The political season is in full swing, with signs and banners popping up like mushrooms in cow pies after a warm spring rain.
And sometimes, they prompt similar mind-altering reactions. Like the surrealistic use of this slogan, “Aloha in Action,” by Steve Yoder, the caustic, sovereignty-dissing 15th House District GOP hopeful. Sure, Steve. If you say so.
Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger, Dylan Hooser, has picked a design that plays up the family name, apparently banking on papa's perceived popularity, though it still remains to be seen whether that ultimately turns out to be a benefit, or a liability. In any case, it doesn't carry the same clout as, say, a Kawakami or a Kaneshiro.
Dylan is facing off against Rep. Jimmy Tokioka, who I ran into yesterday while having lunch at Rob's. He was with Sen. Ron Kouchi, who told me the state had in fact ended up funding eight new pesticide inspector positions. Jimmy said he'd never opposed the funding, it had merely been his stance that if the counties wanted to pass laws they should be prepared to cover the costs themselves, rather than looking to the Lege for funding.
Seems Sen. David Ige was the one who found the dough for the positions. Good thing he's running for governor, and thus interested in currying the favor of neighbor islanders who are convinced they're living in a toxic soup, though one created solely by the chemical/seed companies. Because nobody else uses any poisons on these islands. Right?
Heard Sen. Clayton Hee ran a poll to see if he had a shot at guv. The pollsters floated various scenarios: Ige vs Abercrombie, Hee vs Ige, Hee vs Abercrombie, and a three-way of Hee, Abercrombie and Ige. And Ige kept coming up the winner. Though one politico compared Ige's personality to three-day-old tako poke, bland may prove to be the tonic for voters weary of Abercrombie's abrasive, antagonistic, Washington-style politics.
Locally, we've got Councilmen Mel Rapozo and Gary Hooser teaming up on Wednesday to convince their colleagues to call for County Attorney Al Castillo's resignation by adopting a resolution proclaiming the Council has “no-confidence” in him. Mmm, yeah, so who does? But then we quickly get to the next question: Who else would even want that crappy job?
The resolution, which is totally non-binding, and thus legally meaningless, nonetheless serves a powerful political purpose, providing convenient cover for a “bash Al day” in Council chambers. Gary can rag on Al for not giving him the opinion he wanted re: Bill 2491, and Mel can get in a few swipes about the Tim Bynum case.
Others with a wicked grudge against Al will also crawl out of the woodwork to avail themselves of this opportunity to cast aspersions unchallenged on public access TV. It's kind of like giving the mayor dirty lickin's by proxy. No doubt former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri and her loyal henchmen, Glenn Mickens and Ken Taylor, will each deliver their six minutes of froth and fury.
Speaking of Shay, a very good source says she is absolutely determined to run for Council, though she has not yet pulled papers. And neither, interestingly, has Mason Chock, who was appointed to the Council last fall to cast a vote overriding the mayor's veto of 2491. Oh, yeah, and also to fill the vacancy let by Nadine Nakamura.
But guess who did pull papers? That's right: former Council Chair Kaipo Asing. To which I can only say, OMG. I knew there was an anti-”red shirt” backlash brewing, but I wasn't expecting it to take quite that turn.
Nor was I expecting Sheilah Miyake, whose disgraceful performance as planning inspection supervisor fueled Bynum's expensive civil rights lawsuit, to turn around and make her own claim against the county. Yup, she's trying to recover legal fees incurred while defending herself in her personal capacity. Taxpayers already paid to represent her in her “professional” capacity, if we can call it that, considering she has absolutely no qualifications for her job and got it solely for political reasons.
Ah, the cheekiness knows no bounds. If only we sue her to recover all the salary and benefits she never was entitled to receive all these years.
Tim, meanwhile, is trying to beef up his creds with the anti-GMO crowd by introducing a bill that would create a new real property tax classification that he has dubbed “agronomics.” It will “include properties that use their land primarily for science, research and development of crops that do not directly gain monetary profit from the ultimate consumer.”
This is in keeping with an urban myth that Tim and the red-shirts actively perpetuate: the seed companies are using Kauai solely to test experimental pesticides and crops, while producing nothing of agricultural value. Which is partly true, and makes for great propaganda.
Except they also produce seed that is shipped to the mainland and planted there to produce more seed, which is sold to the farmers who cultivate commodity crops that are fed to livestock and also turned into Cheetos and baby formula and the corn syrup ubiquitous in so many processed foods.
Gee, I wonder how that bill would impact acreage where Grove Farm is testing biofuel crops? Or the land owned by College of Tropical Ag up at the experimental station, the research plots at KCC? Does the state even pay property taxes?
Oh, and Tim wants to have it in effect for the
2014 election 2015-16 FY
budget, which means they have to adopt it by July 1. Right. Can you
spell political posturing? Yes, Tim, let's rush through another bill
affecting only the seed companies. Because, ya know, we didn't learn
from 2491, so let's adopt another industry-specific bill that has lawsuit written all
And then we can blame Al for burning through special counsel money like gasoline-soaked guinea grass.
Round and round and round it goes, and where it will stop, nobody knows.