The City Government of Honolulu has been completely taken over by the development community. They own every person. When it comes to voting for “the needs of the people” or “the profits of those in the development community,” developers win, not just some times, but every single time. Why? The mayor and the city council members are all good people who do good things. But they were chosen and put into office by unions, contractors, banks, developers, and landowners working together to get people who would vote their way into office. To phase this differently, they were put into office by people conspiring to completely corrupt the government for their own advantage.
Pacific Resource Partners (PRP), which is a huge consortium of unions and contractors, spent $3.5 million to put Kirk Caldwell into office. In doing so, they bought every department of the city government, since every department takes orders from the mayor. They also bought the City Council, every single member, with huge campaign contributions that put them into office. How big were the contributions?
We did a study of contributions from entities that would profit directly from yes votes on Ho’opili and Rail, since in the minds of most, they are intricately intertwined.
These are contributions for the election four years ago. They were received between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014. Note the huge percentages that come from developers.
Name Total Amount from Percent from
contributions Ho’opili and Rail Ho’opili and Rail
Kymberly Pine $160,879 $116,801 72%
J. Ikaika Anderson $139,518 $100,668 72%
Brandon Elefante $ 37,322 $ 24,292 65%
Carol Fukunaga $258,321 $104,565 40%
Ann Kobayashi $ 57,136 $ 24,450 43%
Joey Manahan $182,215 $ 83,512 46%
Ernest Martin $451,240 $268,017 59%
Ron Menor $ 48,405 $ 34,650 72%
Trevor Ozawa $183,320 $104,550 57%
It is likely that these amounts considerably under-report the total contributions linked to those that will profit from a “Yes” vote on Ho’opili and Rail, since no employer was listed for most donors, and it was not always possible to identify a spouse, relative, or employee of a principal donor.
The complete listing of campaign contributions for each Council Member for the period of the most recent election, January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2014, with donors connected with Ho’opili and Rail. Please take a look at these pages. You will be astounded.
Above and beyond these amounts a super-PAC funded by PRP also spent $86,000 to get Carol Fukunaga elected. During the last four months of Ikaika Anderson’s campaign for Congress in 2012, his campaign manager was hired and paid a salary by PRP for a job as their Government Relations Manager. She still holds this position and regularly sends testimony from PRP asking the council to support various projects.
Kymberly Pine also had amazing additional help from PRP who paid for three mailings at roughly $30,000 each to get her elected. That $90,000 raised her percentage of money spent by builders for her candidacy to 82%!
All this on-the-take is topped by the case of freshman council member Brandon Elefante. Elefante collected 13,000 from ordinary people. He received almost twice that much from builders and unions. He then allowed PRP, in their new disguise as Forward Progress, to spend another $105,000 to secure his victory. Having brought in only $13,000 from local citizens, he won with $130,000, ten times as much. His percentage of indebtedness to entities who would profit directly from approval of Ho’opili and Rail: 91%.
None of these contributions broke the law. But they obviously created a MAJOR conflict with the public’s interest. The contributions were also so great, and the indebtedness so deep, that it was, AND IS, impossible for any council member to vote against ANY project the construction community wants, no matter how much it hurts the people.