The Maui Community Organic Farmland Initiative, which would have used taxpayer money to condemn private ag land for committee-dictated farming, has failed to make the Maui County ballot.
Organizers submitted one petition with 11,339 signatures, and then a supplemental petition with another 6,827 signatures. But 10,861 signatures were deemed invalid, leaving the initiative 1,896 registered voters short of the 9,201 required, according to a press release from the Maui County Clerk.
On June 3, organizers were expressing confidence that their proposal “to convert the former [HC&S] sugarcane lands from private to public to create the world’s largest community-owned organic agricultural park” would go before voters. “We can now say with 90% certainty that we will be on the November ballot.”
It's unclear how much was spent paying people to collect signatures, or where the money came from, because those loudly demanding transparency — these are the same folks that led the SHAKA GMO moratorium initiative on Maui — don't practice it themselves.
But birds of a feather do flock together, with SHAKA founder and luxury Realtor Mark Sheehan donating $100 last month to Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser's re-election campaign. Hooser is the first Kauai candidate to file a report for 2016 contributions, reporting $7,910 in donations between April 29 and May 24. He got $100 from Neal Norman, the state's top-selling Realtor, in addition to the $250 he got from Neal last November. Anti-dairy activist Bridget Hammerquist gave him $200, Carol Wilcox donated $500, as did Kauai Garden Cottages, and “audio director” donated $1,000.
You can see his 2015-16 contributors here and here and here. It's so hard for me to fathom why seemingly intelligent people give money to Hooser. Don't they know he's a lying, fear-mongering demagogue? (And if not, what rock have they been under these past few years?) Or do they just not care that he's missing a moral compass?
But even with those donations, Hooser is still starting the campaign season dismally, with a deficit of $759. Mason Chock also reports a deficit of $1,119.
Mel Rapozo, meanwhile, has $14,632; Ross Kagawa has $5,946; KipuKai Kualii has $9,345; JoAnn Yukimura has $14,792, and Arryl Kaneshiro has a whopping $36,005.
For 2015, all the Councilmembers except Gary and Mason received contributions of $200 each from Outrigger Enterprises. JoAnn had no additional donations, and Mason reported no contributions at all in 2015.
The Hawaii Laborers Political Action Committee gave $2,000 each to Ross, KipuKai, Arryl and Mel, with KipuKai reporting no additional donations.
For 2015, Mel also got $1,000 from the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund; Ross reported an individual donation of $200 and Arryl got $500 from DOW International Finance.
Rep. Derek Kawakami, who is running for Council, has a war chest of $18,464, with contributions totaling $5,350 and $7,400 in 2015.
Prosecutor Justin Kollar received donations of $3,020 in 2015 and launched his re-election campaign with a $5,384 war chest. Challenger Lisa Arin reported a deficit of $3,679, with donations of $3,926 in 2015.
Rep. Dee Morikawa is launching her re-election bid with $7,074, reporting contributions of $3,000 and $4,300 in 2015.