Did Roundtable Committee Have Member Support?

University of Hawaii

Executive committee members of the Hawaii Business Roundtable say a majority of its membership supports the committee's opposition to House Bill 444.

Arthur Ushijima, president and CEO of Queen's Health Systems, told Civil Beat Monday, "Like any executive committee, it is made up of a cross section of membership from different industries in the community. The group tries to represent the sentiment of the membership, and so that is really how it acted."

Said Gary Kai, the roundtable's executive director: "As far as if the committee represents the opinion of a majority of the board, my simple comment would be that I have no reason to believe it would not."

The 10-member committee, which on June 4 sent a letter to Gov. Linda Lingle urging her to veto the civil unions measure, has declined to release its vote tally or say how exactly many of its 48 members support the veto.

But at least one roundtable member was not informed of the executive committee's action until after the fact, the person said.

"I knew nothing about the letter until I received a courtesy copy from Gary Kai," said the board member, who spoke on the condition that the comments would be anonymous. "Never, to my knowledge, has the executive committee set policy without even a discussion with the full membership let alone a vote or even a straw vote."

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