Wednesday, January 9, 2013


TO SERVE MAN: A post in Civil Beat's "The Beat" blog regarding our newly elected 2nd CD Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard's first visit to Kauai after being sworn-in later this month had us scratching our head today.

The lede sounded promising for those who thought they would have a chance to meet with her and give her their mana'o. It said:

Hawaii’s newest representative in Congress has scheduled her first week of official Hawaii meetings.
She’ll be meeting with officials and constituents throughout the 2nd Congressional District to discuss issues and her recent assignments to the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees.

Meeting with constituents? Well maybe not so much. The schedule for Kaua`i?:

Sunday, January 13: Kauai
At the Kaua’i Veterans Center in Līhuʻe, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will hold a series of five meetings today related to her committee work and issues before the Congress. She will meet with community organizations, transportation officials from the airport and harbors divisions, native Hawaiian organizations, local businesses and other elected officials.

Seems like Ms Gabbard knows who butters her bread with meetings scheduled for every kind of special interest group leaving no time to sit down with the average consistent.

With the estimated million dollars a day needed to run for re-election did we expect anything different?

Another Civil Beat article today, this one from Ian Lind about the Ombudsman's office, also caught out eye. The headline says it all: "No Teeth For Ombudsman But 'We Can Gum Them To Death'"

The interview with Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga is a case study in how oversight agencies shouldn't work. It describes how they quietly nudge the offenders until they are on the verge of being exposed and then allow them to quietly comply.

It's what allows abuse of process to continue unabated. Knowing there are no consequences to misbehavior encourage that misbehavior to continue.

The offenders know they can offend and offend and offend and if one case finally gets so bad they are about to be exposed they can just say "okay- we'll comply in this one case but we'll never change our attitude toward compliance with the rules or law." This rewards abuse of those the offending agency is supposed to serve but is, rather, ignoring.

Anyone out there who hasn't experienced the typical runaround has never tried to deal with the local bureaucracy. The "Hawai`i way" of doing things explains why nothing ever changes even when violations of law are blatant on the part of these agencies.

It's the Minotaur syndrome; they'll do what's wrong as long as they can- and then there's no penalty because the oversight agency thinks its job is to get compliance that one time rather than to change the culture. That's why Marion Higa has been successful and the ombudsman’s office hasn't.

But you knew that, didn't you?

1 comment:

webmaster said...

If you look at who she's meeting with (on Maui Kahului Harbor, Homeland Security, Coast Guard, Vet organization) This is obviously a working trip for her committee assignments on Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

So rather than diss her, I'd praise her for going above and beyond on her due diligence.