Fall 2002 Home   Newsletters

Winter 2002

Convention Edition 2003

Impossible Electoral Contest (Jean Aoki)
Jean Aoki Honored
Hawaii Clean Elections Coalition (Grace Furukawa)
This Land Was Your Land
Howard Criss
Initiative and Referendum Study (Marian Wilkins)
Travel Fundraiser (Grace Furukawa)
Recent Publications Available in League's Library
Local League News - Honolulu (Pearl Johnson)
Local League News - Hawaii (Marian Wilkins)
Local League News - Kaua'i (Carol Bain)
Local League News - Maui (Andrea Dean)

Local League News - Kaua'i

1. Update on the open governance issue to which we've devoted a lot of time and effort: Last September, the Office of Information Practices issued a revised opinion which concluded that the community access TV stations, Olelo and Ho'ike, are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA). According to the State Office of Information Practices (OIP) opinion dated September 6, 2002, "Examining the totality of all the factors, the OIP is of the opinion that Olelo and Ho'ike are corporations owned, operated, or managed by or on behalf of this State as set forth under section 92F-3 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, and are, therefore, required to follow the UIPA." See hpam.hi.net/oelo/opinion for further details.

In the two months since that opinion, the Hoike board has resisted attempts by the public to obtain public records by establishing high fees (about $5.50 per page). The Hoike board also refused to allow any members of the public to attend their October board meeting. When two people tried to attend, they were told at the beginning of the meeting that they would be forcibly removed if they did not leave, even though the agenda did not indicate an executive session.

It is clear this community access station does not wish to have public oversight as they spend state mandated funds. It might be desirable to request a state audit. The League could be instrumental in requesting one for Hoike, and possibly for 'Olelo and other access corporations in the state. The Kaua'i LWV board agreed on October 11, to raise the question of this course of action with the other Leagues within the State.

2. Campaign Ethics Workshop: At the request of the Kauai chapter, Carol Bain (KLWV board director) has drafted a letter for the League to work with the State Ethics Commission (SEC), and the Campaign Spending Commission (CSC), as well as the local County Ethics Commission to offer Campaign Ethics Workshops around the state in early 2004. She has communicated with Dan Mollway, Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission and he is very interested in sponsoring this cooperative effort with the League. The goal of such workshops would be to raise the level of public understanding about ethical challenges for candidates, and possibly to inform about ethical campaign issues.

The negative impact of poor ethical decisions about campaign strategy causes a "turn-off" on the part of voters, thus resulting in lower voter turnout at the polls. While hard data on such a causal relationship are not available to us, we suspect they can be found. The Kaua'i League of Women Voters discussed this topic at its November board meeting and agrees the issue is of statewide importance. We intend to share our thinking with the other League chapters to obtain agreement or consensus.

The Campaign Spending Commission already offers a two-hour workshop to candidates within 30 days of the filing date for elected office. Carol Bain attended that workshop as presented by Bob Watada in late August this year, and though a code of ethics is one of their forms, it was not covered. It should not be difficult for the SEC office to design and add a one-to-two hour section on the ethical considerations of running a fair campaign in conjunction with this workshop.

In order to do this effectively, the State Ethics Commission should work in conjunction with the Campaign Spending Commission and include participation by each County Ethics Commission. As neither the County of Kaua'i nor the League have funds for this educational workshop, monetary support for its development and promotion would have to come primarily from the State Ethics Commission, though some joint effort to obtain funding could be pursued.

Kaua'i League chapter intends to share this with the other chapters of the League to determine our level of support. For instance, the League chapters on each island could provide outreach and coordination, but may need to estimate the expense of local advertising and marketing. Kaua'i League is interested in what other chapters think of this idea. Contact: Carol Bain (bain@kauai.net) 808-2462111 to request a copy of the letter sent to Daniel Mollway or to offer suggestions.

Carol Bain

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