President's Message - Pleased to Be President of a PIG (Sue Irvine)|
League Tribute to Dr. Robert Watada (Mary Anne Raywid)
Post Script to Bob Watada's May 21 Convention Speech (Jaurene Judy)
Legislative Report (Jean Aoki)
Progress on Clean Elections (Laure Dillon)
Silver Legislature (Grace Furukawa)
Gambling Front (Grace Furukawa)
Latest Assault on Press Freedom: Assassination of Samir Kassir (Beth Ann Kozlovich)
Highlights (and an Update) from Annual Reports
Case for a Single-Payer Health System (Jean Aoki)
Post Script to Bob Watada's May 21 Convention Speech
After a gracious introduction by Jean Aoki, Mr. Watada launched into a sermon that repeated almost verbatim his March 14, 2005 Star-Bulletin editorial titled, "Publically [sic] funded 'clean' campaigns won't eliminate special interests."
One of the first things taught in speech class is to know your audience, a principle Mr. Watada must have forgotten. Why else would he quote a legislator as saying, "no one listens to the League." Why else would he follow League's acknowledgement of his tireless efforts to fight campaign spending corruption with criticism of League for failing to support several bills, including an elected rather than appointed Attorney General? Obviously, Mr. Watada labored under the misconception that League could take a position "willy-nilly" on any bill; he also apparently saw no contradiction in chastising us for failing to support bills (which League has no position on) he felt very "personal" about shortly after telling us "no one listens to League."
Mr. Watada focused his presentation narrowly against the "clean elections" bill that failed in the 2005 legislature, apparently assuming (incorrectly) that League and Hawaii Clean Elections are the same organization. He inaccurately attributed legislative testimony on the "clean elections" bill to Jean Aoki (a point she corrected at the end) and informed us that the incumbent legislators were "drooling" over the so-called "clean election" bill. (Jean asked him why the bill had not passed if incumbents loved it so.)
Being the patient men and women that we are, League members waited fruitlessly for Mr. Watada to extend us any acknowledgement of or a single "thank you" for past support and testimony on campaign spending bills. We did not jeer or boo, although some of us winced at his misstatements, misquotes, mischaracterizations and spurious logic. At the end, we were confused and disappointed by his rude behavior. Jean's reaction was that of sadness; she had not realized the extent of his bitterness about our differences over the public funding bill. She wondered if he did not feel betrayed by an organization which had worked so closely with him through the years.
We still acknowledge his tremendous contributions in the enforcement of campaign finance laws and in working tirelessly to strengthen them. For that, the citizens of Hawaii owe him their gratitude.
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