Friday, July 25, 2008


Election irregularities require investigation of Honolulu City Clerk's offic

by Larry Geller

It's good that Rep. Kirk Caldwell is asking for a review of whether he properly filed as a candidate for the Honolulu City Council yesterday (see: Caldwell asks for review of his filing for City Council seat).

There's another angle to this that I haven't seen in the newspaper yet: the City Clerk's office itself should be investigated.

Why? According to the Star-Bulletin article by Richard Borreca Wednesday,

After 4 p.m., Trudi Saito, city deputy managing director and one of Hannemann's closest advisers, started organizing city employees who live in Manoa to sign the petition for Caldwell to run for Kobayashi's open seat.

At 4:29 p.m., one minute before the filing deadline, Caldwell submitted his petition with 18 signatures. Twenty minutes later, City Clerk Denise De Costa informed him that he had just enough signatures -- 15 -- but only 14 of the signatures he turned in were valid.

A Manoa resident working in the City Clerk's Office signed the petition to ensure Caldwell had enough signatures. "We want everything to be legal," De Costa told Caldwell.

If this is accurate, then on City time and in a City office, City workers worked on behalf of Caldwell's election.

Ian Lind suggests that adding a signature after the petition has been accepted could be considered to be tampering with an official document.

Summing up, it seems that someone should investigate the City Clerk's office for

1. Use of city facilities on behalf of a candidate

2. City workers spending work time on behalf of a candidate

3. Tampering with official documents

4. Accepting candidate petitions after the legal deadline.

I'm not sure who investigates this. Anyone know?



Why should city employees be held to a higher standard than everyone else. She did not vote for Caldwell or give him a campaign contribution. She just sign a petition putting him on the ballot. That provides the voters with with options. Are you against trusting the voters with multiple options? That just seems silly to me. If what you allege actually transpired, I, for one, have no problem with that. He still has to win an election. Though I no longer live in Honolulu, I hope he does. Caldwell is committed to improving public services and general good. City Council is a better forum for that then the meat grinder of the legislature.

-Peter Einhorn

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