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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Geothermal developers aim to unseat OHA trustee Apoliona

November 4th, 2012 · 55 Comments

Two companies pushing for expanded geothermal drilling and development appear to be the primary forces behind the attempt by legendary prep football coach, Cal Lee, to unseat longtime Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and former chair, Haunani Apoliona.

Innovations Development Group Inc. and an affiliate, Honua Group LLC, which advocate development of geothermal resources on behalf of Native Hawaiians, have been the backbone of Lee’s campaign, according to reports filed with the Campaign Spending Commission.

With early and continued campaign support from the two companies, Lee has raised $71,019.83 as of October 22, compared to Apoliona’s total of $53,894.19.

Campaign reports show that for more than a month after Lee filed papers to run for Apoliona’s at-large seat, Honua Group and Innovations paid all of the campaign’s expenses, most of which were carried on the campaign’s books as loans.

The two companies paid to reserve the internet domain name, Votecallee.com, rent a post office box, hire a public relations consultant, order campaign signs from a company in Los Angeles, and fly them back to Honolulu, and then run Lee’s first campaign ads in the Star-Advertiser.

As the campaign developed, funds from the two companies went to pay for fundraising expenses, interisland travel, more campaign signs, and other items.

Lee’s expense report, filed with the Campaign Spending Commission, lists $10,988.09 in expenditures made by Honua Group on Lee’s behalf. Innovations Development added another $8,771.93, according to the disclosure reports.

The two companies are reported to have made 47 separate loans to Lee’s campaign between June 15 and October 17, 2012, with a total value of $24,735.79.

Lee’s campaign reported repaying $4,113.45 by the October 22 cut-off date of the most recent campaign finance report.

In addition to paying expenses for the campaign, Lee received direct contributions from Innovations Development office manager, Ryan Matsumoto ($3,475) and corporate treasurer, Nainoa Kuna ($2,500).

Financial advisor Lee Erwin, who is listed as a member of IDG’s management team, is also the treasurer of Lee’s campaign organization.

Kuna is also co-manager of Honua Group with Roberta Cabral, state business registration records show. Cabral, in turn, is a director and “Senior Advisor” of Innovations Development. Innovations Development’s management team also includes CEO Pat Brandt and community advisor Mililani Trask.

Trask has recently been active speaking out in support of the controversial Public Lands Development Corporation in various public meetings and in published statements. Geothermal projects could be among those that would benefit from exemptions to zoning and environmental regulations available through the PLDC.

The two companies also made substantial contributions to OHA candidates Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey ($5,000 each), while Honua Group contributed $3,500 to OHA trustee Robert Lindsey.

Tags: Campaigns · Politics

55 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lono Brown // Nov 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I say so what! It sounds like the Hawaiians are finally stepping up to get involved in the Democratic process afforded them under the constitution. They sound like they are following their right to vote and support the candidate of their choice. So what’s the problem? That’s the good ‘ole U.S.A. way! Oh, I get it, when the Hawaiians get involved politically, you guys no like but its okay for the big players in the State and foreign corporations to get involved? I am impressed that these guys are wanting to support candidates they believe support the rights of Hawaiians. The bottom line is OHA needs change and Haunani Apoliona has been a “fat cat” for too long for her Bank of Hawaii boardroom friends. Check out her latest conflict vote in support of the purchase of the Oz Stender $21 plus million Century Bldg on Nimitz. The ethics commission is looking into improprieties of Haunani Apoliona’s voting conflict and conduct. Let’s talk Haunani Apoliona who sat as the OHA Chair for ten years and spending over $100 million dollars on Kau Inoa and Akaka Bill with NO RESULTS! She has been engaged in nepotism in hiring her sister then retiring her (with full retirement pay), then putting her in a a position with an OHA LLC company and giving her another salary. Come on Ian Lind, why aren’t you reporting this.

  • 2 Mililani Trask // Nov 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Ian,

    Its Mililani. I thought I would respond on behalf of Indigenous Consultants. When I read your piece and saw your effort to support Haunani Apoliona’s campaign of insinuendo and negative attacks towards myself, my company and good Hawaiians running as OHA candidates.

    There isn’t any reasons for Indigenous Consultants, Mililani Trask, IDG, Honua Group or other Hawaiians to be running a campaign for the purpose of removing Haunani Apoliona from power. The OHA Board of Trustees removed Haunani from power two years ago and also ensured that she would NOT be the Chair of any of the OHA standing committees. If you had checked the record over the last two years you will find many examples of Haunani Apoliona’s inability to work with the Board. Non Hawaiians and Hawaiians from all of the Islands are supporting Cal Lee and Hulu Lindsey in a range as diverse as Mililani Trask and HRH Princess Kekaulike Kawananakoa who has also been a significant supporter of Coach Cal Lee. If you want to see some examples of this please go to Cal Lee’s facebook site at f/CalLee4OHA or go to Hulu Lindsey’s Facebook. Your article FALSELY suggests that IDG and IC (the bad geothermal developers) are trying to influence the OHA election to get a geothermal deal from OHA with the new Board. If you had done your homework you would know #1 that OHA voted to support the IDG/IC Native to Native Business Model over a year ago. So there’s no need to try to get a new Board to support our indigenous human rights approach to developing native lands and resources. #2 OHA’s investment policy specifically prevents OHA from investing in these type of ventures and OHA has no history in investing in direct commercial investments.

    Why throw in a comment on the PLDC? I am supporting it because for the first time in the history of the State, the Public and native Hawaiian beneficiaries will finally have a “mechanism” to develop our Hawaiian ceded lands and energy resources for our Hawaiian community and mo’opuna. Its pretty obvious that this is not something you or the rest of the environmentalist would support. I am proud of standing with other Hawaiians on the IDG Team such as Uncle Cy Bridges, Community leader Patricia Brandt, Former Judge Patricia Talbert, Investment Analyst Keli’i Erwin and others. We are happy to put money to Hawaiian candidates that can progress a strong Board at OHA and do what is in the best interests of our people.

  • 3 leelee // Nov 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you, Ian, for a very revealing article.
    It’s too bad that not only foreigners want in on the exploitation but Hawaiians selling out their own.
    Shame.
    Leelee

  • 4 leelee // Nov 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Maybe, I bet, that most Hawaiians/kanaka don?t like you calling them ?our people?.

  • 5 Ilima Jones // Nov 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    OMG. What a coincidence. Geez, Coach Cal is supporting cheaper alternative energy and his donors are Hawaiian–isnt that blasemy?
    No mention that Apoliona’s financial backers are supporting a wall street owned foreign corporation with ties to Nevada Senator Harry Reid to develop geothermal energy in Hawaii, ugh. Truth is Coach Cal is supoported by grass roots. Not unions, lobbyists and organizations that benefited from windfall monies given to them for the controversal Kau Inoa project. Isnt it another Coincidence that the Chairman for the Role Call Commission is asking haunani for another $4 million to reregister Hawaiians again. Mercifully, her sister will not be involved this time or will she?
    Never know since the Roll call Chair endorsed Haunani Apoliona.
    Look, CAL LEE represents a fresh face with proven community leadership and trust. Haunani Apoliona has a record of nepotism, cronyism and double talk. I didnt say that, the most senior Trustee on OHA’s board–Rowena Akana said it.

  • 6 Lono Brown // Nov 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Please read article found at link copied below on current Trustee Haunani Apoliona written by fellow Trustee Rowena Akana.

    http://www.civilbeat.com/posts/2012/10/02/17262-oha-candidate-under-fire/

  • 7 cwd // Nov 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Mahalo Miliani, for speaking up. As one of the regular attendees of the Public Land Development Corporation monthly and a long-time environmental activist, I support its concept and your geothermal actions.

    Ian’s statement – Geothermal projects could be among those that would benefit from exemptions to zoning and environmental regulations available through the PLDC – is simply not true.

    Whatever department which owns the state land must, MUST approve any changes before the PLDC can enter into any agreements with private sector companies. The PLDC owns none of the land and cannot develop it on its own nor can lease it to an entity who can do whatever it wants.

    Listening to/reading the “misinformation” being spread by the certain environmental organizations pukes me out. I’ve sat on the same side of the table with most of these people most of the time on most environmental & renewable energy issues until the past 18 months.

    Put 100 of us in one room and ask how many of us want to get off fossil fuels & reduce greenhouse gas emissions – 100 of us will raise our hands. However, one group objects to wind, another growing biofuels or turning solid waste & sewage into power, a third geothermal, a fourth the underseas cable, the fifth photovoltaic farms & solar panels, the sixth OTEC capital costs, etc., etc.

    The coal, gas and oil companies just love us for what we fight about.

    Take some time to read ACT 55 – 2011, the proposed PLDC administrative rules & its Strategic Plan, attend the regular monthly meetings, and attend educational opportunities to meet with people such as Mililani who are speaking up and working to bring Hawai`i into the 21st Century from a socio-economic sustainable perspecitive.

    This past Thursday State Senator Pohai Ryan sponsored a PLDC Panel meeting in Waimanalo as her last public act before leaving the State Senate this Tuesday because she was defeated in August’s Democratic Party Primary.

    According to an e-mail sent out on Saturday by Pohai: “It was quite informative! People have been asking for a report but instead Olelo TV will be airing the meeting soon . I don’t have air dates and times yet but as soon as we get it I will let you know! The meeting was approx. 3 hours.”

    As soon as I find out when this will be aired, I’ll send the dates/times to Ian. That information will also be sent to Civil Beat.

    Because I had to be at two other events in town, I was not able to attend the meeting, but I did have extended conversations with two people who did plus Pohai on Friday & Saturday.

    I was told that one of the speakers, Mililani Trask, shared her thoughts and positions as did several speakers from OHA.

    I’ve spoken with several state senators who upport the PLDC concept are willing to sponsor similar meetings here on O`ahu and on the Neighbor Islands.

    Please attend them and be prepared to listen and learn and ask questions.

  • 8 KLaw808 // Nov 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t have as much of a problem with the geothermal energy discussion. The main problem I have is with Cal Lee trying to pass off his campaign as a grassroots effort when in fact most of the upfront campaign costs in the first month were borne by two geothermal companies. The costs at the beginning of the campaign included a public relations person. However, Cal Lee’s statements on the importance of grassroots efforts seem out of sync with his failure to attend every forum between OHA candidates that could have provided healthy debate and discussion. With the hiring of a public relations consultant, one can’t help but wonder who’s really behind the scenes.

  • 9 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:01 am

    There you go. You said it. Also called deceptive. Again. Tired of it.

    BTW, Geo-thermal isn?t cheap and has a short unpredictable yield.

    And, it is NOT HAwaiians supporting this – it?s mainland corporations.

  • 10 Ian Lind // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:28 am

    It would help this discussion if you would include details.
    What research have you seen about geothermal’s costs and “unpredictable yield”?
    Or about “mainland corporations”.
    Saying doesn’t make it so, and I’m sure others are interested.

    -Ian

  • 11 Ian Lind // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:30 am

    My suggestion to you is the same as I made to regarding another comment.
    Readers here would appreciate details.
    “a wall street owned foreign corporation with ties to Nevada Senator Harry Reid…”–please don’t keep us guessing. Spell it out.
    Thanks for participating.

    -Ian

  • 12 Ilima Jones // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Klaw808, go to CAL Lee’s FB site CAL Kamaloloikalani Lee and take a look at the people who support his efforts and compare to Haunani. You need to learn rather than speculate.

  • 13 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:03 am

    So, because other people support Cal Lee, I am supposed to ?
    You sound like M. Trask: Lots of people in other states are doing it, so we should too.

    I dont think he has the qualifications nor do I think he understands Hawaiian issues. Thats why he never participated in forums because he would have appeared incompetent.

    This is not a football team folks. It is a serious matter to many Hawaiians that are struggling from rip offs like this.

  • 14 Bill // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I left the OHA slate blank. I didn’t think it was my kuleana. But I appreciate the report. I will try to pay more attention. I am sure there must be some candidates that would welcome my participation.

  • 15 Heidi Holomua // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:15 am

    For all of you who question Mililani Trask, what have you done lately for our people? There are times we must support those who will bring positive change, no matter what the cause. This article is misleading and slanted.

    I applaud those who know the facts, and voice it here. Thank you for this discussion, and article, however, leaving out pertinent information (as already mentioned above) is typical “media propoganda”.

    IMUA Cal Lee! IMUA IDG! Mahalo and IMUA to Mililani Trask! One could not ask for a better support team.

    OHA needs to realize the people of Hawai’i will not tolerate the same trustees working only for themselves. (Cough… Stender, Apoliona, et al)

  • 16 Hugh Clark // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I almost never leave a ballot empty. Why should I allow others to control destiny?

    I am absolutely not Hawaiian but I can vote and I will. I know of Lee in football but zero about his Hawaiianess. Share more.

  • 17 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Bill, that was an intelligent decision. It does more damage if you vote for these candidates and don?t deeply understand all the issues. You can?t be expected to .
    Right on!!!!

  • 18 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

    That?s the point – there is none.
    And OHA is not a football although it has been treated like one.

    Cal Lee is for Cal Lee.
    Period.
    Mililani Trask is for herself and what she will gain with Cal Lee in OHA.
    They are out to use this office for personal gain.

  • 19 Ilima Jones // Nov 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Ormat owns PGV and is a foreign owned wall street corp. Their lobbist in DC is Kai Anderson, former chief of staff for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NEV). Do your homework.
    The dots do not connect to Coach Lee, but to the incumbent and her supporters. This company has also caught the attention of the House oversight Comm on Energy.

    Coach Cal has spent 40 years as an educator, mentor and coach. He has worked hard to win trust in the communities.

    Apoliona has blown any trust she has build with 10 years of crony spending and severe cutbacks in program areas. For those that want to know, the record is there to see. I find it disingenious to point to Coach CAL, who has piled up a record of successes and to cover both eyes when it comes to actual performance at OHA by Apoliona. There is good reason why she was striped of her Chair. KAU INOA IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

  • 20 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

    So this means yo are PRO-PLDC?

  • 21 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Actually, never heard of cal lee before this election.

  • 22 Heidi Holomua // Nov 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    leelee, with all due respect, if you never heard of him before this election, why not learn about him before making judgement? You stated, “Cal Lee is for Cal Lee”. That is so off base, given my knowledge of not only Cal Lee, but his family. Not only is that comment inaccurate, but also lends to one’s ignorance. Especially when followed with “Actually, never heard of cal lee before this election”. Auwe!

    We are all frustrated, leelee, and need OHA to have new eyes, new blood, and new vision. This is OHA, at large seat. Much bigger than the one issue of PLDC. $400 MILLION is what OHA is in charge of. Let’s make sure the trustees we vote for understand the intent of OHA. They have failed miserably over the past years.

    As stated above, with regard to the PLDC, we all should do our homework. It is by no means, a done deal. There will be revisions, count on it.

    You think Mililani Trask is going to let anyone, or any elected body, make decisions without “doing homework”? Never happen. She has always stood up for our people. Yes, our people.

    Pity that we cannot discuss issues without character assassination, especially when one is not “known”. I choose to deal with facts, and in the process, vote accordingly.

  • 23 Michelle Simpson // Nov 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    The elephant in the room is Haunani – criticism against Cal Lee is shibai, and obviously not fooling anyone. I’m sure Ian is just happy to be getting activity on his site because he’s been irrelevant for so long.

    I find it laughable that Cal is being criticized for raising more campaign funds than Haunani, because he has the broadest base of support of ALL the candidates.

  • 24 Kealii Makekau // Nov 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Lono Brown brings up excellent points in his final statements. This is more then worthy of media attention.

  • 25 Ilima Jones // Nov 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Exactly Heidi. Anyone that knows Coach CAL & his ohana will only speak glowingly. Someone is running scared and we know who it is.Coach Cal has run a clean campaign and does not misspeak of anyone. That is not his style. he would say, let the folks decide. Still, it bothers me that some choose to call him just a coach.he has invested 40 years mentoring students and athletes. Thousands have gone on to higher education and become hallmark citizens. What better testimony can an individual claim to have given his service to community.
    Ask Coach Cal who he has sent to the NFL. How many he has helped. How many championships he has won–and you will will get the same reply, ” I dont know, I dont count”.

  • 26 Ian Lind // Nov 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    My original post was descriptive.
    It described an unusual pattern of campaign funding.
    It did not offer an opinion on whether knocking Haunani Apoliona out of office would be good or bad.
    Readers here are capable of making up their own minds on that.
    It did call attention to the two companies that appear to be hoping to do that.
    And the very unusual extent of their campaign support.
    And, whatever else you can say, it is very unusual.

  • 27 Kipsan // Nov 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    What does Cal Lee know about politics? What does he know about Hawaiian issues? What has he done for Hawaiians? Yes we need new blood but that person must have strong experiences snd knowledge of the issues. Name recognition is simply not good enough.

  • 28 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Beautiful comments Ilima Jones. That is why I am supporting Coach Cal Lee.

  • 29 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Cal Lee not knowing politics is a “good thing”. The whole problem is the OHA Trustees don’t have limited terms so they are there “fat” and complacent for a life time. The younger generation doesn’t have the opportunity to get involved and serve. What has he done for Hawaiians? He has sent generations of Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian students to college then the NFL. His students still speak of his influence on their lives. He’s a teacher, mentor and coach. The issues will always be there, it always has. Its a matter of how you approach the issues. Cal brings more then name recognition. He brings motivation, a willingness to listen and to render logical consensus.

  • 30 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    The bottom line is Hawaiians are getting active and getting involved!

  • 31 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    You sound like a foreigner to Hawaii, if you neva heard of Cal Lee. I know you not local or you wouldn’t have said that.

  • 32 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    This isn’t about the PLDC. This is about Coach Cal Lee. Find your own forum to talk about that!

  • 33 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Again, we know you not from here or you would know that our tutus referred to the Hawaiians as “our people”. “Our” meaning it don’t include you!

  • 34 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Brah,

    Not to mention. She allowed her staff to travel first class to the mainland frequently to promote Kau Inoa for years. Her sister couldn’t fit in a regular seat so they had to buy her a first class seat. Do you catch that she has Trustee Oz Stender endorsing her campaign? Guess what, she cut a deal with Trustee Stender to give him the 5th vote for his Century Bldg. in exchange for her endorsement. Mind you the Century Bldg when all is said and done will have cost the Hawaiian people $30 million USD. This is after they got a Bldg through the settlement with the State. They neva have to buy the Century Bldg but Trustee Stender wanted it to give his friend Aaron Chaney a deal of a deal. Oh and did you note that former OHA attorney Bill Meheula endorsed Haunani? Guess why? Because she made him a multi millionaire by using his legal services to the tune of where he made millions off the backs of Hawaiians. Now, you tell me, who is the ISSUE here. Is it Coach Cal Lee or Is it Haunani Appoliona? As you can see, I think its good that Coach Cal Lee isn’t a professional politician. And it don’t take a Dick Tracy to figure out what plagues the Hawaiian community, after all we lead in all things negative (health, education, prison, etc.) I would need a whole new column to list the problems facing Hawaiians. We need people who will LISTEN and no play “stink” ear.

  • 35 Heidi Holomua // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Kipsan, if Cal Lee doesn’t know about politics, isn’t that a good thing? The way you state that is like “knowing politics” is a requirement to be in OHA. That’s the problem! OHA’s been all politics for many years. Self serving “politicians”, who have their own agenda and line their own pockets with our OHA money. All the internal wheeling and dealing has got to stop.

    What does Cal Lee know about Hawaiian issues? Instead of questioning him on a blog, why not ask him directly. He knows enough to begin changing the “status quo”. He will listen, not just “muscle” people into a vote like some current trustees. At the very least, he will not be pushed around nor intimidated into a vote. He will do what is right for the common good, and stand onipa’a when it comes to what is right.

    What has Cal Lee done for Hawaiians? Surely you jest! Such an off handed, pointless question, which shows you have not done your “homework” on this candidate. His record speaks for itself. Frankly, being the primary caretaker of his own beloved mother speaks volumes.

    You are correct that name recognition is not enough. With that I can agree. The lives Cal Lee has touched and groomed for many years don’t just know his name, they know his character and leadership qualities. I hope they all remember to vote, and bring some sense of honor back to OHA.

  • 36 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Oh puhleeeeese. I don?t care about football.
    I do care about OHA and you might want to think twice about calling someone ignorant because they never heard of this local schmo.
    Get off the cal lee adoration already.

    I could call you ignorant because you tout someone with football coaching experience as being qualified for OHA.

    Get a grip or stay out of politics.

  • 37 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    For people that are quick to accuse someone of character assassination you sure do a lot of it yourselves with a real disingenuous sanitization to it.
    You?re on Ian Lind?s blog and you insult him?

    My husband?s a Hawaiian and he hasn?t heard of your hero either. Said cal lee hasn?t done anything significant for HAwaiian people like ?rights? or anything else he has no knowledge of.

  • 38 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Agreed and fine researching you did.

  • 39 leelee // Nov 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Just my point…you are ignorant on the issues. Cal lee is pro-PLDC.

    cal who?

  • 40 Lana // Nov 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Ian.

    Excellent piece. I disagree with the PLDC, however, since it is not ceded land. My kupuna never ceded any of their land to anyone, to any entity, or to any American government. Thus this is not public lands. Anyone who says otherwise is committing treason against Queen Lili’uokalani and should be tried for treason for betraying her.

    As for the geothermal development, I do not mind other modes of energy. However what their supporters are advocating is that taxpayers subsidize their projects. Me personally this money in the form of taxes is better “spent” on the keiki and mo’opuna instead. Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Bishop Style :)

    Again… great post!

  • 41 Kealii Makekau // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Here’s something recent on him and others candidates like me who are running for OHA.
    http://honoluluweekly.com/diary/2012/10/oha-hot-seat/#.UJHroKvjJiw.facebook

  • 42 Kealii Makekau // Nov 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    http://honoluluweekly.com/diary/2012/10/oha-hot-seat/#.UJHroKvjJiw.facebook

  • 43 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    B.S. – Geothermal doesn’t even have tax credits or tax incentives. Its the cheapest form of clean energy that’s a firm power generation. And guess who owns it? Right, the Public and native Hawaiian.

  • 44 Lono Brown // Nov 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Like my husand who is a Hawaiian! Please don’t tell me he’s done more then Mililani Trask for the Hawaiian People. Anyone with the name lee lee, reminds me of the song Ua la’i no a lie, lie, lie, lie, me ka liko pua ha’ole, they lie, lie, lie, lie!

  • 45 Kolea // Nov 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Part of the problem with the OHA election is that only a small minority of voters are paying much attention to the candidates, which means the results are unlikely to reflect majority opinion. A small, determined minority can have disproportionate influence in selecting the trustees.

    There is an easy way to help voters focus on the OHA candidates. Have a two round election, using the primary to winnow each race down to two candidates for each seat and allowing voters a chance to focus on the two top vote recipients as we approach the General Election.

    Such a change does not require major changes. It is easy to implement and there is no good reason for not subjecting the OHA election through the same two-stage election process we use for almost all other races.

    Look at this specific contest for the at-large trustee position. This article focuses on Cal Lee versus Haunani Apoliana, but there are several other candidates. I voted for Walter Ritte, as I think Walter is a person of great intelligence, integrity and who refuses to limit his choices to the pat answers allowed by the political and economic establishment. Now that we see the networks lining up behind Lee and Apoliona, does that mean those of us who pick another candidate will be wasting our votes?

  • 46 Jackie Kahookele Burke // Nov 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I would like to remind everyone to look at the previous professions of some OHA trustee’s, Waihee was a bartender; Linda Dela Cruse was a singer; Haunani was a social worker …. then look at the mechanism created to keep us Hawaiian down, with no primary in a statewide election, there are so many things that are divisive to the Hawaiian people in managing their political affairs. We need leaders to change the entire voting process… Hauanani hasn’t and neither has any of the current At Large Trustee’s , why should they, it keeps them in their seat… who ever wins the At Large, please make these changes! It takes money to win and all the candidates know how hard a job it is to raise the kind of money that Cal and Haunani has, but I agree that others are willing to do because they see the need to make a change!

  • 47 Kealii Makekau // Nov 6, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Kolea brings up what i advocated for in both my elections for OHA in 2010 and 2012 and thats election reform. There is no primary only a general and that favors the incumbent big time along the fact that OHA spent resources on a rock the vote or Mana i ka leo initiative but left out its own office, why? The current trustees are comprised of two factions at war with each other over who controls the chairman seat, and the one that is not in control right now is seeking to remove incumbents and replace them with people that will endorse them. Geothermal for all its great and good potentials is really being sought as a cash cow for certain interest groups! With the potential revenues being estimated in the billions a little name recognition can go very far.

    I myself am against it simple because the people of that area have not had a explicit chance to participate in working, maintaing, and overviewing the safety and cultural aspects of such a project. Till that happens then i would support it.

  • 48 Lana // Nov 6, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Please keep it civil instead of writing “B.S.” Your point can be made without being crassy.

    With that stated… in the Feasibility Study of Direct Geothermal Use, February 2007, for the Kapoho/Pohoiki are the research team at the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development state,

    “The feasibility study found that geothermal direct use is technically feasible but only marginally economically feasible.” P. 7

    http://energy.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Geothermal-Direct-Use-Feasibility-Study.pdf

    In addition on page 8

    “Annual revenue is expected to be $1.21 million based on a lease rate of $200/acre-year and a geothermal heat rate priced at $1.32 per therm (100,000 Btu), a 50% discount of the prevailing
    average fuel rate of diesel and propane. The anticipated payback period for the
    project is 26 years without financial subsidies, and 7 years with $9.2 million in
    financial subsidies.”

    It is right there. $9.2 MILLION in subsidies which is the form of taxes to be paid by hardworking people and redistributed to geothermal companies which use OUR money as positive leverage for their personal gain.

    Mahalo to Ian’s research.

  • 49 Nancy // Nov 6, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Go ahead, isolate yourselves further with that attitude.

  • 50 Anonymous // Nov 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Only one foreign owner (Israeli) company has reaped this benefit from the US Government. ORMAT/PGV is the only State approved geothermal plant in Hawaii. This monopoly along with HECO needs to be broken.

    Why can’t we manage our own resource? I say we can! Let Hawaiians and OHA look at the millions foreigners made off the backs of our people.

    OHA can make a difference if they get their heads together, set aside egos, and self serving antics.

    I wish Mililani Trask would run for OHA!

    Mr. Lind, as an aside, the title of this article is somewhat misleading and “sensational”, unless the IDG, Honua Group, & Mililani confirmed to you that was their intent. After reading Mililani’s response here, it is apparent they were not interviewed for this article.

    Why?

  • 51 Heidi Holomua // Nov 6, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Well said, Jackie! Totally agree.

  • 52 Ian Lind // Nov 6, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Thank you.
    I appreciate the reference, and I’m sure others do as well.

  • 53 cwd // Nov 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

    There are several core issues here:

    1. The overall qualifications & general working experiences of the two leading candidates along with the record of the incumbent as well as the proposed changes each would bring to the table;

    2. Renewable energy issues – including costs & profits, distribution, cultural & environmental concerns, and the the possible/potential role that state and county agencies may play in approving/disapproving permits;

    Although the courts have ruled that all qualified Hawai`i voters can take part in OHA elections, I have never done so until now. I plan to do so later on today because this time the above issues will impact me personally & professionally.

  • 54 Ilima Jones // Nov 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Ian, did you bother to vet Haunani’s supporters? Actually, it is a rhetorical question. You didnt or know and wont tell. making you the only reporter in the State to invoke naivete on Apoliona. Sad to see you co-opted bud.

  • 55 Kealii Makekau // Nov 8, 2012 at 8:47 am

    There are several core issues here:

    1. The overall qualifications & general working experiences of all the candidates along with the record of the incumbent as well as the proposed changes each would bring to the table;

    2. Renewable energy issues – including costs & profits, distribution, cultural & environmental concerns, and the the possible/potential role that state and county agencies may play in approving/disapproving permits;

    3. The flawed election process still in play, hampering voters but empowering incumbents.

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