Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Governor Ige: Come out of your shell please on the DLNR nomination issue
by Larry Geller
Please read the following articles:
- My Civil Beat column today takes a third look at Gov. Ige’s DLNR nomination (ilind.net, 2/4/2015)
- Hawaii Monitor: Ige’s Honeymoon Ended With Nomination of Ching (Civil Beat, 2/4/2015)
- The Silence from the Fifth Floor: Is This the Transparency We Were Promised? (Ililani Media, 2/4/2015)
If the Governor does not react to the questions and mounting criticism over his appointee to head the DLNR, the next opportunity to discuss it will be at the senate confirmation hearing. But our state senate has a strong tendency to approve whomever the governor appoints—we saw that with the Hawaii Health Connector, for example, when Sen. Baker’s committee was very protective of the insurance industry appointees to the Connector board to the point of excluding public oral testimony until she was challenged, effectively blocking public objections to the nominations.
And then again when criticism of Don Horner for effectively excluding stakeholders from BOE meetings was all but ignored during his re-confirmation.
When there are significant community objections, perhaps the Governor and the Senate should pay attention to it. After all, at least in theory, they are our elected representatives. There was significant opposition to the Health Connector created as an independent non-profit corporation and to the Governor’s appointment of industry representatives to its board, effectively shielded from public accountability. The consequences are still playing out, and could be costly to taxpayers.
In other words, we can’t necessarily count on the senate to ask the right questions or to cross a newly elected governor who is from the majority party. It would be far better if the Governor responded directly, fulfilling his promise of more openness.
Perhaps the Governor does not read these blogs. If readers feel so inclined, you can write directly to the governor and urge him to respond. His web page gives the following possibilities:
Office of the Governor
The Honorable David Y. Ige
Governor, State of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0034
Fax: (808) 586-0006
CONTACT US ONLINE