Archive for November, 2014

Clean Elections Forum at UHH

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

FYI Please mark your calendar and help pass the word on this important “Clean Elections forum” Thursday, Nov. 20th 6:30PM at UH Hilo UCB 100.  See below.
Jim Albertini

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Fwd: PRESS RELEASE: Clean Elections Panel 11/20 @UH Hilo- Get big money out of Hawaii elections
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 16:20:35 -1000
From: Noelie Rodriguez <>
To: Jim Albertini <>
Dear Jim–Here’s the press release we are sending out.  Thanks for helping with this by forwarding it to your email list!  We want to get a lot of people out for this!  And also:  Thank you for all that you DO!  Aloha, noelie

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Global H.O.P.E. (Hawaii Organization for Peace and the Environment) <>
Date: Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 2:52 PM
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Clean Elections Panel 11/20 @UH Hilo- Get big money out of Hawaii elections

Get big money out of Hawaii Elections- Panel at UH Hilo- 11/20 6:30pm
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              Press Release

November 6, 2014
For Immediate Release
Media contact: Noelie Rodriguez – hm. 963-6966; o. 934-2635;


Thursday, November 20
Free and open to the public

A panel will discuss Clean Elections and Transparency in a forum on Thursday November 20 at 6:30PM in UCB 100 on the University of Hawaii Hilo (UHH) campus.  The featured speaker will be Carmille Lim the Director of Hawai’i Common Cause.  Also speaking will be Susan Dursin from The League of Women Voters and Chris Yuen, attorney, former board member of The Hawaii Elections Project.In 2008, UHH students played a leading role in the Legislature to pass the  Big Island Clean Elections Pilot Program passed, which allowed Council candidates who qualified to campaign with public funding instead of depending on campaign contributions from special interest donors.  The Pilot ran successfully in the 2010 and 2012 County Council races but has since ended.  (The public program was funded by the $3 voluntary check off on our tax forms, which does not reduce an individual’s filed personal income tax.)

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, big, special-interest money has been flooding into political campaigns.  According to the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, in 2012, over $4 million was spent on Hawaii campaigns by independent groups. In the 2014 election , a single “independent” group, funded almost entirely by Monsanto and Dow Chemical spent $8 million on a ballot initiative campaign.

Nationwide, many Americans believe that the influx of special interest money in elections threatens the integrity of our democracy.   As an antidote to big money funding their bid for office, with Clean Elections, candidates have the option of running on public funding so that they will be more likely to be answerable to their constituents rather than to their rich campaign donors.

The 2014 Legislature failed to continue the funding of the Big Island Clean Elections Pilot Program and ultimately killed a bill which promoted a statewide Clean Elections program.  However, in 2013, the Legislature passed a bill which would require stronger disclosures for independent groups seeking to influence our elections. The forum will discuss how the 2015 legislature can continue to combat the corrosive effects of outside money in Hawaii’s elections.

The event is sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii, Global HOPE, and the nationwide student group, Democracy Matters.

The panel discussion is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  Parking on the UHH campus is free in the evening.
For more information phone Noelie Rodriguez, 934-2635 or 963-6966.


Caption for the attached photo:
In April 2013  over 80 students  from HawCC and UHH joined with members of the community to march from their campus to the State Building to rally in support of the public funded Clean Elections reform.

Maui GMO Moratorium Election Victory!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Election Results in

Hawaii & U.S.

      I am writing these reflections on the morning following the Nov. 4th elections. I write from the standpoint of a long time non-violent activist for justice, peace and the environment and a small scale organic farmer. One’s standpoint in life determines one’s viewpoint, so here are my views.

     For me the brightest spot of the day was the victory of the Maui GMO moratorium initiative that was successful despite $8 million dollars being pumped in to defeat the initiative by Chemical giants Monsanto and Dow. It shows the power of a grassroots broad based effort against corporate power and money.

     GMOs, and their big Ag sponsors, are the new plantations seeking to dominate Hawaii and the world. In every way, GMOs violate the basic principle of aloha ‘aina –love for the land and the precautionary principle. GMOs are directly tied to the toxic chemicals produced by their corporate owners whose main concern is short term profit despite long term consequences. Poisoning of air, water and land, and people, plants, and animals are secondary concerns to the corporate bottom line.

      No doubt, these same chemical companies will now spend millions more to fight the Maui GMO Moratorium law in court. The battle is not over but a significant victory has been achieved by the Maui vote.

     In other election matters locally, some good candidates won. Others lost. In the U.S., the Republicans now control the House and Senate. U.S. imperial wars will continue full throttle which is one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on. From October 26 through November 2, 2014, Hawaiian Civic Clubs from across the Hawaiian Islands and the United States met at its annual convention. Resolution 14-28, acknowledging the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom. was passed on November 1, 2014. This is an important vote of Hawaiian sovereignty toward restoring the independent nation instead of being corralled into a U.S. Indian tribe reservation.

      The moral of the story on all elections and issues is this. Positive change doesn’t come from the top down. It comes from the bottom up. It takes grassroots organizing to clarify vision and unite people for the common good. We have our work cut out for peace, justice and preserving the earth. We need to unite our issues realizing that an injury to one is an injury to all. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks along the way and never, NEVER, give up!

The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

Aloha ‘Aina Now & Forever!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.

Phone (808) 966-7622.

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Nov. 7, 2014 – 685th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Tuesday, Nov. 4th 4:30 at Kamehameha Statue in Hilo

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Aloha Kakou..people of Hilo, please join us tomorrow, Tuesday in front of Kamehameha Statue at 4:30 p.m. as we hold “pro” or positive signs fronting the statue and near the Mo’oheau Bandstand. Bring your signs for Mauna kea, Aloha Aina, food Sovereignty, Pohakuloa, etc. and your spirit of Aloha for our Hawai’i…Aloha – a firm commitment to PONO! (mahalo Luana for that definition) We need you all to help us to spread the message…Mauna Kea Shawls welcome! Hope to see you there..let’s get our message out there! Far from over, we are in this, we are not defeated because we believe in the good things coming!