Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Two more fundraisers during session

by Larry Geller

Is it right for a legislator to hold a fundraiser during session, while still deciding on issues that may affect those who come to contribute?

Is it right for a legislature to hold a fundraiser for corporations and lobbyists in Honolulu, away from his/her district, during session, while still deciding on issues that may affect those companies and special interests who contribute?

Thanks to the tipster who forwarded these to me.

Karl Rhoads held his fundraiser this evening. You could have spent $100 bucks to attend, or if you’re a special special interest, $1000.

I have to appreciate Rep. Rhoads for having a union shop print his invitations, anyway (see upper left corner). When I was a kid, you had to do that, Democrat or Republican, if you wanted working-class votes. Not that the $1000 high rollers really care, but I appreciate it.

Rhoads represents Palama, Downtown, Chinatown, and Sheridan, so his constituents can attend. Maybe they get in for less than the corporate rate.


Rep. Kyle Yamashita district is Pukalani, Makawao, Olinda, Pulehu, Kula, and Ulupalakua. Clearly, his fundraiser in town last month was for the convenience of his corporate sponsors, not the folks who elected him. It would be a long swim if his constituents wanted to attend. No, this is for the big shots to buy a piece of him.


Of course, he could have aimed a bit higher than $25. Rep. Bob Herkes and Rep. Rhoads have aimed for the new $100 standard. Kirk Caldwell, running for mayor of Honolulu, asked $250 a plate for his fundraiser in Washington DC (see: So who now owns Kirk Caldwell?, 1/23/2010).

Why are these fundraisers out-of-district a concern? As the Big Island Weekly reported, Bob Herkes “didn't have a single contributor with an address in his own district” in 2008.[Big Island Weekly, All Aboard, For A Scenic Ride On The Gravy Train - Were They Voting With Their Pocketbooks?, 4/29/2009].

It’s about time our Legislature put in place rules about this, don’t you think? As the lege moves into conference committee action, who is pulling the strings in those dark rooms where democracy doesn’t reach?


Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older