October 28, 2010

I win again

Filed under: Hawaii State Politics — Doug @ 6:04 pm

Just a quick post to say that the Governor’s Office has provided to me the gambling report that they had previously withheld claiming “deliberative privilege.”

Deputy AG Russell Suzuki sent me this email:

I apologize for not responding sooner. After reviewing your appeal and reexamining Mr. John H. Radcliffe’s June 3, 2009 memo, I agree with your contention that the “Working Draft of Executive Summary and Presentation Material, Market and Economic Impact Analysis, Two Casinos on the Island of Oahu,” is the document referred to in Mr. Radcliffe’s June 3rd memo and that the memo, with the attached summary, was sent not only to the Governor but also to eight legislators. Under this circumstance, the document that you seek is not protected from disclosure and attached to this email is a pdf of the document. We would request that if you intend to publish the report that you clearly identify that the document is not the work product of the State. You may also wish to seek permission to publish from Mr. Radcliffe inasmuch as the document clearly states “NOT FOR PUBLICATION” and “WORKING DRAFT.”

Pfft. As if I would ask anyone for permission to publish a government record I obtained via a UIPA request…

However, note that Suzuki’s message does not back down from his [dubious] claim that the Governor is allowed a “deliberative privilege,” rather he merely concedes that this report does not qualify for such a privilege.

REMINDER: all of the contents of this site (to include the uploaded documents) are published under a Creative Commons license. Please, respect the terms of that license.

October 6, 2010

Public comments for Acts 170 thru 178 are catalogued and uploaded

Filed under: Hawaii State Politics — Doug @ 7:02 pm

I have nearly completed my work with the comments pertaining to the Acts passed during the Regular Session of 2009 that were not vetoed by the Governor. The document index is becoming ever more massive (over 4000 rows!), and then I still have the comments relating to the vetoed measures to catalog and upload, too. Nibble, nibble, nibble. Heh. For some reason there are many records in this batch that were not completely photocopied for me, and there are many records that were provided in a concatenated form making them harder to catalog (as more than one record is on a single page). I tried to work around it, but if you use the document index and get to a record that seems incomplete, then please try the page before and after and (maybe) the rest of the document you’re interested in will be there. Perhaps the state worker making the copies for me was getting as burned out as I am? :)

So, what’s in this batch of records?  The bulk of these comments (and here we are talking hundreds of records, folks) are about the amendments made to the Act 221 tax credit. Those records provide yet another (incomplete) hint of exactly which companies and investors are (or were) claiming those credits… However, other notable subjects include: unemployment insurance, public accountancy regulation, and enterprise zones.

As ever, to look at any particular document, point your browser to
[substituting the asterisks with the four-digit document number you want, using leading zeros as needed].  For example, here is the link to view the first page of this latest batch of public commentsREMINDER: all of the contents of this site (to include the uploaded documents) are published under a Creative Commons license.  Please, respect the terms of that license.

Like last time, this batch also has one especially intriguing item:  check out this record, a letter from Alec Sou of Aloun Farms regarding a bill to extend enterprise zone tax incentives that were about to expire. In the letter Mr. Sou, now awaiting a federal trial on charges of grossly exploiting foreign farm workers, writes, “We have been a company of over 150 full time employees for over a decade. We have recently hired additional employees expanding to roughly 170 due to the availability of the work-pool. [??]” Sou continues, “We are not asking for new hand-out [sic] of tax moneys or credits, we are simply asking that you let us keep the HALF-% that we earn so that we can put it back in to hire and train new employees. That along with some of the benefits of the SB 1284, will allow for us businesses to quickly make infrastructure improvements while the interest rates remain low for the near future. If we don’t hire more people, we don’t get the benefits [emphasis mine]

Of course, Mr. Sou never promised the Governor to hire American employees to “get the benefits” of the enterprise zone relief, nor did he promise to treat all the workers he hired fairly… Anyway, it would seem that our tax dollars were at least somewhat empowering Mr. Sou’s alleged sordid behavior. Nice. Check it out.

META: Still waiting for word from the OIP about that gambling report. If they rule that the report need not be disclosed to me, then don’t worry—Radcliffe has offered to provide a copy to Ian Lind and Ian will scan it. Win!

UPDATE: October 12, 2010: Ian Lind has obtained the report directly from John Radcliffe! The report is available from Ian, and from me.

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