Capitol Watch

Hawaii Politics & Government

The BeatCapitol Watch

Nevada Journalist Unhappy With Ige’s Gambling View

The Democrat running for Hawaii governor said in a recent debate that Las Vegas leaves locals "disappointed."

·By Chad Blair

For David Ige, it’s “No Viva, Las Vegas!”

The Democratic state senator running for governor of Hawaii was recently asked about how he feels about legalizing gambling in the 5oth state. He opposes it.

Well, Nevada journalist Jon Ralston was listening in and accused Ige of “trashing” Sin City. Here’s what Ige said:

“I’ve spoken with many in the visitor industry and they do believe that legalized gambling would be devastating to their industry. I’ve talked with hotel owners who lament about the fact that, you know, when you see people

The BeatCapitol Watch

Does Hawaii Prefer Red Wine or White?

New survey says it's red, as is the trend nationally.

·By Chad Blair

Check out this Washington Post blog on red wine versus white wine preferences:

If you prefer red wine to white, you’re not alone.

All but three states—Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa—buy more red than white, according to data compiled by online wine retailer Naked Wines.

North Carolina, Mississippi, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are particularly fond of red varietals—the four buy red wine nearly 60 percent of the time, and white wine only 30 percent of the time. …

A survey conducted this past spring by online wine retailer Corkguru

The BeatCapitol Watch

Honolulu Makes Short List for Obama Library

It's the city where he was born and where he mostly grew up.

·By Chad Blair

Our media partner KITV has this report:

Chicago, New York and Honolulu are on the short list to host President Barack Obama’s future presidential library.

The Barack Obama Foundation says four of the 13 applications submitted earlier this year made the cut.  New York’s Columbia University and the University of Hawaii are being invited to submit more formal proposals to host the library.

So are two Illinois schools: the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chicago businessman Marty

The BeatCapitol Watch

Obama Issues Disaster Declaration for Hawaii, Maui

Meanwhile, the Abercrombie administration is appealing FEMA's rejection of storm relief request.

·By Chad Blair

President Barack Obama today declared that “a major disaster exists” in Hawaii and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by Tropical Storm Iselle Aug. 7-9.

According to a press release from the White House, “federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle in the counties of Hawaii and Maui.”

Volunteers unload ice at the Nanawale Community Center in Puna during

The BeatCapitol WatchInside Honolulu

Hawaii Women Leaders Demand Accountability over HPD Incident

"Extreme" domestic violence case raises questions about policies, procedures for handling criminal actions involving cops.

·By Chad Blair

Following the public release of a surveillance video showing a Honolulu Police Department sergeant allegedly beating his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant, more than two dozen female political leaders are calling on HPD “to explain its policies and procedures for handling criminal actions involving its own officers and how the failure to act that occurred earlier this week is not repeated.”

The call comes from the 23 members of the Hawaii Women’s State Legislative Caucus, including Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, and the three women members of the Honolulu City Council,

The BeatCapitol Watch

Hilo Pot Minister Leaves Federal Prison

Roger Christie checks into a halfway house in Honolulu, vows to continue fight for cannabis use.

·By Chad Blair

Roger Christie, the self-proclaimed Hawaii Island minister of cannabis, walked out of a federal prison on Oahu today after more than four years of incarceration.

“Oh, my God, it’s a good, freaking day,” Christie told Civil Beat shortly after he left the Federal Detention Center near Honolulu International Airport.

Christie pleaded guilty in September 2013 to federal charges of marijuana trafficking and failing to file tax returns.

He will now reside at Mahoney Hale, a halfway house, downtown.

Roger Christie walks out of the Federal Detention Center with Libertarian candidate for governor Jeff

The BeatCapitol WatchDC808 Blog

Gov’s Race Called a Tossup, and Ige Raising More Cash

Meantime, Politico includes Abercrombie and Hanabusa among biggest primary "losers."

·By Chad Blair

The number of U.S. gubernatorial elections that are too close to call has nearly doubled over the past few months, and they include Hawaii’s.

That’s according to Governing Magazine.

“Hawaii’s gubernatorial race continues to mystify,” the analysis states. “In one of America’s bluest states, the incumbent Democrat was soundly defeated in a primary by state Sen. David Ige. Now Ige faces former Republican lieutenant governor James ‘Duke’ Aiona and, running as an Independent, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanemann.”

And this: “In one of the nation’s hardest states to poll,

The BeatCapitol WatchDevelopment Blog

HCDA To Consider Director’s Salary Increase in Closed Meeting

UPDATED: Some Kakaako residents oppose the secrecy and proposed raise.

·By Anita Hofschneider

UPDATED 9/9/14 3:45 p.m.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority board is planning to meet to decide whether or not to appoint a committee that could increase Executive Directory Anthony Ching’s salary by as much as $20,000.

UPDATE The meeting was supposed to be held on Tuesday at noon but will be rescheduled because the board didn’t have enough members to meet quorum.

The meeting will be closed to the public, pursuant to a Hawaii law that allows the board to hold closed meetings if they deal with private matters of an employee.

HCDA

HawaiiThe BeatCapitol WatchEnergy and Environment Blog

Report: GMO Labeling Opponents Triple Spending

Monsanto, Du Pont, others devote millions of dollars toward lobbying.

·By Nathan Eagle

Groceries, food makers and biotech companies opposed to laws that would require genetically modified products to be labeled have spent far more money lobbying this year than in 2013.

Reuters has reported that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto, DuPont, Coca-Cola and others opposed to mandatory labeling spent $27.5 million during the first six months of 2014, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that supports GMO labeling. That’s up from $9.3 million in all of 2013.

Groups who support GMO labeling have disclosed spending $1.9 million in lobbying expenses

The BeatCapitol WatchDC808 Blog

Ninth Circuit to Hear Hawaii Gay Marriage Case

Meanwhile, Hawaii has joined other states asking SCOTUS to resolve marriage equality nationwide.

·By Chad Blair

Three judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are expected to hear arguments on Monday on gay marriage bans in Hawaii, Idaho and Nevada.

As The Associated Press reports, “The hearings come as gay marriage supporters have piled up legal victories in federal courts across the country this year, nullifying bans in more than a dozen states.”

In the Hawaii case — Jackson v. Abercrombie — the state argues that a legal challenge by gay couples to Hawaii’s now-defunct 1998 law restricting marriage to one man and one woman is moot since

The BeatCapitol Watch

NFL Season Has Begun. Which Team Does Hawaii Follow?

No surprise: New map says we root for the San Francisco 49ers.

·By Chad Blair

Here’s an item from The Atlantic that maps out by county which NFL teams are favored where across the country.

The info comes from the Facebook Data Science team’s just-released 2014 NFL American fandom map.

Not surprisingly, it’s pretty geographically oriented.

The nearer one is to, say, the Denver Broncos or the New Orleans Saints, the likelier it is that you root for the “home team.”

Hawaii is one of many states without professional football teams. The Atlantic says we favor the San Francisco 49ers.

That’s sounds right, although I know of a a lot of

·By Nathan Eagle

A new lava flow on the Big Island has spurred Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to sign an emergency proclamation.

The lava, which is coming from vents that opened in June, is expected to reach the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads as soon as Tuesday. If it continues to flow east-northeast, it will eventually cross Highway 130.

County officials have identified two abandoned roads — Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road — to be improved and used as alternate routes should access be cut off by the lava flow.

The lava flow