Tip of the Iceberg

ln07a_bTo no one’s surprise, last week’s post (Candy From a Baby) was just the tip of the iceberg.  That post looked specifically at campaign contributions in state and county elections and found that tens of thousands of dollars that should have been used to the benefit of Native Hawaiians were diverted to political campaigns.

As if that was not damning enough, a much more exhaustive investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HSA) looked at Albert Hee and his dealings on a national level.  I strongly recommend reading the entire article at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Politicians Benefited from Hee’s Exorbitant Spending.

Curated coverage by Hawaii Free Press is also available.

HSA hits home when they point out:

Hee and executives from his companies together made thousands of dollars in contributions over the years to many of Hawaii’s leading Democratic politicians, including the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Sen Brian Schatz and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Waimana executives also gave thousands of dollars to the Hawaii Democratic Party, and Hee personally made contributions to Democratic Party organizations in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He donated more than $60,000 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2011 and 2012.

Coverage by HSA falls short however when they fail to detail just how indebted established isle politicians are to the convicted thief.  The only hard number they offer is the $60,000 paid out to the Obama Victory Fund.  It is almost as if pulled thier punches to spare establishment politicians from unwanted scrutiny.  While these numbers are a matter of public record, their lack of transparency calls their commitment to journalistic excellence into question.

Secondly, the article fails to clearly establish these political contributions as money that was originally intended for Native Hawaiians.  These contributions were tax dollars, intended for Native Hawaiians, that were used to pay politicians.  These politicians were rewarded for their silence as more money was siphoned away from Native Hawaiians.