfaro (or Mike Gabbard and even Bev Hardin for that matter) in an attempt to play hide the Republican electoral-salami, either nine months or 2 ¾ years hence?
No “papers pulled” yet for Carvalho but it’s early.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
for the Hawai`i Democratic Party’s delegate selection and caucus voting.
They say that all those voting in the caucuses must be “registered voters” implying that merely applying to register to vote is not sufficient. It also say the same about Party membership- promises to become a member is not sufficient to vote.
But those rules went out the window in most cases according to every one of the dozens of reports in the newspapers, on TV and in the blogs.
The big question now is whether the Clinton campaign will challenge many of the tens of thousands of Obama voters who were, at best, not verified to be participating on the up and up. And since caucus voting was, according to the rules, supposed to be by “secret ballot” there should be no way to double check which ballots were properly cast.
It also says that ultimately, the delegates to the DP’s National Convention will be awarded proportionally giving Obama 15 and Clinton 5 if the widely reported 75-24 split is verified. In an atmosphere where fighting it out delegate by delegate will probably be the way it all shakes out it is doubtful a fighter like Clinton will just accept the irregularities without a credentialing fight.
Form the reports it appears that Obama voters- mostly non-DP members new to the caucuses, some who never even voted in an election before, many of whom were put on the “honor system” to become DP members “later” -were the ones most likely to be improper or at least ripe for challenge while Clinton’s support was much more likely to be long time party regulars.
When the party counts up caucus votes and final DP membership numbers the former could well surpass the latter. Will Clinton cheerleader-in-Chief Sen. Dan Inouye seek to extract more than her appointed five pounds of flesh?
You couldn’t pay most people enough to be on the HDP Rules Committee or whomever is going to make that decision.
Here’s a sampling of some Advertiser and Star-Bulleting reports on the improprieties including some “comments” from readers
Next to go were the precinct sign-in forms, but that didn't matter much because by 7:30 p.m., U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie told voters not to worry about finding their precinct captains, who were lost among a crowd in the packed cafeteria.
"Forget about the precinct. Just get a ballot and vote," he said.
Kawananakoa Middle ran out of ballots and party registration forms briefly, but the school's principal made about 1,000 more copies of each in her office
Carolyn Golojuch, Kapolei Middle School's site coordinator, got on a public address system and encouraged voters to only cast one of the improvised ballots.
"Remember, Democrats are honest," she said. "They don't vote more than once."
With many attending a caucus for the first time, Abercrombie said the party took it on faith that people were there to register to vote and join the party.
"What we ended up doing, and, I think, I expect a lot of other people did, is went to the honor system finally," he said.
There undoubtedly will be some second guessing and even muttering about legal challenges over the balloting, which went from organized to near-chaos as the evening progressed. Many precincts ran out of party registration cards, ballots or both. Some resorted to a show of hands and an "honor system" that those who voted were, or would become, members of the Hawaii Democratic Party.
But there's no doubt that at least some folks participated without anyone knowing for sure whether they were party members, as required by the rules.
Comment from: rtsuru [Visitor]
I would be very interested in knowing how any sane person could think that last night's caucus vote was definitive. The disorganization was monumental, there were people standing in line at Washington Middle School who claimed to be Republican but were voting for Obama in the caucus, out of state people attempting to vote, and not one volunteer making sure that everyone who was supposed to be voting was in fact voting.
Jerry Burris Blog
What the heck! Let everybody vote!
This ain't Florida, but the second-guessing about tonight's balloting is going to go on for a long time to come.
It's unlikely anyone is going to get lawyered up over this, but with the thousands of thousands of people participating, all being guided by well-meaning but inexperienced volunteers, there was bound to be
At one of the Kailua sites, for instance, they ran out of party registration forms, so people were told to go ahead and vote anyway and, well, sign up for the party later. Most of them likely will do so, but there is no guarantee.
That suggests at least some of the ballots cast were not cast by legitimate card-carrying party members. Not kosher under the rules.
Will anyone care once the smoke clears?
Comment from: rising waters [Visitor]
well if it were a federal election, the FBI would have seized all the ballot boxes and put crime tape everywhere and somehow George Bsh would have won.Maybe things weren't done by the book, but the volunteers on the ground were doing their best and seemed to be genuinely honest (most were the sort you could lend $50 and get it back a week later).The party itself has some major explaining to do, as to why they, unlike the media and the coconut telegraph, didn't see this coming.
Comment from: first caucus [Visitor]
wow, mass confusion reigned where I voted in Manoa. They were handing out blank pieces of paper and telling us to write our choice. I signed in on one of the sheets, no one checked my ID, the volunteer handed me two slips of paper - I gave one slip back to her. I did my thing, and left, but it occurred to me that I could have kept that paper and voted twice. There was not a lot of control over those slips of paper. I'm thinking they are not seriously going to count those hand written ballots, but on the 10pm news they say they are. Wow...understand the enthusiasm but the lack of control really tripped me out. Makes me wonder how many times I could have signed in (using alias), and got a slip of paper to vote. Or even just casually walk over to a table and grab a dozen or so and vote X times for my favorite candidate. Not even Florida...almost like a 3rd world country.
Comment from: Manoa grad student [Visitor]
I've been an active Democrat for other 20 years, and I care how our candidates are nominated. The official ballots, 500 in District 24, Manoa, were carefully distributed by the precinct captains to people who filled in the party registration form. In my precinct, Clinton did much better with voters that received the official ballots. There were nearly 1500 votes in District 24, Manoa. Are there 1474 names on the registration forms? If there aren't, the official ballots should be counted, and the rest made up by a percentage of the unofficial ballots. If Manoa's experience is reflected statewide, this would switch at least 2 national delegates from Obama to Clinton, and it would still be fair to both candidates.
Comment from: Manoa grad student [Visitor]
I am not asking for two-thirds of the caucus votes to be invalidated. If 1474 people put their names and contact info on the registration forms, then count all the votes, however they came in. But the major reason we caucus is to recruit party members. The Party recruited me; I am now a precinct official and a state and county convention delegate. On the other hand, people that didn't submit their names and contact info are not Party members and should not have voted. One troubling fact: the ballot box for people that didn't know their precinct or didn't care (which Rep. Abercrombie stood over), went 90-10 for Obama. The district overall went 80-20. So "Let everybody vote!" probably gave Obama a couple more national delegates than a correct vote would have given him
At Kahuluu Elementary School, voter Tom Robertson, 52, of Heeia said he saw some would-be voters leave because the wait to vote was too long. When one precinct at Kahuluu ran out of ballots, volunteers gave out scraps of paper for voters to write in their choice. Robertson said he could have voted multiple times because of the lack of organization.
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who was at Manoa Elementary and is a staunch supporter of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, suggested that people cast their votes in the chaotic cafeteria using the honor system. Instead of ensuring everyone was a registered Democrat prior to voting, precinct volunteers allowed voters to write the candidate's name on a scrap piece of paper and register afterward.
Asked whether there would be doubts of the honor system's accuracy, Abercrombie said only those not at the school wouldn't understand. "Everyone came in to vote because they wanted to," he said. "Hundreds of people stood outside in the pitch black for 45 minutes. They couldn't see anything and couldn't register. What we did was to say no one would be turned away because of the logistics of voting."
The process was what you would expect in a third world country - not the US. I do think that the Democratic Party leadership in HI should be called to answer for the disgraceful organization. Frankly, if they can't organize a simple election like this, one wonders about their general competence.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Hello Andy, In regards to Hanama`ulu Beachpark. They are talking about tree trimming. I hope they have a SMA special use permit. Tree trimming can become 'development' if large trees are cut or removed.
He attached, then Planning Director Dee Crowell’s Memorandum (pdf available soon or via email) to Mayor Marianne Kusaka regarding a 2002 incident where a whole bluff of trees above Donkey Beach were demolished- unannounced- by Kusaka’s “volunteers”. It talks about triggering a Special Management Area” (SMA) permit process during the “chain-saw-gate” phase of the grubbing and grading scandals that plagued the Kusaka administration. and say that for “maintenance”- as long as the tree trimming isn’t anything more than maintenance- no permit is required Any more work would..
But the Mayor’s full press release
says that “extensive work will be done at the beach park by county personnel including: tree trimming; debris removal; road scraping; and boulder replacement along the boundaries of the park.
“Also being considered are the demolition of the old pavilion and re-roofing of the new pavilion.”
It certainly sounds like more than just some “tree trimming” and a lot more than normal maintenance- it sounds like major construction.
PNN requested some assistance this afternoon (Tues.) from the County Administration as to whether an SMA permit- a special federally mandated permitting system issued by the county for work near the shoreline - is required and if not why not.
Even the County must get an SMA for their projects according to state and federal law.
Kaua`i PIO gem Mary Daubert says she’s on the case so fear not- information is a-coming.
An SMA permit generally takes months to apply for and process. Specific drawn plans, passed by the Planning Commission- complete with Public Hearings- are required for all work costing over $125,000. The Planning Director may require the full process if the work is extensive or potentially disruptive of the shoreline area or there is community concern... no matter the cost.
Meanwhile the question of whether the homeless- many of whom live there because they work in Lihu`e- will be dumped into the river even if Baptiste doesn’t start his “cleaning” anytime soon.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Honolulu Star Bulletin Political Reporter Richard Borreca reported today
that “(t)he caucuses are run by the local Democratic Party under rules drafted by the national Democratic party; it is not conducted by the state Office of Elections”. apparently according to O`ahu party chairwoman Annelle Amaral.
But those national rules are not available through the HDP’s web site which instead answers it’s own “Frequently Asked Questions” http://www.hawaiidemocrats.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=246&Itemid=90
on the caucus eligibility rules and has no link to the actual National Democratic Party regs.
And the state Party’s web site is contradictory on what the rules are. First the page says:
Who can participate?Any member of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i. You MUST be both a registered voter in the State of Hawai`i and a registered member of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i to participate in the February 19th precinct election or the Presidential Preference Poll. No absentee or proxy voting is allowed.
As defined in Hawai`i Revised Statutes a voter is registered only when he or she has been properly recorded and certified as such with the appropriate county clerk’s office. No one is confirmed to be a “registered voter” until they apply and that little yellow postcard is received in the mail telling them where to vote. It notifies the applicant they are a recorded, registered voter.
However the rules listed at the HDP Web site go on to say
Is there walk-in registration?Yes, registered voters will be allowed to fill out Party registration cards. Any unregistered voters must fill out Wiki Wiki Voter Registration Forms.
Hawai`i has what is called a mail-in “Wiki Wiki” registration form. A voter simply fills it out, affixes a stamp and mails it in and gets a postcard later even if you hand it in at one of the clerks’ offices.
There are no longer “voter registrars” roaming the community in Hawai`i in election years, although the clerks and Election Division continues to try to give the impression there are. They’re as Manini as Marini with the Wiki Wiki forms, even though Federal and State law requires them to be widely available at places like schools, post offices and welfare offices..
So they ”request” that anyone who wants to collect filled-out Wiki Wiki forms receive training and certification although neither the state nor the national “Motor Voter” law have a prohibition against collecting them.
The state, through their county clerks, actually discourages people bringing bundled filled-out registration forms to the Cleark’s office But unless you know you legally can when you walk in you won’t get a stack of Wiki Wiki forms and told to bring them, back unless you’ve been trained.
It’ll be interesting to see if “official” collectors are trained and how they’re turning them in. Will they instruct the applicant to fill it out correctly? or does it depend on whether an Obama or Clinton supporter is helping voters fill it out.
So does merely filling out the form make you a “registered voter”? Doubtful but we’re
not the county clerk or the chief of the Elections Bureau and we’ve seen some of them do some bizarre things.(link to new Election System purchase article).
What are the national rules which the state rules are based on? For that matter where are the state rules- not just someone “Q&A answers” about them..
Given the accounts of blissful fear at the prospects of Tuesday’s Obama-mob http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/17/news/story02.html it’s doubtful that enough trained registrars will be there. And even if they are who’s checking what and how? Just asking....
“Hi I’m Keone Kanaka and I’m signing up. ID? Aren’t you the party fighting against showing ID to vote?”. And one thing about “small d” democratic secret balloting- there’s no way to trace the ballot back to the voter afterward if the voter isn’t eligible.
The real question is whether the national Party requires that caucus voters actually be registered voters or whether just “applying” is sufficient.
Despite repeated attempts to contact HDP through both e-mail and phone there seems to be no way to find out if those who are not registered voters on Tuesday will be eligible to vote in the caucuses or if the HDP plans to allow those not registered to vote but who “apply” to participate.
Will the HDP have voter registration rolls at each caucus site? Will potential voters have to have ID? Will they have to prove they are registered voters? Will they even have to show they are voting in the correct caucus since- delegates are awarded by proportionally by winning districts?
Will voters even be required to prove they are Democratic Party members? Democrats have recently made a stink about the legality of the state requiring “open” primary system- presumably to increase membership. But will they even be able to handle the influx of members - or for that matter want the independents and Republicans seeking to vote join their caucuses?
And the bigger question is whether the loser- presumably Inouye’s ol’ girl choice of the ol’ boys Democrats- will challenge the results based on all of these process anomalies (obvious answer:- you betcha... that’s what they DO to keep themselves the ol’ boys and girls) at a contested national convention this August, if not the HDP State Convention this spring- the actual place delegates will be selected supposedly based on the caucus vote.
Prognostications of storm cloud brewing with credentialing challenges and back-room fights in Denver in a virtually tied race, when combined with the reported desperate nature of the Clinton campaign, are gaining credibility. She will only fight more as she loses state after state by wide by enough margins to give Obama a huge lead in “elected” delegates.
Her superdelegates count- a designation originally created to allow the old boys to be such http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/14/superdelegates/?iref=mpstoryview ) will need supplements.
Full disclosure: Andy Parx is not nor has he ever been a Democrat, Republican or Independent and has been a proud Green since 1996. He remains though a Parxist
Saturday, February 16, 2008
comes word http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/16/news/briefs.html#top (3rd item) of a Honolulu style pogrom, rousting the hoards hard working local people and poor souls who have been forced to live at Hanama`ulu Beach Park- due to his polices- so it can be “cleaned up”.
As predicted, http://www.parx.org/voters_guide.htm Baptiste's “leadership from the heart” campaign slogan has long since been replace by “from the wallet” in an administration whose lap-dog Planning Director Ian Costa has fast tracked million dollar homes, whose his County Housing Agency that created unaffordable, cramped, city-style, for-sale “affordable housing” for those well-heeled pioneers who need it least, leaving de-unionized hotel and big-box plantation wage slaves tripled up at their parents house if they’re lucky and at Hanama`ulu if they’re not.
While the council winks and nods to the Board of Realtors’ plan to rent residential housing to tourists at triple the affordable rate- keeping those who can’t eke out 140% of the median income even with two people working four jobs a piece living at the beach- old-boy skein Bryan has pulled a Mufi and decided to “clean up” the chief homeless encampment on Kaua`i without any place for them to go...save for the rush-constructed, highly-touted “homeless shelter” in the old courtrooms and holding tanks at the former courthouse, which is already exploding at the seams and has a waiting list as long as the faces of those hard-working folks who have been forced to live in Hanama`ulu.
From what heart Bryan?- the one that pumps dirty dishwater for the local people who you’ve made vulnerable to your dumb growth policies?
Friday, February 15, 2008
As reported today http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2008/02/15/news/news03.txt Hubbard, a long time honcho at missionary land-baron Grove Farm, admitted he routinely violates charter section 20.02D, which states in part that “no officer or employee of the county shall appear in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency.”
Former State Senator and now shill for the Board of Realtor’s Jonathan Chun is now sitting in the newly-perpetual Charter Commission even though he just single-handedly convinced his crony Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura to sell us all down the river by allowing all the vacation rental currently in our residential neighborhood to stay there forever, despite state and county laws forbidding it.
Hubbard is a chartered member of the new generation of the old boys and if this administration and council doesn’t protect their cronies, what exactly DO they do. Just the recorded and verified illegal ex-parte conversations that have gone on between Mayor Bryan Baptiste or Council Chair Kaipo Asing and the EC in the Ching/Furtado/Lum/KPD case could fill a blogpage. When you add the administration’s staff and other councilmembers, were they to be all to be documented this cheap Chihuahua would have to pay extra to publish all of those.
Hubbard’s pooh-poohing of the law is just par for the Municipal Course. He fits in well with the very un-ethical culture of the county. “why we’ve been doing it that way since the 50’s” culture that has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a world of open governance.
He’s just the latest and greatest EC chair taking over for Sandy Helmer whose legendary antics were recently documented.
Despite three requests in the last four years, the OIP has refused to take complaints about simply the agendas of the EC, which don’t list subjects much less specifics of any case. In practice the public has not even been allowed into their meetings until that became too absurd even for Kaua`i recently.
Community watchdogs and legendary “nitpickers” Glenn Mickens, Ken Taylor Horace Stoessel, Walter Davis and Ed Coll have been challenging the Commission brining up the blatant violation by Chun who actual asked for a ruling.
Both Mickens and Stoessel vehemently challenged that Friday as well as elements of the TGI story (look for them under “comments”). Hubbard and Food Bank Leader Judy Lenthall who often has to lobby for money from governmental boards commissions or agencies
Lenthall’s work is that of our local Mother Teresa and Chun may be the current devil himself on Kaua`i but that isn’t the point. Our island’s constitution document has a great prohibition for just the reason it’s there- to keep a small clique of wealthy landowners from being on the “peoples’ boards and commissions- the place where normal every day people serve to keep us in touch with our community.
In theory. Hubbard is only the latest to find himself finding out that the way things worked can’t still be the way things work now.
Asing- or “Uncle Chair”, as newbie haole councilmember Tim Bynum has been heard to call him during session- has mastered the “I am the law” art that passes for governance on Kaua`i and hizzonah does too. The administration has made hide-the-roll-of-documents into a fun game where no one responds unless you sue them.. and then they wonder why their legal bills are so high.
And that was how Jonathan Chun extorted them into allowing vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods.
Oh, Chun is a former deputy County Attorney, under Yukimura. Can you say revolving door? Same faces, new jobs. Same money- yours
And you wonder why that in fact is EXACTLY what the charter means.
99.9% of the people are eligible to serve on boards and commissions on this island. But they are filled by the same people whether in business or government... this week.
But don’t worry there’s no crisis... nothing to see here. The Kaua`i County Attorney- or “Judge” as Asing calls him- will instruct his minions to say whatever they have to say but say it in secret.
And you know what? the real judge just let them “intertwine”
anything they want to say surreptitiously. If Mel Rapozo says “fire that bastard Kimo and I hate KC Lum” all in one sentence, why, how can you possibly sort that out?
And she just walked along alone
her guilt so well concealed,
and muttered underneath her breath,
nothing is revealed.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
it was all of you who freaked out like an ant hill after a kid set off a firecracker in it on 9/11.
We created government goons like this when we looked the other way, if not encouraged, this kind of behavior. We decided it was ok to detain anyone for no reason at all except suspicion of being suspicious. But when they abuse their power with people under their control..- most of the time brown people- we tell them they don’t need an excuse to abuse anything or anyone anymore.
Nothing changed after 9/11 except that people went crazy over crazy people. Every time we think of these crazy people- whether the college shooters or the religious crusader or jihadi- we act crazy and want more protection “no matter what you have to do”.
We laugh and say “don’t even tell me what you have to do” (and they take that tortuously seriously) and at the same time let the concept of “probable cause to search and seize” becomes a remnant of a 4th amendmedimensional imagination.
So we go crazy too. We let our local uniformed protectors swear in some pretty crazy people themselves- the natural goon, the guy with a “zeal” for the job... the one that used-to-be a wanna-be. Usually policing authorities try to weed out those kinds, sometimes using $10,000 instant lie detector [link to 2/14 Advertiser article]. . .But lately those guys are not only let in but the first to be promoted, especially at the federal level.
The prophesy has been achieved- we have neither rights nor security since we forsook the former for the latter. And that dead baby is the result.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Just four years ago Kerry and Bush ads were the first ever local ads during a presidential race after the media hyped a bogus poll showing Hawai`i to be “in play” for the first time.
And now with the race in heat and media dragging their doggie tongues on the ground at the advertising dollars that can generate, our 20 measly delegates are important enough to have unexpectedly attracted the big bucks of presidential cash.
Not only are the spots running on the broadcast Honolulu stations but are being bought on at least one island’s (Kaua`i) cable system’s “local insert” ads on CNN
Every local TV news outlet has done a piece or two hyping and ginning up enthusiasm for the Democratic caucuses with a “Hawai`i can effect the nomination race this time ” message- the one the Party is trying to push into the media spotlight to begin with..
It’s a bonus that the local stations- and even more so Time Warner- didn’t expect this election year and could make up for prospectively dismal prospects in the fall for the broadcast stations... what without much of a challenge to Mufi on the horizon and no statewide races to fulfill their usual election year revenue projections.
Will Clinton answer Obama spot for spot? Given that she is reportedly running out of cash and Obama seems to be flush, it is doubtful. But no one is returning this windfall and watch for more solicitous reports at 5,6&10 as well as during Stewart and Colbert.