Tuesday, March 22, 2011
DailyKos readers bring outside perspective on SB671
by Larry Geller
It’s really interesting to receive outside perspectives on Hawaii politics. Here are some snips on my post late last night on the SB671 bill coming up for a hearing this afternoon in the House, the one that would provide state legislators and state employees with endless opportunities for
corruption free meals.
hannah wrote this morning:
Fact is that legislatures are corrupt, but the initiative for the corruption is often/usually misidentified. It is the donors who should be tagged, but the recipients who extort the contributions.
The scam is actually very clever because, it seems, in most instances the support is extorted via promises NOT to pass restrictive legislation or to give a monopoly to some competitor. That is, both enterprises and citizens are played off against each other for the purpose of securing legislators' power and longevity in office. The money is incidental. What our petty potentates are after is the ability to make people jump when they say jump and dance when they say dance. It's this habit which accounts for why so much of the legislation is designed to fail. If they can count on an executive veto, then the legislative process is likely to get really outrageous, as it is in New Hampshire.
Some people get off on threatening people's welfare.
What the Hawaiian legislators are trying to do is make extortion legal by offering to keep the extorted secret. ….
Phoenix Rising wrote:
Here in Colorado we've been trying to implement MORE ethics laws. I'm sorry to hear in Democratic Hawaii that ethics appear to be optional.
Can the Governor stop this if the House decides to cash in with the Senate?
Yes, Phoenix, the Governor can stop it, but the fact that this bill is still advancing, and the way that the Senate Judiciary Chair got away with his maneuver says an awful lot about our legislative process.
See also Barbara Polk’s op-ed in today’s Star-Advertiser: Freebies compromise legislators and those who give them (3/22/2011)