President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and a chorus of progressive leaders have voiced the need to return to public funding for campaigns. Getting politicians to be beholden only to their constituents rather than to the special interests of corporations is the obvious fix for our broken democracy.
The Big Island’s 2010 and 2012 Clean Elections Pilot Program showed how to make government work for the people — instead of for big money.
Our public funding option for the County Council campaigns was a big success. The candidates liked it. Five of the nine County Council members ran and won using the program. It was not expensive (under $216,000 in 2012), using only used 7 percent of the public campaign fund of over $3 million that the $3 donations on our tax forms draws from. Petitions, surveys and broad endorsements from citizen’s groups show that the public overwhelmingly supports it.
But there are hidden enemies. Public funding for campaigns undermines the power of corporate lobbyists and private wealth.
Clean elections is the “reform that makes all the other reforms possible” — so it has secret opponents. Sometimes the enemies are visible: Five of the seven state House representatives from our island tried to kill it the year it began. (Luckily, our state senators protected it at that time.) This past year, at the last minute, and within the anonymity of committees — the state Legislature killed the two bills that would have saved the Big Island program — and the one that would have expanded it to be available to state House races.
Will our democracy continue to be compromised by big money? Will Hawaii let the hidden enemies of democracy prevail? Please demand that your representatives support public funded, “clean” elections.
Needs a dash of Fox
The shark attack on Sunday was a missed opportunity for the mainstream media. Consider what they could have done with it, e.g. tropical fizzle “Flossie.”
Fox News: A probable school of great white sharks nearly ate a surfer at Pohoiki Beach on the Big Island on Sunday. Governor considers state of emergency for Hawaii County. Mayor Billy Kenoi sends all employees home (with pay).
Fox News has learned from sources that the probable cause of the attack was the teenager’s parents voting for President Obama.
Stay tuned to Fox for further nonsense!
This morning I saw a car with two bumper stickers: “Defend Hawaii,” with an
outline of a machine gun, and “Live Aloha.”
Can these be reconciled?