Thursday, August 7, 2014

Musings: Blow Hards

As Hurricane Iselle bears down on the Islands — curious, how the ones that have hit all start with an “I” — the question is both how much damage it will inflict, and how it will affect turnout in Saturday's primary election.

On Kauai, it could affect the race between Democrat Rep. Jimmy Tokioka and challenger Dylan Hooser. Though initially the contest seemed a slam dunk for Jimmy, he's apparently feeling a bit of heat as the vote draws nearer, taking the unprecedented step of personally asking people to vote for him, and their friends and family, too.

As I've stated earlier, the voters in that district will lose no matter who they pick. Jimmy is a good ole boy to da max, while Dylan is a tepid political novice who already has a pile of enemies at the state house due to the intense antipathy toward his father, former Senator and current Councilman Gary Hooser, and Dylan's own “shame” banner tactics there earlier this year.

Speaking of Gary, he's barely campaigned, though it's unclear whether it's due to indifference or arrogance. He can't possibly want another term on the Council, especially since he's ready to capitalize on his anti-GMO agenda as director of the nonprofit HAPA. If he's defeated, it will play right into his victim rhetoric, as in the big bad chemical companies succeeded in driving him out.

Uh, no. If Gary loses it will be because his fellow citizens have had it up to here with his grandstanding and self-serving antics at the expense of the county's social fabric and coffers.

Because isn't that what this election is really all about? Determining just how big the "silent majority" really is, and just how powerful the “red shirt” contingent that pushed through the pesticide/GMO regulatory Bill 2491/Ordinance truly is?

I'm predicting Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. will handily defeat Dustin Barca, newcomer Arryl Kaneshiro will show in the top seven, Arthur Brun will do well and Councilman Tim Bynum will be pushed out.. Councilman Mason Chock is also going to have trouble holding on to his seat, in large part due to the sketchy way he got appointed — the secretive, "you're only in if you'll vote to override the mayor's veto of 2491" action that is now being challenged in court by the seed/chem companies.

Speaking of which, it was disappointing to see Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura oppose changing the Council's process of filling a vacancy. Picking the eighth-place candidate from the last election may not be the best bet, but how can JoAnn honestly say the Council has a process that works, when its actions with Mason caused such huhu and raised questions of illegality?

I'm still off-island, and hoping Kauai is spared the wrath of a hurricane. But just in case, as an Iniki veteran, I offer this tip: bring your screens inside. Flying debris does a number on the mesh, and the mosquitoes were fierce in the hot, humid, wet aftermath of Iniki.


Anonymous said...

Jimmy Tokioka put in years helping various groups on Kauai. He was a good Council person and an excellent legislator. In the hully-gully of votes in the Leg there are sacrifices. Jimmy's much ballyhooed vote for Traditional marriage was in his paraphrased words "a reflection of how Kauai's people voted in the election. Kauai was Heavily for Traditional marriage on the ballot. Jimmy doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He personally has had many life issues and he is tempered with love, respect and hard work.
DYLAN is perfect example of Nepotism. No education. No legal kind work experience, he be a hippy, gets tattooed to da max, gets arrested (after long investigation and sees court process first hand), get off from heavy charges due to "technical error" and WHAM...then .Daddy Hoos says Sonny, get a haircut, wear long sleeves and the dumbsh*t voters on Kauai will git you into Leg. We will lie about Jimmy's record. People love me and the Hoos name is all you need, You don't need no experience, you don't need no history of service, all ya need is da Hoos name and that's it....Make sure to keep your hair short and wear those long sleeves.

Anonymous said...

The residents and businesses of Kauai need and deserve better on the council. The property tax change is just one more example of a council that is asleep at the wheel. I think term limits would be a good idea. 6 years and then get out and live in the environment you helped shape. Furfaro - time to go. Bynum - pack up and get out. Mel - stay one more term but challenge the mayor on his drunken spending spree. No excuse that the bloated budget passed with only a minor number of hard questions. The rest - good riddance. Let Perry, Brun and some of the others take a shot at making positive change. Can they do worse? I highly doubt it. Bernard is the best choice but that's not exactly saying a lot. Bernard - get a backbone and stand up to the union and your friends - cut some positions and have the employees contribute more to their golden benefit package - no more room for being spineless in this area. Finally, do something to correct the property tax mess. Insane. You can't keep shifting the burden to businesses either. At some point, our #1 industry will simply say, "screw you, I'm going to Mexico, Costa Rico, Bahamas, etc. Enough - get a clue and stop spending like drunken sailors.

Anonymous said...

No one remembers Hurricane Dot (doesn't start with an "I")?

Karen said...

While it may seem logical to appoint the 8th place finisher to County Council in the event there's a vacancy, what if the 8th place finisher only received 300 votes or something low like that? Hardly a mandate from the citizenry. I know that wasn't the case in the last election, but just saying. I think thought needs to be put into how to fairly appoint someone in the event of a vacancy. I like the idea of applying- make the candidates' resume known- perhaps via newspaper, and people can let Councilmembers know whom they think should be appointed. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Stay safe Kauai!

Unknown said...

Glad to see you're still watching over us, Joan.

Anonymous said...

Ok hear's my bottom six starting from the bottom meaning they are gone Georgi, Leong, DeCosta, Laranio, Cowden, Drum Roll BYNUM Bye Bye Go back to Cali after you go Vegas with all your Kauai Taxpayer money you fool

Anonymous said...

Its wrong to vote for Dylan Hooser because you like his dad. Its also just as wrong to hate on him because of his dad. I think he is under qualified, but I voted for him because of Tokioka's votes in the senate.

Anonymous said...

Tokioka isn't in the Senate. He's in the House.

Anonymous said...

Tokioka has seemingly lost his way. The attack ad in yesterday's mail was brutal but its message was important. Why does the majority of Jimmy's backing come from Oahu? Again, no real choices here. Another Hooser? - NOOOO thank you.

Anonymous said...

Gary Hooser is arrogant, pompous, and has opinions as fickle as the wind. I cannot speak intelligibly about his son Dylan as there's no record to even evaluate him from. As for Gary, talk about squirming for votes. He wants to unwind all of the tax reform that resulted in tax increases to homeowners at a cost of $3.1 million according to Finance Director Steve Hunt, yet he wants all of the decreases from these reforms to be allowed to stick. Sounds like Gary is trying to buy the votes of the 6,000 or so that got increases at an average cost of about $500 per vote. I guess that's one way to get around raising your own campaign funds. Just use taxpayer's monies ... from non-voting taxpayers ... to keep you in office. Disgusting. The problem is not the tax increases to about half the owner-occupants, it's about the difference between owners of similar tax classes. The tax cap created two classes of taxpayers within the same class; subsidizers and subsidizees. Why should I have to continue to pay more in taxes to allow the County to tax others at preferred rates? Proposing to undo the release of the cap and go back to the system we've had for the past 10 years will restore those tax inequities and set up a system to promote future inequities. At least Bynum sees this problem and is working on adjusting the outliers rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Gary needs to get a spine not give away more taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Joan- you are correct.Gary could give 2 of Dylan's big, moist double-papered DOOBIES to get elected to Council. He is up and on to bigger things with HAPA. The big mainland lobby groups have found a gullible population and they get a really nice place to visit while they spread their propaganda.
As the election heats up, I am flabbergasted that Kauai has the likes of Hooser and Jackpot Bynum still around. Uhm Tim- Didja see that bans on plastic bags add more to the landfill. Now people buy plastic bags for trash liners. Between these 2 baboozes, pretty soon Kauai will have passed so many laws and raised so many taxes that a Monk Seal will have to get a permit and pay rent to sleep on the beach. Tim's recent explanation of his tax increase (yes Tim, anyway you cut the papaya, you own the higher taxes), he has the AUDACITY to bring Bryan Baptiste into the conversation. Tim in his frantic, sweaty short strokes even disturbs the peaceful dead. Bryan was a good man, Tim, hands off.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor and county council members are Pimps!

They are forcing the people of Kauai to make their paper. The people should look at Kauai jobs indeed and you will all find out that the county of Kauai is buying votes by creating about 30 jobs for the departments that have failed the tax payers. The water dept, parks and recs, waste water, and other county jobs.

Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! Have gone up every year to the tune of 10 or more million dollars since the mayor and this council started robbing its people 6 years ago.

The real estate fleecing is a dog and pony show. They are putting a hero on a white horse show. Well we have seen this scene play out before.

KIUC demonized the 3K people who wanted to keep their analog meters. KIUC forced like the county forced the people an unnecessary nickel and dime taxation.

KIUC made the other 27K people believe that if they voted for the people to keep their analog and not pay the extra 10 dollars a month then they would be forced to front the bill. KIUC claimed that they saved the rate payers a lot of money by cutting meter reader positions. That was a sham. KIUC stated that they would save the coop millions of dollars. Another sham for they raised the rates April of this year. KIUC is growing its profits at the expense of the rate payers. Their salaries are the highest paying jobs on island. They spend there profits to hide all of their rip off gains. It's a carbon copy of big banks, the auto industry and the thousands of false non profits that are under investigations and lost federal funding and tax incentives.

The council learned that they can steal votes like how KIUC did. They learned how to divide and conquer. The county of Kauai is learning how to rob the poor and give to the rich like KIUC does. The top 1 percent gets all the dough while the rest fight for the crumbs. Keep the busy fighting against each other so they won't identify or solve the real problems.

The Mayor and council selling out to buy votes by offering friends and family county jobs is fraud, waste and abuse.

Do not vote for familiar names! Do not vote for the incumbents! Do not vote for the good ol boys Kaneshiro, Brun, Chock, Kualii, Perry, Mel Rapozo, Kagawa, Yukimura, Furafaro, Hooser, Bynum and the rest of the gudots!

Do not Vote for these foolish slaves!

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last. -MLK jr

Anonymous said...

Lost in this property tax uproar is the fact that many homeowners (especially resident middle class homeowners in homestead class) saw their property taxes go down dramatically. The increases were mostly in mega-mansions and other 'highly desirable' property locations like beachfront and such.

Anonymous said...

7:53... You are correct, the total taxes from the Homestead class dropped by $432,000 as reported at last Wrdnesday's council meeting. It was also stated by the Finance Director that only 83 homeowners in this class got increases greater than $1,000 and of the 5,200 that got increases 89% were less than $500. Councilmembers that parade a few of the "poster children" that got dramatic increases need to realize that these are the exceptions rather than the rule. More people, especially those of us regular folks that live in more modest homes, got tax relief as well as the assurance that were no longer subsidizing those with big tax breaks that make have been arbitrarily set when assessed values were much less accurate than today's assessments. Find a way to take care of the extreme increases but don't take away the fairness this new paradigm has created.

Anonymous said...

7:53 7:49 you guys are as Pogo says "we have found the enemy and the enemy is us"....don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the man behind the tree.
The answer is to streamline County services and CUT the budget. Once Hooser and Bynum get done with raising all tax classes except the Homestead class, they will get the Homestead class as well. BYNUM's tax increase will raise all rents...the working slob will get hit, but that's OK - you 2 are fine. Those working slobs may get hit, but who cares? BTW, most people are RENTERS. Vote for Bynum, Hooser, Yukimura, Furfaro and Chock and get TAX increases. This ain't a new "paradigm" this is regular old BS, the working folks get the shaft. Thank you, Mr. Bynum.

Anonymous said...

7:49 and 7:53 make an important contribution to this discussion. Lost also is the fact that Hawaii has the lowest average property tax rates in the US. Even when you factor in that our average property value is higher, we still rank in the bottom half of states in terms of property taxes paid by households.

The bottom line is that there is very little cost to non-residents to owning property here. This leaves residents in the situation of having to earn an income in our local economy but competing with the rest-of-the-world when it comes time to buy a home. Worse, because of the demand from outside we end up with second-homes, TVRs, investment properties, time-shares, etc., having a higher value to developers than owner-occupied housing.

Raising the price of property for non-residents should help residents by lowering demand from the rest of the world. Property taxes seem like a simple way to do this. We could even ratchet up the property tax much higher, while giving owner-occupants a larger exemption and renters a deduction through their Hawaii (resident) income tax. To me, this seems like an easier solution to our chronic housing problem than the complex rules for affordable housing that we have tried (unsuccessfully) so far. Instead of fighting the market, use it, and make the out-of-state investors pay for the externalities they impose on our community.

In this fundamental idea, Bynum is on target. Unfortunately, he is a very poor messenger. He is also a poor politician. If good land-use and property taxes were his main interests, he should not have wasted political capital on issues tangential (at best) to the core competencies of the county. He jumped on the crazy train only to have Hooser throw him and his agenda under it.

Anonymous said...

In most states, unlike Hawaii, property taxes pay for schools.