Tuesday, June 24, 2008


THE MASTER’S GONE AWAY: Bryan Baptiste died as he lived- covering up... even his own death..

It all sounded fishy. We suspected “the county” was being, eh, let’s say “less than transparent” about Baptiste’s condition over the past couple of weeks, especially after they didn’t announce his surgery until three days after the operation... which had been supposedly “planned” a week before after “routine medical tests”

Then we found out scanty information at that. As we reported we asked, heck we badgered the County spokesperson to at least reveal how many by-passes he had after she said “definitely did not have a heart attack”.

It just about isn’t possible that someone would go in for “routine tests”- and any tests to determine he needed a quadruple bypass would be anything but “routine”- and come out with a by-pass, even just one. Nowadays the doctors would almost certainly do some angioplasty and/or place some stents before going for a surgical by-pass... unless of course he had already suffered a heart attack, which despite the denial is probably what happened

Bryan most likely did what many people unfortunately do- they cover up the chest pains known as “angina”, sometimes even to themselves until it’s too late and you have four such badly clogged arteries you need them replaced.

The stark truth, not even in hindsight, is that Bryan wasn’t in any shape to survive the surgery but obviously it was his only choice. By the time many people in his state of health have a heart attack- and he had probably at least had a “silent” one before- they have already ignored or covered up their chest pain.

As we reported, a myocardial infraction- the most common type “heart attack”- is defined as tissue death in the heart muscle due to the blockage of a coronary artery. No one has a quadruple bypass without having had this kind of “heart attack”. We’d bet dollars to donuts that if the definitive test were done measuring a rise in cardiac enzymes were released that’s what it would show.

A cardiologist interviewed by KITV said “I’m sort of baffled by this” and that was most likely because the “facts”- or at least the ones the county claimed were facts were the only ones he had access to- didn’t line up with Baptiste’s death.

Grossly overweight, with reportedly uncontrolled diabetes, Baptiste was a walking time bomb as far as his “big heart” was concerned.

We gotta say the Bryan was consistent.

Someone said to us yesterday that we killed him. Well around here it feels like one of those Seineld episodes with Bryan not wanting to reveal the extent of his perilous health being told by doctors not to let his famous temper get the best of him and stay to away from anything that would cause it to explode. Next scene see him in the hospital hiding around the corner to listen to others, as was his habit, and overhearing his press secretary mentioning that that damn Andy Parx won’t play the “swallow every lie whole” game the local press plays so well and was askin’ a lot of medical questions. (SERENITY NOW Bryan, SERENITY NOW).

But once home with the opportunity beckoning withstanding a peek at the internet (what could it hurt?) is too much. Cut to the last scene with poor Bryan slumped over a lap top in a closet with our Saturday “'even on his sick bed’ he’s packing the Ethic Board with Grove Farm cronies” article on the screen. (bah, ba-da-bah, ba-da-bah bass line closing theme plays ).

We’re not sure if we’re relieved or upset that we had originally written “death bed” but decided to go with the facts since he hadn’t, as yet, actually died.

So what does the council do after he dies? First thing they do is violate the sunshine law which prohibits their meeting to “deliberate toward a decision” by holding a meeting with Acting mayor Gary Heu to talk who among them they will choose to succeed him, as the County Charter dictates they must do.

And one of these people is going to be the next Mayor, at least until November.

There’s not one of them that doesn’t want the Mayor’s job if for no other reason just for the power and ego gratification and they’ve been jockeying for that position since 2006.

The exception may be Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho who apparently wants the prosecutor’s job. So guess what- she could be the king maker. And she will pick her to ally Mel who has already jumped into the race according to a quote in today’s Advertiser.

Tim Bynum surprisingly enough could emerge as Mel’s rival only since there is a deep hatred between Tim and the Shay/Mel tag team. JoAnn is not well liked on the council, especially by Shaylene and others who have to sit through her incessant thinking out loud and other sleep inducing activity on the Council as well as her apparent back-stabs in various votes over the last few years. She doesn’t really have a true ally on the council with even Chair Kaipo Asing showing aggravation with her in public, something Asing rarely does no matter how angry he is.

Despite JoAnn’s need for validation by being reelected as Mayor after she took her ’94 defeat personally and so switched from being an activist to a consummate politician, she may be alone on the Council in thinking she should get the job no matter what might happen in November.

The “job” by the way could be a ten year term since anyone appointed and elected to fill the term would be eligible for a full two terms after that despite term limits. Section 7.01 of the Charter enforces term limits by stating “No person shall serve as mayor for more than two consecutive full terms”

So if JoAnn is shut out her vote could also be crucial. .

And that leaves Jay Furfaro as the wild card because as a policy wonk JoAnn knows that he would certainly be the best administrator of the seven after running hotels for many years until his recent “retirement”- although he still technically works for Princeville Corporation as a “consultant” which he says is because of his cultural and historical knowledge.
Jay probably has more brains than the rest of them put together. So if there’s any way politics becomes moot because the support is spread too thin,. he could get the nod because even his “foes” who remember that he “was” a Republican don’t actually actively dislike him personally

Many are talking about Asing having the inside track and being the favorite. But forget that- Asing had enough of that after trying to unseat Mayor Kusaka in ’98 and instead of being the shoo-in everyone saw him as on the day he filed his papers he couldn’t even place second, even though he had been the top vote getter in most of the past Council elections.

The only way Kaipo will take the job is if no one else wants it or he thinks no one else can do it. He’ll tell anyone who will listen that he only ran for Mayor 10 years ago because Kusaka was so awful and her Democratic opponent Mary Thronas was dingy, as everyone found out after watching her try to take on the duties of council chair from ’96-98.

Asing knows by now his forte is not as an administrator but a legislator. He’s got it wired and, in his mid-70’s he’s not about to try to learn new tricks.

As far as Ron Kouchi goes he only wanted to be Mayor because he saw it as an increase of power, not because he thought he’d be especially good at filling the potholes and keeping the lights on.

Hard to say what he learned after being squeaked out by Baptiste in ’02 but the fact that he ran for Council again instead of challenging the incumbent Baptiste in ’06 speaks pages if not volumes.

Plus there’s one important aspect all will have to consider- money.

Councilpeople are technically “part time” and the ridiculously low salary requires outside employment. Ron followed up his loss in ’02 with a lucrative revolving-door job with a big developer which he can keep on the council but would have to give up as Mayor even though technically there’s no law stopping him from having outside employment... although with the proposed demolishment of ethics law coming from the Charter Commission it could make for an interesting line to toe for the next Mayor..

And there’s always the fact that Ron would be the obvious choice for Chair when and if Kaipo gives it up and might just see that as the carrot that complements and accommodates his financial situation.

It all depends on what’s important to Ron- money or power. Look for money to win out because Joy likes nice things and he’s got kids to put through college although when taking about Ron’s ego and quest for power, never count it out.

It’s possible if he wants it enough, it’s his because Shay and Mel genuinely like him and depend on his process expertise as an alternative to Asing’s posturings. And that would make for a Jay vs. Ron race for that last vote, although Ron isn’t likely to get it from Kaipo or JoAnn who considered him the devil incarnate through the 80’s and 90’s

And if the fighting gets hot and heavy and there could be a two-two-two split with Shay-Mel, the JoAnn-Jay and Kaipo-Ron (imagine that) pairings.

Which is why Tim could slip right in. He’s so dumb normally no one would want to see him as Mayor. But this is the seat of Bryan Baptiste we’re talking about, who perhaps wasn’t the most vapid person in elective office on Kaua`i the last two years only because of Bynum’s presence.

Plus, if these guys have to sit there with him for another two years it would probably drive them right up a wall so what better way to pull off their own legislative agenda’s than to kick him upstairs.

If JoAnn or Jay can’t get any more votes for either of themselves, they might be more willing to see it this way. So if Tim can peel off one of the “two Chairs”, Ron or Kaipo, it could happen for him.

Kaipo though has probably had enough of dumb guys after six years of Baptiste and 10 years sitting with him on the Council. He actually acts in what he thinks is the best interest of the community, even though that recipe usually involves one cup of secrecy two cups of paternalism and a few splashes of arrogance and ego.

Once that’s all over the clock, starts to run on the 30 days the Council will have to replace whomever moves up to the Mayor’s slot. Derrick Kawakami is a political skein and a rich good old boy by birth and predilection and that may be what they all would be looking for, all else being corruptly equal. He’s shown he can be a stuffed shirt shill for developers just like them, what with his with his old-paradigm-worshipping work for KIUC.

But they may dig deeper and go back to Darryl Kaneshiro. And Gary Heu is certainly the only Baptiste administration official with any respect at all around the Historic County Building, their testimonials to Baptiste recently notwithstanding.

And who knows? If familiarity hasn’t bred contempt Glenn Mickens name could come up if for no other reason than that would stop him from keeping an eye on them from the outside by making him an insider. They call him the 8th councilmember anyway and he knows more about the process the issues and needed legislation than anyone who’s not on the Council. Don’t hold your breath Glenn.

Whomever it is will serve for only a few months and we don’t see councilmembers really wanting a new climber like Derrick get a leg up because he most likely has designs on and might usurp some of their power and might even gain enough strength to move up and leave one of them in eighth place in November.

Darryl would be content to be the same as he was on the council- a reliable vote with the majority. And he could well be on the ballot anyway in November and slip in due to the now two vacancies.

Being on the council early isn’t going to give Darryl any more votes in November because he’s already a known council product. Plus he’s never really sought to “move up” either into council leadership or the mayor’s seat or the legislature so he would be a safe choice for them.
Gary’s political alliances are a mystery, at least to us, but having been the right arm of a Republican mayor may nix his chances with an all Democratic Council.
We need to all keep an eye on them though and make sure that any and all discussions take place publicly. But look for apparent done deals cropping up when they convene open meetings to discuss it. We guarantee it since they’re already apparently broke the law when more than two of them met behind closed doors Monday morning to discuss some preliminaries..
And we thought it was going to be a dull local election season.


Anonymous said...

Some interesting points, but you're making way too much of it

Jay + Tim + Joanne = 3

Mel + Shay = 2

Kaipo and Kouchi -- wild cards.

I say Jay gets it. Not to mention he's the only one competent to handle the job.

As for Mickens on council? You think Bynum is vapid and dingy? Good god man. He's a AAA baseball player without a single real skill. He's Emily Latella.

Andy Parx said...

The analysis specifically didn’t count the vote for “yourself” because one’s own vote is the only one you can really count on. Each person needs more three votes. So if there are three two-vote groups you only need to peel off one from another group. The most likely “free” votes are from Kaipo and Ron. because respect for having done the job of chair is their strongest bond.... and that’s really nothing.

Don’t forget the two of them are the two dominant opposing force of the last 25 years. Kaipo was the “1” in al those 6-1 votes against all the development Ron-guys crammed through the Council in the 80’s and 90’s.. But just the same I’m sure they’ll vote the same if not together.