Sierra Club Makes Hawaii PLDC An Election Issue
With the election a week away, the Hawaii Sierra Club is making a final push to ensure the Public Land Development Corporation is a major issue in legislative campaigns.
The environmental group, which in recent months has taken a firm position that the PLDC should be repealed, has unveiled a website called GrandTheftAina.com.
The purpose? To call out candidates and lawmakers on their position on the PLDC, which has increasingly become a hot button political issue. The group polled more than 100 legislators and candidates who are running for seats at the Legislature.
The PLDC, which was signed into law last year, enlists private companies to fast-track development and shore up aging infrastructure on public lands. Potential projects include the decaying Waikiki Natatorium and the development of a soundstage on agricultural lands in Ewa, as well as revamping small boat harbors and renovating aging public schools.
But public opposition to the PLDC has intensified in recent months, with nearly 700 hundred people turning out during public hearings in September to register their opposition to the agency. A growing number of politicians have also been calling for the repeal of the PLDC — or at least major changes to it — this upcoming legislative session which begins in January.
New candidates such as Laura Thielen, who is running for the Senate, and Keiko Bonk, who is running for the House, have vowed to kill the PLDC, making the issue a major part of their campaigns.