We’re all so busy. But we’re days before the ballots start arriving in Hawaii’s mailboxes for the Gubernatorial Race.
Dr. Green has been at the State Capitol for 18 years. He has branded himself as the “Dr. Josh Green”, wearing his medical scrubs to campaign events and activities outside of the hospital. Even his official Facebook banner portrays him in his medical scrubs.
Here’s an extremely brief chronology of Dr. Green’ record at the State Capitol relating to healthcare and politics.
BIG ISLAND NOW’s questioned Sen. Josh Green‘s donations and involvement
” But Green so far hasn’t addressed questions on why he used his position as senator to act on behalf of a private company; if that act was connected to the donation; and whether he shares the city’s view that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for inflated prices on medication.
Meanwhile, Automated Healthcare Solutions is no stranger to controversy, paying handsomely to political lobbying firms to advance its interests (including $82,000 to a single firm in Florida.) The firm pays doctors who dispense medications directly to patients, then bills insurance carriers and governments at a higher amount. To put it mildly.
The unique pricing scheme hasn’t escaped the gaze of insurance carriers either, who fought last session to pass a bill capping the prices of directly-dispensed drugs. The bill was killed off in a committee chaired by none other than Senator Clayton Hee, the only legislator besides Sen. Green to receive contributions from Automated Healthcare Solutions.
Whether Senators Green and Hee acted inappropriately is up to the public to decide, but the wasteful and abusive pricing scheme employed by companies like Automated Healthcare Solutions can only be dealt with at the Legislature via a cap on excessive pricing practices.“
Babara Polk, a long time advocate for good government wrote this about Dr. Green and HB 2175 that left favoritism open.
” Last year the state Legislature passed a bill intended to exempt members of temporary task forces from sections of the state ethics code. But in the process, they also exempted themselves from the “fair treatment” section of the code:
“No legislator or employee shall use or attempt to use the legislator’s or employee’s official position to secure or grant unwarranted privileges, exemptions, advantages, contracts, or treatment, for oneself or others.”
HB 2175 (which became Act 208 with the governor’s signature) exempted task force members from these and other provisions —bad enough, since it leaves a wide open door for favoritism when one industry representative is allowed to benefit from information not available to others. But it also broadened a previous exemption for legislators that applied only when engaged in their legislative functions. Now the exemption applies to anything they do in their role as a legislator.
An example that would have come under scrutiny prior to approval of Act 208 was Maui Senator Josh Green’s intervention in a payment dispute between the city and Automated HealthCare Solutions. Although he did not advocate a specific solution, he did call the city offer “unreasonable”. Eight days later, Green received a campaign contribution from Automated HealthCare Solutions for $2,000. When the matter became public, Sen. Green donated the money to charity, claiming that he had not intended to be taking the company’s side.
However, even if he had intended to influence the decision, that would not have been a violation of the ethics code under Act 208’s exemption.”
Civil Beat’s Nick Grube reported Dr. Green is sitting on more than $500,000 of campaign cash.
” State Sen. Josh Green has more than a half-million dollars in his campaign coffers, far more than any of his 24 colleagues.
Green’s $515,800 exceeds the combined cash on hand of the two senators who come closest to him on that measure, Donna Mercado Kim ($245,000) and Donovan Dela Cruz ($244,800).
Green, who represents Hawaii County’s Kona and Kau districts, also raised more money than any of his colleagues — $72,000 — in the last reporting period that covers July-December 2015.
And yet, Green is not up for re-election until 2018. He faced no opponent in the 2014 Democratic primary and swamped Libertarian Michael Last, taking 76 percent of the vote in the general election.
Green has received significant contributions from medical interests. He is an emergency room doctor and was, until a recent Senate leadership shakeup, chair of the Senate Health Committee.
In 2015, donors included political action committees for the Hawaii Medical Association, the Hawaii Medical Service Association, UHA Health Insurance and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.”
The Maui News reported Dr. Josh Green’s hiring actions when elected as Lt. Governor.
” HONOLULU — Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green has appointed a former carpenters’ union official to be his chief of staff months after a super PAC funded by the union spent over $1 million supporting his candidacy in the Democratic Party primary.“
The Star Advertiser’s Sophie Cocke went into further details that almost revealed a “pecking order” to rewarding donations.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green has hired Brooke Wilson, who served as political and education director for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, as his chief of staff, as well as experts from the health care industry to staff his office on the fifth floor of the state Capitol.
Green, who was sworn into office Monday, received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the super political action committee financed by the pro-rail carpenters union, called Be Change Now, during his campaign for lieutenant governor — a staggering amount for such a race which surprised political observers and elicited criticism from his Democratic primary rivals.
As deputy chief of staff, Green has hired Jeremy Lakin. Lakin worked for the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, a trade association for hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and other businesses operating in the health care sector. Lakin, who is also an attorney, has specialized in public policy, government administration and litigation, according to Green’s office.
J.P. Schmidt, who served as the state’s insurance commissioner under former Gov. Linda Lingle and has worked in the insurance sector since leaving office, has joined Green’s office as a senior policy adviser.
Dr. Green continues to receive substantial amounts from the health care, including from Pfizer Corporation, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical corporation. Green travelled to the Mainland for Fundraisers. Needless to say, Green has also received hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists, labor unions, legal, developers, healthcare, and so on.
“Dr” Green has held the most fundraisers than Kahele and Cayetano. On July 13, 2022, there was a conflict of schedule between Green’s fundraiser at the Waialae Country Club in Kahala and YMCA forum on women issues. Green was a no-show at the YMCA forum. Considering that both the events were in Honolulu, Green could have easily “show face” at the YMCA for a time.
Campaign Finance Influence
What is significant are the corporate donations. However, it must be noted that corporations have dished out their donations through various individual names to outsmart the maximum limit of $6,000 allowable by law.
It must be noted that every donor has the free agency to donate their own money as they wish.
What is significant is how donations influence and control the candidate.