Watching and reporting about Hawaii from Washington Place to Washington, D.C.

4:10 p.m. Read the Dem’s Complaint

Here’s the original 33-page complaint against Duke Aiona and the RGA:

—Nanea Kalani

12:50 p.m. Dem’s Campaign Spending Complaint Against Aiona Dismissed

Hawaii’s Campaign Spending Commission has dismissed a complaint brought against former Republican gubernatorial candidate James “Duke” Aiona and the Republican Governors Association for allegedly violating state campaign laws.

Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter and lawyer Tony Gill complained in October 2010 that the Aiona campaign shared polling and other information with the RGA, which then used the information to produce its “rise and shine” television ads. State law required Aiona’s campaign and the RGA’s efforts remain independent.

The complaint was dismissed because of a lack of evidence, according to Gary Kam, general counsel for the commission. The Aiona case was one of several discussed at the commission’s monthly meeting on Wednesday.

—Nanea Kalani

Apportionment Advisory Panel on Maui

The Advisory Apportionment Council for Maui is scheduled to hold a public meeting at 1 p.m. at the County Office Building, 200 High St., in Wailuku, Maui.

The agenda is the same one the 2011 Reapportionment Commission has been taking around the Neighbor Islands, including discussion of whether the state should count non-resident military personnel and their dependents as permanent residents for the purpose of redrawing political boundaries.

Other questions: Should non-students be counted? Incarcerated felons? Should there be single- or multi-member districts?

The Advisory Apportionment Council for Oahu was scheduled to meet today at the state Capitol, but the meeting has been cancelled.

Capitol Covered in Bird Droppings

KITV reports that “years of neglect have created a problem at the State Capitol: bird droppings staining the famous building,” according to a state official:

“This is the icon. This is where people come. I mean, Father Damien’s here, and we’ve got bird droppings on the floor,” said Bruce Coppa, State Comptroller who heads the state Department of Accounting and General Services, referring to the statue of the catholic priest who ministered to Hansen’s Disease patients on Molokai. “This (the bird droppings problem) is not something that happened over night. This took a while to get where it’s at. And these are the little things that need to get done.”

State Capitol janitors steam clean the Capitol rotunda pavement from time to time. The problem is, since the birds are still above, the bird droppings simply reappear a short time later.

The state is spending $35,000 to hire a contractor to install new bird netting and clean the Capitol windows, a month-long job that will start the first week of July.

Neighbor Isle Gov’t News

West Hawaii Today reports that the Hawaii County Council will switch vice chairmen next week, with Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann “handing the reins” to North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago:

“There’s no palace coup, no revolution,” Hoffmann said. “It was agreed that I would be vice chairman for seven months and I would turn it over to Councilman Pilago. You will notice it’s my resolution. I’ve fulfilled my end of the bargain.”

Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said the transfer was one agreed upon by both council members shortly after the November election, when both had wanted the vice chairman’s post. “They shook hands on it; it was a gentleman’s agreement,” Yagong said.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that “doing more with less”” was the theme of the legislative session, according to a group of legislators who spoke yesterday in Hilo:

“We passed a budget smaller than both Gov. Abercrombie and Gov. Lingle has requested,” Marcus Oshiro said.

The bad news, the state has depleted both its rainy day fund and its hurricane fund. Future emergencies will have to be dealt with through the general fund, he said. Still, he said, there is $165 million in discretionary capital improvement projects heading to the Big Island.

The Maui News reports that the Maui County Council yesterday approved a $564.73 million budget for 2012, with funds for road resurfacing, a new Kihei police station and the replacement of the county’s aging emergency responder radio system:

Council members struggled for hours to find a way to restore funding to nonprofits without raising the county’s minimum property tax. They finally narrowly approved a plan to take the funds from money that had been earmarked to replace an aging firetruck and for watershed protection programs.

Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Joe Pontanilla said that, during “austere” times, the county had to minimize tax increases, hold down debt and focus on its core responsibilities.

The Garden Island reports that DLNR yesterday announced the opening of a feral goat and feral pig control opportunity in the Na Pali Coast State Park and Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve, portions of Hunting Unit G on the island of Kauai:

The areas open to animal control will be between Hoolulu (3.5 miles) to Kalalau valleys (11 miles). The Kalalau trail will be closed at the 2.5 mile marker but the Hanakapiai beach and falls trail will remain open to the public, according to a state press release.

Regular camping permits for Kalalau will not be issued for control hunt dates. The animal control hunt will be held on two weekends; July 2-3, and again on Aug. 20-21. The animal control is necessary for watershed protection purposes, the release states.

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