“SEVEN NINE FIVE – Paradise Lost” . . . The anatomy of the legislative process in Hawaii . . . and why “public participation” is irrelevant

"SEVEN NINE FIVE - Paradise Lost" documents how proposed laws are manipulated by a few well-placed individuals in our legislature

SB795 is a thinly veiled pretense to hand public recreational harbors over to big-money private interests

At first glance this looks like a normal committee meeting hearing in our Hawaii state legislature. But watch carefully. What you're witnessing is a committee chairperson manipulating the committee hearing process to attain his desired outcome for a bill.

 

(Editor's note:  in the interest of fairness, we have reached out to Representative Tarnas for an explanation as to why his hearing was allowed to proceed in this way.  We will update this article with his response.  KL)

In this particular case, this lawmaker wants this bill to pass. So he deflects, softens, downplays, and  skips over credible and detailed opposition testimony that points to why this legislation should never have been proposed in the first place. The opposition testimony is often so compelling so detailed so credible and so powerful that the controlling chairperson of the committee who wants a bill to pass will use any tactic at his fingertips to cast that testimony aside or even make sure that that testimony is never properly heard.


This is how our system really works. This is how a few individuals in very powerful positions can control the destiny of any law that moves through the state legislature. Any law. This small group can control whether a bill lives or dies in Hawaii's State Legislature.


The DLNR's Suzanne Case and DoBOR's Ed Underwood are in way over their heads, drowning in responsibilities that they can not navigate. The resulting damage to Hawaii's public recreational boat harbors approaches catastrophic. Over the past decade, they've mismanaged our public harbor system to the tune of millions of dollars in lost funds and revenues, and continue to preside over the ongoing downward slide of our public harbor facilities.

 

Of late, they've realized that they won't survive if the harbor system remains under their management.  Suzanne Case wants an elected position in her future and this looks bad on her resume. Underwood has been outed by everyone from county prosecutors to independent auditors, not to mention the public, and he has to do something to shore up his sordid reputation.  So now the two of them are in damage control mode, pushing hard to hand the entire public recreational boat harbor system over to private multinational interests who have zero vested interest in the community they will destroy.  Commonsense would dictate that we've got a serious management problem and that the managers need to be removed, transferred, relieved of their duties . . .  immediately, before the damage is irreparable.

 

Managers like Underwood and Case have the power to suggest legislation to lawmakers.  This is where it really gets scary.  Now they are trying to get legislation enacted that would effectively drive middle-income boaters from Hawaii's public recreational facilities in preparation for their endgame . . . to hand all public harbor lands, submerged, fast and surrounding dry lands to multinational corporations who intend to make them playgrounds for the rich.

Not since 1893, has there been a more urgent call for the people of Hawaii to stand up to this government that cares so little about the consequences of its misguided actions.

 

 

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Rich Stone
Rich Stone
3 years ago

Lots of rhetoric and accusations but no facts to support them.
In order for us (the United and concerned constituents) to be successful in defeating any legislation we must be armed with facts that out these piticians.
Examples of their wrong doing and I’ll will.
Where’s the evidence?

Johnny Staton
Johnny Staton
Reply to  Rich Stone
3 years ago

@RichStone: Might want to read this blog more often. The evidence is overwhelming. The video in this post is a frame-by-frame detailed account. There’s a search engine in the upper right-hand corner of this page. Have a look around, it could be a new educational experience, who knows. It’s this kind of ignorance that plays into the hands of those who would steal our harbors from us.