Friday, July 18, 2008

Mel should have gotten one of those...

Caption from Mel's flickr site: "On display at the Small Business Hawaii Conference on January 9. I wanted to take this home."

They should have given Mel one of those. I think he would have appreciated it more than Linda and Calvin.

Anyway, from Ian Lind's blog today:

"Superferry watchers might be interested in my Honolulu Weekly column this week, which takes a peek at some of the gifts that exchanged hands at the State Capitol this past year:

'On January 14, Gov. Linda Lingle and House Speaker Calvin Say each received replicas of the first Hawai’i Superferry vessel from John F. Lehman, the company’s chairman and its largest investor. The model ships, valued at $500 by Lingle and $200 by Say, were presented less than three months after Lingle called the Legislature back into an extraordinary special session that swept aside a Supreme Court decision in order to allow Hawai’i Superferry to begin interisland service.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa was given a framed photo of the Superferry, valued at $50, back in November, just a week after the bill had been signed into law.

The State Ethics Code (Chapter 84 Hawai’i Revised Statutes) prohibits legislators or other state employees from soliciting, accepting or receiving any gift “under circumstances in which it can reasonably be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the legislator or employee in the performance” of their official duties “or is intended as a reward for any official action” on their part.

The law also requires public disclosure of any gifts from a single source, which, singly or in aggregate, are worth more than $200.

The recipients all properly reported the Superferry’s gifts to the ethics commission. But were they “intended as a reward” for successful passage of the bill that launched the ferry into service, and therefore prohibited?'

Unfortunately, that ended up being a largely rhetorical question. Gifts are an area that still give the State Ethics Commission a headache, and many issues remain unresolved." -- Ian Lind

Aloha, Brad

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