Thursday, September 17, 2009
Video of Office of Elections hearing posted
by Larry Geller
I was editing snippets out of the video of Wednesday’s Ways and Means hearing at the State Capitol, but meanwhile it is available in its entirety on-line, courtesy Olelo.
It’s pretty easy to move the slider ahead to the interesting parts. So I’ll save myself some work and just send you to the video. It’s here.
(click image for video)
(The guy taking notes on his beloved Tablet PC right behind Kevin Cronin is me.)
The issue of administrative rules for use of electronic equipment is around 1 hr 33 minutes, up to 1hr 39 minutes, starting with a question raised by Sen. Hooser. Cronin’s answer that the ruling was announced yesterday is incorrect. This section is a must-see.
In the following few minutes Senator Kim questions Cronin on his plan to have his wife volunteer to assist him. He stated her qualifications. The state encourages volunteers to work for state agencies, and some aspects of volunteering are covered in Chapter 90. Senator Kim was concerned with a volunteer’s access to confidential information like social security numbers, but I don’t understand the problem, especially if indeed others who volunteer and who are properly supervised also have access to that information. It would be no different for an employee. But what do I know.
Starting at 1 hr 44 minutes, Sen. Kim and then Sen. Hooser express their concerns. Scathing. Sen Hooser “… I have no confidence whatsoever in the Office of Elections…” And then Cronin responds.
Somehow, folks, we need to have elections in 2010.
my favorite part is how he squirms about his wife being a "volunteer". and at the end, "we are doing our very best." your very best is not cutting it Kevin!
Thanks, Larry. I sat through the hearing but am glad to be able to review it on this video. I certainly hope the Election Commissioners are able to do so as well. I thought Donna Kim was tough, but fair. It's hard to believe she doesn't have legal experience. She remained focussed, determined to get her answers, while Kevin squirmed and equivocated.
For me, the most revealing portion was when Kim was asking him and the deputy AG, why the state was appealing the hearing officers decision to cancel the Hart contract. Isn't in the state's interest to get out of the contract which was determined to be overpriced? Especially at a time when the budget crisis is threatening so many essential programs?
TRhe Deputy AG was basically reduced to saying they felt obliged to defend Cronin's original decision. That discussion starts at about 1:01:30.
Also revealing is when Kim asks whether the AG's office had advised Cronin whether to issue the RFP before administrative rules had been approved. Attorney-client privilege prevents a frank answer, but Kim closes that segment by saying she understood the AG had advised Cronin NOT to issue the RFP until the rules had been approved. She said it is a source for concern if Cronin was ignoring legal advice when he makes these decisions. That exchange starts at 1:11:30.
Kim clearly thinks the OE would have more money for running their essential operations if Kevin were not so tied up in legal challenges and were not stubbornly determined to stick with the overpriced contract with Hart.
Those who only see the problems as stemming from the budget crisis should pay attention to Donna Kim's arguments, not Kevin Cronin's excuses.