Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, August 30, 1999

Cayetano says Honolulu
dailies need to do better

Gov. Ben Cayetano said the state's television media is doing a good job of news coverage, but believes Honolulu's dailies could do better.

Cayetano, at a brown bag lunch with reporters last week sponsored by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, said he would like to see signed editorials in both newspapers so people know which editorial page editor actually wrote the opinion.

The governor complained the same people were submitting letters to the editors in both papers, and that responses from his office to some letters sometimes did not make it into print.

He also criticized some columnists for not presenting balanced views or for not researching their topics.

Ideally, Cayetano wants a forum where he could present any complaints about the local media coverage. "I wish there was a court to hold you guys responsible," Cayetano said.

Meanwhile, Cayetano said he couldn't care less if there was one or two newspapers in the state. He said he likes to read the local papers for their national and international news and columns.

NO IMMUNITY: Legislative immunity from traffic violations is a thing of the past, one freshman lawmaker learned this past session.

This spring, Sen. David M. Matsuura (D, Hilo) said he was unable to renew the safety check and registration on his wife's car because they were living in Honolulu. As a result, he received a traffic citation from Hawaii County.

Matsuura wrote to the Third District Court traffic violations bureau on April 19 and asked the citation be waived because his legislative duties required him to spend time on Oahu.

"I apologize for the expired safety check which necessitated the attached citations," he wrote. "I would like to request legislative immunity."

A Hawaii County judge, however, told Matsuura legislative immunity for traffic violations was removed from the law books years ago and ordered him to pay the ticket and a fine.

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