The overflow crowd at yesterday afternoon’s panel at the University of Hawaii on the life and work of Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, enjoyed all of the 2+ hours of information shared by a few of her friends and colleagues.
Hawaii Tourism Authority chief Rex Johnson, now probably a short-timer in his current job, has probably put Advertiser reporter Rick Daysog in line for his reporting on Johnson’s secret life online.
Daysog’s followup story yesterday reporting on racist and sexist jokes spread by Johnson appears to have most likely spiked Johnson’s public career, prompting a genuinely angry Linda Lingle to call for his resignation or firing.
Johnson may be crude but he’s not dumb. This time an exit, graceful or not, appears in order.
Allison Schaefers, writing in today’s Star-Bulletin, advances the story by confirming that the HTA board was not aware of these emails and that they were ignored during an earlier investigation into porn images and jokes emailed by Johnson.
“When they (the attorney general’s office and Higa) provided their reports, there was no information concerning racist or sexist e-mails,” Bloom said. “We weren’t aware of this.”
Bloom said as part of their due diligence, the HTA asked the attorney general’s office to review the content of the pornographic e-mails that had been flagged by Higa.
“The (HTA) asked us to do one thing, and that’s what we did,” said state Attorney General Mark Bennett. “We don’t read the e-mails of state employees routinely.”
Bloom said the HTA asked the state attorney’s office to review a group of pornographic e-mails that had been flagged by Higa, who said that she had happened upon them by chance as part of an unrelated DBEDT audit.
Higa, who declined to comment on whether she was aware of the racial and sexual content contained in the latest batch of e-mails, said that she brought the pornographic e-mails to the HTA’s attention because of their level of seriousness.
Remember the words of President Bush: “Fool me once, shame on..shame on you…fool me…you can’t get fooled again.”
Lingle is right to worry about the image of Hawaii tourism. I noted at least one mainland travel writer’s blog talking about the case yesterday as soon as news broke here.