Hawaii lawmakers mock public testimony as they pass illegal, unconstitutional legislation . . . why isn’t Hawaii’s for-profit corporate media reporting this?

Hawaii's legislature is out of control

WAL's passage of HB1089 is an in-your-face message straight from the legislature right to the people of Hawaii . . . Hawaii's constitution DOES NOT MATTER


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The title emblazoned at the top of House Bill HB1089 reads as follows:


But here's what's actually in HB1089

Section 1:  "Relating to Civil Service"
The very first section in HB1089 deals entirely with extensive amendments to Section 76-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, "Relating to Civil Service":
- Commissioned and enlisted personnel of the Hawaii's National Guard
- Positions filled by persons employed by contract
- Positions that must be filled without delay to comply with a court order
- Positions filled by the legislature
- Employees in the office of the governor 
. . . etc.

The above continues on for 9 full pages until we finally reach Section 2, which actually deals with the topic that is described in the bill's title: "RELATING TO A STATE BOATING FACILITY LEASE PILOT PROGRAM"

Hawaii's State Constitution clearly and specifically requires the legislature to stay on topic when introducing legislation through committees.  Article 3, section 14 of the State Constitution reads:

Article 3, Section 14 (Hawaii State Constitution):
Bills; Enactment

No law shall be passed except by bill. Each law shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. . . .   ."

". . . one subject, which shall be expressed in its title . . ."

The legislature was notified in testimony, well before the hearing, that HB1089 violates the State's constitution.  (see testimony here).

So, we must assume then that Linda Ichiyama, Mahina Poepoe, Cory Chun, Mark Hashem, Dee Morikawa, Gregg Takayama, and Kanani Souza, a) don't really care about public testimony, b) have a pre-existing out-of-the-sunshine agenda set out for them in advance . . . and the public be damned, c) are burdened with a reading disability, or, d) all of the above.

To make matters worse, all public testimony was 99% in opposition to HB1089, including testimony from UPW (United Public Workers). The only testimony in favor was a weak kneed, half-truth version from newly minted DLNR Chair, Dawn Chang, who couldn't muster any more than a lock-step version of Underwood's manifesto.

The latter shouldn't surprise, as the DLNR -- and especially Ed Underwood's version of DOBOR -- have been trying to lease out our public harbors for decades.

Yes, it is oh-so-true that Underwood and his idiot brigade cannot manage our public harbors.  Fair enough . . . so the obvious solution, then, is to bring in a professional management team with marina experience to do the work that Chang and Underwood could never do even on their best day.

But instead of focusing on a sensible private management scheme, HB1089 asks for permission to privatize and hand over the entire public harbor system, which is like trying to kill a fly with a shotgun. Leasing our public lands changes the fundamental nature and intent of our public assets. Why?  Because the lessee will make capital improvements to the property and will then, rightfully, expect a hefty ROI in return . . . creating an entry barrier to much of the public from what was once their land.

In addition to being either dyslexic and/or reading challenged -- or not giving a hoot about our state's constitution or what the public has to say -- Linda Ichiyama, Mahina Poepoe, Cory Chun, Mark Hashem, Dee Morikawa, Gregg Takayama, and Kanani Souza have somehow arrived at the rather strange notion (when viewed historically) that privatizing publicly owned land somehow solves a problem.

In the case of privatizing the public's harbor system, the State of Hawaii has been directly responsible for creating the "problem" that needs to be "solved".  A decade of deliberate, in-your-face DLNR neglect and abuse of the public's harbor system was designed to do nothing more than create a rationale and a convincer that private out-of-state multinational corporations should "own" public properties.

This time HB1089 tells us that it's a "pilot" public-private partnership. This time we're making believe that there never have existed previous "pilot" privatization schemes . . . except that there were: like the disastrous privatization mooring pilot at Keehi lagoon, or the awkward and outrageously expensive pilot at Kewalo Basin (doubling boater's rents instantly), or the incredibly failed "pilot" privatization attempt (on behalf of Larry Ellison) at Lanai's public marina. Or how about the hugely failed privatization of the Ala Wai's Texaco fuel dock property, or the catastrophically failed Ala Wai Marine property privatization that ended up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Before any discussion about privatizing public lands takes place, there needs to be a board or a formal advisory committee established and in operation that is made up of members of the public who will be affected by this radical transformation of public properties.

A laughable legislative attempt to do this takes shape in the form of HB422, a bill that would gut the board’s power by disallowing members to advise about harbor management, the very core of their purpose and expertise.  Members of the legislature have to understand that, after Hawaii’s absolutely disastrous Covid response that forced more than 1,000 local businesses to permanently close up shop, people are watching . . . closely.

By privatizing public properties and handing them over to wealthy out-of-state interests, you are admitting to the public that you cannot manage public assets.  If this is the case, what else “public” are government operatives unable to manage?

This is so simple that even a legislator should be able to understand this: bring in competent, experienced management to solve management issues, and leave public properties in public hands.


Our testimony:

An open testimony
(Note: This testimony has been published on the Hawaii Ocean News website so that all of Hawaii might be aware of its existence.)

Regarding HB1089 (companion: SB1387):


Testimony submitted by:

Katherine Lindell
Honolulu, Hawaii

On: February 7, 2023, @ 3PM


1) Unconstitutional Components

Firstly:  The composition of SB1387 (companion: HB1089) constitutes a clear violation of Hawaii’s State Constitution: the agenda items contained therein, shoehorned together in this same bill, are mutually exclusive, in violation of the state’s constitution (Article 3, section 14).  Allowing this bill to proceed through the legislature in its present form snubs the foundational laws of this state and is a slap in the face to the people of Hawaii.

2) Failure to Disclose Introducers

Secondly:  in any open and honest government, all introducers of any piece of legislation will be disclosed.  Why are the introducers of this bill being hidden?  Who are they?  Why are they hiding or being hidden?  Some have already suggested that the hidden introducers are part of the governor’s “inner circle” and that this is nothing more than a piece of legislation purpose-built by the governor himself.  If that’s true, this represents an ethical violation that must be rectified.

You have an obligation to clarify all of this to the public before moving forward with this bill.


3) Advisory Board Requirement

Thirdly:  The privatization of publicly owned properties is a radical alteration of intended use of any public facility.  As such, a precursor to such a change must include a board or advisory council made up of the affected public. The latter needs to be completed and operational first.  This cannot be the “gutted” version of a board/advisory committee suggested by HB422, but rather, a fully functioning board that is looked to for advice regarding changes to and the operation of the affected public properties.

 4) Legal Irregularities

Fourthly:  There are legal irregularities that are currently taking place, ongoing, in the administration of the public’s marina system that must be resolved first, before moving forward with this bill.

To wit:
An ongoing DoBOR-sanctioned administrative procedure that has taken thousands of dollars from hopeful principal habitation permittees, while denying them access to the very same privilege that they had signed up and paid for.  The State needs to be reminded, once again, that the exchange of money from one hand to another constitutes a contract.  The State is currently reneging on that contract in real time and over a protracted period of time. This constitutes fraud.

b) The arbitrary and capricious valuation of floating pier electrical usage charges, in it’s current form, constitutes fraud.

 5) Inconsistent with Intended Use

Fifthly:  Hawaii’s public harbors are publicly owned properties that allow all of our residents to enjoy recreational boating, regardless of income status.  By privatizing our harbors – or any public entity – the for-profit model that the lessee intends will, by default, not be consistent with the public model that was intended by our forefathers.

The notion of a so-called “public-private” partnership is, as you well know, a subterfuge intended to misrepresent the introducers’ true agenda.  This is unacceptable lawmaking except in third-world banana republics where anything goes.

Please do the right thing and reject this piece of legislation at the very first opportunity.

Katherine Lindell
Honolulu, Hawaii

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