“The Millennials are finally getting involved in politics,” my brother-in-law said, referencing an article he'd just read. “Where have they been all this time?”
“Hanging out with their ear buds in and their hoodies pulled up,” my sister replied.
Ah. Welcome to the cold, cruel world.
One Millennial — the misnamed "Babe" herself — was busily posting this on activist Facebook pages yesterday:
Aside from the fact that Hooser is hardly “one of the good guys,” where are the Babes getting the dough to pay phone bankers? And why is a Maui group organizing a “get out the vote” effort for a Kauai guy?
So much for the vaunted “home rule” the anti-GMO groups are always talking about.
But then, that's a total crock, anyway. Even as it advocates for “home rule,” the Hawaii Center for Food Safety Action Fund got nearly all its money from its Washington, D.C., headquarters and the fabulously wealthy Lavinia Currier, who owns a Molokai ranch, but lives in Virginia.
According to its late contributions/expenditures report, the PAC took in $15,000 from its D.C. office and $7,500 from Lavina in late October. It then spent $8,188.88 between Oct. 24 and Nov. 3 to buy ads pushing its “True Food” slate of candidates on Maui: Alika Atay, Napua Greig Nakasone, Elle Cochran, Trinette Furtado and Keani Rawlins- Fernandez.
In other words, a Washington, D.C. advocacy group and an east coast philanthropist picked up the $2,180.88 tab for this half-page Maui News ad claiming these four are all about "home rule:"
Can you spell hypocrites? Oh, wait, that's too hard for Alika. How about pawns? Chumps? Token Hawaiians? Sell-outs? Puppets?
Is it any surprise that CFS hasn't actually done anything to support farming in Hawaii? Its "true food" is as phony as its candidates.
Overall, the supposedly local, grassroots CFS-PAC took in $35,513 for 2016 and spent $40,097, leaving it with a $10,399 deficit.
Other big contributors — besides Lavinia, who earlier donated another $10,000 — include Honolulu's Randy Ching, who gave $5,000. The Maui-based Sustainable Action Fund for the Environment gave $1,000, as did Kilauea resident Rosalie Danbury, whose husband made a fortune figuring out how to create email spam. All the rest came from the D.C.-based CFS.
But aside from the candidate ads, the rest of the spending is rather hazy, in terms of which candidates benefitted. There was money going to CFS director Ashley Lukens for Facebook ads. Maui "Babes" Lauryn Rego and Nomi Carmona got $3,333 and $1,900, respectively, for "election consulting services." For the primary, the PAC spent $1,838 on a mailer for Tiare Lawrence and $2,522 on one for Fern Rosenstiel.
In the end, just $18,259, or less than half of its $40,097 total spending this year, has been accounted for. Where did the rest go? Which other candidates benefitted from this unreported largess?
I've been hearing the Lege is going to crack down on the opaque funding methods that activists use to conduct lobbying and election work, including money raised through go fund me and crowd funding sources.
Go for it. CFS, with its politicized request for legislative emails — a bid that the Civil Beat Law Center supported — has been especially strident in its call for total transparency by elected officials. Let's see if it can stand to look in the mirror.
Meanwhile, here it is November and CFS has yet to file a 2015 tax return, keeping its doings in the dark until well past the election.