Sunday, December 02, 2007


Bought and paid for

by Larry Geller

A useful tool has been posted on the Voter Owned Hawaii website. If you look over at the bottom of the left-hand column, you'll see two links, Donor Lists and Lobbyist Data. These get you a quick look at some data from

This data can give you some insight as to the possible motivation for voting in our state legislature. It shows who paid what to whom.

How to use it? Let's say you were curious about a particular state legislator (or the Governor) who took a certain position on an issue. For example, I was indeed curious about this quote and the campaign Rep. Meyer waged during the 2007 session to overturn Hawaii's smoking ban at bars:

"The people who go into bars are grownups. Smoking and drinking have gone together for many years," said Rep. Colleen Meyer (R, Laie-Kahaluu). [ | News | /2007/02/21/]

So I did some research. You can do the same more quickly now by going to Voter Owned Hawaii and clicking on the Donor Lists link. Then on the Hawaii House of Representatives link, and then on Meyer, Colleen Rose  (R). Voila! Amidst the data you will see this chart (for 2006 only):
Colleen Meyers 2006 A little Googling will let you know that Altria is related to the tobacco industry.

So notice the tobacco and alcohol in this chart and in the snippet from the Star-Bulletin article. What am I implying? I'm implying nothing. Nothing at all. Any correlation is in the mind of the reader. I was just using this as an example of how handy the link is and how quickly you can gain some knowledge.

You may find this link to be useful for your own research during the coming 2008 legislative session. Note, though, that due to loopholes in Hawaii law, lobbyist numbers are probably very understated.

For more detailed data go directly to There you will find an advanced search engine and Hawaii data for many recent years.

So thanks to the Voter Owned Hawaii folks for this handy research tool.


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