“Progressive” Leadership

10557417_10152641776989225_8612604521508992757_nWhile proclaiming themselves as individuals who would like to see society progress, their leadership demonstrates that we are sliding backwards both morally and ethically under their form of ‘leadership.  While the question of who to vote for is often difficult, the choice of who to vote against remains much easier.

Consider the following areas when assessing Progressive leadership in Hawaii:

1) Crime: In his first term, Abercrombie rolled out the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). While touting it as a plan to bring inmates home, it was the Trojan Horse for Progressives to forgive and forget their crimes.  [1]  Progressive leaders would rather release criminals rather than pay for incarceration out of a budget that has been depleted by their tax-and-spend policies (see #3).  Try telling that to the…

2) Crime Victims: As part of the JRI, criminals were supposed to pay out 25% of their meager earnings while incarcerated to the victims of their crimes.  Activist judges, however, consider the 25% restitution to be a ‘recommendation’ instead of a law. A bill to correct this (HB2654 CD2) was held in the 11th hour by both the House and Senate money committees chaired by Progressives (David Ige and Sylvia Luke).

When we forgive and forget, it is the victims that still get the short end of the stick.

3) Fiscal responsibility: The tax-and-spend policies of Progressives have finally caught up to them. Embarrassingly, the Legislature failed to pass a constitutionally-mandated balanced budget [2][3] for the first time in the history of our state.  While Progressives (Abercrombie, Luke and Ige) attempt to take credit for any surpluses, they point the finger at each other for the unbalanced budget.

The truth is that they are all to blame. It was Abercrombie who requested more than $40-million to save Turtle Bay – almost the exact amount that the budget was over by.  But it was the fault of Ige and Luke not just for giving the $40-million as requested, but not adjusting the budget for an expenditure that they knew about almost two weeks before the budget was passed in conference committee.

To balance the budget, Progressives took the money from —

4) Education: While our public education system hobbles along as one of the worst in the nation, Progressives took money from the Department of Education[4] to avert a budgetary shortfall. What Progressives do not want you to know is that the combined price of ‘preserving’ Turtle Bay ($40-million) and Lipoa Point[5] on Maui (approximately $20-million) could have funded the Governor’s Early Learning Initiative[6].

Progressives made a choice, and they placed preservation ahead of the education of our island’s keiki. Speaking of educating our keiki —

5) Pono Choices: Aware of the pushback that parents and the faith-based community are capable of, Progressives left a loophole in Department of Education (DoE) policy to allow medically-inaccurate, controversial curriculum to be taught without parental consent or notification.  Rather than opening Pono choices to review at the DoE, Progressives used the College of Education at the University of Hawaii to pry their way into public schools.

6) Government Transparency: For Progressives, government transparency is only a means to an end.  When transparency has come into conflict on Progressive issues like Turtle Bay, same-sex marriage, marijuana and GMO-bans, the mantra that was so often repeated in the past fell on deaf ears when the public reminded Progressives about their ‘commitment’ to government transparency.

7) Ethics: Under Progressive leadership, it has been a banner year in government for legislators-behaving-badly.  This includes Romy Cachola[7] using tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses.  Karen Awana[8] is paying off thousands of dollars in fines for campaign spending violations.  Tom Brower used government funds[9] to pay for a sledgehammer to demolish shopping carts[10] containing the few belongings that Waikiki’s homeless clung to.  Rida Cabanilla managed to find $100,000[11] in the budget for the charity that she heads and her office volunteers for. Clayton Hee, Sylvia Luke and Scott Nishimoto[12] have mistreated and verbally abused public testifiers at hearings.  At least Kaniela Ing[13] confined his disparaging remarks to Facebook. Sylvia Luke also changed a bill to ensure a steady stream of business at her day job as an ambulance-chasing lawyer.[14]

If progress is supposed to be about moving forward, then why are we going backwards?

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[1] From the press release: “The comprehensive plan suggests that a portion of state dollars that would have otherwise been spent on mainland prison contracts should instead be reinvested in strategies that the research demonstrates are most likely to make the state safer. The proposed reinvestment consists of $7 million annually to go toward key unfilled positions, training in best practices, treatment programs in the community and more supervision officers.”

[2] Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 10, 2014, Derrick DePledge, “Error in state budget has governor chiding the state Legislature

[3] Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 11, 2014, Richard Borreca, “Lecture on budget bills rebounds on Abercrombie

[4] Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 10, 2014, Derrick DePledge, “Error in state budget has governor chiding the state Legislature

[5] Press Release, Office of the Governor, June 26, 2014, “Governor Releases $30.4 Million for Natural Resource Protecftion, Defense Facility Upgrades

[6] Star-Advertiser, April 3, 2013, Derrick DePledge, “Finance Panel OKs Preschool Education

[7] Star-Advertiser, May 19, 2014, “Cachola Should Have Known Better

[8] Star-Advertiser, October 10, 2013, Derrick DePledge, “Commission Fines Apologetic Awana

[9] KHON2, May 13, 2014, Gina Mangieri, “Allowance Questions: Where Politicians Spend Your Money

[10] Star-Advertiser, November 20, 2013, “Hammer Won’t Ease Homelessness

[11] Star-Advertiser, May 1, 2014, Derrick Depledge, “Legislators Give $100,000 Grant to Group Run by Fellow Lawmaker

[12] Political Radar Blog, March 7th, 2014, “Express Myself

[13] Political Radar Blog, November 4th, 2013 “’Pilau

[14] Star-Advertiser, April 10, 2014, Sam Eifling, “Outdoor Groups Hit State Lawmaker With Ethics Complaint

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