Thursday, December 18, 2014

Musings: Petty Politics

OK, now we know why failed Council candidate and KKCR talk show host Felicia Cowden mounted a smear campaign against Charter Commission nominee Allan Parachini.

Nobody asked me [to serve], and I understand the Charter,” she sniffed at yesterday's confirmation vote, which passed 6-1. Only Councilman Gary Hooser was opposed, because Allan dared to publicly criticize his campaign to pass the pesticide/GMO regulatory Bill 2491.

Oh, and Allan — a longtime journalist — makes Felicia “uncomfortable” when he attends KKCR programming meetings, apparently exposing by his mere presence her profound inadequacies as a talk show host.

Why is he there?” she asked. Of course, it's a public meeting about a publicly-funded community radio station. “But why is there? What does he want?”

Mmmm, maybe some accountability, professionalism and balance among the talk show hosts who have turned Kauai's community radio station into their own personal soapboxes?

Felicia then went on to claim that Allan “put out half-truths” and “knows how to twist the conversation that causes that stiffness in the spine.” Ahem.... Where's that mirror when you need it?

Allan's other heinous crimes? Well, according to Felicia he — gasp — entered Facebook conversations that caused "discomfort and divisiveness" among the anti-GMO crowd, and he worked in LA and Chicago, “urban centers with a really intense type of community,” whereas “Kauai is more gentle. We have a culture here of being polite.”

Well, we used to. Until da Hoos, Felicia and the other "fistees" turned it upside down in their mob-like quest to pass anti-GMO legislation, while giving Gary national exposure in hopes of advancing his political career. 

But according to Gary, it's not polite to publicly question a politician's motives — even when they're so blatantly self-serving — so long as the politician self-deludedly believes he's serving the public.

If we think we have problems filling committee positions today, it's going to be harder tomorrow,” Council Chair Mel Rapozo observed, noting that most people won't want to endure such ugliness for a position that demands hundreds of hours of volunteer service.

Now that Allan has been confirmed, and Buzzfeed has issued a correction (at the very bottom of a long story) clarifying that its allegations claiming he'd violated employment confidentiality were never substantiated or verified, let's hope The Garden Island devotes as much space to clearing Allan name as it did to trashing it.

Councilman JoAnn Yukimura, meanwhile, reminded us all why Mel imposed a strict time limit on Councilmember yakkity-yak. After she gave a 16-minute presentation supporting the call for a GE tax surcharge to fund public transportation, and spoke again, she wanted a third chance to speak to address comments made by Councilman KipuKai Kualii.

Mel said no, and JoAnn resisted. Mel again refused to grant her additional time, saying the Council — though not JoAnn and Gary — had approved rules that prohibited Councilmembers from speaking more than twice on an item.

The rule is here for a purpose,” Mel said. “Otherwise we go on all day long.”

JoAnn then challenged Mel's ruling, prompting a three-minute recess to consult the rule book. When they re-convened she said, “If I had been allowed to speak I would've been done by now.”

If we follow the rules we're not going to be where we are right now,” Mel responded. 

The Council voted 4-3 (with JoAnn, Gary and Mason Chock opposed) not to let JoAnn speak again. Then Gary, with a big smirk, used his second chance to speak to ask JoAnn to respond to KipuKai's comments, which she did.

Then JoAnn wanted to speak yet again, and Mel said no. JoAnn again appealed his ruling. “I”m glad that people are watching, because this is getting really silly,” Mel said.

So once again the Council voted 4-3 to follow its rules, which meant JoAnn had to can it.
Now this is precisely the kind of pettiness that arises when people believe that rules and a majority vote shouldn't apply to them. Yet ironically, Gary and JoAnn are the ones who constantly evoke the democratic process.

In other actions, the “agronomics” bill championed by Gary and former Councilman Tim Bynum is officially dead. Gary predictably failed to muster sufficient votes to override the mayor's veto of the measure, which would have allowed lands cultivated in seed and experimental crops to be taxed at a higher rate. 

Only JoAnn was kind of on his side, casting a silent vote that expressed displeasure with the veto, without actually opposing it. 

It's fascinating to watch these two becoming allies, even though Gary has burned her so many times.

And the Hawaii County Council voted 5-4 yesterday to appeal the judicial ruling that overturned its anti-GMO bill on the grounds that it was pre-empted by state authority. Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety offered to do the legal work for free, prompting a commenter on yesterday's post to aptly note: “They won't stop until pre emption is case law in Hawaii.”


Anonymous said...

Felicia understands the charter? That would be news to anyone who listened to her credulous and amateurish "public affairs" show, where she naively asked a guest "what's an amicus brief." She appears not to understand the first thing about civic participation and views it as a forum for her grandiose delusions of adequacy. She and Hooser prefer to preach to the choir and whine like children when their views are challenged. And Hooser wants to be a lawyer? Does he know we have an adversarial legal system? Their performances yesterday were an embarrassment and served only to showcase their shortcomings as human beings and would-be politicians.

Parachini is to be commended for courageously facing down these intellectual cretins whose mindless mob has subjected him to unremitting vilification and attacks. And don't expect any sort of retraction from TGI. He was a real journalist with real experience, not a publicist for a mindless and now marginalized "movement."

Anonymous said...

real petty filibustering. shame

Anonymous said...

Instead of being afraid of Allan why doesn't Felicia and the KKCR talkshow crew ask him for some pointers on how to do their shows better.

Anonymous said...

Felicia revealed the truth about herself and KKCR, that they pay
only lip service to welcoming diverse viewpoints. Her testimony was laughably hypocritical and would be easy to dismiss if it wasn't painfully apparent that she and her fellow travelers - to borrow a line from Joe McCarthy - are working to impose their dark, paranoid, hysterical, fact free vision of Kauai onto the community.

Anonymous said...

My morning coffee and your insightful truthful writings are the fav part of starting my day. Happy Holidays Joan, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. Perhaps I'll be able to stomach watching our County Council in action once again. Democratic and Social Justice defined and acted out by the "socially conscious" fistees, to me, is nothing more than bullying with lies, innuendo's and a microscopic smattering of truth. Their "holier than thou" mentality, and what's best for Kauai (Oh Reeeally!), has no place in my life. Their stupid sign holding, ranting at Council meetings and talking heads on KCCR is indicative of the "mainland" in, we are smarter, are more socially aware, more educated and therefore, since we moved to Kauai, we will enlighten you. NOT EVEN. Gee, I thought everyone learned from the fiasco of Manifest Destiny....let our island be!

Anonymous said...

I'm praying this is the last-gasp attempt of Felicia and her ilk to linger in what they think is the limelight. Unfortunately, Gary will continue to rally his dwindling forces, but their level of hypocrisy yesterday--free speech for me, but not for you--was staggering and unconscionable. Let's hope it's a wake-up call to any of their erstwhile followers with a shred of sense or decency.

Anonymous said...

Gary and Joanne have one thing in common: passive aggressiveness. They think they are being subtle but it's so transparent. Gary needs to have everytgibg clarified to him just to sleazily make some kind of point. Either that or he is just really slow and stupid. Joanne cannot handle being put in her place. She's a total control freak masked in a nice little fake smiling costume. They have such bad style. Thank god Mel is a strong chair and straight forward. That was the most inefficient meeting ever. It could of gone smoothly if it were not for Joanne and Gary. They have to make an issue out of every little thing. It's so draining. And Mason is such a puppet to Gary. Geez Mason! Really? Open your eyes!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Felicia know that there are lots of vacancies for county commissions and no invitation is necessary? All you have to do is submit an application. Why didn't she do that to jump start a political career? Get some grounding in the grind of everyday governance. But maybe that's not visible enough to her liking. But judging by what happened to Alan people will be discouraged from applying. But there are still openings available if she wants them.

Joanne is such a disappointment. No spine except for endless procedure. She'll never get my vote again. It's a sad day when the so-called progressives are so unappealing that you've got no choice except to hold your nose and vote for people who are the lesser of two abysmal choices.

Anonymous said...

Felicia reminds me of someone who suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect. She's too stupid to realize she's stupid in the political arena.

Anonymous said...

OK, call me uneducated, but what is Dunning Kruger effect...and please don't make me google it.

I think what Mel did was right, as long as it is equally applied across the board.

Anonymous said...

Welp Joan, perhaps you nailed it describing Gary with his "big smirk".
The Fistees are dead. A fizzle. The new term for the Fistees, should be the "Smirkees".
Mel Rapozo is showing real gravitas as he calmly deals with JoAnn and Gary. He has hit the ground running and Kauai is fortunate to have Mel at the helm.
I was hoping Mason would come out of his bondage to Gary...he has potential to do things, but he is destroying his ability to get things done by his continuing firm grip on the shrinking and now very flaccid big Smirk, Hooser. There ain't no Fistee, no more. Mason should realize that to penetrate, you need engorged independence and an wide open mind. He don't not gotta be da Hoos towel boy anymore. There ain't gonna be a second coming of da Hoos, he is spent. Wake up, Mason, stand erect by your own self.

Anonymous said...

I watched the "highlight" reel of this council hearing. I feel sorry for Felicia, she is so out of her depth. It was tragic to hear her vague, incoherent testimony about her "feelings" and "comfort level" and how Parachini's greater intellect and poise has an inhibiting effect on her and her KKCR compatriots. If he has enough money to sue everyone who has smeared him during this process, he'd be a very wealthy man.

Why is it that some on Kauai--like Felicia--take pride in their lack of sophistication? Don't we want the best for ourselves? Why is someone with a strong, albeit controversial, background so intimidating? What does that say about what we expect of our leaders? Do we want uninformed and people who scare easily in public office? I don't.

I've never heard so much talk about "comfort level" in a political discussion. Thanks to some of the County Council members with some sense and a modicum of fairness. What a sorry state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Mel is absolutely right to impose time limits and they should be even stricter. This camera hogging is embarrassing. And Joann, you talk too much and we don't want any more of your useless and harmful taxes.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:04 pm

An easy definition: If you’re untrained, inexperienced or don’t fully understand your environment, don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re doing well. You might be suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.

You don't even know enough to realize just how little you know. Imagine any confident idiot you personally know.

Anonymous said...

Felicia cowden was a Barca supporter. Obviously her judge of character is not the best. Need I say more? Ps. so was Gary, and Mason. Their credibility is garbage and their judgment on others means nothing. Thanks Felicia, and freinds for all your opinions and feelings, but no thanks. Not interested, who cares, so bored, bye!

Anonymous said...

Felicia is a f***in hypocrite who contradicts herself with every word that comes out of her mouth. The s**t she says about Mr. Parachini is not only petty and ridiculous, but also hypocritical on her part. For someone who is uncomfortable with things Mr. Parachini posts on Facebook, she has no problem talking trash on Facebook about a local business on the island because they were unable or unwilling to cater to her and her friends'. Sorry, Felicia, maybe in your magical universe people drop everything to help you and your friends, but reality is a bit different. Felicia should remember that Kauai is very, very small and anything one says gets around, and you never who is friends with whom. I can safely say that with that one, single comment, you pissed off a whole s**tload of registered voters. Something to think about if you ever plan to run for Council again.