Honolulu media usually don't pay much attention to Kauai, but now we're on their radar in a big way for the first time since the Superferry.
Today, Civil Beat has two stories on us. One is about whether Mayor Carvalho will face any re-election fallout for vetoing Bill 2491. The other is about how the planning department has clamped down on requests for public records following a Civil Beat report that showed Kauai was the fastest and cheapest in responding to requests. Now there's some unintended fallout for you…. Auwe!
In the piece on Bernard, reporter Sophie Cocke writes:
The unconventional advocacy group Babes Against Biotech, which has emerged in recent years as a highly visible presence in Hawaii’s anti-GMO movement, nicknamed him “the birth-defects mayor.” The group’s organizers — young women known for their bikini-clad pictures and pin-up calendar — plans to canvass on Kauai to secure Carvalho's electoral defeat in 2014. (The group claims to have 9,000 members.)
Given an absence of substantive public polling, it remains unclear how many people on the island actually respect or support Carvalho's decision, or support Bill 2491.
So, despite a rally by at least 1,500 people [a figure now often inflated to 4,000 and even 6,000] to encourage passage of the bill in September, no one knows for sure where a majority of Kauai's 65,000 residents stand.
“One of the things that is really interesting about this entire process has been that you have a very active group of people who have dominated the conversation,” said Jan TenBruggencate, a former Honolulu Advertiser reporter who runs a communications consulting firm and is a member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.
TenBruggencate even suggested that there may be a silent majority against the bill. "So I have heard people surmise that some of the supporters of the measure on the council could actually lose votes. And that the support for the bill is relatively thin.”
I don't think the off-island-based Babes hold any political sway on Kauai. There's a big difference between visibility and clout. People here don't go for cheesy theatrics, just like they don't go for screaming at the mayor or the red vs blue divisiveness. Yes, the bill passed, but the process left a lot of appalled people in its wake — folks who vote.
As I told Sophie, though she didn't use the quote, it's meaningless to canvass against someone unless you have a better candidate to offer in his place. So far, no one has stepped forward to run for mayor, and I don't really see anyone on the horizon who could beat the big guy.
I wonder, though, if the surprising vote to make newly-appointed Councilman Mason Chock vice chair of the Council is an attempt to insta-groom him for the mayor's post. Before he voted for himself as vice chair, Mason said something about how he keeps getting the call to lead, and so he must heed it. Which is fine, so long as it doesn't turn into a Messiah complex.
An awful lot can happen in a year, so it's hard to say what people will be thinking when the election rolls around. And let's not forget the Democratic machine, because surely it will have something to say on the topic, too.
Bernard will be re-elected mayor no problem.
depending on the 'strength' of the movement, jay furfaro could give BC a run for the money. chief perry is the other horse that could go a long way against the incumbent mayor.
dark horses to consider is dustin barca and kepa kruse. both of them will garner more votes than diana labedz or joann georgi. derek kawakami could as well but will most likely wait for an easier time to get in
Do you seriously think Barca and Kruse can contend? Barca's relatively new to everyone, and Kruse has disappeared since the Koloa Camp issue has been quiet in mainstream media.
Jay no chance, unless Daryl runs and he and Da Mayor split votes, then maybe. If Darryl runs, Hooser could win too. If no Daryl run, Bernard got a lock.
Dustin Barca???? hahahaha
Bernard will run and win with no problem. Babes Against Biotech has no clout, whatsoever.
Seriously, the only person that could give the Mayor a challenge would be Derek Kawakami. Dustin Barca, who is he?? Hooser, no thank you he's lost all of my respect for not honoring his word.
Its not about GMOs.......its about
Pesticides, herbicides and who knows what they are spraying.....that is poisoning the soil, the air, the waters, and the citizens.
Its about water being diverted and the Waimea River dying.
This is a Mayor who supports chemical pollution of Kauai.
That is his label that could sway some people to someone else.
The pollution portagee.
Babes Against Biotech is insulting to anyone with any sense of, not only politics, but of self. Especially women!
Political clout? Haha! The only clout they got is a heavy (some more than others!) dose of tits and asses! Unless they are catering to the young, male audience, bimbo behavior is, at best, sophomoric and boorish, and one would think and hope, loooong passe! But lest I judge, being that the oldest profession is still alive and well!
Trying to convince and win over people of the righteousness of this cause by flashing skin is absolutely antithetical to critical thinking and good governance.
C'mon,now. A political platform based on T & A ?
Good Post Joan
1:51 I love these Politically Modified Organisms, so close to politics without being elected they have a special insider look, Baloney. You have a couple of accurate points, many new comers like a manicured yard and Turk Tokita is missed.
But, you must be smoking some of the that NS herb. Yeah, plenty NS people want Kauai to be California, but there are not that many to knock Bernard out.
This bill with all of it's inherent ineffectiveness has shown the real Kauai community what can happen if a couple of political panderers press personal agendas.
There are plenny locals that are just blown away that a bunch of Haoles changed how politics works on this island with their threats, chants and money.
Jan T is correct. Bernard will win. Perry could be a threat, but he ain't no robot of the NS newcomers, talk about manicured lawns, how about Law(n) Order. Mel and Ross are in.
Hooser and Bynam will be out if anyone with ANY name recognition runs. Joann is on thin ice, Jay will continue to breathe hard.
The hard center of Kauai politics is family, friends and a love of island and it's people. Kauai people do NOT want antagonists, cultists and agitators.
Bernard gained a great deal of respect, empathy and support with his grace and dignity in the face of a rabid and hostile crowd. Bernard cares about ALL of Kauai. Remember, Kauai is made of working people, not a just a bunch of rich folks.
A significant amount of l0cals are pissed off at Bernard. I keep telling you its not just about 2491. But yes YOU have a very valid point. e don't have a good quarterback to put in against the BG. So, yup, like I said he may squeek back in, but its his last roddeo, partner, and in 4 years the face of Kaua'i will change even more. Don't yell at the newcomers. yell at the people who SUPPORTED development here. For the last 20 years. From Kusaka straight through to Bernard. That's a very long time, to keep begging people to come, and then, when it turns out they don't like your way of doing stuff and want to change everything, and have loud voices, then everyone is pissed at them.
Be pissed at our own selves. We put in people, who supported them coming here. Locals, but we got betrayed.I mean I blame myself, for voting in people who consistantly supported rampant development here, and didn't see this coming.The people who BEGGED them to come here. The very people we elected and put into office. So whining about newcomers won't help. Convert them quick when they land, teach em up right, and we wont have any problems.
But converting 40 thousand people our way of stuff, when there is only 30 thousand of us? The guesstimates for the next 20 years are almost 100,000 people on Kaua'i.
You think they are gonna give a rats derriere how we feel about stuff? Seems like the numbers are all in their favor. So, like I said, we better get out a conversion campaign quick. If you don't like how they act and vote, and yell and protest, and don't like the fact that locals are right there with them because they feel betrayed, then you best get a move on to set everyone straight. You may need a Messiah complex to pull it off though.
Good luck with that.
Dude, what? A bunch of Haoles? Oh I had a good laugh at that one. What, you can't see all of the locals in the marches, or in the room, or doing their fair share of protesting, and whatever? What, you can't see them? You color blind or something? You in denial? Hawaiians and locals have been protesting, yelling and fighting for stuff here, a lot longer then Haoles. It's usually never haoles on the local side. Now they are, and what you all bent about it? Would think if you were really a Kaua'i person you would be all for it. We need all of the help we can get.
Look, man there are two kinds of locals here. let's get this straight. There are those that love Haole's as long as they are rich, giving them stuff, and pay them. Then there are the other locals who couldn't care less what color your skin is, just don't come here, take the land, spray chemicals on us, cuz we had enough of that with 150 years of sugar, and don't come here and offer us temporary three month jobs, or minimum wage, and act like you the savior of Kaua'i. Worse they all come here, pay off our politicians, and do backdoor dirty deals. And what you mad at the haoles in the 2491 protest? What are you whacked?
You know how many planning commission hearings I been to, where corporations walked in there and literally said just that whole Messiah complex thing?
I mean, they are gonna save us, and house us, and feed us and provide us with housing and solve all of our problems.
Which corporation or developer who has come here has ever done that for us? How many have packed their bags and left? When the going got tough they dug out.
You whining about some harmless people taking a day off from work to go and fight for what they beleive in?
Man, where is your outrage, at all of the real haoles who came here, took everything, and made everything so expensive? Huh? You are totally out of it. You must be smoking some stuff as well.
Hello Alice- Now that we are in Wonderland, I guess, it is time for the Mad Hatters (haters), to run Kauai.
I just want a job and support my family. I don't wanna be told how live, what to eat or how bad the plantation ways were. I just wanna be left alone, seek some happiness, take care of my kids and maybe go to the beach once in a while.
I like those boob-a-tech babes, tho, they look better than the rest of the Mad Haters. But I wish everyone would just shut up and leave me, my friends and family alone.
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Carroll
Well it will never happen when tweedle dum and tweedle dee keep bitching at each other. also the Queen of hearts is a real meanie. But the tea is excellent! Also, don't forget the great and wise walrus...er worm...er wait...um...nevermind.
1:56 Your racism shows your true colors (white). The mayor vetoed 2491 because its a POS bill that will cost the county big $$$. He does not support chemical pollution. The voters are smart enough to know the difference.
Good observations here today. I was at a rally on 2491 (I was undecided then) and I heard a Haole seed company exec comment, "look at all the Hawaiians in blue shirts!" I looked and saw a few Filipino pesticide Co. Employees in blue shirts. Then I looked at the red shirts, and saw a few people who looked more Hawaiian. About an equal mix of "local" on both sides. Yet, it is ironically the mainland Corporations who are claiming that the pro-2491 are "all NS Haole"
In reality, both sides are mostly Haole, because Kauai is. The Japanese were missing from both sides. But then when was the last time anyone saw a significant mass of Japanese protestors on any issue? I mean, the Japanese still trust the authorities on Fukushima. They are too scared of authority for democracy.
In the end, history's lessons shows us not to trust corporate America, especially defense contractors - so I decided to err on the side of not trusting the seed companies. Hooser for Mayor.
Joan- your comment on "cheesy tactics"
This bill has been all cheesy tactics. Fear and hysteria. Absolutely, no science, no facts, just a bunch of fisters, fighters, followers, finaglers, finicky foreigners, filthy floppers and fad followers, foolish fanatics, fluffy fame-seekers, far flung fomenters, faithful foodies and finally, as a foreplay of a frail, feeble, fragmented future.
Derek would smoke everyone, wish he would.
You go, Dustin Barca!
Not only are you a voice for young people on Kauai, a lot of us old folks appreciate your spunk and
You picked up the ball and ran with it.
Good for you!
I hope you do run for office someday.
We'll be waiting.
And we'll be voting!
Derek Kawakami for Mayor!!
Derek kawakami would make an awesome mayor. yes, he did take a small amount from GMO's but I had the opportunity to speak to him personally, and he said he had learned his lesson, and would in the future refuse any and all contributions from the GMO's. I admire and respect him, and think that if Derek came home, he would be a fabulous and fair Mayor who would always err on the side of the precautionary principle, and on the side of the People. I bet he would even help with the whole Vacation Rental mess. He is young, has great ideas, has a young family so he is concerned about the kids having jobs and housing. He is a true Democrat. I really like him. And he is the kind of person who really could work with both sides, as he has respect from both, but Derek NEVER waffles. He stands firm to his convictions. I don't think we could ask for a better Mayor. Problem is, who would we put in his place at the state level? We can't afford to put a clown in their who will do the bidding of Big ANYTHING here.
Derek Kawakami is a political climber and he is not too bright.
This is the problem with the anti-gmo movement. You think this victory represents a majority if kauaians when all it really represents is a majority of the council members, one who hasnt even being elected in. Its not a haole vs local issue, its a how u conduct yourself when expressing your opinion about an issue. I support some type of pesticide regulation but I don't support your BS tactics of loud mouthing n threats n intimidating tactics u r using. So get off your high poltical horse cause u aren't unseating anyone with these tactics and in fact may be jeopardizing the very people u claim to support.
Derick will wait his turn for Mayor. He is smart and will not waste political capital.
If Dickie Chang and Kualii make Kissy-face with the public unions and the Hotel workers they will be elected, Dickie should say sorry to every smoker on the island and he will get win, he lost due to his weird County park no-smoking effort. Not a word on alcohol, dope or filth at the parks, but "get those smokers"
The County and State workers have no taste for Gary or Tim, they can speak on higher wages etc, but their self glorification and know it all attitudes have left a foul flavor. Gary and Tim actually think that the Council should run the County, while every realistic citizen knows, it is the County workers who have control.
The other Council guys and lonester gal are in. Every candidate will be slurping at every West Side funeral, baby party and community function. Gosh darn, those West Siders sure come out to vote.
Derek will not run against the mayor. They are good friends and belong to the same church. It looks like the mayor will walk in next year with no challenger(s) in sight. It is unfortunate and sad for the island with no alternatives to choose from. We deserve better than what we currently have. Personally, I like the mayor as a person, but abhor some of his appointees. Oh, well it's too early to tell who could give the mayor a tough re-election next year. My guess would be Mason. He could be a good and effective leader.
Noam Chomsky's comments on 9/11'S Building 9 are highly relevant to the "thought" process going on with our GMO debate. Should be required viewing for all councilmembers and activists. And, I guess we shall see where the voters stand one day soon....
"The hard center of Kauai politics is family, friends and a love of island and it's people."
You left out unions. They have the organization that all challengers lack. Just watch how GH and TB bend over for their votes at the next election.
And the pro-ag camp didn't resort to the same bullish tactics? Give me a break. Both sides are guilty of hysteria and propaganda. For me bottom line is I want accountability and regulation of an industry that is woefully lagging in either. I think some of the most visible activists got too caught up in the fight to see how certain actions were taking credibility away from the movement. Either way we'll see the political fall out come 2014 and the winners should reflect the majority opinion regarding 2491.
We should learn from Maui. Their mayors do not get re-elected. They're only good for one-term except maybe Elmer Carvalho. Kauai's politics is different. We elect our mayors based on popularity. The incumbent mayor is a very popular political figure, and my fearless forecast: he will be reelected.
"The Japanese were missing from both sides. But then when was the last time anyone saw a significant mass of Japanese protestors on any issue? I mean, the Japanese still trust the authorities on Fukushima. They are too scared of authority for democracy."
That's the stupidest comment posted on this blog. Klayton Kubo started this movement on Kauai thirteen years ago. Where the fuck were you, you clueless worm. This is what Joan is talking about. Fucking plants in the movement. Must be working for the pesticide company to piss people off.
Does this idiot expect Japanese nationals to come to Kauai and protest against GMOs? Or is this idiot talking about Japanese born and raised on Kauai? If you're talking about the latter, then you have no knowledge of the history of Hawaii and what the Japanese, Filipinos and other people of color had to do to take their rightful place in a democratic society. And not just marching up Rice Street with the cops protecting your okole. And who opposed their getting their rights? White people. Haoles. Probably like the assholes who move here and think they know everything and get on TV to lecture the brown folk about asserting themselves in a democracy.
I believe myself to be an educated woman and Babes Against Biotech is a disgrace to women!!!! Threatening politicians who vote against 2491, taking slutty beach photos??? What a disgrace!
Sorry, I'd vote for kepa... I would never consider Dustin bark a lot barca. He makes locals and kanaka look bad with his ill educated and flagrant and disrespectful speech.
Yeah like Dustin and his brother are really on opposite sides. This bill the red shirts demanded will not advance protection of the kids, but protection of the industry when it goes to court. The bill allows spraying of pesticide in the buffer zone, just no growing of crops. Friggin amazing harm these guys are doing here while they seem to be on the side of the people. This is a great soap opera except the results are not going to be pretty. But then Dustin and his brother know that
Next year is election year. We need real change from the mayor's office to the council, or we are doomed.
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