Capitol Watch

Hawaii Politics & Government

HawaiiPoliticsThe BeatCapitol WatchInside Honolulu

Honolulu Mayor Lends Support to Democratic Candidates

Kirk Caldwell is hosting a fundraiser for David Ige and a press conference for Mark Takai.

·By Nathan Eagle

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been lending his support to fellow Democrats he’d like to see win this November, namely state Sen. David Ige in his bid for governor and state Rep. Mark Takai in his run for Congress.

Caldwell endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrombie for re-election back in July. But he’s apparently put the governor’s stunning two-to-one loss to Ige in the August primary behind him. 

The mayor is hosting a fundraiser for Ige’s campaign, which could definitely use the cash, next week at the Honolulu Country Club. The

The BeatCapitol WatchDC808 BlogInside Honolulu

Hawaii Voting Registration Deadline Is Oct. 6

Election officials will once again hold drive-thru voter registration events at various locations.

·By Chad Blair

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Monday, Oct. 6. So, “no vote, no grumble,” OK?

Drive-thru voter registration will once again be held on that day at various locations (see below). Individuals may drive to designated locations and register on the spot.

“We hope people will take this opportunity to register to vote. It’s quick and easy. Just stay in your car and an election official will have you registered in minutes,” said Chief Election Officer Scott Nago in a press release today.

A total of 1,200 individuals registered during the primary

The BeatCapitol Watch

Solicitation With Birds, or Merely Extending the ‘Aloha Spirit’?

The Hawaii Supreme Court rules that a man photographing people with his birds should not have been convicted.

·By Chad Blair

Check out this story from Courthouse News Service about a man who said he was “merely extending ‘his aloha spirit’” in photographing people with his birds and should not have been convicted of solicitation.

Prosecutors had charged James Abel in 2012 with soliciting with live animals in public in Waikiki. He was convicted and charged $330.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed Abel’s conviction, says CNS, “crediting the state’s contention that it need not prove that an actual request for money occurred.”

But, on Sept. 24, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled

HawaiiThe BeatCapitol Watch

Hawaii’s Sakai Named ‘Outstanding Director of Corrections’

The honor comes from a national organization called the Association of State Correctional Administrators.

·By Chad Blair

Hawaii’s prison system may be plagued with lots of problems — e.g., escapees, suicides, overcrowding, visitation cancellation — but the Association of State Correctional Administrators says Public Safety Director Ted Sakai is the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Director of Corrections Award.

The group’s current president and commissioner said in a press release, “It was evident that this year’s recipient has made many contributions over the years and even more importantly has touched a number of lives throughout his service as Director. He has an uncanny ability to not only lead effectively, but

The BeatCapitol Watch

Cavasso Calls for Series of Debates With Schatz

None have been scheduled for the U.S. Senate race. Meanwhile, two TV forums are set for the Takai-Djou contest.

·By Chad Blair

U.S. Senate candidate Cam Cavasso is trying to get Sen Brian Schatz to debate him, but it’s an uphill battle.

Cavasso, the Republican, wrote to Schatz a couple days ago suggesting the Democrat join him for one forum each on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and the Big Island next month.

“I believe it would be respectful to the people of Hawaii for us to debate the issues important to the voters of Hawaii,” Cavasso said in a press release. “The people of Hawaii deserve to be informed as to our respective

The BeatCapitol Watch

ACLU Sues Arizona Over ‘Revenge Porn’ Law

Hawaii enacted its own law just this year, prohibiting disclosing videos or images of nude people or sex without consent.

·By Chad Blair

The ACLU of Arizona is suing its state over a “revenge porn” law, arguing that “it violates freedom of speech,” The Christian Post reports.

The ACLU says the law is too narrowly written and could have unintended consequences.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of several artists, book stores and others who worry that the law, says the ACLU, “could be applied to any person who distributes or displays an image of nudity — including pictures that are newsworthy, artistic, educational or historic — without the depicted person’s consent, even

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