“Early this morning, Governor Green, M.D., reviewed and signed the State of Hawai`i’s major disaster declaration request which was transmitted to the White House for Presidential approval. Moments ago, POTUS approved the declaration request. This will unlock the full power and support of the federal Government which includes disaster relief resources and direct financial support for our communities. The Green administration worked through the night in direct contact with our White House partners to get this much needed relief for our communities.“
Lt. Governor Josh Green and the executives of Nomi Health show a pattern of campaign donations that should be further scrutinized.
This is an excerpt from USA TODAY which has a paywall to read. However Civil Beat is in partnership with this article:
” Nomi, Chief Executive Mark Newman and others associated with the company have since December given almost $35,000 to Hawaii Democrats, with the majority going to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, the Democratic nominee and front-runner for governor, campaign finance records show. There were no contributions to Republicans, who have little political clout in Hawaii.
Nearly all of the campaign contributions to Hawaii politicians, including several running for the Legislature and lieutenant governor, came after Nomi announced in December that it had secured $110 million in new investor money. The company then purchased at least three more businesses, including Artemis Health, which gave nearly $5,600 to Green about six months after the acquisition.
Newman previously told USA TODAY that campaign contributions were made in part so that Nomi could continue to “be at the table” and compete for future health contracts against other businesses.”
Larry Noble, former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission who has practiced campaign finance law for 45 years, told USA TODAY that it appears Newman wants to sit at more tables.
“Money buys access,” Noble said. “It’s a big problem and leads to a distorted government, and it is part of the system we have right now. The fact that he is willing to say it out loud is how far we have fallen.”
What is interesting are also the observations from Congressman Kai Kahele:
“Kai Kahele, a U.S. congressman who lost to Green in the Democratic primary for governor, released a 47-minute video in late July that questioned why Nomi and Newman were invested in a political race so far away from Utah.
Kahele told USA TODAY that Newman will have allies in the governor and lieutenant governor should the Democratic ticket win in November.
He said that while the contributions from Newman and Nomi associates are much smaller in Hawaii than what was given in politically red states, the dollars add up, and open the door to political access for state contracts.
“It just smells fishy,” Kahele said, “Something is not right.”
It appears Civil Beat’s Nick Grube first broke the story of Congressman Kai Kahele’s “proxy” votes on April 11, 2022. Unfortunately, this “proxy” report spun out of control without much verification and undermined Kahele’s campaign.
Grube wrote that: “Kahele’s absence has not gone unnoticed, according to two Washington-based lobbyists who spoke to Civil Beat on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so by their firms.“
” . . . on the condition of anonymity” caught my attention. My first instinct was to google-search Congressman Kahele’s voting record. Voting by “proxy” is still a vote. Remember we’re undergoing a COVID19 pandemic.
Public information shows Congressman Kahele has a good record. Why was this critical public information not part of Grube’s reporting?
From Jan 2021 to Aug 2022, Kahele missed 6 of 869 roll call votes, which is 0.7%. This is better than the median of 2.1% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.
Unfortunately, the Civil Beat’s negative reporting of Kahele’s “proxy” lit like a wildfire. Other corporate media jumped on the bandwagon and added their own headlines. Social media comments and trolls continued the negative connotations against Kahele.
One has to ask if this was an intended negative politicking, the first salvo to undermine Kahele.
Does Civil Beat not like Congressman Kahele as it obviously does not like former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard?
Or did this article about Kahele’s “proxy” vote (with the assumption of no intended malice) simply spun out of control?
Should the public should be alarmed with this type of reporting?
Should readers be less dependent on corporate media for facts and information?
Are corporate media copycats of each other without verifying first?
Unfortunately, this was one negative salvo that Congressman Kahele could not contain.
Social media perpetuated the “proxy” vote as if Kahele had gone AWOL. Congressman Kahele is our District Representative. We were impressed and pleased with his “boots in the ground” style for Hawaii residents. He’s been present at Honolulu city council and other community meetings. This may be unconventional but he certainly could not be described as having a “chronic allergy to Capitol Hill“. Proxy votes are allowed.
Additionally, the reporting of Congressman Kahele’s job with Hawaiian Airlines was negatively skewed as well. in 2021, Kahele has had a total of 14.2 flying hours and made less than $2,861.90.
This reduction of Kahele’s salary is not as alarming as the increased income of Hawaii’s Lt. Governor Dr. Josh Green, another gubernatorial candidate.
The Office of the Lt. Governor is a full-time position paying $165,552.00 a year. Dr. Green has continued to practice his medical career for the past 18 years. His recently formed Green Health International LLC reportedly saw an increase of about $1M. This gubernatorial candidate has thus far stone-walled calls for answers to these sources of income to his LLC.
August 13 Primary Elections is over. The General election to finally choose the candidates is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Voters receive their ballots in the mail for the General Election by October 21, 2022
Considering it’s a mail-in elections, the Primary results are disappointing. Over half a million registered voters (515,397 60.4%) did not vote in the Primary.
To put the Primary Results in context, there is no mandate from the public at large for the Democratic Party:
Elections 2022 PRIMARY FINAL TALLY
338,477 (39.6%) voted
515,397 (60.4%) did not vote
EXAMPLE: The Gubernatorial Race Results
157,476 votes for Dr. Josh Green divided by registered voters (854,874) is ONLY about 18.44% of Hawaii’s registered voters.
This percentage can hardly be claimed as a mandate for the Democratic Party in Hawaii.
Providing a multi-party choice is good and a must for democracy. For the public interest and public good, our political culture ought to be one of encouraging ALL candidates with diversity of thoughts and ideas to participate.
I would encourage Republicans to reassess and work hard to offer a viable choice for the people of Hawaii.
In the next 2024 elections, hopefully Aloha Aina, Green Party, Independent, and others will regroup and try again!
Another interesting point to consider is this: It was reported early in the August 13, 2022 Primary Night that about 730.000 ballots were mailed out.
But the final tally for the August 13, 2022 was 854,874 registrations count.
That was an increase of about 124,874 registration. It appears to be a very accelerated amount in a very short time.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser hosted a digital town hall on June 29, 2022 for the top three presumptive gubernatorial candidates – Vicky Cayetano, Josh Green, and Kai Kahele.
Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji hosted the hour-long program.
For those who did not watch the Star Advertiser Spotlight Forum, I’m highlighting the Campaign Finance Reform issue.
About the 50:00 timeline, Representative Kai Kahele retorted at Lt. Governor Green’s comments about leading by example:
” … for the Lt Gov Green to talk about leading by example, frankly, it’s a joke because his (Green) campaign is funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars by outside mainland donors, corporations, special interests, big pharma, maxed dollar donors , wealthy individuals from the mainland that want to control the economic and political life of this state.”
Green was visibly irritated and quickly responded that he was disappointed by Kahele’s “attack” and it was not appropriate as he (Green) was a “hardworking doctor and Lt. governor “.
Green again implemented the red herring fallacy to distract from his own record and accused Kahele of “sensationalism”. Green proceeded to accusing Kahele’s of donations from indicted Mitsunaga and others.
However, it must be noted that this federal indictment case is very specific. It’s focused on the Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro who received donations from Mitsunaga & Associates to prosecute one of Dennis Mitsunaga’s former employee.
Kahele should have brought up Green’s most egregious Pay to Play quid pro quo . The Carpenter’s Union donated about $1M at the last minute to Green in 2018 to edge over Jill Tokuda.
Green in turn dutifully appointed one of its union officials as his Chief of Staff.
Is money buying elections?
Isn’t this a blatant example of PAY TO PLAY?
Green’s action is very significant because the Chief of Staff controls the office of the Lt. Governor and its operations. His Deputy Chief of Staff is from the Healthcare Sector. His Senior Policy Advisor is from the Insurance sector.
I didn’t take it as an “attack” when Kahele highlighted Green’s donations from the mainland interests, unions, maxed out donors, big pharma, and so on.
Candidates cannot run away nor be offended by their own record. The Public has every right to question and raise concerns to hold the candidate accountable.
This is why Campaign Finance Reform is so critical. If this cancer is not controlled, candidates who are willing to play along with special interests groups will continue to receive donations. With these big donations, candidates are able to hire staff for their campaign, pay for expensive social media, television ads and so forth.
Candidates can literally reinvent themselves with sophisticated media propaganda and manipulated narratives for their desired outcome. The Status Quo continues.
Voters may feel outgunned and overwhelmed by campaign finance concerns. But elections are won vote by vote.
Voters have the power. Voters can make a conscious choice to boycott candidates with big donations from special interests.
Voters also need not feel the pressure to tell any one who they voted for.
Happy 4th of July!
It’s best to read into each candidate. Those with money can swarm the airwaves with 30-seconds soundbites to reinvent themselves as candidates of change. Money is buying elections.
People need to be reminded about this candidate. Past behavior is a good predicator of future actions.
West Hawaii Today reported this on December 6, 2018.
” HONOLULU — 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.
Brooke Wilson most recently served as political and education director for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters. She’s the only incoming staff member from the carpenters’ union. “