Letters to the Editor
ISLE PRIMARY ELECTION LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Don't tell anyone! Hawai'i's primary election law is unconstitutional. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down, as unconstitutional, a California proposition that would have allowed voters to vote in any party's primary.
This year the District Court for Arizona, citing the Supreme Court's California ruling, refused to allow Arizona's voters not registered as Libertarians to cast a ballot in Libertarian primaries.
So why is there reluctance to change Hawai'i's primary election law? Fear. Many elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, like the current unconstitutional law.
Democrats already have a super-majority in both the state Senate and House.
There is fear that if Democrats propose a change in our unconstitutional primary system, voters will see it as a power grab by elected Democrats, not as correction to an unconstitutional system.
Republicans like the current system because they can mess with the Democratic primary election, helping to nominate the weakest Democrat to run in the general election and/or the candidate closest to representing Republican values.
The current system is much like allowing Georgia to select Hawai'i's quarterback in the Sugar Bowl, or like allowing owners of the Pacific Beach Hotel to select the head of the ILWU or the representatives of the Hawai'i Chamber of Commerce to select the head of the HGEA.
Why are we speaking up when it would be easier to let the current unconstitutional system go unchallenged? Because primary elections are intended to nominate the candidates who best represent the values and principles of their respective parties.
We want Democrats to nominate candidates willing to stand up for the values and principles of Democrats.Richard Port
Democratic national committeeman
LAWSUIT TIMELY WAY TO CHANGE ELECTION LAW
Sooner or later, the election laws here will change to reflect our free association rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In strong Republican states, primary election laws have already been modified to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in California v. Jones (2000). In fact, Hawai'i is among a handful of states whose primary election laws still fail to comply with Supreme Court case law.
The argument within the Democratic Party of Hawai'i seems to be: How should change be implemented? I believe Democrats should take the initiative by filing a lawsuit immediately for at least four reasons.
1) Both the 2006 Hawai'i Democratic Convention and current State Central Committee approved filing such a lawsuit by substantial votes.
2) The current primary election law in Hawai'i violates the U.S. Constitution.
3) Who votes in party primaries is an issue best addressed by political party members.
4) Each political party will have an opportunity in the 2008 presidential election cycle to discover the registered voters who are voting in their primary elections.
A lawsuit is a timely way to comply with a Supreme Court ruling eight years ago.Guy Archer
FIX PROBLEMS BEFORE NEW BUILDING ALLOWED
Power poles that are supposedly designed to withstand hurricane winds fall once again in storm conditions in Nanakuli and Kunia, disrupting the communities for days.
Water pipes once again burst at Ko Olina, a continuing problem in our area.
Our beaches are overflowing with homeless.
The city landfill at Nanakuli /Ko Olina is at its limits and the city wants to once again get a waiver to increase the capacity because they can't develop a plan to figure out how or where to store all of the garbage.
Our schools are overcrowded and traffic is still at gridlock, especially when we are trapped by our one-way in, one-way out roads.
All this while the state and city keep pushing the second city as a great location for government offices, new housing and a tourist location (including Disney at Ko Olina).
It's time for our city and state representatives to realize that building more houses and facilities on the Leeward Coast without fixing our infrastructure is insanity.
We are close to becoming, if we are not already, a third-world community.
It's time that we demand a moratorium on new housing, hotels or businesses on the Leeward Coast until our infrastructure is fixed.
Write, call, visit our city and state representatives and tell them enough is enough.Larry Dove
APOLOGIZES FOR LOVING THE ISLANDS, LIVING HERE
Arthur Reppun's Dec. 10 letter arguing that we've had way too much growth on O'ahu struck a chord with me. Who could argue with these sentiments: "Uncomfortable fact — 60 percent of our population growth in the last 30 years is from people moving here...don't move here, just visit."
So, I suppose I owe Mr. Reppun a series of apologies for my misbehavior:
I apologize for finding the land and people so wonderful on our vacations that my wife, my newborn daughter and I moved here in the mid-1990s.
I apologize for further cluttering the landscape with two more children.
I apologize for my wife taking away some kama'aina's job by opening a medical practice, and then healing thousands of patients, no doubt against their will.
I apologize for purchasing a house that should have gone to a kama'aina, and then for driving up property values by fixing it up and making it more valuable.
I apologize for my family paying several hundred thousands of dollars in local taxes, allowing government to encourage even more development by fixing roads and sewers, building schools and other reprehensible practices.
I apologize for my daughters taking the spots of some more deserving kama'aina in their hula classes, and pretending to care about our culture.
I could go on and on about the grievous insults I've heaped upon this good man, but the worst is my utter lack of repentance in deciding to not move back to the Mainland, even after Mr. Reppun has pointed out my family's terrible, degrading influence upon O'ahu.
He must be a saint to so stoically put up with such insolence.Jim Henshaw
KAPI'OLANI BOULEVARD IN 'UTTER DISREPAIR'
I just read a comment by someone on your Letters page about how the potholes have been fixed. It must have been before we had this first storm of the season because, guess what, they're back.
I'm glad that I drive a truck, because the amount of damage that I would sustain on a daily basis here in Honolulu would surely exceed the cost of my vehicle.
I'm a city commuter, use the same roads daily, including Kapi'olani, Kalakaua, Queen, Kapahulu to name just a few of the more notorious streets. Can there be any state in the nation that has roadways worse than Ho-nolulu? With normal sunny Hawaiian days, why is it so hard to keep the streets here as smooth as glass?
The city does not have to contend with a true winter or extreme heat in the summer, but yet the public has to deal with Kapi'olani Boulevard. Surely, the queen would be insulted to have a street named after her in such utter disrepair! It's not only potholes, but waves of undulating pavement topped off with disintegrating layers that have peeled away like an onion.
They have nearly finished putting up an entire Nordstrom's store, but they haven't been able to finish a sewer replacement in even more time.
If the mayor really wants to get a few votes come election time, he should get those crews working double time to finish the sewer work and start paving streets pronto. Anything else is really unacceptable. I'm only thankful that I have a truck that can handle off-road conditions, on road.Brandon Ho
U.S. BALKS AT CHANGE — AS CLIMATE WORSENS
Once again, the U.S. is balking at controlling carbon emissions in the climate-treaty discussions in Bali — just as it did in Kyoto.
Scientific reports, except some financed by the oil industry or the U.S. government, show rapid climactic changes reaching the point of no return, with dire consequences for the planet and unimaginable tragedies all around the globe, especially in warm countries.
As long as we stick to this policy, how can we feel comfortable calling others terrorists?David Berger
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