Civil Beat reviewed 51 “rough draft” House Journals. As of this writing, the verbatim transcripts of action for the year’s final nine floor sessions hadn’t been posted to the Capitol website. The Rough Draft Journal is described as including “verbatim floor remarks, written remarks, announcements and introductions made on the Chamber Floor.” Civil Beat performed a text search for the word “conflict,” then produced a spreadsheet of all 105 times a lawmaker stood up to disclose a conflict or seek a ruling on a potential conflict.

A “snapshot” of Senate verbatim floor dialog [pdf] on Days 26, 41, 47 and 59 of the 2011 session reveals the five measures in which a senator requested a ruling on a potential conflict of interest.1 The Senate’s full verbatim journal is not available online for the public to review, but a Senate spokeswoman provided Civil Beat with the snapshot after reviewing the record for the 60-day session.

Here is what we found.

Representatives With the Most Requests

Representative Request Count
Oshiro, B. 17
Pine 12
Keith-Agaran 7
Morita 7
Thielen 7
Takai 7
Har 6
McKelvey 6
Say 5
Yamashita 5
Rhoads 5
Ching 4
Johanson 3
Awana 2
Cabanilla 2
Kawakami 2
Riviere 2
Yamane 2
Aquino 1
Hashem 1
Lee, M. 1
Souki 1

Every Request By Representatives

Bill Lawmaker Date What They Said Disposition
HB1016 Rhoads Feb 3 “My wife’s firm works for Better Place Hawaii, which is putting together an electric car recharging station grid.” No conflict
HB1016 Takai Feb 3 “I am in the process of purchasing an electric vehicle. I should get the Nissan Leaf within a month.” No conflict
HB1366 Morita Feb 7 “I would like a ruling on a potential conflict caused by my pending appointment and confirmation as Chair of the Public Utilities Commission. I also want to note that the Committee action on this measure happened on February 1st, prior to the appointment and announcement by the Governor.” Excused
HB1517 Rhoads Feb 7 “One of my wife’s clients is Better Place Hawaii that is trying to put together a network of electrical vehicle charging stations.” No conflict
HB409 Takai Feb 7 “I own a company that brokers health insurance.” No conflict
HB613 Takai Feb 7 “I have the same request as before for a ruling on a potential conflict.” No conflict
HB798 Takai Feb 8 “I have my license, although I don’t sell life insurance.” No conflict
HB894 Keith-Agaran Feb 8 “My law firm’s practice includes collection work, including the possibility of foreclosures.” No conflict
HB894 Oshiro, B. Feb 8 “My law firm does foreclosure work, but I don’t do any of it.” No conflict
HB894 Riviere Feb 8 “l am a mortgage broker and a mortgage loan officer.” No conflict
HB885 Har Feb 10 “In my private sector life, I represent contractors.” No conflict
HB885 Thielen Feb 10 “I have contractors in the family.” No conflict
HB894 Riviere Feb 10 “I am a mortgage lender.” No conflict
HB982 Morita Feb 10 “Given my pending appointment to the PUC, the PUC has jurisdiction over the renewable portfolio standards.” Excused
HB1225 Awana Feb 11 “I am a lessee on a Hawaiian Homestead land.” No conflict
HB159 Oshiro, B. Feb 15 “In my private practice I represent a couple of charter schools.” No conflict
HB4 Takai Feb 15 “I sit on the National Board as an ex officio member.” No conflict
HB121 Lee, M. Feb 16 “I’m a Major in the Civil Air Patrol Auxiliary.” No conflict
HB121 McKelvey Feb 16 “It’s the same conflict that was raised by the Representative from Mililani.” No conflict
HB121 Pine Feb 16 “I have the same conflict as the previous Representative.” No conflict
HB121 Yamane Feb 16 “I have the same request on a potential conflict.” No conflict
HB383 Johanson Feb 16 “I previously served as a member of this Commission.” No conflict
HB978 Keith-Agaran Feb 16 “I was formerly on the Board of the Community Clinic of Maui which operates Malama I Ke Ola Health Center.” No conflict
HB1016 Rhoads Feb 17 “Again, I just want to request a ruling on a potential conflict. My wife’s firm represents Better Place Hawaii that is putting together a grid to charge electric vehicles.” No conflict
HB1109 Pine Feb 17 “My husband is an active military.” No conflict
HB1142 Pine Feb 17 “And this may apply, maybe for all of us. This bill discusses our personal retirements as legislators.” No conflict
HB1520 Morita Feb 17 “Yes, may I have a ruling on a potential conflict, given my pending nomination to the Public Utilities Commission?” Excused
HB615 Rhoads Feb 17 “My wife is on the Board of Directors of Mental Health Kokua that gets contracts from the State.” No conflict
HB681 Takai Feb 17 “I’m a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard.” No conflict
HB681 Cabanilla Feb 17 “I have the same request.” No conflict
HB880 Morita Feb 17 “Yes, may I have a ruling on a potential conflict, given my pending nomination to the Public Utilities Commission?” Excused
HB1176 Morita Feb 18 “Given my pending appointment to the Public Utilities Commission, I’d like to be excused from this vote.” Excused
HB1187 Say Feb 18 “I am an importer of liquor.” No conflict
HB1257 Morita Feb 18 “Given my appointment and pending confirmation to the PUC.” Excused
HB1330 Thielen Feb 18 “I just wanted to disclose a potential conflict. My grandson is a third-year student at the med school.” No conflict
HB1450 Pine Feb 18 “In my part-time work, I do help the homeless get jobs.” No conflict
HB1455 Yamashita Feb 18 “I’m an owner of a gas station.” No conflict
HB1456 Yamashita Feb 18 “At my gas station we sell petroleum products.” No conflict
HB1551 Keith-Agaran Feb 18 “I’d like to be excused from voting on this measure. My law partner apparently is lobbying on this measure. I’m not sure if I will receive anything from what he is paid, but in an abundance of caution, I like to be excused.” Excused
HB430 Pine Feb 18 “I occasionally work for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
HB70 Pine Feb 18 “I occasionally work for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
HB845 Say Feb 18 “I’m an officer of a company that has a ground lease.” No conflict
HB972 Morita Feb 18 “May I have a ruling on a potential conflict, given my pending appointment?” Excused
HB972 Yamashita Feb 18 “I’m an owner of a gas station.” No conflict
HB319 Har Mar 3 “At my law finn I do represent contractors as well as developers,” No conflict
HB546 Yamane Mar 4 “My wife works in human resources.” No conflict
HB840 Say Mar 4 “I’m an importer of liquor and Fm willing to sacrifice paying the 20% increase.” No conflict
SB1274 Oshiro, B. Mar 18 “My law firm does a lot of representation for external review procedures before the DCCA.” No conflict
SB239 Thielen Mar 18 “My grandson is at the Medical School.” No conflict
SB590 Johanson Mar 18 “I have previously served as a member of this Commission.” No conflict
SB595 Ching Mar 18 “My husband is a physician, a family physician.” No conflict
SB897 Pine Mar 21 “I do some part-time work for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
SB1073 Oshiro, B. Mar 22 “I serve on the Board of Directors for Legal Aid.” No conflict
SB815 Keith-Agaran Mar 22 “I formerly sat on the Commission, and I’ve represented clients before the Commission on administrative proceedings.” No conflict
SB904 Pine Mar 22 “I work part time for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
SB1040 Har Mar 23 “In my law firm I do represent contractors and subcontractors.” No conflict
SB1274 Oshiro, B. Mar 24 “At my law firm, they do represent health insurers on some of these administrative procedures, but I don’t do that type of work,” No conflict
SB1332 Oshiro, B. Mar 24 “At the law firm I work for, we are involved in litigation with the University over their procurement practices.” No conflict
SB239 Thielen Mar 24 “My grandson is at the Medical School.” No conflict
SB240 Ching Mar 24 “My husband’s a physician.” No conflict
SB595 Ching Mar 24 “My husband’s a physician.” No conflict
SB651 McKelvey Mar 24 “My family’s currently in remodification with our lender.” No conflict
SB652 McKelvey Mar 24 “My family’s currently in remodification with our lender.” No conflict
SB900 Pine Mar 24 “I do occasional work for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
HR170 Oshiro, B. Mar 29 “At my law firm we’re involved in litigation over the building of the telescopes.” No conflict
SB1006 Oshiro, B. Apr 8 “At my law firm we are involved in litigation with the City over their sewage treatment plant and the water quality standards.” No conflict
SB1006 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “At my law firm we represent the plaintiffs in some lawsuits against the City for water quality standards.” No conflict
SB1040 Har Apr 12 “I represent contractors that could be impacted by this bill.” No conflict
SB1040 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “At my law firm I represent employers who often have OSHA cases.” No conflict
SB1073 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “I serve on the Board of Directors for Legal Aid, one of the recipients of the fee and surcharge.” No conflict
SB1079 McKelvey Apr 12 “I live on land that is zoned agricultural.” No conflict
SB1083 Pine Apr 12 “I do have a family member that I believe is in the University of Hawaii System.” No conflict
SB1086 Kawakami Apr 12 “My family owns and operates a chain of grocery stores on Kauai.” No conflict
SB1233 Aquino Apr 12 “I work for a nonprofit that solicits funds from the public.” No conflict
SB1274 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “At my law firm, they do represent health insurance plans in defense at administrative hearings, but I don’t do any of that work.” No conflict
SB1290 Awana Apr 12 “I am a homestead lessee.” No conflict
SB1332 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “My law firm is involved in litigation against the UH with its procurement practices, but I’m not working on those cases.” No conflict
SB1347 Yamashita Apr 12 “On section 5 of the measure, HRS 486H is the section on gasoline dealers and I’m a part owner of a gasoline station.” No conflict
SB1363 Kawakami Apr 12 “We have some grocery stores that we own and operate on Kauai.” No conflict
SB1363 Rhoads Apr 12 “One of my wife’s clients is Safeway.” No conflict
SB1363 Souki Apr 12 “I’m a consultant with the American Chemistry Council. They produce plastics, and right now I’m hired as a consultant to work with Maui County on the styrofoam problem.” No conflict
SB1363 Yamashita Apr 12 “We have retail outlets on Maui where we have a plastic bag ban. We have discontinued plastic bags, but there is potential for us to reinstitute that with this bill.” No conflict
SB239 Thielen Apr 12 “My grandson is at the Med School.” No conflict
SB240 Ching Apr 12 “My husband is a physician.” No conflict
SB240 Thielen Apr 12 “My grandson is at the Medical School.” No conflict
SB318 Keith-Agaran Apr 12 “One of my law partners has been lobbying on this bill.” No conflict
SB590 Johanson Apr 12 “I previously served a member of this Commission.” No conflict
SB651 Keith-Agaran Apr 12 “The practice of my law firm includes foreclosures.” No conflict
SB651 McKelvey Apr 12 “my family’s currently undergoing a remodification with a lender.” No conflict
SB651 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “My law firm does some foreclosure actions, but I don’t do any of that type of work.” No conflict
SB652 Keith-Agaran Apr 12 “The practice of my law firm includes foreclosures.” No conflict
SB652 Mckelvey Apr 12 “my family’s currently undergoing a remodification with a lender.” No conflict
SB741 Say Apr 12 “I’m an importer of Japanese wine.” No conflict
SB754 Cabanilla Apr 12 “I’m a lessee of residential properties.” No conflict
SB754 Har Apr 12 “At my law firm I represent subcontractors.” No conflict
SB754 Say Apr 12 “I am an owner of a small business where I’m a sublessee in Kalihi. And I’m also an officer of another business in Mapunapuna, which is Tokyo Bento. I am an officer and not the President who operates the business. Just an officer.” No conflict
SB754 Thielen Apr 12 “I have contractors in the family.” No conflict
SB779 Har Apr 12 “At my law firm I represent owners, contractors, and design professionals.” No conflict
SB779 Oshiro, B. Apr 12 “At my law firm, I do procurement law.” No conflict
SB900 Pine Apr 12 “I work occasionally for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
SB912 Pine Apr 12 “I work occasionally for a homeless shelter.” No conflict
HR108 Oshiro, B. Apr 15 “At my law firm I’m working with the Hawaii Farm Bureau on procurement policies related to the local preference.” No conflict
HR251 Hashem Apr 15 “My wife is from Peru.” No conflict
HR38 Oshiro, B. Apr 15 “My law firm is involved in litigation regarding the compact and the benefits association impact.” No conflict
HB1134 Takai Apr 19 “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I have a ruling on a potential conflict? And I apologize for not doing this earlier, but I broker health insurance.” No conflict

Every Request By Senators

Bill Lawmaker Date What They Said Disposition
SB1115 Slom Day 26 “I rise with the possibility that I’m in conflict and want to recuse myself since my son is a senior at St. Louis School. … “Thank you for the ruling, Mr. President, but because of the appearance of self-aggrandizement, I still would like to recuse myself from this vote.” No conflict AND excused
SB725 Kouchi Day 26 “I am employed by a refuse company on Kauai and own shares in the company and so while it is a bill that would affect all refuse companies in the State—I wanted to state that for the record.” No conflict
GM551 Espero Day 41 “I’d like to state for the record a potential conflict of interest as G.M. No. 551 is a very close blood relative—my son.” No conflict
HB773 Slom Day 47 “I rise to recuse myself from the votes since my son is a student at St. Louis.” No conflict
SB1073 Shimabukuro Day 59 “I have worked at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii.” No conflict


About the Author