Thursday, May 03, 2012
OIP director disses opponents of administration anti-sunshine bill
“Cheryl Kakazu Park, the OIP director, described the reaction by open government advocates as ‘an emotional response, not a reasoned response.’ ”
by Larry Geller
I read this line, from the article Open records advocates fear information roadblocks (Star-Advertiser p. B1, 5/3/2012), a couple of times, and realized that I’m having a strong “emotional response” to Park’s statement as reported in the paper.
Testimony submitted in opposition to this bill (SB2858) included well-reasoned arguments by members of the County Council of Maui, the Mayor of Honolulu, the ADA, the Society of Professional Journalists, respected journalism professor Beverly Keever, the Big Island Press Club, and others.
This administration-sponsored bill, along with its companion, SB2859, has been described as setting back Hawaii’s sunshine laws by 24 years. John Pritchett published a cartoon devoted to this bill yesterday in the Honolulu Weekly titled “Pulling the wool over your eyes.”
This is the same OIP director who decided not to issue opinions although the law mandates her to do so, and has issued only one opinion in 2011 and none at all in 2012.
It seems the Legislature is inclined to go along with this—no surprise in a session bent on passing exemptions to ethics and environmental protections.
Today is the last day of the legislative session and the last chance for legislators to redeem themselves. Don’t hold your breath.
As I read that remark quoted in the Star-Advertiser I thought of President Bush’s many appointments to Homeland Security and other federal agencies that seemed like attempts to undermine the purpose of each agency. Governor Abercrombie may have done the same with this still controversial appointment.
Park’s predecessor stood for transparency in government, in particular stating that the Governor must release the names of judicial nominees. Abercrombie removed her and replaced her with Park, who agreed with the Governor that the names need not be released. The State Supreme Court ruled later that indeed the list must be released.
Maybe she needs to go. This is a person that is not suited to the position or the necessity behind why the office was created in the first place.
If the shoe salesman doesnʻt sell any shoes, why keep him?
Same with any job.
This person appointed as OIP head offends me --- if it were not for the OIP I would have been stymied in the 90's in accessing data in the state government. There is an often quoted phrase by legislators that they don't get enough constituent feedback, and yet when constituents go about accessing data in order to give feedback --factual feedback, there are so few bridges available. Now, the OIP is another washed out crossing, this is not the NEW DAY I voted for, how about you?