Friday, October 15, 2010


“PLUNK” FOR KIPUKAI KUALI`I FOR COUNTY COUNCIL: We are supporting only one candidate for Kaua`i County Council- Kipukai Kuali`i, the self described “passionate community organizer with over 20 years experience in Government, Labor and Non-Profit Administration”.

We ask people to “plunk” for Kipukai, a term that means voting for only one or select candidates rather than using all seven votes we’re allotted

Not only is he a thoughtful progressive but he is our best chance to make sure that final council spot is not filled by either Kaipo Asing or Dickie Chang who came in seventh and eighth places- about a thousand votes ahead of Kuali`i- in the September preliminary election.

While the rest of the candidates have varying degrees of objectionability we cannot in good conscience support any of them.

Asing of course has become a caricature of paternalistic, secret governance and petty vindictive leadership since becoming council chair. Once a champion of the people he now champions the corrupt cronyism of the last two administrations in the belief that he must protect Kaua`i from its own people.

Chang, the mindless glad-handing sycophant of the tourism industry, has been a disaster as a councilperson having never met a hotel or development- or developer for that matter- he didn’t like and defending Asing and the status quo against any and all reform. The self aggrandizing Chang even had the nerve to promote his TV program on the ballot by claiming “Wala`au” is his actual name.

Kualii’s detailed plans for implementing things like agricultural sustainability, green energy and using “Max 3R Zero Waste” concepts to deal with our solid waste crisis set him apart from the rest who give lip service but are betrayed by either their record or their lack of a track record of involvement with the issues they espouse.

While, as we said, the rest of the candidates are more and less objectionable to varying degrees, some stand out as downright dangerous.

In no particular order, they are:

- Jay Furfaro- The pompous self-promoting former Republican has apparently been responsible for every popular action of the council and was not involved in any unpopular one, if you believe his rants on every subject. While Asing genuinely comes by his paternalism Furfaro uses it to deceive and distract. His penchant for promising to support transparency while voting for secrecy is notorious as is his fondness for telling members of the public he will explain things “off camera”- and then never doing so.

- Derek Kawakami- Having ingratiating himself with Chair Asing by supporting the chair’s iron-fisted rule and secrecy while giving lip service to transparency and open governance, he is a political climber who bases his votes on the direction of the wind and whatever will promote his political goal of serving in the legislature where his aunt and uncle served. “Mr. Big Save” has consistently voted to water down bills on behalf of his big business cronies when they come into conflict with the good of the people.

- Nadine Nakamura- Anyone who raises over $50,000 in their first bid for office is suspect but when combined with her job as a “planner”- one who works for developers and their investors to obtain permits and zoning for projects- it makes her downright dangerous. Though little is known about how she will vote as a councilperson due to the nebulous nature of her campaign positions but remember- people who are planners are naturals at facilitating development, even those who claim to support the now nebulous term “smart growth”.

Some of the least objectionable include:

- Rolf Bieber who fought for open governance and adherence to high ethical standards as a member of the Board of Ethics before being unceremoniously thrown off the board for “rocking the boat”. Given the state of Kaua`i governance the boat needs rocking now more than ever. We wish he would have concentrated more on running a good campaign rather than talking about "chem trails" and 9/11 conspiracy theories which helped give him less of a chance of election than he went in with.

- Ken Taylor who despite his sometimes offensive views on immigration and same gender equality has diligently fought against much of the county council secrecy and corruption by attending meetings and holding their feet to the fire.

- What can we say about our old friend JoAnn Yukimura to excuse her recent need to seek “win-win” solutions and compromise away her principles? The only thing recommending her election is that she would supplant some of the more reprehensible voices on occasion, albeit at a length that puts people to sleep.

- Tim Bynum’s vote on the TVR bill was inexcusable and showed a distinct lack of understanding of the repercussions of land use legislation and a penchant for being misled by the corrupt county attorneys office- all serious shortcoming. But his quest for open governance and providing the public with public information has been a breath of fresh air. Will he go back to sleep without Lani Kawahara by his side? It’s anybody’s guess.

- While Mel Rapozo should not, by all rights, receive any support from anyone due to his “KPD Blue” past and support for Chair Asing- in exchange for protection from himself during the ES-177 fiasco (just to name one incident)- few can deny he will shake things up and perhaps, if he and his cronies are not involved, go after some of the undeniable corruption in the administration. The fact that he appears on a less objectionable list at all says volumes about the rest of those seeking a council seat.

As to the rest, in voting for councilmembers generally beware of people who promise to “bring people together”, code for someone who will not fight for the people but will be all to willing to sell us down the river.

Beware of those who say they are “business people who will run government like a business”. Government is not business because the bottom line of government is people, not profits. These people have no clue as to what governance is all about and are usually all too willing to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Watch out for the “motherhood and apple pie” crowd who promise to support “diversified agriculture” or “green energy” without any apparent understanding, almost as a “me too” afterthought.

Please plunk for Kipukai Kuali`i on Nov. 2 and help elect a good man with good ideas who has a chance to displace Kaipo Asing and/or Dickie Chang on our county council.

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