Take ACTION NOW: take the Staradvertiser survey if you are a subscriber: http://www.staradvertiser.com/staradvertiser-poll/agree-governors-veto-aquarium-fish-collecting-bill/, (NO, the Governor should have signed SB1240). SB1240 was a sane way to phase out a destructive industry that devastates coral reef ecosystems and reduces reef wildlife.
Please read what Robert Wintner, one of the main advocates of SB1240, has to say about Governor Ige’s veto yesterday:
“Mahalo to all who supported SB 1240. Enduring the legislature was rough, with vicious opposition from DLNR, a corrupt State agency with a Conflict-of-Interest history. We did not expect David Ige, governor, to make that conflict his own. David Ige appears to be detached, ill-advised, non-responsive and lacking. We gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Ten people from across Hawaii met with Ige recently—fishermen, host-cultural practitioners, conservationists and tourism professionals. He stared back for an hour, repeating a single word. Does he know what palani is: “No.” Does he have any questions? “No.”
“Will you sign this bill?”
He mumbled, “We take a look. Weigh the pros and cons.” I suggested weighing the cons then, considering the expense and effort the group made to be there and the willingness to air things out. “No. We take a look.”
David Ige deferred to his higher power: Suzanne Case, DLNR Director and former TNC Director, who puts The Nature Conservancy above Hawaii. David Ige fails to override his mistake at DLNR. While everyone is sad, angry and disappointed that such an exhaustive, honest and tough campaign could come to such a pathetic end, we will not give up.
We will not react. We will seek to override the veto in the legislature. We had the necessary 2/3 majorities on floor votes that secured final passage. Historically, veto overrides in Hawaii don’t happen. We may have a chance here based on ethics violations at DLNR—DLNR led the opposition to SB 1240 through the legislative process. Besides DLNR corruption, WESPAC influence violated Federal Law. We hope legislators will smell what’s rotten in the Ige Administration and override its error, since Ige cannot.
David Ige deferred to lies spun by DLNR/DAR as “data.” Ige heard from top U.S. marine scientists in response to DLNR and the aquarium collectors. Ige took a mainland commercial extraction industry at face value over the Hawaii reef trust. Ige got the DLNR cased deconstructed and refuted with real data. He responded with quiet ineffectiveness, failing to lead, buckling under heavier handss.
We have filed with the State Spending Commission to form a non-candidate Hawaii Super Pac to support Hawaii reef recovery in Statewide elections next year. REEFPAC has a familiar ring and will seek to replace weakness and corruptioin with pono management in The Reef State.
David Ige gives lip service to The Precautionary Principle. Ige murmurs support for the Paris Climate Accord. Yet he abdicates his sworn kuleana on the Hawaii Reef Accord.
At a campaign fundraiser in 2014 I chatted with George Ariyoshi. At 92 years the 3-term governor came out to campaign for Ige, in opposition to Abercrombie but with hope. Ariyoshi and Ige are no longer on speaking terms. George Ariyoshi is looking for a challenger to support, and so are we—a challenger with some reef chops instead of no chops at all.
We’re not done. We call on United State Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz along with Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa to keep an eye on WESPAC, a federal agency constrained by law from meddling in State legislation.
A hui hou,