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September 2007

President's Message
Convention (Mary Anne Raywid)
Con Con 2010 - Yes or No? (Jean Aoki)
Newly-Elected 2007 State Board (JoAnn Maruoka)
Traveler's Alert (Grace Furukawa)
Fundraiser Proposal for League (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Elections News (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (Grace Furukawa & Judy Rantala)
Contributors to Our 2007 Non-Event
At the Legislature (Jean Aoki & JoAnn Maruoka)
Vetoes and Veto Overrides (Jean Aoki, JoAnn Maruoka & Jackie Parnell)
Design a Non-Event Fundraiser!
Chapter Reports - Hawaii (Leilani Bronson-Crelly & Sue Dursin)
Chapter Reports - Honolulu (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Chapter Reports - Kauai (Carol Bain)

Con Con 2010 - Yes or No?

In 2008, the question, "Should there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?" will be on the ballot.

The question was on the ballot in the 1996 General Election, and while the yes votes exceeded the no votes, on a challenge by the Public Workers Union, the courts determined that the yes votes must comprise at least 50% of all ballots cast in the election, and because this was not made clear in the information provided to the public, the question was placed on the ballot again in the 1998 General Election. This time the no votes exceeded the yes votes, and no convention was held. Visit our website, www.lwv-hawaii.com, click on "position papers" way at the top and then click on "Constitutional Convention Position" to read about our reasons for opposing it at that time.

To read the report of the Con Con Study Committee which was among the resources used by our members in reaching a consensus in opposition to a constitutional convention, click on "reports" way at the top of our web page and then click on "Con Con '98" dated April, 1996.

This time around, there seems to be more interest in a constitutional convention, and it is being discussed much earlier than was the case in 1996. Our position paper was distributed in August of 1996, I believe, and we were the first to take any kind of position on it. It wasn't until a group came out supporting a convention that more people and the media became more actively engaged.

Richard Borreca's opinion piece in the April 22, 2007 issue of the Honolulu Star Bulletin is entitled "Do we need a Con Con? Let's count the whys" and proceeds to make a strong case for one.

Dr. Ira Rohter, professor in the political science department, UH/Manoa, wrote a huge full-page article entitled "Hawaii, get ready for 2010 Con Con." He not only discusses the reasons for having a con con, but drawing on the history of the 1968 Convention, urges the use of that model for preparing the public as well as candidates running for delegate seats and presents a possible schedule for the various events leading up to the election of delegates and the convention itself and for the dissemination of information on the proposed amendment which would have to be ratified by voters.

Many people who have lobbied and testified at the legislature are heard saying we need initiative and referendum, or we need a constitutional convention to change things around here or to pass their favored legislation. Maybe the time is now.

Some time in July, I hope to get a committee together to explore the need for a convention. We do have a great deal of literature and reports from our study in 1995-96, and the experience so we can decide what works and what does not. Together we'll decide what needs to be done, and how we want to do it.

Anyone the least bit concerned that the right decision is made is welcome to attend the first meeting to decide whether you wish to sign up for this committee. We'll get the word out as soon as the day is set. In the meanwhile, please call the League office and sign up for that first meeting so you will be properly notified.

Jean Aoki
Con Con Study Committee

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