Corporatists masquerading as Democrats, attempting to cloak themselves as Centrists

It’s not an exaggeration to say 2020 will be, and in fact, must be – a pivotal year of change.

The Amazon burns, we keep children in cages along our borders, mass shootings are commonplace, the rich keep getting richer and the poor, poorer – all while we allow a dangerous, divisive and mentally unstable individual to occupy the White House.

Locally, we have the highest rate of houseless per capita of any state in the U.S..

Nearly half of local families live on the edge, with less than one paycheck in the bank. Working two or more jobs at substandard wages, while sharing a home with family or friends is the norm for local residents.

When factoring in the high cost of living, our public school teachers are the lowest paid in the country.

Hawaii’s natural environment is degraded daily as corporate interests divert our mountain streams and agrochemical companies pollute our coastal reefs and groundwaters.

Our criminal justice system seems based on the principle of mass incarceration in private for-profit prisons with barely even lip service given to rehabilitation and re-entry.

While thankfully our local state government is not overtly unhinged, it is increasingly tone-deaf to the urgency presented by our most pressing problems. Yes, the Hawaii State Legislature deserves credit for the many positive pieces of legislation it passes each year, but they inevitably fall short when it comes to accomplishing the bold systemic changes needed to get out in front of the critical and entrenched challenges facing our community.

The start of each and every legislative session begins always with words of promise and hope, the subsequent action in support of the nice words also inevitably fade into baby steps of incremental change, or more often than not evaporate entirely into a promise of “maybe next year”, or “let’s study this issue yet again”.

While the legislature and/or the governor could convene a special session to deal with these issues, each of which on their own should rightfully be considered an emergency, that is unlikely to happen given the track record of leadership, or the lack thereof. If the need was to support a large construction project or other priority of the Chamber of Commerce and Hawaii’s business elite, the answer of course, would be yes. But for low income working people, the incarcerated, our public schools, or the environment, it is clear such a bold action is not likely.

The legislature could also attempt to resolve the Maunakea/TMT issue which is inarguably the most “here and now” challenge facing Hawaii. A handful of individual legislators have spoken out on this issue, yet the Hawaii State Legislature as a body remains silent.

With literally the stroke of a pen the legislature could grant low income working men and women in Hawaii a much-needed increase in the minimum wage, mandate that excessive stream diversions stop immediately, and require that corporations be prosecuted when their deadly chemicals pollute nearshore waters and aquifers that host our drinking water. They could also deal proactively with the challenges facing our prisons and implement funding mechanisms to ensure our public school teachers are paid what they deserve.

The legislature could also if a call to such leadership moved them – support an immediate moratorium on all new development on Maunakea until the existing obsolete telescopes are removed and issues pertaining to the long term management of the ceded lands are resolved.

But of course, we know there will be no special session. Individual legislators statewide are almost unanimous in professing support for a minimum wage increase to at least $15 per hour, but those in a position of actually making it happen – will find ways to not deliver on their professed commitment and as has happened in the past, will continue to delay the actual passage of any such legislation.

Ditto on the other issues. Either the legislature refuses to act, acts only timidly in baby steps after years of community pressure, or in the case of the corporate water theft bill of 2019 the State House of Representatives actually attempted to give away the store.

It seems clear from a close and sustained look at their words and actions, that a majority of state legislators are in fact Corporatists masquerading as Democrats, attempting to cloak themselves as Centrists.

The keyword here is “majority”. Obviously, there are many legislators now serving that do in fact believe in putting people and the planet first, but a look at outcomes shows that without question, they do not constitute a majority.

Fortunately, we can change this in 2020. Because of the threat posed by the mad King now running the U.S., and because of the new political awareness that has been created by front and center local and national issues – it is possible and perhaps even likely that people from across all Hawaii, will, in fact, show up in 2020 to demand change.

To win in 2020, both at the legislature and at the ballot box, showing up in large numbers will be essential. New candidates from across Hawaii who share the belief that people and the planet must come first, will soon be entering the political arena, and yes more are needed.

The stars are aligning for a win/win in 2020. If the legislature passes a strong progressive and environmentally friendly agenda we win, and if they don’t it actually increases the likelihood of winning for those candidates who campaign on issues pertaining to economic, environmental and social justice.

Bottom line: 2020 starts now.

Now is the time to contact legislators and let them know where you stand on the issues. Waiting means your voice risks being drowned in the clutter and confusion that comes with a new legislative session.

Now is also the time to seek out and support those candidates who support your values, and are willing to fight for them.

And finally, if you are one of those who are on the cusp of deciding whether or not to run – know that your community needs you. If you have roots in your community, if you truly believe in putting people and the planet first, AND if you are willing to work very, very hard – your community needs you now more than ever. If you are going to run, NOW is when you start.

Gary Hooser
http://www.garyhooser.com (sign up for my regular email newsletter)
Note: This blog represents my personal and individual viewpoint only, and does not represent the position or viewpoint of the Democratic Party or any organization I am affiliated with.

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Key Questions Every Candidate Must Answer

Top questions every candidate must answer

#1) Why?  This is the most important question a candidate must answer, and it will be asked over and over again throughout the campaign.  Hint – The answer is not to fix the roads, repair the schools, nor even to stop crime or homelessness.  The answer must be far deeper than a list of policy changes or community problems and challenges.  Successful candidates must reach down deep and explain what really drives them to public service, and then and only then can or should they attempt to talk about the tangibles.  Second hint – The tangibles must be those most important to the district resident (crime, schools, traffic, housing), regardless of any personal policy priorities the candidate may have.

#2) How long have you lived here?  Unless the answer is obvious, this will be the first question even if not spoken openly.  A rule of thumb: successful candidates have typically either been born in the district, gone to school in the district, and/or lived in the district for a number of years.  Preferably, they have been involved in the district in some leadership capacity (a teacher in the schools, coach on a youth sports team, neighborhood board or community association involvement, PTA, etc).  There are, of course, exceptions, but you will almost certainly have to work much harder if you are not “from” the district.

#3) Why are you qualified to run and serve? Hint – Your answer as a candidate must open with passion and commitment, and close with competence.  A successful candidate must demonstrate both.  Competence is best demonstrated through past achievement which could be personal, academic, professional or community-based. What have you done with your life so far?  Second hint: You cannot win with simply charisma and a nice smile.  When placed on stage next to other candidates, you must be able to demonstrate a basic understanding as to how government works.  It is also helpful to know the difference between a cesspool and a septic system, etc.  You certainly don’t need to be an expert on the mechanics of public works or public administration, but you must take the time to learn the basics.

#4) Who is on your campaign team?  A successful candidate must have a team that starts with at least two or three core individuals.  #1) Treasurer – Keeps the books, files the campaign spending commission reports and makes sure the campaign’s fundraising and spending practices follow the law. #2) Campaign Manager – Essentially joined at the hip with the candidate for the duration of the campaign, accompanies the candidate to events, strategizes with the candidate, recruits other volunteers and may be asked occasionally to fall on a sword for the candidate. 3) Field Organizer – Recruits and organizes volunteers and supports door-to-door canvassing, sign-holding, telephone banking, and other events.

Notes – These positions should not be filled with a spouse or significant other. #2) Except for statewide and other “big races” (Governor, LG, Congress, Mayor), for the vast majority of local campaigns these are volunteer positions. #3) The candidate’s team should ideally be representative of the district’s demographics.

#5) How many votes do you need to win? The short answer is one vote more than the other guy.  The longer answer: Visit elections.hawaii.gov, click “Results”, then scroll down to “Primary Election 2018”, then go to your County “Summary”, then go to the race you intend to run in, add up all of the votes cast in that particular race, divide by two and add one = equals your win number.  There are different variables, the turnout is greater in “Presidential election years” so you will want to look into the past few elections, and the turnout in primary and general elections differ.  But in Hawaii, the Primary is everything. Note: On this same page you can also view “Statewide Precinct Detail” to see how your district voted “precinct by precinct.”

#6) How much money do you need? To run any credible campaign for any public office in Hawaii, and have any chance whatsoever of winning – will cost at least $30,000 to $40,000.  Yes, some candidates will do it for less, but many will spend more.  A candidate can and should find out exactly what the incumbent spent (and what they spent it on) in the most recent election by going to csc.hawaii.gov and search “Candidate Contribution and Expenditure Reports and Organizational Reports”. View the 12/18 filing to see a lump sum number spent during the 2018 campaign – look on the line that says “5.  Total Expenditures” and then all the way to the right-hand column under “election period total to date”.

#7) Where will you get the money?  It will not fall from trees and people do not come rushing to you with fistfuls of cash. Basically, you will ask for it.  If you are not willing to ask, then you will not get and you will lose.  If a candidate is “deemed credible” by friends, family, and residents in the district – it is reasonable to assume that those individuals will if asked, provide the first round of say $10,000 in funding.  10 people at $100 plus 20 others at $50 gets you to $2,000 which allows you to purchase access to a voter database so you can begin setting up your campaign and identifying your votes. Perhaps then 4 additional affluent supporters chip in $250 each, one additional “angel” donates $1,000 and you have almost enough to print your initial “walking piece”. Now you can begin walking door to door. Hint: Ask for a specific amount, for a specific purpose, by a specific date – Can you help with a $100 contribution before September 15th to go toward the printing of my initial walking piece so that I can start going door-to-door by October 1st?” Once you begin walking, you prove yourself to others who  “like your politics and values” but are not sure if you are electable and/or if you are willing to do the work needed to win. Successful candidates will start their campaigns early and run hard the entire way through until election day. When candidates do this, people in the community notice, they spread the word to others and they will often contribute more when asked. Notes: Do not spend your own money. If you cannot garner financial support from the community and the people around you, you are not going to win. However, If you do have to “front” the campaign initial funding to print your first piece or whatever, candidates should make this a “loan to the campaign” so they can eventually be repaid these funds.

#8) What is the worse thing someone is going to say about you?  Think about this and discuss it with your team.  Adjust your “message” if needed to compensate for this. If it is at all serious (prior criminal or other provocative bad choice you might have made in the past) then develop a “narrative” in response and INOCULATE your key team members and major supporters – so they are not taken by surprise when they hear it from someone else and they know the back story and your response.

#9) Assuming the candidate has done the research needed to analyze the district, determined the “win number” and assembled a team – the next step is to file an organizational report with the campaign spending commission, open a bank account and begin raising campaign “seed money” to support the printing of the initial walking piece.  Hint1: There is no need to do a fancy “campaign announcement party or event”, this can come later.  Suffice to let the world know via twitter and facebook for now – and host a larger event at a later time. Hint 2: The longer you avoid walking the district, the greater your chances of losing.

If you have roots in your community, and your politics are based on putting people and the planet first we need you – to run and to win. And if I can help, do not hesitate to call – 808-652-4279

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The self full-filling prophecy of political apathy.

To all the complainers out there who moan and groan about politics and politicians, I say shut the front door or get involved and do something about it.

Let’s face facts. The majority rules.

Whether it is the County Council, the State Legislature or the U.S. Congress – the majority of elected office-holders drive the agenda, and a majority of voters elect those office-holders.

In Hawaii, a majority of the population stays home on election day. Consequently, in our community, a minority actually elect those who represent the majority. Go figure.

So to the dis-affected, dis-enfranchised and dis-connected who do not believe in the system and therefore do not vote – YOURS IS A SELF FULL-FILLING PROPHECY. If you voted, perhaps things would be different. If you actually got involved in the system and in the democracy that is in power and controls our government – Perhaps your issues and priorities would be addressed. But no, you prefer instead to stay home, complain, criticize and throw stones at those who are trying to work within the system to make our community a better place.

You have two choices. Join in making our democracy a better one that puts people and the planet first, or drop out and see your predictions of a deteriorating world come true. If you choose to drop out, please do so quietly – we do not need the passive-aggressive behavior of those who claim to be revolutionaries but who never leave their couch.

As you can see, I am over it. While my wife would say that I am in it, I will tell you here and now that I am over it. We, collectively have the power to elect people locally at the State and County level, that could make Hawaii a model for the world. We could have a government that actually puts the protection of our natural resources at the top of the agenda, and takes bold action to rectify the existing criminal imbalance between the top 1% and the vast majority of low income working people.

Yes, we could do this and more – if only people would participate. Please, register to vote today at OLVR.HAWAII.GOV

I would be lying if I said all you had to do was vote, and voila the world would be a better place. With the benefits of citizenship comes a civic duty to vote and to pay attention to the issues, offer testimony on occasion and communicate at least occasionally with those you elect to serve in public office. Yes, I understand you are busy and life is complicated, but if you want your community and our world to be a better place – you must make the time.

Before I conclude, there is one more important fact that also must be confronted.

The complainer’s rail that the only choices we have at the ballot box are the “same ole, same ole”- and to a great extent they are right on this point.

Voting only works if we have someone to vote for.

Too many incumbent office-holders have become complacent in their roles and view minimal incremental change as sufficient to justify their existence. Too many are too fearful of challenging the corporate power elite at the expense of grass-roots working people and our natural environment.

Our world is literally burning, and nearly half of Hawaii’s people wake up every morning facing the stress that comes with being one paycheck away from homelessness.

We need candidates who are willing, able, and brave enough to make the bold choices needed to move us forward. Hawaii desperately needs new leadership who will champion the protection of our public trust resources and who will fight to ensure that all workers earn a living wage.

Timid incremental baby steps will not get us where we need to be.

There are 11 months remaining until the Primary Election. In Hawai’i, because we are essentially a one-party state, the Primary Election is everything.

The time is now for new candidates to step up and declare their candidacy.

New candidates must step up now to organize their team, assemble their materials and begin that all-important task of door-to-door canvassing. Having run in 10 different political campaigns over the years myself, I know and understand the hesitancy and sometimes self-doubt that every new candidate “jumping in” to a race faces.

There are many out there who are electable and who have the qualifications and attributes of leadership, but who for whatever reason are fearful of taking the step. In my work as a volunteer with the Kuleana Academy (a nonpartisan, political and civic leadership training program), I discuss this topic regularly with individuals across the archipelago. I would be pleased to have a discussion with any aspiring candidates, for any office, on any island, regardless of political party affiliation.

I ask, if not you who? If running for office is definitely not for you – then find someone you can support and who shares your values – and then help them.

In any case, it is crunch time for the 2020 elections. My rant is over. Suffice it to say, for it to work properly we need all to participate in our democracy.

It is the only system we have and the stakes are high.

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Time to say thanks to the governor 

Full disclosure – I served for 8 years (2002 – 2010) in the Hawaii State Senate with then State Senator and now Governor David Ige. We were members of the same Senate “faction” – “The Chess Club”. While not close friends, I have always liked Governor Ige as a person and respected him as a true public servant. I believe him to be an honest man who wakes up every morning wanting to do what’s right for the people and the state of Hawaii.

While I have disagreed with many of the multitudes of decisions he has made as governor, I also was a strong supporter of his reelection. Such is the nature of political choices.

With regards to the Maunakea TMT issue, Governor Ige has at times misstepped and misspoke, largely I believe because he was misinformed. Such is the case for all topics and issues – the Governor counts on others to provide him with the information upon which he uses to make “informed decisions”. Clearly, the information provided to him in the early opening days of the protector occupation was inadequate at best.

At the end of the day, I believe we should be thankful that Governor David Ige is our Governor at this particular moment in time.

Governor Ige deserves our thanks and our respect for keeping a level head and a steady hand in dealing with the issues on Maunakea.

While the favorite game of advocates on both sides of the issue seems to require calling him names, making fun, and denigrating him personally – I believe he deserves our thanks.

Governor Ige was presented with circumstances not of his own making, that put him in a truly untenable position – he would be damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t.

Any choice or decision he makes is quickly pounced upon by keyboard warriors of all persuasions. Armchair quarterbacks with baseball bats – quick to bash and criticize but their offering of positive solutions or a path forward, is of course non-existent.

The proposed TMT development was introduced to Hawaii years before Governor Ige took office.

He is obligated by his oath of office to enforce the law. You can be sure the loudest voices shouting in his ear are those business interests and law enforcement agencies, appalled that he has exercised restraint and not literally sent in the troops to open up the road.

Governor Ige has instead taken a deep breath and decided not to take the enormous risk that would come through the exercise of force.

For that, we should applaud his wisdom and be thankful that he is the one sitting behind that desk on the 5th floor of the state Capitol.

While other politicians make pronouncements safely from the comfort of their positions of non-responsibility, Governor Ige is forced to make the hard decisions. And to his credit, so far he has safely navigated waters more treacherous than any in modern Hawai’i history.

The situation could have easily spiraled out of control, but it did not. People could have been physically hurt, or worse- but that has not happened either.

With another Governor the results may have been different. Another Governor instead of putting the protection of the people and the social and cultural fabric of our island home first, may have listened instead to the hawks of big business and law enforcement, who even now are clamoring to put money and an unjust system of laws above all else.

There are no road maps to be followed nor textbooks available to help navigate through this situation.

Mistakes have been made along the way, and mistakes, missteps, and course-corrections will continue to be made as this incredibly complex situation continues to unfold and evolve in the days and weeks, possibly months ahead.

But I for one am thankful that our governor continues to put the principles of restraint, respect, and dialogue above that of force and intimidation.

I encourage all to think for a moment before hurling that next cheap shot. Instead, perhaps consider reaching out to say thank you. Thank Governor Ige for being willing to take the relentless drubbing and below the belt hits, as the price paid to move with thoughtful deliberation focused only on an end result that is safe and just – a conundrum though that may be.

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Hawaii’s government leaders must rise to the occasion.

Governor David Ige is between that proverbial rock and a very, very, very hard place.  The situation seems intractable, but it is not. There is a path forward.

Attempting to arrest and detain 2,000 people is I would hope, not an option. Logistically there is no space for that many people, and unless detained most would return immediately to the Mauna, reinvigorated as to commitment and purpose.  

There are children and kupuna present in large numbers. The trauma, all caught on camera and beamed around the world – would cause huge harm on many levels.

Mass arrests are not possible, and morally reprehensible.  At least not possible in a sane and rational world.

There have already been large demonstrations and marches held on every island, with more being planned.  Any escalation of force initiated by state security forces risk further and serious escalation of demonstrations and ultimately civil disobedience statewide.  

It is important to remember that on the Mauna the protectors and their leadership are exercising strict kapu aloha discipline. They have been trained and continue to train others on how to NOT push back and to conduct themselves only in respectful and non-violent ways.

Others participating in the many sometimes spontaneous actions around the state have not been so diligently trained or informed. Inevitably, a random provocateur on one side or the other will do something foolish and either intentionally or not…ignite the emotional tinder-box that grows more volatile by the hour.

The only responsible action by the Governor at this point is to acknowledge the situation is untenable, that the state cannot ensure the safe passage of people or equipment, and at a minimum, call for a 90-day moratorium of activity on both sides. 

The developers of the TMT should by now see the writing on the wall. If they care about our community (and their own budget, timeline, and personal reputations) they will soon announce a decision to relocate the project to the Canary Islands.  They already have permits in place there, the atmospheric conditions are also very favorable, and apparently, there has been no community opposition.

It is time to end this before it spirals even more out of control.

The TMT advocates will say “it’s not fair” and that the developers have “checked all the boxes and followed all the rules” and therefore entitled to build the 18 story structure situated on an area equivalent to 4 football fields. 

The protectors will say (and rightfully so), “don’t talk to us about being fair”. 

The University/TMT obtained a state permit to build on Mauna Kea. The Hawaiian demonstrators also have un-relinquished claims to the (un)ceded lands of Mauna Kea. The state permit did not address those claims. The courts have said that this is a “political question” that they cannot address. Here and now on the Mauna, without recourse to the court and without relief from the legislature, people have properly decided to press their claims over lands that matter most.

The lands upon which the TMT is proposed are state-owned public trust conservation lands, considered sacred by Hawaiians.  Our state constitution states these lands “…shall be held by the State as a public trust for native Hawaiians and the general public.”  There are no private property rights being violated. 

The TMT advocates will then say, “What about the science?  What about the immense value to astronomy and the opportunities to explore the universe?”

The science will not stop, neither will the exploration of the universe and all the incredible value that will be yielded from the telescope’s development. You can be sure this work will continue, whether on the Canary Islands or elsewhere.

Our government needs to follow-through and ensure the decommissioning and removal of the 5 telescopes that are currently obsolete or scheduled to be closed (of the 13 total). 

It is well past time that those in positions of leadership, rise to the occasion – unite behind calling an end to the TMT debacle and put forward meaningful initiatives that preserve and protect our public trust resources.

Gary Hooser

Board President – Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA)
Hawai’i State Senator (2002 – 2010)
Director Office of Environmental Quality Control (2011 – 2012)
Kauai County Council (1998 -2002, 2012 -2016)

Note1: If you agree, I ask that you also consider supporting the protectors on the Mauna by making a contribution of any amount ASAP to the Aloha Aina Support Fund.

Note2:  I want to thank everyone who was able to make a contribution to HAPA in support of economic justice issues.  Of the $8,500 goal, we received just over $5,000!  If you can help close that final gap please visit HAPA online if possible by July 24th, to make a secure and tax-exempt donation.  

Note3:  Please take moment if you can to read my latest blog piece that better explains the ADC issue of polluting Kauai’s west side waters with pesticides and heavy metals.

“Every single day of the week, the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) dumps millions of gallons of water polluted with pesticides and heavy metals into the ocean in areas where Kauai’s west side residents fish, surf and recreate with their families.

“This is not wild speculation, exaggeration or hysterical hyperbole.”  READ MORE HERE  

Gary Hooser – http://www.garyhooser.com

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Worth listening to in these turbulent times

I encourge you to listen to this beautiful little song sent to me by a friend yesterday.

She said: “Gary, this brought the protectors on Mauna Kea – and you, and demonstrators elsewhere – to mind.

Thought you might enjoy hearing it – a good reminder from long, long ago.

Aloha,   Mary

How Can I Keep From Singing? (trad. updated by Joel Mabus)

There is a song we seem to know
That’s just beyond our hearing
Softly now it seems to grow
And through the fog is clearing
The music sweet, the lyric keen
A message to us bringing
I hum along and I join the tune
How can I keep from singing

From time to time, there comes a song
It matters not the singer
A song of grace and charity
No trace of guile or anger
As harmonies around me build
A new world just beginning
My faith renewed, it beckons me
How can I keep from singing

When warriors come and bang the drum
And march their troops before us
Then friends of peace link hand in hand
And join as one in chorus
Their voices rise from every land
An anthem sweetly ringing
I hear their song of peace on earth
How can I keep from singing

A song of hope, a song of love
A song of understanding
A song to lift me up above
This world of strife and yearning
So long as blood within me flows
This song shall know no ending
So while I yet have breath and voice
How can I keep from singing

 

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Reflections on the Mauna

Friends and fellow HAPA Board Members Walter Ritte and Kaleikoa Ka‘eo –
Chained to a cattle grate for 11 hours to protect the Mauna.
*photographer unknown

How did we get to a place where hundreds of Hawai‘i police officers dressed in full riot gear are arresting kupuna and carting them off in paddy wagons?

More importantly, how do we get out of this very dangerous situation before it blows up further?

The roots of the conflict on the Mauna are complex, but not really.

Our state government has mismanaged the telescope issue since inception, just as it continues to mismanage public trust natural resources in general – on all islands.

Too many promises have been broken and too many concessions already have been made.

Now the people have risen to say “enough already”.

There are at least 13 other telescopes already on Mauna Kea. The TMT will be 18 stories tall, encompassing an area equivalent to 4 football fields.  The cumulative impact of the new proposal and the existing development equates to a massive industrial complex – all situated on conservation land and a site most sacred to Hawaiians.

Being against the TMT does not translate to being “anti-science” or “anti astronomy”.  Similarly, being against a hotel development on the beach that will generate jobs, does not equate to being “against jobs”.

Denying the TMT development will not stop the astronomy. The developers have already indicated publicly they can build the project in Chile or in the Canary Islands where they have already secured permits.

This is public land, so it’s not a question of denying someone their private property rights. The state can choose to allow the development, or not. 

In addition to the poor stewardship and broken promises directly associated with Mauna Kea…there is a vast litany of negligence, ongoing mismanagement of public resources, and an abuse of the public trust – on all islands.

A recent audit of the DLNR Land Management Division concluded there was “no strategic plan for its public lands”.

On Kaua‘i, the state is knowingly and consciously dumping millions of gallons of pesticide-contaminated water into nearshore waters on Kauai’s west side, where families recreate, fish and pick limu.  The state knows these waters contain a wide array of pesticides and heavy metals, they know they are breaking federal law – yet they continue the daily dumping.

On Maui, for decades the state has transferred the rights of public trust stream waters to major corporations, effectively killing countless mountain streams and denying downstream users the benefit of the water – also without the constitutionally and legally required permits and without adequate compensation or public protections.

On O‘ahu, massive underground military fuel tanks situated directly over major drinking water aquifers have been leaking fuel for years and it took the release of 27,000 gallons to prod the state into action.

Who are the primary beneficiaries of this de facto desecration and defilement of our public trust resources?  The answer, of course, is multinational chemical companies, real estate investment trusts (REIT’s), Canadian pension funds, a global university conglomerate and ultimately the U.S. military.

And all of this takes place against a backdrop of statewide political and governmental corruption that is in the news every day.

It is not surprising that people across the island chain, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian alike, have had enough and consequently have drawn the proverbial line in the sand…on the Mauna.

The governor and his security force must stand down.  Bringing in more armed police and making more arrests will escalate the passion and increase the likelihood of physical harm coming to those now on the mountain.

The only winning path for the people of Hawai‘i is for the state to immediately announce their intent to cancel the TMT project.  Yes, there will be a price to pay for this action, but it will be far less of a price than that which will be incurred by pressing forward with troops and batons.

This is about much more than a single telescope being built on this particular mountain.

Please reach out today and ask Governor Ige, do what is pono.

Ask him to not use force to achieve his goals on Mauna Kea.  Ask him instead to lead with aloha, statesmanship, and restraint. 

Please call his office at 808-586-0034 and leave a message with his office staff, or on his voice mail.  While it may be difficult for some, please state your message with courtesy and politeness.  The person who answers the phone is not responsible for the Governors decision.

With respect and solidarity,

Gary Hooser
Board President – Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA)
Hawai’i State Senator (2002 – 2010)
Director Office of Environmental Quality Control (2011 – 2012)
Kauai County Council (1998 -2002, 2012 -2016)

Note1: If you agree, I ask that you also consider supporting the protectors on the Mauna by making a contribution of any amount ASAP to the Aloha Aina Support Fund.

Note2:  I want to thank everyone who was able to make a contribution to HAPA in support of economic justice issues.  Of the $8,500 goal, we received just over $5,000!  If you can help close that final gap please visit HAPA online if possible by July 24th, to make a secure and tax-exempt donation.  

Note3:  Please take moment if you can to read my latest blog piece that better explains the ADC issue of polluting Kauai’s west side waters with pesticides and heavy metals.

“Every single day of the week, the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) dumps millions of gallons of water polluted with pesticides and heavy metals into the ocean in areas where Kauai’s west side residents fish, surf and recreate with their families.

“This is not wild speculation, exaggeration or hysterical hyperbole.”  READ MORE HERE  

 

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