Super PACs

Reject candidates backed by Be Change Now

You must ask: Why would the carpenters union spend a million dollars supporting Josh Green for lieutenant governor, a post with no-to-little political power, but setting up a winner to be a potential governor four years down the road should David Ige win re-election (“Carpenters Union Makes Josh Green A Million-Dollar Candidate For LG,” Aug. 3)?

And how would the receiver of this largesse ever say no to that union? And why would all the union members feel okay about giving so much of their strike chest to a candidate most of them probably never heard of?

I suggest it means a better use of our votes is for candidates who are not submerged in super PAC money.

— Bob Jones, Honolulu

Phony Outrage

If I were a carpenter

Re: “Campaign Corner: Phony Outrage In The Governor’s Race,” (Aug. 2). Kudos to Marti Townsend and Dawn Morai Webster for expressing feelings that a lot of us women are sharing!

For political gain, Colleen Hanabusa’s supporters hijacked the real struggle for women’s rights.

If I were a male carpenter paying dues going to fake ads that actually make a mockery out of women’s rights, I would loudly protest!

Disclaimers at end of Hanabusa’s recent dated production, depicting defiant women, are so telling: I wouldn’t want to be associated with the ad either.   

Josh Green’s ad is just as obviously staged and old fashioned. Why did he even take that money we all want to know; a good guy hooking up with the wrong crowd. Compare his production to Kim Coco Iwamoto’s slick ad that tells us she’s for the people and not herself.

I hope there’s a change in perception before the election. 

— Kate Paine, Moiliili

Andria Tupola

A leader with a vision to get things done

It was refreshing to hear Rep. Andria Tupola’s live interview with Chad Blair (“Tupola Calls For Tax Cuts And A Streamlined State Government,” Aug. 2). She is articulate, energetic and bright. Her common-sense, people-first style is what our state needs to extricate itself from crises like homelessness and the crushing cost-of-living.

For example, she referenced Hawaiian Homes, which has the potential and federal dollars, to provide shelter for hundreds, if not thousands of Hawaiians, once effectively streamlined. In regard to housing non-Hawaiians, she stated that developers can benefit from deregulation resulting in shorter permitting times, reducing costs.

Tupola also discussed cutting taxes and gave examples of state buildings and land within her district that go unused, rebutting the argument that other state revenue streams are nonexistent. She is also supportive of the local business community and wants to keep local dollars in Hawaii. At this critical junction in our state’s history, we need a leader who inspires us, has a clear vision, and gets things done. Listening to Tupola speak is confirmation that our state still has hope. 

— Kaiwiola “Kaiwi” Coakley, Waialae-Kahala

A candidate who needs to get her facts straight

The number attributed to me during Chad Blair’s interview of Andria Tupola is wrong. There are not 76,000 employees at the state Department of Education. I would never and have never quoted that number. The actual number fluctuates between 20,000 to 26,000, depending on peak seasons.

Chad was also correct in questioning the DOE’s budget that Tupola stated as “half” — it is not half and represents on average 25 percent of the operating budget.

Lastly, the student body is not 150,000, as stated by Rep. Tupola, it is typically 180,000 and 185,000 at full strength. Facts count.

— Ray L’Heureux, Honolulu

Editor’s note: Ray L’Heureux is a GOP candidate for governor.

Health Care Lobbyists

But what about Ed Case’s contributors?

Lee Fang and Nick Surgey’s piece, “Documents: Health Care Lobbyists Secretly Secure Democrats’ Opposition To ‘Medicare For All’” (Aug. 3), was a bit incomplete. They should have noted that one of front-running candidate Ed Case’s big contributors is Aon Plc., which gave him $2,000 and lobbies on behalf of HMOs. They previously gave money to his Senate campaign as well.

Aon is known for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials of many foreign countries to obtain and keep government insurance contracts. Recently they have lobbied on S.1227 (Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act of 2017).

Case previously was funded heavily in his 2004 campaign by Wall Street, banking, and real estate interests, as well as the Carpenter’s Union (of Pacific Resources Partnership fame). And of course, the Blue Dog PAC which was a big force behind pushing market driven health care and opposed having a public health care option at every turn.

After a review of the campaign finance reports, really the only person running an active campaign for that seat that will not be putting rich folks and corporations before the peoples’ agenda would be Kaniela Ing. You can correctly assume that because his campaign donations reflect it. 

— Frank DeGiacomo, Hawaii Kai

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