Thursday, April 30, 1998



Legislature '98


’98 Legislature
well connected

Activists use the Internet
to shift their lobbying
efforts to high gear

By Richard Borreca
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

By jumping on the Internet to rally the troops, organize a cause or focus attention, people hoping to influence the Legislature are getting wired.

"It absolutely makes a difference in being able to connect," Toni Worst, president of Hawaii Clean Elections, says.

Gay activist Bill Woods reports being on the Internet five to seven hours a day, working to organize and advise.

"I started using e-mail about two years ago," Woods said. "I was overwhelmed at the amount of communication and also at the fairness.

"I spent years trying to get in the front door to talk to someone. Now with e-mail I have been able to talk to them personally."

By using e-mail lists to spread the word across the state, across the country and even around the world at a moment's notice, people on the 'Net are able to find people with a common interest and then organize them into a political movement.

Republican state Sen. Sam Slom, who began using the Internet early for his own businesses, says that while he welcomes all sorts of communication, e-mail messages are a mixed blessing.

"Some messages are thirdhand speculation, some are recipes, some are jokes and some more are just ads," he said. "And it takes a tremendous amount of time to go through it all."

Like many other state politicians, he tries to respond to letters and telephone calls, but admits it is hard with the new flood of e-mail.

"The positive thing is that the volume of e-mail is up. I have encouraged people to communicate," he says.

Worst uses the 'Net to keep League of Women Voters and other government reform supporters up to date on the work done by Hawaii Clean Elections campaign.

"It is a time-saver and a great organizing tool," she said. "Position papers and responses can be developed, campaign events can be synchronized and scheduled without a zillion phone calls, artwork can be attached or downloaded to graphics companies or printers, brochures and ads can be laid out."

Woods also uses his e-mail lists to alert supporters to positions, political problems and recently, to help with his own investigation of groups opposing same-gender marriage.

To investigate contributions, Woods copied the entire list of donors to a Save Traditional Marriage '98 fund-raiser and e-mailed it to friends and supporters in Hawaii and across the country.

He asked for help in identifying contributors who he said might have mistakenly given to the group, while thinking they were paying to hear a motivational business speech.

So far his investigation of campaign spending practices has prompted a state Campaign Spending Commission investigation.

But Gary Grimmer, attorney for the Save Traditional Marriage '98 committee, worries that Woods is using the Internet in new and untried ways.

"To me this is totally new," Grimmer said. "I suppose it is remarkable. It is one thing to send a thoughtful advocacy piece to names you find on the campaign spending list and another to send a letter asking what was in their minds."

In response, Woods said he found errors and possible law violations in the filings with the Campaign Spending Commission, so he was following up.

Another legal researcher, who anonymously joins several Internet discussion groups to follow their strategy, noted that the Internet allows a local group to reach out and become a part of a larger like-minded group.

The Rev. Frank Chong, director of the Waikiki Health Center, who is heading a lobbying effort for private social service agencies, relies on a fax machine rather than e-mail to get out alerts regarding legislative budget conferences.

"E-mail is a little too compulsive," Chong said. "When you get it, you respond. And you respond before thinking about it."


How to reach your
legislators with e-mail

Here are the e-mail addresses of local legislators:

Bullet GOVERNOR E-MAIL ADDRESS
Benjamin Cayetano gov@gov.state.hi.us

Bullet LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR E-MAIL ADDRESS
Mazie Hirono ltgov@pixi.com

Bullet SENATOR E-MAIL ADDRESS
James Aki senaki@capitol.hawaii.gov
Rosalyn Baker senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov
Robert Bunda senbunda@capitol.hawaii.gov
Avery Chumbley senchumbley@capitol.hawaii.gov
Suzanne Chun Oakland senchunoakland@capitol.hawaii.gov
Lehua Fernandes Salling lehua@capitol.hawaii.gov
Carol Fukunaga senfukunaga@capitol.hawaii.gov
David Ige sendige@capitol.hawaii.gov
Marshall Ige senmige@capitol.hawaii.gov
Les Ihara Jr. senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Randall Iwase seniwase@capitol.hawaii.gov
Brian Kanno senkanno@capitol.hawaii.gov
Calvin Kawamoto senkawamoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Andrew Levin senlevin@capitol.hawaii.gov
Matt Matsunaga senmatsunaga@capitol.hawaii.gov
Mike McCartney senmccartney@capitol.hawaii.gov
Wayne Metcalf senmetcalf@capitol.hawaii.gov
Norman Mizuguchi senmizuguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov
Norman Sakamoto sensakamoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Sam Slom senslom@capitol.hawaii.gov
Malama Solomon sensolomon@capitol.hawaii.gov
Rod Tam sentam@capitol.hawaii.gov
Joseph Tanaka sentanaka@capitol.hawaii.gov
Brian Taniguchi sentaniguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov

Bullet REPRESENTATIVE E--MAIL ADDRESS
Felipe Abinsay Jr. repabinsay@capitol.hawai.gov
Lei Ahu Isa repahuisa@capitol.hawaii.gov
Sam Aiona repaiona@capitol.hawaii.gov
Dennis Arakaki reparakaki@capitol.hawaii.gov
Romy Cachola repcachola@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ed Case repcase@capitol.hawaii.gov
Jerry Chang repchang@capitol.hawaii.gov
Galen Fox repfox@capitol.hawaii.gov
Nestor Garcia repgarcia@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kenny Goodenow repgoodenow@capitol.hawaii.gov
Chris Halford rephalford@capitol.hawaii.gov
Eric Hamakawa rephamakawa@capitol.hawaii.gov
Robert Herkes repherkes@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kenneth Hiraki rephiraki@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ken Ito repito@capitol.hawaii.gov
Merwyn Jones repjones@capitol.hawaii.gov
Michael Kahikina repkahikina@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ezra Kanoho repkanoho@capitol.hawaii.gov
Bertha Kawakami repkawakami@capitol.hawaii.gov
Quentin Kawananakoa repkawananakoa@capitol.hawaii.gov
Marilyn Lee replee@capitol.hawaii.gov
Barbara Marumoto repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Bob McDermott repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ron Menor repmenor@capitol.hawaii.gov
Colleen Meyer repmeyer@capitol.hawaii.gov
David Morihara repmorihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Hermina Morita repmorita@capitol.hawaii.gov
Mark Moses repmoses@capitol.hawaii.gov
Bob Nakasone repnakasone@capitol.hawaii.gov
Tom Okamura repokamura@capitol.hawaii.gov
Marcus Oshiro repmoshiro@capitol.hawaii.gov
Paul Oshiro repposhiro@capitol.hawaii.gov
David Pendleton reppendleton@capitol.hawaii.gov
Scott Saiki repsaiki@capitol.hawaii.gov
Alexander Santiago repsantiago@capitol.hawaii.gov
Calvin Say repsay@capitol.hawaii.gov
Joseph Souki repsouki@capitol.hawaii.gov
David Stegmaier repstegmaier@capitol.hawaii.gov
Nathan Suzuki repsuzuki@capitol.hawaii.gov
Mark Takai reptakai@capitol.hawaii.gov
Dwight Takamine reptakamine@capitol.hawaii.gov
Roy Takumi reptakumi@capitol.hawaii.gov
David Tarnas reptarnas@capitol.hawaii.gov
Cynthia Thielen repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov
Terrance Tom reptom@capitol.hawaii.gov
Gene Ward repward@capitol.hawaii.gov
Paul Whalen repwhalen@capitol.hawaii.gov
Michael White repwhite@capitol.hawaii.gov
Brian Yamane repyamane@capitol.hawaii.gov
Noboru Yonamine repyonamine@capitol.hawaii.gov
Terry Yoshinaga repyoshinaga@capitol.hawaii.gov

Bullet STAFF OFFICE E-MAIL ADDRESS
Legislative Research Bureau Library hleglib2@pixi.com
Public Access Room par@capitol.hawaii.gov





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