Friday, June 6, 2014

Musings: Prescience and Predictability

It wasn't prescience, but political predictability, that prompted me to previously proclaim that Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser was using the anti-GMO movement to position himself as the head of an organization.

And sure enough, shortly after he filed for re-election, Gary announced he is president of a newly formed nonprofit — Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, or HAPA — and immediately began soliciting donations.

Which means he's created a new funnel for mainland money, and it will be years before we can see who is supporting this group's agenda and activities. Once again, transparency and disclosure are for the "other guys."

While Gary contends HAPA is devoted to fostering “grassroots participation in democracy,” the group has just one campaign: “defending Kauaʻi and all Hawaiʻi from the harmful actions of these companies.” By which is meant the chemical/seed companies.

That made me think of a letter I got from a westside resident who was saying she had supported Gary and the pesticide/GMO regulatory Bill 2491 because she and her neighbors needed some relief.

And while I could certainly understand that desire, I thought, yes, but what relief have they gotten, or will they actually ever get? Nothing has changed, other than what the companies voluntarily agreed to do, in terms of buffers and disclosure. Nor will it change through the years that this badly flawed bill drags through the courts.

When are people going to wake up and see they are being shamelessly used to further one man's ambitions? Remember, this is the man who told me "it doesn't matter if the bill is enforced. All that matters is getting it passed."

As in giving Gary a new schtick and sound byte with "the little island that could." 

Meanwhile,  in the real world, no enforcement = no relief.

Though Gary claims the group's board of directors is “diverse,” a quick look at the like-minded line-up proves otherwise: Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff, Andrea Brower, Aria Juliet Castillo, Lorilani Keohokalole-Torio, Josh Mori, Malia Chun (Councilman Mason Chock's sister), Bart Dame (who I know only from the extremely vicious and ugly hate messages he sent me), Laura Harrelson, Bianca Kai Isaki, Ikaika Hussey, Maui publicist Katie McMillan, Josh Mori, Karen Shishido, Cade Watanabe and good old Walter Ritte Jr.

In catering to the non-thinking/group-think set, HAPA has helpfully boiled down its mission to three bumper stickers: Take Back Government; People over Profits, and Think Global, Act Local.

Of course, Gary doesn't mean we should also take back our government from him. Just "the other guys." 

And should we vote him out of office, he will blame the dirty deeds of the chem companies — though the anti-GMO movement certainly rivals its foe in that department — and assume the role of martyred victim.

The press release says Gary serves as president of HAPA in a volunteer capacity, but you can be certain that should he lose the election, he will quickly be paid to sell his message of “the little island that could.”  Which is what he's been seeking all this time at our expense: a voice on the national — shoots, international; heck, intergalactic  — stage.

Meanwhile, whether Gary's a volunteer or paid, his affiliation with HAPA creates a severe conflict of interest for him — and possibly Mason Chock, due to his sister's involvement — in dealing with any issue regarding pesticides, agriculture and the seed/chem companies that comes before the County Council.

And that's more than a little troubling, considering there's litigation pending and an environmental and public health impact study to be planned.

Which raises the question of why Gary would place himself in a position that renders him totally useless as a Councilman on the issue nearest and dearest to his heart.

But then, he's got bigger fish to fry than our dinky little County Council. 


Anonymous said...

Joan, so if he is re-elected, and the GMO ordinance comes up on Council calendar, wouldn't he have to recuse himself because of conflict? Chair Furfaro, and Councilwoman Yukimura have recused themselves from items where they served on a board related to certain agenda items.

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, he would. If he's ethical, that is.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am very hopeful this election will result in 'Hooser the Political Hack' fading into the sunset. Go Chief Perry.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan!

Anonymous said...

Gary Hooser has been an advocate for the little guy and for fair play for many years.
He tried to be fair with his partners when he developed Waioli Gardens and other subdivisions on Kauai. He used other people's money, but he really really tried to pay them back. As a Real Estate magazine magnate, he continued his foray into Big Bucks and he tried to be fair as he charged 2000 bucks per page. Which, finally brings Gary to politics..let's see Real Estate, Publishing and Politics, OMG William Randolph Hearst, right in our midst Now all we need is Philanthropy? I get by with a little help from my friends. I agree with Gary's position on GMOs, but as a Councilman, he gotta go.....Gary, would never "conflict" himself of a Council vote.

Anonymous said...

"Which means he's created a new funnel for mainland money, and it will be years before we can see who is supporting this group's agenda and activities. "

Speaking of which Joan, your solititations for donations are also a funnel for mainland money. Will you be reporting what interests are supporting your agenda?

Joan Conrow said...

Actually, all the donations have been local, and none of them have been "interests," just individuals.

And they've been made by people who appreciate my blog and my writing, not in support of any particular agenda. Indeed, many have made a point of saying they don't always agree with me, but appreciate that I'm here, offering another perspective and reportage not found elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:19, maybe you are confused, non profit's have to report, but otherwise, anyone can ask for donations.

Anonymous said...

1:19 I sent some dollars to Joan and will continue to do so. I respect how she shakes Kauai up. If there was a "pie in the face" contest, Joan would win. She has the Council guys, Corn guys, million dollar boutique farms, old and young hippies, dumb sh*t surfer dudes, the babes, realtors, anti-GMOs, GMOs and many in between rankled. No one else touches the corners of BS, like Joan do. KE is a service. One woman, with a pen.
It is a lot of work to do a blog of this caliber.
I do not like seeing my friends blasted by the Blog, but if you schtick yourself in the public arena you should expect a little backlash.
On the other hand, please lay off Gary Hooser. He knows that Kauai needs mainland money and mainland ideas to reshape the island.

Anonymous said...

You demand other people reveal their financial backers, and question their motives for donating. I just think you should be willing to do the same.

As for not representing "interests," do you expect people who donate to you might be the same people who support a pro-GMO, Pro-Carvalho, Anti-Barca, Anti-Hoosier island?

You know those GMO companies have tons of money for "outreach."

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks, 4:38.

To 5 p.m. -- I have only "demanded" that nonprofits and groups engaged in lobbying reveal their financial backers, as is required by law.

As for those who have donated to me, I have no idea who they support politically. But I'd think it highly unlikely they were using GMO "outreach" money.

Still, I understand it's hard for those in the echo chamber to accept that I actually do have broad-based community support.

Anonymous said...

try this…kinda similiar to the circular arguments about GMO
Guns don't kill people.
People with guns kill people.
People without guns don't kill people with guns because they don't have guns so if people don't have guns then the people won't be killed with guns because the people won't have guns.

Anonymous said...

Why did Gary Hooser leave the Senate? He could have been a lot more effective working on the pesticide issue at the state level. But trying to get the county to regulate pesticides and gmo testing seems far fetched.

Anonymous said...

9:33 Gary left the Senate because he had higher ambitions. He was ineffective as a Senator, he made no alliances and had no influence. The Senate has its own issues, but they can smell a self glorifying man from a mile away. Gary is friendly, but he is not a man of his word. He would never take a bullet for a buddy, he would leave a soldier in the field and he tells stories out of school. Sooner or later his greed, pride and ego takeover. But then, what do I know? I have only known him since the early 80s. He was a carpet cleaner then. Not bad, carpet cleaner to carpetbagger.

Anonymous said...

Where is Gary H. from. Background says a lot about a person.

Anonymous said...

9:33 - That's the best description of GH that I've heard. What his current fans don't understand is that he'll throw them under the bus in a second if he has to.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous comments that disparage others have no credibility. What was/is your relationship to Gary? That would be revealing and give a clear understanding if you have an agenda or not. Perhaps Gary was an independent in the lege and didn't play political football with the "big boys" because it would compromise his values. Joan is adamant that Gary is grandstanding. I can't buy that hook, line and sinker. I thought he was generally sincere and professional in his handling of 2491 hearings, giving equal time to all. When seed companies refused to answer many questions he asked, is the only time I saw some frustration.

I'm sure there was some feeding of the ego but everyone on the council is guilty of that.
I don't know him personally but I don't get the impression that he's insincere.

Anonymous said...

@ June 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM

"I can't buy that hook, line and sinker."

I think you bought GH "hook, line and stinker." LOL!

Anonymous said...

Joan, do you really think what we have now as far as councilmembers would be better than Hooser?

I donʻt always agree with his methods and mannerisms but come on, he does not seem to be of that mindset to squeeze everything you can from this island like Yukimura, Asing, Bynam, and others that have been so visionless and on the side of developers ALWAYS. They are blatant sell-outs.

I really donʻt see Hooser as that kind of person.
I fear someone like Perry getting in. Donʻt trust him nor his criminal brother Warren.

Anonymous said...

The SAME people in office will produce the SAME results....because they are unable to think outside of the narrow little boxes they live in.

It will be more of the same unless we get some "new blood" that is not connected to the GMO companies, the GOB, and the money train and power.

Zero Seven

Anonymous said...

Joan, I can just hear you screaming.

Anonymous said...

Gary was a developer and realtor. Don't be fooled.

Anonymous said...

11:46 Ain't no body that ain't a smart bidniss person on Kauai that would answer any thing from Hooser or Bynum. It is best to not even have a meeting. These 2 are out to gitcha, Big-Ag knows it, PMRF knows it, Hotels know it....why talk to the 2 fistees when you know they are out gitcha? and now, Kauai they have gots you...TWO years hence, Bynum is bye bye (happily eating his way thru the Council's gift of 300K), da Hoos is a high paid, big cheese at the Ecclesiastical HAPA Court of Business Throttling and Kauai is reeling, paying millions of bucks to Big Ag for lost Ag income and repairing the social/racial disharmony caused by the duos,my,my.

Anonymous said...

We were all unenlightened in one way or another before. Itʻs the state of mind we are in at the present that is important. And our core values.

Anonymous said...

There's something to be said for finishing the job. When you don't, that says a lot about your core values.

Anonymous said...

Too bad, there is a new york state of mind here now

Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of nonsense.

Make a case, plain and simple.
Especially June 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM with your fake pidgeon.

Anonymous said...

Whoever is the anon posting @6:57... All your posts come off as unreadable gibberish cause of all those ridiculous affected mannerisms you use. If you ever hope to make a point, just start writing in a normal manner.

Anonymous said...

I'd welcome a little New York state of mind on Kauai if it came with 10 New York restaurants, a delivery service and bars full of people who knew how to make it past 10pm without starting a fight.

Anonymous said...

Joan-I am sorry if this is not appropriate for your blog....But Mr Parker almost nailed it.

Start at about 650....South Park Kauai Fistees in action.

Anonymous said...

Oh cool, Southpark school flies a 48 star flag.

Anonymous said...

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's a little know fact: Kaua`i does, in fact, have a "Code of Ethics." But it's not for lack of trying that county officials have failed to undermine it.

Very important read in Andy Parx news. It's how Joann Yukimura is trying to undermine the people of Kauai like she and Nakamura did on the toxic spraying GMO bill.

She wants to let all of her elite friends go in front of council to ask for more money from the tax payers in exchange for votes or pay raises. The people on boards and commission should not be able to testify in front of council and dismiss their conflict of I retest to receive more money that they can waste fully spend and give raises to their incompetent selves.

And that's not a hypothetical- it actually happened when BOE Chair Mark Hubbard came to the council for money for the Kaua`i Action and Planning Alliance. And when BOE member Judy Lenthall got cash for the Kaua`i Food Bank of which she was the executive director- and when, possibly the worst of all, when attorney Lorna Nishimitsu came to the council representing the Kikia`ola Land Corporation, developers of the humongous Kukui`ula development in Po`ipu.

Later Councilmember Mel Rapozo got a pass from the BOE on contracting with the county even though the amount of those contracts was over the legally permitted amount. And of course the BOE found nothing wrong with theie own actions.

This is insane and Yukimura should go back to swinging on vines at the Taylor Camp.

This means that the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch your" prohibition will be dead except in the narrowest of situations.

Right now if a member of the salary commission is a lawyer for a developer, he or she could represent their client asking to rezone 1000's acres of ag land to build a resort and then turn around and give all the councilmember raises. Or a member of the Civil Service Commission could ask for $100,000 for a pet project their non-profit is pursuing and then make sure the swing vote on the council's uncle got a nice cushy county job. Or a member of the Board of Review could do the same and then rule for a councilmember's- or for that matter her family, friend or business associate- appeal of the assessment value of their home.

This is the same thing Mayor Carvalho is doing with hiring all his family and friends that are Incompetents. Nearly 200 new county workers since he has taken over as Mayor and the services on Kauai has gotten worse because these people are not qualified, all they are is COUNTY of Kauai WELFARE recipients.