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.

Friday, May 05, 2006

GRASS ROOTS EFFORT ROCKS

On another matter, the grass roots effort which defeated SB 2922 was led by Voter Owned Elections (also known as HICLEAN). VOE has had Campaign Spending Bills before the legislature for the past seven years. Early on, the House would vote unanimously to pass the Bill knowing full well that Cal Kawamoto would kill it in the senate. After Cal lost an election the House would kill the Bill always giving a shibai reason for doing so. Except 2005 when the Bill got all he way to conference committee where it was allowed to die. This session the House leadership refused to pull it out of conference committee and bring it to the floor for an up or down vote.

Instead of tucking tail and going home as usual, the VOE folks mounted a grass roots campaign that grew as the session went on. They selected certain Representatives for special attention in the form of sign waving and door to door canvassing in their districts. The House response was to ask if VOE wanted their Bill heard in committee. The response was, “no, been there done that. Pass our Bill!” Which of course, the House ignored. When it became clear that the House had no intention of ever passing their Boll, VOE reached out to other organizations also having trouble getting their Bills passed and the Grass Root volunteer effort grew. When it looked like SB 2922 would pass and allow unlimited corporate donations, the volunteers focused their efforts on this terrible Bill. Huge numbers of Emails, Faxes, and phone calls to House Members resulted in SB 2922 dieing in the House. What really worried House leadership is that other organizations will see how well this strategy worked and use it for their own issues during forthcoming sessions. Time will tell. Aloha, George

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