Asking for help is hard. Todays vote is more important than you realize. Please, please, please – take the time to show up and vote.

Aloha Friends,
I know you are busy.  I understand there is stuff going on all over the island, that you have a full schedule, that the house needs cleaning, the yard needs cutting, and that family time is so, so important.
 But please, can you take 30 minutes today to vote?   Today’s primary election is important.
 Please help me today to send a strong message.  With your vote, please join with me in stating loud and clear that people and the environment must come first, that development should be linked to the capacity of our infrastructure and that Kaua’i residents deserve quality housing they can afford.
 There are good candidates, good people running for office on every island.  We need your help.
 Please take the time to show up and vote.  It’s important.
 Sincerely,
Gary Hooser
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Now Would Be A Good Time, If You Are Able

Urgent – Your campaign donation to Friends of Gary Hooser is especially important now. http://garyhooser.com/donate-now/

It is crunch time.  Primary Election Day is August 13 and mail-in absentee voting has already started.  We must push as hard now and your help is again needed as funds donated prior to August 1 are especially important. 

This is the time when we must maximize our advertising and voter outreach and this is the time when your contributions are most needed.

2014’s results (winning by 92 votes) was far too close for comfort.  The same/similar dynamics are in play this year and we can expect the same forces to be pushing hard against my reelection again in the coming weeks.

Many during the past few months have already stepped up with generous contributions to the campaign and I hesitate to ask again but must.

I am very pleased to report that our base of grassroots donors contributing $100 or less is larger than any council candidate in the race.  The average contribution so far this year is $92.12  We have had 480 total individual contributors with only 28 being from out of state.  83.88% of our campaign contributions qualified for matching public funds!

Please help us push extra hard these next few weeks and if you are able to make a contribution no matter how small by August 1, it would be greatly appreciated.

Mahalo!

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Do Not Vote In The Kauai Council Race Until You Read This – Please

It is critical that when voting in the upcoming county council election you understand the “7 vote thing”.

So, I am compelled to explain the importance of “plunking” and in general resisting the urge to go “eeny, meeny, miney, moe” and expending all seven of your Kauai County Council votes on candidates you have little or no knowledge of.

PLEASE CONSIDER NOT USING ALL 7 COUNCIL VOTES.  Your ballot will say “Vote for not more than seven (7)” and does not require you to cast all 7 votes.   Remember that your #5, #6, or #7 votes could be the same vote that beats your top choices!

While I am obviously hoping you will cast one of your seven votes for me, I will not venture to suggest who else you might want to vote for.

Many voters will naturally vote first for those candidates they really want to see in office and who they are familiar with and confident in.

Then, often at the expense of those they truly support, the uninitiated voter feels compelled to cast their 3 or 4 remaining votes on candidates that are “ok” and are perhaps familiar with their names.

Those final “eeny, meeny, miney, moe” votes could be the votes that inadvertently beat your #1, #2 or #3 top choices.

The fundamental rule of experienced akamai Kauai voting is: Do not use all 7 votes when choosing your Kauai County Council candidates.

Experienced Kauai voters will use their Council votes sparingly, selecting only those candidates whom they really and truly and positively want to get elected. These voters might cast one vote or perhaps up to 4 or 5 votes but rarely do they go beyond this number.

An example of how casting all 7 votes can work to the detriment of the candidate or candidates you are most interested in getting elected:

Assume there are 14 candidates running for the 7 Council seats.

The council candidates’ mother goes to vote.

She votes for her child (naturally) and then pauses and decides to vote for one other candidate who has been especially nice to good ol’ mom during the campaign.  Mom’s favorite candidate (her child) then loses the election by one vote to that other candidate and very nice person mom decided to vote for also.

Bottom line is that in most Kauai Council elections – mom’s, grandma’s, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers and children of the candidate will often only cast one vote in the Kauai County Council race.

This is called “plunking”. Others have their definition for plunking but this is how I have come to know the term.

I appreciate those who choose to plunk for Hooser and especially appreciate good ole mom for not casting the one vote that could beat me.  However in general I am most interested in voters understanding the system and voting for the candidates they believe in and support, however many that might be.

There is a fundamental hard and fast rule of service in elective office: No matter how smart you are, no matter how hard you work, no matter how good you are in your heart – you cannot serve unless you get elected.

This year because of many new political dynamics in play I need your help and your vote more than ever before.

Please vote. Please research all of the candidates and vote only for those you truly believe will represent your core values and yes, please cast one of your 7 county council votes for me, Gary Hooser.

Thank you, gh

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Why I opposed the appointment of a Syngenta representative to the Kauai Board of Water Supply

While those who are aware of the history of Syngenta and the nature of their business might not need further justification, others may be puzzled by my recent decision to vote No on this appointment.

The Kauai Board of Water Supply is governed by a Board of Directors who hire and fire its manager, and who control the budget and key decisions made with regards to the protection and management of Kauai drinking water.

The Mayor appoints and the Council approves 4 members from the community at large to serve on the Board.  3 additional members of the county administration are exofficio members.

An opening occurred on the Board and Mayor Carvalho appointed his former assistant Beth Tokioka who now works for Syngenta to fill the open seat.   Her job at Syngenta is to represent company interests out in the community.

Syngenta is one of the largest chemical companies in the world.  They manufacture, sell and use the Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) Atrazine (and many other chemicals and pesticides).  Because of its propensity to contaminate drinking water, Atrazine has been banned in the European Union and in Syngenta’s home country of Switzerland.  Syngenta has been sued by countless cities, towns and various Water Boards around the nation for their involvement in the contamination of drinking water systems.  In 2012 Syngenta agreed to pay a $105,000,000 settlement to numerous municipalities including Kauai (which received about $10,000) for their involvement in contaminating drinking water systems.

Syngenta and other agrochemical companies apply large quantities of Atrazine and other pesticides to their fields located primarily on Kauai’s west side.  Though some voluntary disclosure has occurred, to date they have all refused to fully disclose their pesticide use as to type, quantity and location of use.

Syngenta is currently suing Kauai County rather than comply with a local ordinance (#960) that required the company to fully disclose pesticide use and put in place buffer zones around schools, hospitals and homes.  The court ruled in favor of Syngenta and that ruling has been appealed by Kauai County to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the past the State Department of health has discovered Atrazine in Kauai streams.  Government sponsored testing also found traces of the pesticide in Kauai drinking water and in a water fountain at Waimea Canyon Middle School.  At the present time, recent testing of various wells around the County do not show the presence of Atrazine.

The Board of Water Supply is responsible for approving the budget and contracts for all water testing. The board could also increase the level of scrutiny of the water quality if they chose to do so.

On the surface I would think for most people the above evidence is more than sufficient to conclude that a representative from a major global polluter of drinking water systems is not an appropriate person to put on a Board that is responsible for protecting a community’s drinking water.

When adding into the decision making criteria the recent 3 year history of Bill 2491 (Ordinance 960), the subsequent lawsuit, the Joint Fact Finding report, the ongoing community concerns about pesticides and the pervasive distrust of the agrochemical industry in general, it makes it even more difficult to find any rational justification for the appointment.

However given the nominee’s high profile, positive reputation and long history of community involvement some may still not understand or accept the basis of my No vote on this appointment.

It is difficult for some to comprehend that a person may be highly intelligent and of strong character, and still be an inappropriate nominee for various positions.

There are the basic “optics” (given the history of the issue this just looks very bad), there are real conflicts of interest (the Water Board may have to test or investigate past or future contamination by Syngenta), there are perceived conflicts of interest and there is an inherent bias every person carries with them on a daily basis.

Each of us looks at the world through our own “lens” which is formed to a large extent by the work that we do and the people that are around us.

Each of the Board of Water Supply members comes to the table with a different lens from which they view the world and consequently a different inherent bias. Each is most likely a responsible citizen and trying their best to serve their community but each have their own way of looking at things.

Appointed to the water board presently is a banker, a lawyer, the president of the Farm Bureau, and now a representative of the agrochemical industry.

At the risk of over-simplifying a very complex matter here is an example that explores the point I am trying to make.

Given the global history of the issue, the intensity of pesticide use on Kauai and the nature of pesticide drift, it is very likely that at some point in the future Atrazine or other pesticides will again be detected in our drinking water.

One could easily imagine that when such a situation does occur: It is likely that the banker would initially look at the situation in terms of how much it will cost, the lawyer will look at it in terms of potential liability, the Farm Bureau president will say that it’s just part of farming and if you want to eat we have to accept it and the agrochemical representative will say that it’s below federal guidelines.  And they may not be be inclined to dig deeper and do additional testing as it would cost more, and cast negative light on agriculture and pesticides.

However:

If the mayor had appointed a physician to this position the inherent response would be concern for the health of young children and pregnant women.  The natural bias of a physician would be to likely request additional testing.

If an environmentalist had been appointed their natural inclination would likely be to inquire further about impacts on the natural environment.

If a hydrologist was on the Board they would want to know first and foremost if this chemical was in the ground water.  The prospect of additional testing and a deeper investigation would be certain.

Of course this example is an over-simplification but the point is we each have a natural bias and that is inherently applied to our decision making.

The above discussion in its totality (history of the issue, perceived conflicts, actual conflicts and inherent bias) represent my reasoning behind the decision to vote No on this appointment.  My vote is not a judgment on the person so much as it is a judgment on the entire set of circumstances surrounding the appointment, the responsibilities of the position and the need to both protect our water and to restore faith and confidence in government.

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Creating The Political Revolution: Rocking the House in Hawaii

Today I donated $140 toward the revolution.  Will you join me?

Like so many others in our community, I support the Bernie Sanders goal of creating a political revolution.  We can accomplish such a revolution here in Hawaii this year if we all band together and elect these 7 dynamic progressive and bold leaders to the Hawaii House of Representatives.

I am asking my friends, neighbors and family members from across the world to help me make this real today by donating $140 to this CrowdPac fund supporting these 7 individuals all of who I know personally and all of whom I support wholeheartedly.  Each will receive directly from you a $20 contribution to their campaign which I am sure is sorely needed during these closing weeks leading up to the all important primary election on August 13th.

Please dig a little deep if you can.  I sincerely believe that the election of these individuals can change the future of Hawaii politics and government.  We need our government back.

Information on the 7 candidates and how you can contribute to their election is here:  https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/71241/rock-the-hawaii-house-of-representatives

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Where I stand on some of the key issues facing Kauai County

Politicians are well known for trying to have “one foot firmly planted on each side of the issue”.   You deserve better.

Below is a brief summary of exactly where I stand on some of the most pressing issues facing Kauai County.  As you are aware most are complex topics and the devil is in the details.  I have tried to distill my positions into one or two sentence statements however each probably deserves many pages of detail to do them justice.

I encourage you to ask all Council candidates where they stand on these and other issues that are important to you.

Positions/Issues – Brief Summary

*Support limiting new development (except affordable residential) based on adequacy of infrastructure.  Existing traffic conditions must be improved, sewage systems upgraded and drinking water resources protected before any new major developments are approved.

*Support using County borrowing capacity and zoning authority in public/private partnerships to create truly affordable housing for local residents, in alignment with the General Plan and adjacent to existing urban centers to minimize traffic/infrastructure impacts.

*Support increased regulation of agrochemical industry including full disclosure, buffer zones and comprehensive testing of soil, water and air as recommended by State/County Joint Fact Finding Group.

*Support incentivizing locally owned small farms that produce food grown in a sustainable manner.

*Support making traffic relief measures the #1 County roads/transportation priority.  The County cannot just blame the State and must take the lead.

*Oppose dairy proposed for Kauai’s south shore as presently proposed.  Due to the excessive amount of animal waste generated, large Commercial Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS) operating near aquifers, coastlines or residential areas should be carefully regulated.

*Oppose a County General Excise Tax (GET) and oppose increasing property taxes for local resident homeowners.

Note: Yes I have left out issues that I know are important to you.  I will be covering additional issues/positions in the future such as the County Manager system, cat/dog matters, park planning, expansion and maintenance, youth sports and more.

I welcome your feedback on the above issues and on any other that are important to you.

Best, gary

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Hooser campaign asks 21,000 registered voting households – “What do you think?”

Aloha,

From Haena to Kekaha, over 21,000 registered voters on Kauai were recently sent out a comprehensive “Important Kauai Issues Survey” and the results are fascinating.

Every registered voter on Kauai had an equal opportunity to weigh in with their thoughts and feelings with regards to important issues and concerns.

Because there are so many issues and so many diverse people and opinion in our community I decided to reach out in a comprehensive effort to determine what the average Kauai resident actually feels and thinks about some of the important issues of the day.

I wanted to offer all Kauai registered voters from all parts of the community an equal opportunity to offer their thoughts and concerns.  The survey allowed anonymity providing all with the opportunity to speak freely and frankly about issues important to them.

So during the month of May I mailed a single page of questions directly to over 21,000 registered voter households on Kauai, representing every single voting household in our community.  Due to the scale of the effort a very small number of households reported not receiving a survey.  A limited on-line version was also offered for a very short period.

Nearly 1,000 registered voters responded to the direct mail effort yielding a 4.5% response rate.  Respondents were required to pay their own return postage and were allowed to be anonymous.  Responses came in from every single community from the far west to the far north.

The survey questions include topics dealing with growth, climate change, food sustainability, park maintenance, pesticide regulation, the dairy proposed on Kauai’s south shore, B&B regulations, farm tours, taxes, drug treatment and affordable housing.

Some of the key “takeaways”:

91% of Kauai residents favor limitations on growth tied to infrastructure.

58% favor allowing B&B’s on all parts of the island.

74% believe the visitor industry is not paying its fair share.

91% favor allowing small farms to conduct “farm tours” to supplement their income.

81% of respondents support the increased regulation of pesticides.

75% are opposed to the dairy proposed for Kauai’s south side.

Other questions involving parks maintenance, climate change, food self sufficiency and traffic are also included.

Complete survey detail and a tabulation of the results is available at http://garyhooser.com/kauai-issue-survey/ and the raw data is available for review by any student group or community organization that would like to conduct further analysis.  The survey was paid for by my campaign organization Friends of Gary Hooser. I am available and would love to speak with any group who wish to delve deeper into the issues raised and/or develop policy initiatives reflecting the community consensus expressed by the survey.

************************************************

NOTE: DATA BELOW IS A COMPARISON BETWEEN THOSE RESULTS THAT WERE SUBMITTED ANONYMOUSLY AND THOSE THAT CONTAINED BOTH ANONYMOUS RESPONSES AND THOSE THAT INCLUDE THE RESPONDENTS NAME

Comparison between surveys tabulations that were sent only anonymously (260 total received) only and the total that includes both anonymous and names (993 total received).

Question:                Anonymous only          Included both anonymous and named

Count Tax Fair?               No 53%                             No 47%

Visitors Pay Fair Share? No 72%                           No 74%

Traffic #1 priority             Yes 69%                          Yes 71%

Potholes #1 priority          Yes 31%                          Yes 29%

Food Self Sufficiency        Yes 66%                          Yes 76%

Pesticide Regulation         Yes 68%                           Yes 81%

Climate Change                  Yes 61%                           Yes 68%

Farm Tours                          Yes 83%                             Yes 91%

B&B Regulation

Allowed Everywhere             45%                                 58%

VDA only                                   38%                                  32%

None anywhere                        17%                                 11%

Growth Tied Infrastructure    Yes 88%                       Yes 91%

Southshore Dairy                       No 64%                         No 75%

Parks Condition

Excellent                                       4%                                   3%

Good                                              25%                                 24%

Fair                                                 40%                                 44%

Poor                                                 16%                                 19%

Very Poor                                        15%                                 10%

Drug Facility                              Yes 84%                        Yes 88%

Time on Kauai

Born                                                 29%                                   13%

Over 20 years                                 39%                                  39%

11 – 20 years                                    16%                                   22%

6 – 10 years                                       8%                                    15%

less than 5 years                               8%                                    10%

Male                                                      45%                                   49%

Female                                                  55%                                   51%

 

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