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?