Kauai Residents: Urgent Call To Action

What could be the final hearing on Bill 2614 regulating lobbyists and lobbying is tomorrow, Wednesday March 9. The meeting starts at 8:30am and it is unclear exactly when this item will actually be discussed.

Please submit testimony as soon as possible to counciltestimony@kauai.gov

The measure can be read in its entirety here: http://kauai.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=99318

Unfortunately a majority on the Council voted to significantly weaken the original Bill 2614 by removing a provision that would have prohibited lobbyists from giving gifts of any sort to elected officials.

The Bill was then weakened further by the deletion of a provision which banned paid lobbyists from sitting on certain Boards and Commissions such as the Ethics Commission, the Charter Review Commission and on any commission upon which they were paid to lobby on the subject matter being discussed. Fortunately, the measure retains the ban pertaining to the Ethics Commission but all others were deleted.

While my intent is to propose that a modified version of these two provisions be added back into the Bill, I am most concerned there will be further attempts to weaken and or delay the passage of this important legislation.

Kauai is the only County in the State of Hawaii without any laws regulating lobbyists and lobbying and currently in violation of the State Constitution requiring each County to do so.

Please submit your testimony today to counciltestimony@kauai.gov

Be sure and state your position on Bill 2614 in the subject line along with a brief statement as to the nature of your testimony.

The provisions I hope to add back in are:

  1. A total gift ban by lobbyists to elected officials, with caveats to exclude flower lei, educational materials and other insignificant non-pecuniary items (no monetary value)
  2. A prohibition against lobbyists serving on the Planning Commission and the Charter Review Commission, both of which are directly involved in proposing and approving legislative initiatives.  Bill 2614 presently retains a provision banning lobbyists from serving on the Ethics Commission.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The definition of a lobbyist presently contained within the Bill essentially only applies to individuals who get paid to influence government on behalf of someone else.  Opponents of strong lobbying legislation are trying to confuse people into believing it will effect everyone who testifies, this is absolutely not true.

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person. I presently serve now as a volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org In a past life I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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