VOTE FOR GARY HOOSER FOR LT. GOVERNOR: PNN is proud to unequivocally and enthusiastically endorse former Kaua`i Councilperson and State Senator Gary Hooser for Lt. Governor in the Democratic Primary September 18.
Hooser is the rarest of elected officials- one who is honest, open and acts to protect the rights of his both his constituents and the `aina, rejecting the dictates of big money interests while holding true to his values- even after more than a decade in elective office.
Our first endorsement of the political season is a no brainer- no other candidate even comes close.
Hooser's list of accomplishments over the years are everything we could ask for in an elected official.
Here are a few.
For those who may have forgotten or never knew, as a councilmember on Kaua`i he worked to reign in incompetence and corruption within the Kaua`i Public Works Department bringing forth year long hearings after the first Jimmy Pflueger-caused landslide disaster in Pila`a and initiated the stoppage of efforts to use a Trojan Horse “gift” to turn what is now the north-of-Kealia leg of the bike path into a private beach for the luxury “Kealia Kai” homeowners. He also left a legacy by introducing a first-in-the-state charter amendment on the ballot that now funds an open space and public access fund through a dedicated percentage of property tax revenues.
As a state senator Hooser introduced and passed a first-of-it’s-kind-in-the-nation requirement that put solar hot water heaters on all new homes as well as a law denying bans on the use of outdoor clotheslines, walking the talk of sustainability through concrete measures to conserve energy.
In the land use arena he introduced and passed into law a measure prohibiting restrictive covenants on agricultural land that would restrict agricultural activity. Though that sounds like a no-brainer, there are actually “fake farms” where subdivision and condominium property regime (CPR) associations have covenants that stop real farms from operating. They have placed restrictions on agriculturally districted and zoned land limiting the size of windbreak trees (to maintain owners’ “viewplanes”), prohibiting loud noises (like tractors and other farm equipment), even some that ban the smells of farm animals and prohibit animals that make loud and repetitious noises.
Hooser also blocked efforts to decimate state districting and zoning laws in order to legitimize the Hokulia development on the Big Island. The development of luxury homes on ag land was being held up in the courts and legislative attempts would have designated all lands of a certain soil classification as rural instead of ag, re-designating a huge amount of ag land around the state with one broad brush.
Hooser has been tireless in maintaining the citizens’ rights of entry to public area. He introduced a measure making it a criminal penalty to block public access to areas like coastline and interior mountains so that when people put up a gate otherwise block a legal access point there is now a criminal penalty for doing so.
He’s also been a champion of civil rights and as senate majority leader he led the effort to provide civil unions by shepherding HB 444 through the state senate by a veto proof margin.
Hooser has focused much of his work on education and proposed a plan to stop “furlough Fridays” before they were even implemented- one that was virtually identical to the final agreement.
He was also instrumental in beating back the administration’s efforts to circumvent and even strip the legal protections of the Hawai`i Environmental Protection Act (HEPA) during the Superferry fiasco.
Those who know us know we almost never give glowing recommendations like this and certainly do not do so lightly.
Hooser’s campaign has relied in large part on small grassroots contributions rather than huge corporate checks and, as always, has abided by restrictions to qualify for public funding. Contributions may be made online at www.garyhooser.com or checks mailed to Friends of Gary Hooser, P.O. Box 4094, Honolulu HI, 96812.
Gary Hooser has always been there for us. It’s time for us to be there for him and do all we can to put his name on the Democratic ballot for governor in November.
We’ll be off “on assignment” as they say, Thursday and Friday. Unless something particularly sticks in our craw we’ll be back Monday.