Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Stolen opportunity: The chance to remove the influence of money from Hawaii politics

Peter Bower wrote an excellent, upbeat letter that ran in today's Star-Bulletin:
House should support honesty and trust

Mahalo nui to our state Senate for its unanimous support last week for Senate Bill 1061, which calls for the prohibition of contributions during the legislative session to those persons elected by the people to the legislative and executive branches of government.

This is one step in our collective effort to continually be mindful of moving away from any appearance of conflict of interest during regular or special legislative sessions. We are living in a period where a condition of these times is to consciously work toward a high level of trust in the institutions of democracy. This is a responsibility for all of us, and not simply our elected officials nor those who take advantage of the system.

As the bill now passes over, we trust our House of Representatives will give its support to this legislation as another step toward building trust and community between the people and their government.

Peter M. Bower
President, Citizen Voice
The House might have given its support, but the chance has been stolen from them by one person. Between the time Peter wrote his celebratory letter and the time it was printed, the cause for celebration has disappeared--the bill has been gutted and new language inserted which attacks Hawaii's Sunshine Law (and during Freedom of Information Week, to boot).

What a great democracy we live in! A popular bill goes through the entire Senate and was apparantly approved anonymously (thanks, Senators!) only to meet an ignominious fate before it could even be heard by the House.

I'm still hopeful that the original language of SB1061 can be restored.

If this bothers you, please let Rep. Luke know. Call, fax or email asking that the original language in SB1061 be restored to the bill.
Rep. Sylvia Luke
Phone 586-8530
Fax 586-8534
If you live in Rep. Luke's district, good to say so.


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