Blast 'em

This Blast 'em blog is going to shine a much needed bright light on legislative shanigans. We will provide details of the wrong doing, give names of the doer, and describe the ramifications to the public. Initially we will focus primarily on consumer issues.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Beat Goes On

According to an article in yesterday’s USA Today, the Abramoff scandal has caused ethics reform bills to sweep across the country. What it didn’t say is “except Hawaii”. Here in paradise, Rep. Sylvia Luke still has Senate Bill 1061 tied up in her committee. This Bill would prevent any legislator from holding a fund-raiser during the session. Not a great hindrance, but any hint of reform is apparently out of the question. Meanwhile, the protest letter I wrote to the Speaker of the House, Calvin Say has not been acknowledged, much less acted on. Safe to say, it’s business as usual in Hawaii! Moreover, the campaign money laundering scheme between the Democratic Party in Rhode Island and the one here in Paradise got the Party Chair fired in Rhode Island but here all it got was “oops, I guess we won’t do that again” or something as equally dumb.. And finally, while Senators and Representatives in Washington were scrambling to return Abramoff donations, our guys were creative enough to come up with a great reason not to return their ill gotten gains, their story was “ if we give the money back it will look like we did something wrong’. Well DUH? To be fair, I believe Representative Case returned his. I’ll have to check on that.

I attended two conference committee hearings yesterday and basically in both the two sides stated their positions and agreed to meet again. The Gas Cap was a little more extensive because the House conferees submitted a 50 page amendment and when the Senate Chair suggested they meet again the next day the House Chair said “they needed more time to study the issue”. It was her amendment so why did she say they needed more time?

Speaking of that amendment, the young man handing out the amendments after seeing that all conferees had a copy came into the audience and gave the person on my left two copies and said to the person sitting behind me, “you need two copies” and I said “I’ll take one. He replied “I cannot give you one”! I said loudly “you gave him two and him two so why can’t I have one”? The House Chair said “quiet in the audience”! I sat quietly and a different clerk quietly brought me a copy.

I’m off to the Capitol. Hasta Manana.

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