Today marks the seventh anniversary of Kauai Eclectic, post number 1,725. To borrow a line from the Grateful Dead, “what a long, strange trip it's been.”
Because what could be stranger than covering Kauai politics? And most recently, the County Council's decision to appeal the court ruling that invalidated the pesticide/GMO regulatory Bill 2491/Ordinance 960.
It's not at all surprising that Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura, Jay Furfaro, Tim Bynum, Mason Chock and Gary Hooser voted in favor of the appeal, since they also voted for Bill 2491. Besides, what better way to avoid actually doing something to address people's concerns, while still being able to pander and grandstand?
Because everything is effectively on hold during an appeal, which could conveniently take years, thus delaying real action that might make a difference in the lives of their constituents, while allowing the politicians to continue their rhetoric.
No surprise there. It's been the Council's MO for the past eighteen months.
What is surprising is that these five are so keen to take a serious drubbing in the general election.
Though The Garden Island cited its own on-line poll that showed 57 percent of those who participate in such bogus exercises believe the judge was wrong, the primary election results told a far more accurate story: Councilmen Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa and newcomer candidate Arryl Kaneshiro, all opponents of 2491, were the top three vote-getters by a significant margin.
But rather than wise up and respond to the wishes of the voters, these five are continuing to go rogue, while misleading taxpayers into thinking the appeal will cost them just $12,750. Plus the $50,000 that the McCorriston law firm still has on account. Oh yeah, and any legal fees and costs that might be awarded the plaintiffs should they continue to prevail. But shhhh....let's not mention that.
What I found amusing was how Gary characterized McCorriston as a “first class” law firm and touted their offer of pro bono services as an indication of their integrity. Hmmm. I guess he forgot they're the same folks who defended the corrupt practices of the Bishop Estate.
Nor is it surprising that McCorriston wants to continue the case, which gives it the fifty grand still on the table, plus the same state and national publicity that certain Councilmembers crave. Not to mention it's a chance to continue their blood feud with former state Attorney General Margery Bronster, who whupped their asses in the Bishop Estate case and is now representing the chem/seed companies.
So yeah, why shouldn't Kauai taxpayers continue to be used as pawns in a bigger game? They've been played so well already.
And would it really be any skin off McCorriston's nose if they fail in the appeal — and thus allow state pre-emption, and possibly even federal pre-emption, to be legally established? These guys are the establishment's lawyers, don't forget.
What I found particularly tragic was this comment by JoAnn:
While Bill 2491 did trigger a very deep and unfortunate polarization, it did also raise a very, very important issue about our community’s health. It’s an issue that needed and needs to be addressed.
What JoAnn seems to be missing is how that “very deep and unfortunate polarization” will only continue to gape and widen through the duration of the appeal.
And if the Council is truly concerned about the community's health, why didn't it put that legal fee money toward the pesticide studies that the state Department of Agriculture only yesterday said are needed? Studies that DOA wants to do, but can't, because it doesn't have the money?
No, it's so much more fun to keep bashing the inaction of the state rather than give them money to come up with some facts that might show the whole 2491 campaign is built on fear-mongering and lies.
Oh, and speaking of health and facts, remember how I asked the other day whether Councilman Gary Hooser would stop spreading the lie about birth defects being 10 times the national average, now that a westside doctor totally debunked that claim as false?
Guess what? He's still lying. Yup, he repeated it again on his blog the very same day I wrote about it — along with all the other lies I've exposed. The guy is absolutely shameless and incorrigible. Apparently those who continue to follow him don't mind being lied to.
Well, some of us do.
Which brings me back to the seventh anniversary of Kauai Eclectic. Some folks have asked me why I continue to write it, especially in the face of attacks.
Practically, it's to help fill the huge gaps in coverage by The Garden Island and Honolulu newspapers, and keep folks informed.
Philosophically, it's because I'm motivated by the same beliefs as Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico-based reporter for the Dallas Morning News, who said:
Stories do matter. The truth is important. The truth is all we have.
I have to believe the truth is winning, and ultimately, the truth will prevail.
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Mahalo to all of you for reading, and for the Facebook posts, emails, texts, letters and phone calls expressing encouragement and support.