Thursday, April 23, 2015


Civil Beat: Speaker Souki, Rep. Ward Hold Campaign Fundraisers During Session

by Larry Geller

Civil Beat is on it, I should be able to relax. But I can’t resist this one. In fact, I have thought of a way that constituents might actually benefit from these ethically questionable fundraisers (see box).

House Speaker Joe Souki and Rep. Gene Ward, minority leader emeritus, are holding fundraisers Thursday as the legislative session enters its most critical period.

You can help turn the tables on fundraising politicians and enjoy a cheap dinner too

There are ethics and there are ethics laws. Politicians are only held to the laws. Which they themselves pass. The chances that they will come down harder on themselves with new ethics laws may be pretty remote.

But citizens can strike back. How about if striking back were fun? And nourishing also?

My understanding is that Rep. Souki’s $1,000 suggested donation is just that, a suggestion. So you see where I’m headed with this.

How about some of you Maui readers run a test project—gather the family, spouse at least and maybe the older kids—and show up at at Wolfgang Steakhouse with a check for (say) $25? It seems fair to donate something. Your choice. Invite your neighbors to do the same.

And let Disappeared News readers know if you got in or are kicked out with comments on this article.

Maybe someone can run some video as you lay down the check.

I’d be curious if those sitting at the reception table give anyone a hard time for trying to get a classy dinner for a reasonable contribution.

Just post a comment. You can do so anonymously.

And if it works, you can do it again next year. Bring lots of friends. Enjoy the  food and entertainment.

Note: I am not endorsing supporting any state legislator by encouraging donations to that person. This suggestion is about a social action that I hope could raise public consciousness on the issue of fundraisers during session.
With sine die coming up May 7, state lawmakers have begun the conference committee period when House and Senate negotiators work to resolve differences in bills — or not.

[Civil Beat, Speaker Souki, Rep. Ward Hold Campaign Fundraisers During Session, 4/23/2015]

CB has covered the territory quite well. They noted that the legislature is still in session. Contributors may have matters still awaiting a vote.

In these instances, both lawmakers are at least holding their fundraisers on their own islands. Speaker Souki’s $1,000 suggested contribution is a stunner, though—other than lobbyists or corporations, how many ordinary constituents can afford that? $1,000 is either an investment or a bribe, you choose. Yes, no doubt some individual citizens without an axe to grind can throw around that kind of dough, but they must be very few.

And for his asking price ($100 to $1,000), you’d think that Rep. Ward could at least have picked a more upscale venue!


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