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Friday, January 25, 2002



Public ultimately pays for corporate donation

The case of Geolab Inc.'s excessive contributions to some of the gubernatorial and mayoral candidates emphasizes the need for campaign finance reform, particularly the public funding of elections.

The frantic drive for campaign dollars leads candidates to solicit contributions from professionals and companies who compete for city and state nonbid contracts. In order to stand out, some donors are tempted into "convenient" interpretations of the laws.

What we taxpayers need to remember is that we ultimately pay for these donations by corporations. In the case of companies that sell goods and services to the public, the cost of the donations will be factored into the prices they charge. The pharmaceutical industry is a good example. While the industry attributes the high cost of drugs to the need for research, not mentioned are the millions of dollars the industry donates to political campaigns.

With public funding of election campaigns, taxpayers pay up front -- and reap the benefits of having legislators whose obligations are to their constituents, not to their biggest campaign donors.

Jean Aoki
Legislative Chairwoman
League of Women Voters of Hawaii

Public funding would make campaigns fair

Campaign finance reforms are needed. An outstanding example is the election of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who spent $60 million of his own money and won the election.

Public financing of campaigns should replace private financing. The federal government should pay for congressional elections, the state for local elections. Public financing would remove the clout of special interests, like the National Rifle Association and others.

How Tim Chang

Use the power of your vote to fight back

This is an election year. Voters who oppose traffic cameras should stand up and vote against the elected representatives who support said cameras. These officials are supposed to represent the people who elected them. Did you want traffic cameras? If not, then make your voice heard. Check if your representatives support traffic cameras and if so, vote them out. Let's take our streets back.

C.J.F. Chock


[Quotables]

"John loves America. John did not do anything against America. He is innocent of these charges."

Frank Lindh

Father of American Taliban member John Walker Lindh, who faces federal charges of conspiring to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Walker made his first court appearance on the charges yesterday, in Alexandria, Va.


"My heart is broken, but I think it can happen. I know they want to hurt our country. I'm not really shocked at anything they want to go for."

Dorothy Moser

Resident of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on the possibility of a terrorist attack at the Winter Olympics next month in Salt Lake City. One-third of the public in an Associated Press poll believes such an attack is likely.


Espero has integrity, even if he is wrong

With the great public outrage being expressed against the photo traffic enforcement cameras (i.e., scam cams, spy cams), it seems only one legislator is holding to his integrity.

My state Rep. Willie Espero continues to strongly support and defend the use of the program. Not only did he vehemently support the program at our recent neighborhood board meeting, he advocated increasing its use in our neighborhoods. While I am strongly opposed to the cameras because they are a violation of my civil rights, I must commend Espero for sticking to his guns even when he is clearly wrong.

Earl Arakaki

Others nations should be as fair as U.S.

I wonder where our priorities are at times. The members of al-Qaida who were so aggressive about blowing up American cities and killing our citizens are now supposed to receive humane treatment. Ask the dead how much fairness they had in being killed. The prisoners are receiving more humane treatment at my taxed expense than I would wish for.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the editor about the Chinese who will probably execute a man for distributing the Bible. Where is the outcry about that? Why don't we see concern about his welfare?

I still think we should open relations with Cuba so that whatever influence that will bring will begin before Fidel Castro is no longer the ruler of that country. Our policy against Castro has been a failure and we need to admit it so we can start helping the Cuban people through our tourism and trade.

How is it that we can have a policy of somewhat normalized relations with the "Paper Tiger" and have such fear over Castro?

Robert Zimmer

Humane society fails to protect abused dog

Last week, while walking down McCully Street, I saw something I couldn't believe.

Inside the hedged entrance to a home was a cage about two feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high, raised three feet off the ground by legs at each corner. At one end of the cage (which was almost saturated with sunlight) was a small piece of cardboard. The rest of the widely grated bottom was uncovered.

Lying on the cardboard was a dog. I thought to myself, "This just can't be legal." I called the Hawaiian Humane Society.

The lady with whom I spoke said she'd have an officer look into it. Later, a nice officer called me. He had checked out the situation and spoken to the dog's owner. She told him she used to keep the dog on a leash, but it would get away.

The officer asked me, "It's better this way than for him to get loose and get hit by a car, isn't it"? I couldn't reply. If I were the dog, I'd choose death hands-down.

According to its Web site, "The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) envisions a world in which people satisfy the physical and emotional needs of domestic animals."

How on earth does life in a tiny, sun-drenched cage satisfy the physical and emotional needs of a dog?

I guess this shouldn't be surprising in a state where child neglect and abuse run rampant that companion animals should receive no protection either.

Kevin Erickson-Velez






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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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