Tuesday, January 29, 2013


23 GREAT TOMATOES IN THAT LITTLE BITTY CAN: It's not without reason that many have become obsessed with repealing the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC) after being made aware of it last fall. We assume our readers know the chapter and verse liturgy of exemptions, lies, deceit and greed behind the attempted giveaway of state controlled land.

So it makes sense that along with the opening of the 2013 Hawai`i State Legislature comes one of those "just when you think you've seen it all" moments... as in "you ain't seen nothin' yet."

Those outraged over the tactics and content surrounding Act 55 (enshrined as HRS 171C) mobilized for the legislature's opening day with a massive rally to support the introduction of a bill- something promised by many representatives and senators- to repeal PLDC.

And, in a "be careful what you ask for- you just might get it" moment, they got their "bill"... in spades.

Because instead of one bill in the house and one bill in the senate to simply repeal the measure that created the monster there are by some counts between 20 and 23 bills dealing with the repeal of the PLDC.

According to a commentary in Civil Beat by Simon Russell- also an excellent primer on the subject:

On opening day, two bills to repeal HRS 171C were introduced (SB1 and HB110). As of Jan. 24, 23 bills have been introduced calling for repeal of all or parts HRS 171C (15 from the Senate and 8 from the House). The big question is which repeal version will pass, and what will the actual result be.

Yes apparently many the self-same legislators who voted for the measure back in 2011 are playing "crabs in a bucket" crawling over each other so that they can emerge as the one being credited with slaying the beast- even if it means no one in the public can figure out which bill or bills to support.

Some even have their names on more than one bill increasing their chances of being cited as the knight who slew the dragon.

But to assume that's all that's in play here would be to ignore the more sinister motives of those introducing what may seem to be repeal bills but actually are "transformer" measures that leave the monster dead in name only, morphing the PLDC into other string-of-letters entities, losing the name but keeping many of the more repugnant details.

The more ambitious activists have waded though each bills' legalese only to throw up their hands in fury trying to find a "clean" repeal bill. Some attempted to create comparative lists, other spread sheets trying to determine which bill(s) to support and which one(s) to reject. Some of them have even turned to email and social media to see if they could get all repeal proponents to unify behind one bill.

The only problem is that many are new to the incredibly frustrating hurry-up-and-wait, be-ready-to-get-slapped-in-the-face, Hawai`i State Legislature and actually thought the public has any say whatsoever over which bills survive, which get heard and ultimately, which are passed.

The fact is that all "we the people" get to do is provide cover for those who really control the process. It's actually said that for certain controversial bills- you know the ones where the testimony generally ends with the phrase "and I vote"- legislators get their staff to print out the emails, make piles of pro and con and then literally weight them. Last year because of that one activist we heard from suggested people make sure their testimony was at least two pages long.

Each bill introduced needs to be assigned to one committee or more and then each committee will schedule hearings and decision-making on one or more of the bills creating a seemingly infinite number of permutation for those dedicated to taking part in the legislative process.

Gee- you don't think they planned it that way do ya? Well, how do you think the PLDC got created in the first place?

Even if one wanted to pick that one bill to support it's not like they get to pick it- the way it goes is that the leadership- Speaker Joe Souki in the House and President Donna Mercado Kim in the Senate along with the appropriate committee chairs- will decide which bills become the "vehicle" as it's called.

You can also forget about playing "who do you trust" and trying to determine which bill to support by looking at who introduced it. That's never a wise proposition with some of the more weaselly legislators, especially with many of them having tried to "cover the table" by introducing more than one of the bills.

While there may be a time for more specific testimony presently, those champing at the bit can do something right now other than setting their hair on fire and running laps around the fourth floor of the capitol.

For now it seem the only thing the public can do is to write an email to the reps@capitol.hawaii.gov and sens@capitol.hawaii.gov addresses (which goes to all "reps" and "sens") and tell them you want them to vote to fully repeal the PLDC without morphing it into anything else. You might even tell them why.

Confused? Clear as mud? Good- that's exactly what you're supposed to feel. This is after all the state legislature where the only rules are that there really aren't any and if you wait long enough you will see new and inventive ways to connive and control... the operative prefix being "con".

Just in case you feel like banging your head against the wall for a few hours here's about the best list of PLDC-related bills we could find.

House Bills

HB 9 - Introduced by C. Thielen

HB 82 - Introduced by Carroll

HB 110 - Introduced by Hanohano, Lowen, Evans

HB 226 - Introduced by Souki

HB 317 - Introduced by Johanson, Cheape, Fale, Fukumoto, Mcdermott, Thielen, Ward

HB 454 - Introduced by Souki (b/r) (by request)

HB 589 - Introduced by Kawakami, Ito, Say, Takayama, Tsuji, Choy, Cullen

HB 1133 - Introduced by Evans, Awana, Brower, Cheape, Coffman, Fale, Fukumoto, Hanohano, Hashem, Ing, Johanson, C. Lee, Mcdermott, Mckelvey, Mizuno, Morikawa, Saiki, Takumi, Thielen, Aquino, Cachola, Nishimoto

Repeal PLDC (Act 55) and Act 282
(Act 282 passed in 2011 transfers Honokohau and Ala Wai harbors to the PLDC, establishes the Aloha Stadium special fund and defines public land as - Lands which are set aside by the governor to the public land development corporation; lands leased to the public land development corporation by any department or agency of the State; or lands to which the public land development corporation holds title in its corporate capacity.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I don't see Senator Kouchi's name on any of these, which seems strange since Kauai will be radically affected if the law is not repealed. Well, we how he votes.