Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Musings: Lacking Integrity

I was already awake when the garbage truck, squeaking far more loudly than usual, made its usual Tuesday morning rounds through the neighborhood, prompting Koko and me to get up and out in the world.

The sky was thick gray, with no hint of the sunshine that warmed the island yesterday morning, and the half-moon glowed eerily through a haze of clouds as Koko and I picked our way past overturned cans and the usual little piles of trash that didn’t make it into the truck.

We ran into my neighbor Andy and his dog, Momi, and wasted no time jumping right into the hot topic at hand: yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Superferry.

Despite an article in today’s Advertiser in which Superferry officials, in announcing the big boat’s shut down, claimed to be "hugely disappointed," Andy saw it a little differently.

“I bet the Superferry folks are happy,” he said, noting that now they can close down a money-losing business and bail on Hawaii without looking bad, then go on to sue the state.

There might be something to that. Because really, how long can HSF survive a shutdown, especially when the Maui Tomorrow folks are pushing to restart the faux EIS process currently under way? According to The Advertiser:

But Maui Tomorrow will insist that the review start over because it was conducted under a law that has now been ruled unconstitutional, Bowie said. Her group wants the review to follow the more rigorous guidelines of the state's primary environmental review law.

I think what’s really jumping out at me in all of this is Gov. Lingle’s "ends justify the illegal means" response. First, we have The Advertiser reporting:

Lingle also defended her administration's decision to exempt the project from environmental review, which triggered the legal challenges from environmentalists.

"I'm sure there are all sorts of political opinions out there," she said.

"But we know from the beginning we were correct and accurate, did the right thing, and we've been able to provide a great service for the people of Maui and Oahu, one that they've come to appreciate and in some cases to depend upon, especially in the case of small businesses."

And then the Star-Bulletin reports:

Lingle said her administration is reviewing various courses of action in light of the court's decision, including a legislative remedy, possible mediation and an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lingle said her administration did the right thing in providing a "great service" to the people of Maui and Oahu.

"Our administration has been in accordance with the law," she said.

Come on, Linda, give it up! This is twice now that the Supreme Court has said no, your Administration did not act in accordance with the law. And a legislative remedy? My god, woman, don’t you learn? Or another appeal to SCOTUS, ala the so-called "ceded lands" case, with Attorney General Mark Bennett, who helped lead the state down this discredited path, arguing the case?

Why can’t she just admit she was wrong and proceed from there? It kind of reminds me of the position that former VP Dick Cheney is taking in still defending the Bush Administration's repugnant counterterrorism tactics, like torture and CIA black sites:

It was done legally. It was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles.

Now contrast Lingle's stance with the comment I got yesterday from Kauai’s Rep. Mina Morita, who opposed Act 2 for all the reasons that the court struck it down:

The role of the Legislature is not to bypass a process. There was a process for permitting and all the Legislature did was craft a way to bypass it. Well, first of all, all the governor did was ignore it and then the Legislature tried to legitimize it by by-passing it, and that’s not good law making.

It wasn’t the law’s fault. It wasn’t the environmental review’s fault. It was the lack of integrity on the parts of the people involved.”


Anonymous said...

after the elation, the reality of corrupt gvment officials, military applications and a whole lotta zeros in the IOU mean that this SAD saga of the superferry will still be with us for a while.

Anonymous said...

i wonder what they could get for a used ship like that

Anonymous said...

Lingle is merely trying to save face in this debaucle and she will never take responsibility for this mess. She has absolutely no regard for the Hawaii State Supreme Court and thinks she is above the laws of the state. Second time she may take an unfavorable ruling to the federal level. Her legacy will be her mishandling of the Superferry and the "ceded" lands case.

Anonymous said...

Isnʻt the next step in the order of impeachment proceedings?

Anonymous said...

Remember the clause Bennet fixated on to protect the state from lawsuits, #16?.

That was a part of Act 2.

Anonymous said...

Want to know who Lingle is playing to?

Take two aspirin and read up on the last six months of interviews with Cheney, Rove and the Republican cabal. Take a whole bottle and listen to a week's worth of Rush. Read their transcripts, parse their themes and scope their power base.

As with so many Republican governors post-Bush, Lingle hungers to eat her way up the GOP food chain. She is blatantly playing to their mainland organization. To that end, the more she pisses off the "liberal courts" and draws the ire of the "liberal media" the better. The more she gets slapped down, the more her battle is defined and the more she'll pull out the Bush playbook.

Lingle is writing her resume. If you want to know what's going into it, read Rove.

And pass the aspirin.

Anonymous said...

Re: impeachment, it would really be a precedent to kick Lingle out without real criminal activity, though botching your duties and making the state administration liable to lawsuits (the future ones, not the past ones needed to enforce the constitution) should be considered so.

And I can't rememberwhere I heard it, but I thought Hawaii made it hard to recall officials.

What would really be symbolic would be for the kingdom folks and all those who got arrested on Kauai to sue for payment for having to do the administration's job of enforcing the const. Oh the irony!

Anonymous said...

"What would really be symbolic would be for the kingdom folks and all those who got arrested on Kauai to sue for payment for having to do the administration's job of enforcing the const. Oh the irony!"

Yep. Thatʻs a good start. Whatever it is, it should be moved on fast before the climate changes or before Mr. Lingle puts on his hiking boots headed for Washington.