Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Musings: Political Ponderings

The day, all gray when Koko and I set out walking, didn’t start on an especially promising note. But it wasn’t long before it turned beauteous, with a coral streaked quilt draped over the eastern sky. The cinder cones glowed gold and Makaleha was topped with dense, steely clouds that made it appear as if the mountain was steaming. Birds were singing, flowers were exuding delightful fragrance, the air was soft and balmy.

Ahhh. And then I saw Bernard Carvalho. Not the man, but his picture, that one of him wearing a tie and orchid lei and tight smile, emblazoned on a banner that was probably about 2 feet by 3 feet, with the red words: Together We Can.

Ugh. The only thing worse than politicians in an election year are their signs. Can’t they be small (the signs, I mean) and discreet, instead of in your face and cluttering up the landscape? Have you ever decided to vote for a candidate because you saw his or her name repeatedly on a sign? If so, perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed to enter the voting booth.

And isn’t anyone going to run against Bernard? Is he just going to be handed a four-year term as mayor? And on the basis of what? Making a decision on the landfill that may need to be undecided? Moving the Path a few feet mauka so it’s not entirely on Wailua Beach? Picking Beth’s brain?

Even though he has no opponent, he’s still waging a campaign, with his signs and supporters already out and about, which prompted someone to send me an email complaining about seeing two of Bernard’s administrators out holding sign at the Kapule-Kuhio junction at about 4 p.m. on a weekday, which is, the person noted, during county business hours, and so, in their opinion, inappropriate.

Of course, those county workers might have been using vacation time, but still, as every politician knows, or should, the appearance of impropriety can be as troublesome as impropriety, which brings back the memory of seeing one of Kusaka’s minions carrying Michele Hughes’ purse from the Council Chambers when her Kealia Kai project was up for discussion.

Before we leave Bernard, someone asked in the comments section of a recent post about vacation rentals (TVRs) on ag land:

I wonder what Mayor Carvalho's position on this issue is? He's been pretty quiet on it. I wonder why?

Has he been quiet? He appointed the director and deputy director of planning who signed off on the bill, which was apparently written at the behest of his County Attorney.

And that leads to a question I’ve been hearing more than a few people ask lately: how did Tim Bynum get so much power? It’s obvious, from the way he’s been frozen out, that Council Chair Kaipo Asing hates him, yet suddenly he’s introducing legislation, which is speeding forward, that could open up ag lands to resort development and is playing large to the dog-on-Path crowd that appears, from its “I have a dog and I vote” bumper stickers, to be single issue voters.

(As an aside, I liked the one that had been revised to read: I AM a dog and I vote.)

He appears to be cultivating, as one local friend noted, the disaffected rich white newcomer vote, which is not a dumb move politically, seeing as how that group is growing.

While we’re on the topic of politicians, someone left a very astute comment on a Monday’s post:

This TVR's on ag land is a political favor by Bynum and Yukimura for their political supporters. 

The thing that really annoys me is Yukimura's lobbying the County Council on a number of issues without ever disclosing here [sic] clients. That's B.S.


Yes, how is that she is able to wield so much influence with the Council on both the farm worker housing and ag land TVR bills — influence that certainly extends far beyond what any average citizen might enjoy, with Jay Furfaro in particular continuing to do her bidding? I mean, once you're off the Council, you shouldn't be drafting ordinances.

At any rate, I’m especially curious to learn where Councilman Derek Kawakami stands on the farm worker and ag TVR bills, since he’s voiced some reasoned concerns, so he’ll be calling in to my KKCR radio show tomorrow afternoon to discuss them more fully. Oh, and just so all you politicians and candidates know the score, any time KKCR has a politico on the air, you can call the station and demand equal time. But you gotta do it within seven days or it's too late, which means nobody else is gonna get the two-hour stints that both Bernard and Dickie already enjoyed.

Shifting to the state political scene, while it wasn’t a surprise to see Rep. Roland Sagum voting against the civil unions bill, one might have expected something different out of Jimmy Tokioka, seeing as how he has a disabled son and has made a big deal out of the fact that his son should be given equal rights — the same kind of equal rights that he wants to deny some folks simply because they happen to have fallen in love with members of their own sex.

Surely Jimmy wouldn’t want to put his son’s rights to a vote of the people as he’s advocating should be done in the case of same-sex couples.

And finally, one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve heard regarding same sex couples was uttered yesterday on KKCR by Scott Mijares, a fortunately failed Council candidate, who opined that marriage has long been reserved for a man and a woman who could go forth and procreate and so it should remain. Well, Scott, does that mean couples should be subject to a fertility test before marriage? That post-menopausal women should be denied the right to marry? That couples must sign an oath promising to procreate in order to be married?

He then went on to say that if people really believe in equal rights, they shouldn’t be supporting the civil unions bill, which excludes a number of people from joining together under the law. He seems not to realize that between marriage, reciprocal benefits, civil unions and the laws already in place that govern parent-child relationships, everybody’s covered, except those who wish to join with their pets.

Which brings me to ask, why don’t people who oppose civil unions just be honest and admit they’re anti-homosexual?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

"
And isn’t anyone going to run against Bernard?"

I have it on good word that the answer is YES!

Anonymous said...

Joan wrote, "Picking Beth’s brain?"

Hahahah.... good one Joan. The brains behind pa?

Anonymous said...

"beauteous": yes, you're right, it is a real word :)

"Why don’t people who oppose civil unions just be honest and admit they’re anti-homosexual?"

That IS the issue, nicely stated.

Anonymous said...

"He appointed the director and deputy director of planning who signed off on the bill"

You didn't do your homework, again, You are wrong, they are not appointed by the Mayor.

Joan Conrow said...

Oh, come on. Yes, I know they are technically appointed by the Planning Commission, but the director and his deputy are very much Bernard's picks.

Since you are so "on it," I'd love to see you contribute something more to the discussion than hair-splitting.

Anonymous said...

Here's another hypocrite exposed:

"Christian right leader George Rekers takes vacation with "rent boy""

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-05-06/news/christian-right-leader-george-rekers-takes-vacation-with-rent-boy/1

All these "Christians" who quote from the Bible to justify their bigotry are probably repressed homosexuals themselves.

Anonymous said...

deputy is not appointed by mayor

Anonymous said...

"Derek Kawakami stands on the farm worker and ag TVR bills, since he’s voiced some reasoned concerns, so he’ll be calling in to my KKCR radio show tomorrow afternoon to discuss them more fully."

-- he is pretty good quality. should be a strong show. nice job


"ridiculous comments I’ve heard regarding same sex couples was uttered yesterday on KKCR by Scott Mijares"

-- that guy is as dumb as dogshit


"All these "Christians" who quote from the Bible to justify their bigotry are probably repressed homosexuals themselves."

-- i can cite no evidence for it, but i totally suspect you are largly correct. its pretty facinating actually


dwps

Anonymous said...

All these "Christians" who quote from the Bible to justify their bigotry are probably repressed homosexuals themselves.

That's what they say about the Apostle Paul. Self-loathing and repressed.

Anonymous said...

During bernard's campaign, he made it well known that all dept. heads would remain, therefore insuring the support of the county workers and their families.
In contrast when JoAnn Yukimura was Mayor, she asked the dept heads to resign.

And i sure hope someone good runs against him, i'd even vote for Jay Furfaro instead... he's been ineffective, lame in his first 2 years.
The moving of the bike path off the beach...Not really, his failure to show leadership in the Naue fiasco by the planning and building dept.,please someone else challenge him

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any idea why all the departures at planning department? Almost everyone is gone, 3 planners left, all pretty inexperienced. Something going on? FBI investigations into the corruption at the planning dept?

Anonymous said...

"And isn’t anyone going to run against Bernard? Is he just going to be handed a four-year term as mayor? And on the basis of what? Making a decision on the landfill that may need to be undecided? Moving the Path a few feet mauka so it’s not entirely on Wailua Beach? Picking Beth’s brain?".....Rolf Beiber for Mayor!

Anonymous said...

30-35 + years in office - think its called retirement.

Anonymous said...

"his failure to show leadership in the Naue fiasco by the planning and building dept"

tell us, what authority did he have to do what and when.

Maria said...

scott sounded like such a homo phobe; i hope he doesn't run again

Anonymous said...

tell us, what authority did he have to do what and when.
Authority to see that the planning dept/ commission actually require people to follow the required conditions before granting the permits , could have revoked the permits for noncompliance. Could have condemned the land, it's a cemetary,... could have given the owner fair market value, (what's a cemetary worth anyway) out of the county Open Space, Public Access, Cultural Preservation Fund, could have admitted the county made a mistake...are you saying they had to let the developer desecrate, that was the only option?

Joan Conrow said...

May 5, 2010 2:32 PM

Negative nitpicker nixed.

Anonymous said...

oh, so the mayor didn't have the authority, the Planning Commission did.

Joan Conrow said...

May 5, 2010 3:32 PM

Snide snarker stuffed.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, come on. Yes, I know they are technically appointed by the Planning Commission."

now if you moved to Maui - you would be correct - the Mayor there just did appoint the new planning director - now, there's a story...

Samuel said...

But IF pets were included in a 'civil unions' bill... would there be a fine for having your 'partner' on a leash? Would the bike path be off limits to some couples? Would you be able to walk hand in paw along the beach at sunset without being taken to the pound? Would the Dog Police's collective head explode, or as if a hit by giant hairball from space would traditional marriage suddenly vaporize?

Anonymous said...

Dumb as dogshit? You're insulting dogshit.

Anonymous said...

"was the only option?"

did you read the judge's decision?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Maryann Kusaka appoint her hairdresser to be the deputy planning director? I can't believe that the planning commission appointed her to the position.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what credentials ian costa and imai aiu have? What is their education, experience ?What publications have they written, how many years in the field of planning before becoming 'the boss"

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for him last time but the only vote I am casting this time around is for Derek Kawakami. I don't agree with him on a lot of issues but he is straightforward and doesn't seem to be seeking glory like the other "TV hogs" who seem to think their job is to say irrelevant things just to get on Hoike. A large group of my friends actually wait to see what comes out of his mouth because as of lately it is the only thing that makes sense. I don't know him personally but people who do say that he is genuine, smart, humble, and has a backbone of steel. Those are qualities that every elected official should have. He may be the youngest but the others sitting at the table could learn a little from him.

Anonymous said...

Just heard the radio show. What impressed me the most is his honesty. Very straight forward and doesn't dance around the answer. Was surprised that he came to his colleagues rescue when he stated that they are all doing their homework but maybe they are reading different books. I think a lot of people who were questionable about his abilities or motives are coming around and noticing that he takes the job seriously and has real leadership traits.

Anonymous said...

"Can someone tell me what credentials ian costa and imai aiu have?"
They have deep roots on the island. When the minority becomes the majority then they can change the game. Until then we are just blowing off steam pointing out how poorly things are being run.

Anonymous said...

They have deep roots on the island
real professional ,So does the ancient mango tree i'm looking at
certainly there are educated people with "roots" as well... that could actually be good planners for the people and the island.

Anonymous said...

so it was a good show? not suprised

--dwps

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