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Honolulu Star-Bulletin November 2 (?) 2008

Oct. 30 - Dear Editor,

We are delighted that so many people are beginning to engage in the public dialogue on ConCon. We believe that an informed public participating in seeking answers to questions they may have on any ballot issue or piece of legislation being considered at the State Capitol is vital to the adoption of public policies that will be beneficial for all.

It is also important that people who write op eds, and columns for our newspapers or opinions on blog sites strive for accuracy and integrity in presenting "information" to the public. To deliberately spread misinformation is to exhibit disrespect for the public.

With all due respect to Mr. Jay Fidell, (Advertiser column, May 25, 2008), to say that The League of Women Voters didn't support a ConCon for 1998 because "there was too much passion," is not only erroneous - we wish we knew what he precisely means by that.

Our position paper issued in 1996 and reissued in 1998 is on our web site. We invite him to read it.

The League will not take a position this year on the issue of whether to have a ConCon or not. Our members are just as divided on the issue as the public seems to be. Instead we plan to sponsor several events in partnership with The Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs and some others to bring pertinent information as well as the pros and cons to the attention of the public to help our citizens decide for themselves whether we should convene a ConCon.

So let's all start to get informed on the issue of Should there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution? The future of our constitution, depends on all of us. Get the information from different sources, and try to distinguish between fact and fiction, honest opinions and propaganda. Get your friends and neighbors interested in the public dialogue. We will all be better prepared to mark our ballots on General Election Day, November 3, 2008.

Jean Y. Aoki, Chair
League of Women Voters
ConCon Study Committee

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Nov. 4. 2008

LWV-Hawaii neutral on Con Con question

In his guest op-ed, David Wilson (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 31) correctly states that the League of Women Voters of Hawaii found no compelling reason to call for a Constitutional Convention in 1998. But then he goes on to say that the league "is not supporting one now." While it is true that we are not supporting a Con Con at this time, he neglected to add that we are not opposing one either. We are neutral on the question.

At consensus meetings held by the local leagues, our members were clearly divided on the question. League policy is to require almost unanimity in adopting a position on any issue, and only after a study. Therefore, we are taking no position on the Con Con question.

However, this was too important an issue for us to just sit on the sidelines. We decided to objectively disseminate as much information as we could on our state Constitution and its role in our state's governance, the different ways of amending or revising a constitution, opinions of thinkers and leaders on the issue of Con Con and some of the issues that would be raised and reviewed by a Con Con.

We brought in one of the foremost scholars of state constitutions and the revision processes for a seminar and sponsored a pro-con debate on the Con Con question. You can find this information and more at our Web site.

Jean Y. Aoki
Chairwoman, Constitutional Convention Committee
League of Women Voters of Hawaii

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