Thursday, June 5, 2014

Musings: Pick a Winner

After the deadline for filing papers to run for political office had passed, a friend sent me a text:

Woohoo neither Shaylene [Iseri] or Kaipo [Asing] filed.

To which I replied:

It says something when you can get more excited about who isn't running than who is.

Prompting my friend to respond:

Ain't that the truth. I can't think of anyone in this current slate that I'm EXCITED about.

There's certainly no shortage of candidates, with a whopping 20 County Council candidates, three people seeking the mayor's chair and all the state House reps facing challengers.

Yet as Auntie Maria Hickling so astutely observed:

Why is it that all salaried/hourly County jobs have specific "minimum education / work experience" requirements for hiring -- yet our elected offices do not? Sadly, Kaua`i elections are nothing more than a "People's Choice" contest for the most part...sigh...

Excellent point. Some people keep clamoring for a county manager, but why not start with some basic candidate qualifications, like high school diploma and at least one term on a board or commission to show voters you have some sense of how government actually works?

Though the list of candidates is lengthy, that's no guarantee of change. A crowded field tends to favor incumbents, and they're all up for another go.

Still, aside from Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa, who I already predicted are shoo-ins — Mel, because he managed to remain in good favor with the “red shirts,” despite voting against the pesticide/GMO regulatory Bill 2491, and Ross because he has a remarkably solid base of local, grassroots donors that spans the west and east sides — I think some of the incumbents are going to meet with resistance.

I know a lot of us were disappointed to see Council Chair Jay Furfaro run yet again, just like it was a little shocking to see the headline, “JoAnn Yukimura seeks 10th term on County Council.” Cause sometimes, it's like, mahalo for all your service, but 'nuff already.

In a recent video speech, Councilman Gary Hooser asserted that the chem/seed companies will be gunning for him, Tim Bynum and Mason Chock because they supported Bill 2491. Funny, JoAnn and Jay also voted for that bill, yet somehow they're not part of the “in-crowd.”

It apparently never occurred to Gary that voters might have their own reasons not to cast ballots for those three: Gary for his disingenuousness, political pandering and divisiveness; Tim for his whining and $290,000 payout from the county, and Mason for the sadly shady way he got appointed to the Council to override the mayor's veto of 2491. As I previously reported:

Mason Chock, who was chosen yesterday to complete Nadine Nakamura's Council term, said citizens had expressed “discontent” to him about the process that led to his appointment. The Council, after saying last week it would take the veto override vote without a seventh member, abruptly changed course on Thursday when it became clear it didn't have five votes for an override.

Most of the other candidates are facing serious name recognition issues, aside from former Councilman KipuKai Kualii, Police Chief Darryl Perry, Aryl Kaneshiro, whose father, Daryl, was a longtime Councilman, and Dylan Hooser, son of the aforementioned Gary.

Though it's tempting to vote for someone based on name recognition alone, I urge people to take some time to really understand where the candidates stand on issues. And this includes looking at who they are as people, as well as their ability to actually implement the proposals they favor.

I'd like to close by directing you to Luke Evslin's always excellent blog, Ka Wae, which is published monthly. In his most recent post, he encourages folks to dig deep, especially in the mayor's race, where surfer/MMA fighter Dustin Barca is squaring off against the Mayor:

Gandhi famously wrote that “the pursuit of truth does not permit violence on one’s opponent.” Barca’s candidacy is currently painted as a protest against Mayor Carvalho. And there are many who will vote for him solely because of that.  But, in order to have a realistic shot at winning, he needs to do more to separate himself from any threats of violence, aggression, and conspiracy theories.  Most importantly, he needs to make this a campaign about finding real solutions to our gravest systemic issues.

As George Orwell stated, we have three agents of social change: politics, violence, and education.  On Kaua’i, we now have a clear choice between two of those three: politics or violence.

In the same way that I hope that Barca can move beyond the rhetoric of violence that often defined the anti-GMO movement, I hope that Mayor Carvalho sees the inherent anger and disenfranchisement of the Barca campaign as a wake-up call to move beyond back-room politics. Barca has identified some of the problems, can Carvalho do any better in identifying solutions?

Quite frankly, I don't have much hope that either will change their ways. Which leads me to another quote that Luke posted:

“If you hate violence and don’t believe in politics, the only major remedy remaining is education.”
-George Orwell

Yeah. I think I'll go with door #3. And not the fake kine education you so often get on social media or KKCR talk shows, but the real thing, where people actually discuss and debate ideas and issues, learn from history, understand civics and see the value of looking at and considering the bigger picture, rather than taking "with us or against us" stances and spouting overly simplistic “solutions” that only make things worse.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, Joan........

You sure expect alot from voters!
I might take some work.
Education? Wahts dat?

Exploring people's experience with organizations, bureaucracy, business,management skills, vision, and a plan for action....Wahts dat?

Easier to vote for a name you know, the same race, or same colored know?

Dr Shibai

Unknown said...

I also choose door #3 (education), but sadly college which formerly provided venues for discussion and debate of community issues have morphed their definition of "neutrality" to mean, "if the issue is controversial we will not support public discussion and debate of the issue in this venue."

On the other hand if any party wishes to rent space at our facility to push their own agenda please contact us.

Anonymous said...

We all know what the issues are more or less. The problem is that they’d all be fixed if it were obvious and easy to do so. Consequently we are left with believing the platitudes of the campaigners with the false hope that fixes will be made. Obama was a clear example of this.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this election will be one of getting back to sharing ideas and looking for compromise.

The big ballyhoo in Hooser's recent epic speech, where he cites his attempts to "negotiate" with Big Ag is a joke.
I guarantee you one thing, if Tim Bynum or Gary Hooser knock on any business's door it isn't to talk. Businesses know and the regular folks should too, there is only one thing these guys want...No Big Ag, No Hotel, No PMRF. These two wonders have an agenda.

Bynum, Hooser, Chock and Jay wouldn't give 2 papayas for the people of Kauai. Joann might care, but her gobbledeegook reasoning gets in the way of any result.
Mayor Bernard cares for the people and does his best working around a self serving (give Jackpot big dough) and self-centered Council.
The only council guys who give a darn about the working people are Rapozo and Kagawa. Of course, Kauai is lucky to have the dynamic trio of Kouchi, Tokioka and Kawakami, who get results, and do not wave self glorifying flags.

Anonymous said...

No worries for Gary Hooser. He is now, the President of the new group - The Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA). A non-profit? But as we know, non-profits can and do pay their leaders hundreds of thousands per year.
Good move, Gary. Prepare for the future....make dough, keep a claim on self glory, keep power over your minions. A good exit strategy. The involvement with this group should keep you from voting on any County Bill that concerns farming, ocean, building, health or environmental issues.
This group's zeitgeist has pre-determined your vote.

Anonymous said...

Kauai Snark, Blatant attempt to intimidate and silence Joan through implied the implied threat of physical violence.
Mysoginistic thugdom at it's best, violent terminology directed at a woman.
Ream, push down the throat of, take a bite out of beat down etc. Any questions about the tactics of Mr Parks and his associates is made clear.... STFU or else.
The complicity of the women posting is embarrassing as is the disclaimer of, never mind this is all in good fun and we are not associated with Barca.
Why not publish her home phone Andy..?

Please keep this site up so anyone with any doubt of the tactics and integrity of of Barca, Hooser, Cowden and asssociates can see the level they are prepared to sink, to race bait, intimidate and eliminate anyone who asks too many questions or breaks from the party dogma by the implied threat of physical violence.

People complaining about being "attacked" by Joan have come up with a solution, threaten her physically like so many other reporters in Mexico Pakistan and Russia , then have the audacity to worry about her mental stability.
Way to stay classy guys.
You better hope nothing bad happens so you don't get your asses dragged into court for terroristic threatening and inciting violence against a woman you disagree with.
Or have a anonymous blog pop up with your photo threatening a "reaming"....
Stay strong and safe Joan, donation on the way

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks, 7:47.

That's Andy Parx, Nomi "Babes Against Biotech" Carmona, Juan Wilson and the anti-GMO movement at its finest. Too chicken shit to even own their own shit.

Anonymous said...

Joan, 'tis surprising that you allow the mention of the snark blog, on your own blog. Purty weird, a blog about a blog. Andy, the Vapid Reporter, must be in orgiastic nirvana. Finally, a real nutjob has dribbled from Andy's jealousy of the impact of KE.
It seems that the snarkists have taken umbrage with KE mentioning "civilians" in the KE's pursuit of uncovering hypocrisy.
I am no GMOist, but as many are, I am sick of the hypocrites....starting with Andy's new refined Photo, gag me with Jerry Garcia's coke shpoon, a latent ascot and a fashion remake, doth maketh the "lipstick on a old pig", apropos.

Anonymous said...

The green energy power plant in the Jurassic park Knutzen gap albizia tree forest going towards the tree tunnel from halfway bridge is a huge BOMB!

The Nazi's has been trying to get back at America for WWII. Knutzen has connnections to the middle east and the radical germans (Nazi) but how about the Russian billionaire and Omidayr. Omindayr funds wars. The Israel commandos on Kauai with a radical towel group. The Russian is a radical mafia leader. Why is that huge Russian yacht in Hawaii and what is it doing and it's purpose? Are these guys sleeper cells trying to attack PMRF and Kokee?

This is grave news. All of Kauai should pay attention. If the green energy power plant blows up then it will cut off the west side of Kauai from the east side. It would be a huge strategic hit and the attack on America and the Pacific hub could be the main fighting arena. If they destroy the missile defense shield and satellite tracking station on Kauai or take over it then all people on Kauai is screwed.

A message to look into these people named above. Look at their connections and their backgrounds. That green energy power plant could be an atomic bomb.

Anonymous said...

Kauai is also lucky to have Dee Morikawa, a woman who has given her entire career to helping her community, who gets up at 3am to make it to the Capitol in time for work. She gets results and always listens. Do not forget about her.

Anonymous said...

Time to register to vote.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason Any Parx's blog doesn't have any followers...