Tuesday, August 19, 2008


CHASIN’ THE CHICKENS AGAIN: Well thanks to Ian Lind’s posting of the actual filings in the latest Dance of the Headless Chicken court case, at the risk of turning into a 24/7 “All Kevin Cronin All the Time” blog, we do have more news to clarify and supplement yesterday’s review of the latest Cronin machinations.

Yesterday we reported on the old switcheroo someone pulled in getting an Aug 7 court ruling that Chrystn Eads was “disqualified” from the House race for Kirk Caldwell’s old state house seat and that he was citing her case now as the reason for allowing replacement candidate Isaac Choy to run- this after Choy had been chosen to replace Caldwell causing the Republican Party to sue saying the replacement was outside the three day window for replacement candidates.

We wondered who filed the suit heard on Aug 7- how did it get into court? We hypothesized it might have been the Republicans or the Honolulu County Clerk.

But we should have know because the filer was none other than Cronin himself.

We have no inside info as to why Cronin did so but the only reason would be that he was ready to be reversed on the Caldwell decision pegging his date of withdrawal to when the elections office received his withdrawal in writing the day after the filing deadline, not his verbal withdrawal before the deadline.

To review the actual law again HRS 11-117 says nothing about written withdrawals except in cases of “ill health”

It says:

§11-117 Withdrawal of candidates; disqualification; death; notice. (a) Any candidate may withdraw not later than 4:30 p.m. on the day immediately following the close of filing for any reason and may withdraw after the close of filing up to 4:30 p.m. on the twentieth day prior to an election for reasons of ill health. When a candidate withdraws for ill health, the candidate shall give notice in writing to the chief election officer if the candidate was seeking a congressional or state office, or the candidate shall give notice in writing to the county clerk if the candidate was seeking a county office. The notice shall be accompanied by a statement from a licensed physician indicating that such ill health may endanger the candidate's life.

Despite this as we reported exclusively earlier an official state produced Candidate Fact Sheet says that, the law be damned, ALL withdrawals must be in writing.

The fact sheet says

Candidates may withdraw for any reason not later than the day immediately following the deadline to file nomination papers. To withdraw, the candidate must submit a written notice to the Chief Election Officer (for state and federal office candidacy) or to the appropriate City/County Clerk (for county office candidacy). (HRS Section 11-117).

Yesterday we weren’t quite sure how the news reports regarding the fact sheet fit into it all. But an examination of Cronin’s filings to have Eads’ “withdrawal” re-trigger Choy’s placement on the ballot puts the false fact sheet at the heart of his case for dating Caldwell’s withdrawal.

Cronin goes to great lengths to use the fact sheet to justify his decision, even getting the Ballot Operations Section Head of the Office of Elections, Lori Tomczyk, to file an affidavit saying that all candidates got the fact sheet, even Caldwell

Cronin uses the fact sheet that misrepresents the law as the sole legal justification for his decision in the Caldwell-withdrawal-date decision he made last month and, even though this was a filing for summery judgment in court the actual citation of the relevant law- HRS 11-117- is nowhere in the brief, only many mentions of the “fact sheet”.

Oh and by the way the fact sheet says on it’s cover

This Fact Sheet is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as an authority on the Hawaii election law and candidate deadlines... Consult the Hawaii Revised Statutes and other sources for more detailed and accurate requirements.

Cronin, under fire for the Caldwell ruling and knowing that the actual law says nothing about withdrawals being in writing in all circumstances, knew he was vulnerable if a ruling on it ever got before a judge.

Just the fact that Caldwell wasn’t challenging his ruling wasn’t enough because there was an outstanding Republican Party-filed suit contesting the “in writing” decision. And if a judge read the actual law he was pretty sure to overrule Cronin- overrule him in a case that was high profile, one for which Cronin has been under continual fire in the press and the blogs and only one of the myriad of Cronin’s actions that have put the elections chief’s job in jeopardy.

What to do, what to do?. How could he make his Caldwell decision go away?

Easy- by essentially suing himself to put the situation with Eads before a judge and getting an official ruling on her case without anyone to challenge it (because no one knew) and fait accompli allowing the Democrats to re-select Choy based on Eads case, not Caldwell’s... all before anyone knew about the done deal.

We had suspected that maybe in the early confusing days after the filing deadline- when the chickens were all first decapitated- someone filed a case thinking it was Eads who was being replaced by Choy rather than Caldwell due to erroneous press reports.

Eads, for those who don’t remember, did not get her papers filed with enough signatures until after the 4:30 p.m., July 22 deadline but was allowed by Honolulu County Clerk Denise Decosta to collect signatures and file at 4:50 p.m.- an action that Decosta said constituted a non-filing in a decision she made that week.

But Cronin, seeing a little wiggle room revived the filing, saying essentially that the clerk’s mistaken action in accepting the papers late constituted a filing.

And so he went to court to challenge the filing, got a ruing on Aug 7, wrote to the Democratic Party Chair Brian Schatz- who had earlier used his influence to get Decosta to accept Eads filing- who then re-selected Choy to be the replacement candidate, this time for Eads.

And that, Cronin claims, makes his Caldwell decision irrelevant, so moot.

This is sure to cause Republican’s heads to explode when they realize that Schatz’s phone call to Decosta at the 4:30 July 22nd filing deadline asking her to “err on the side of inclusion” and allow Eads to go outside, gather signatures and then file her papers, ended up assuring the Democrats would have a candidate in the race for a House seat in a Democratic stronghold district which otherwise would go to the only person left in the race, a Republican.

Cronin is claiming that even though Eads filing was not legal and should by all reason be adjudged to have never happened, because of Decosta’s error in accepting it- at Schatz’s request- Eads had to be “disqualified” for the office she never qualified for.

The file contains no briefs from anyone but Cronin and his brief goes into convoluted detail as to supposed legal reasons why no one needed to be notified or allowed to challenge it.

Even though Decosta had ruled the filing wasn’t complete, Cronin now says it wasn’t “officially” not filed until he got a ruling from the court – a ruling that re-opened the door for Schatz’s Democratic Party to re-insert Choy’s name on the ballot without having to deal with the actual law in the Caldwell decision.

We’re not sure what’s contained in it but, as reported today in an article about an appeal of a recent administrative hearings officer’s ruling blasting Cronin for selecting an overpriced, second-rate-security election system from Hart InterCivic :

The Republican Party filed another suit Aug. 8 alleging that Cronin and the Office of Elections improperly allowed Democrat Isaac Choy to stand as a state House candidate for the 24th District (Manoa).

We haven’t seen that suit but fear it will spur another chapter in the Hawai`i Shyster Chronicles... making the three main mayoral-wannabe dunces and 15 or so clueless council would-be-clowns on Kaua`i very happy we suspect..

Don’t worry- we’ll get to you


Anonymous said...

Aloha Andy,

I am not lying, rocks were thrown at me, not by the organizers but by locals down by the Marriott, don't call me a liar are blame the garden Island for poor journalism when yours sorely below what i would call journalism.

Calling me a nut case is not appreciated since we have never met, I take total offense at your lack of aloha and journaliast talents.

I will be organizing a huge pro ferry demonstration in the near future. The fun has just begun.

God bless & A hui Hou, James "kimo" Rosen

Anonymous said...

Aloha again,

sorry for the typos in my first comment.

Calling me "a nut case" and "liar" is not appreciated, what kind of journalist are you? We never even met, I have no idea who you are. You are the liar and nut case, since they say "only the guilty speak." Hope to see on the superferry in the very near future when the voluptuous "Alakai" is sailing the beautiful waters of Hawaii. James "Kimo" Rosen

P.S. it's people like you that ruin it for the masses.

P.S.S. I was the publisher of Alaska People Magazine for many years before moving to Hawaii and if a writer ever submitted the kind of crap you write, they never would had been published in my publication again, I guess you are blogging since it's the only way a journalist of your nature has a rats chance in hell of being poublished.

Andy Parx said...

As to the rock incident Mr. Rosen I didn’t see you run to TGI or the advertiser for a correction and for now I’ll take their word that you claimed protesters threw rocks at you over yours that you made it clear that is wasn’t the protesters.

Mike Levine may have unwittingly been a Superferry shill yesterday but from what I’ve read he’s a damn good reporter and his courts and police coverage is among the best and most accurate I’ve read. And I’d remind you, there were two reporters who identically reported what you said.

As to “nut-case” after reading dozens of your letter to the editor I’m only repeating what dozens of other have said about them and you, including some who have met you.

As to you own journalistic efforts I’m pretty sure I’d never write for any publication over which you had editorial control so forgive me if I’m not drinking salt water beer over your views of my reporting and analysis.

And this article you’ve posted under is a week old.