James Tokioka's agenda

SUBHEAD: The Kauai representative is an employee for Time-Warner and votes regularly in their interest as Hawaii legislator.  

By Elaine Dunbar on 27 April 2012 in Island Breath -  

Image above:Mashup of Oceanic Time-Warner sign by Juan Wilson From (http://www.petersonsign.com/content/peterson-sign-company-oceanic-time-warner-cable).

 Letʻs start focusing on electing real legislators with genuine integrity and removing the ones that are warming benches and lining pockets. I have been of the opinion for a long time that James Tokioka (Representative) is an unworthy legislator and basically sits there to reap benefits for his personal agendas. Letʻs not forget the time he switched parties to run and be elected. There are quite a few other deadbeats and they know who they are but will make the most of their borrowed time in those seats until we start mobilizing.  

But this recent disclosure takes the cake.

It would be prudent for all to remember when elections roll around and/or a recall might be in order. It would be good to get in the practice of doing recalls to remind these so-called legislators that these positions are not for the betterment of their lifestyles but public service.

mage above: Jimmy Tokiolka (R) and Ron Kouchi (L) are frequent collaborators. They stand with Kauai Economic Opportunities CEO MaBel Fujiuchi (C) this March. From (http://www.midweekkauai.com/2012/03/celebrating-watermen-and-women/).

 Here is an article by Ian Lind on Tokioka's possible conflict of interest:

Does a $50k-$100k job with Time-Warner create a conflict of interest for legislator?

Here’s a question about the Legislature’s web site: When members of the House or Senate disclose a conflict of interest, is there a record of that conflict which is accessible to the public?

The question occurred to me after a recent post about the bills impacting Olelo and the other community access television providers. I wondered whether Kauai Rep. Jimmy Tokioka had publicly disclosed his new job with Oceanic Time Warner, which creates at very least the reasonable perception of a conflict of interest. And I wondered if that information would be easy to locate.

Tokioka filed an amended financial disclosure with the State Ethics Commission on July 25, 2011, to report getting a job as business manager, Kauai operations. for Oceanic Time Warner Cable. His disclosure lists a salary in the $50,000-$100,000 range. That’s more than his legislative salary, possibly considerably more.

Tokioka is a member of the House Finance Committee, which ended up as the sole referral for HB2874, one of the cable bills that has stirred up controversy. The status page for the bill indicates Tokioka voted in favor, along with the majority of the committee. Tokioka reportedly has also been active behind the scenes seeking support from key colleagues in pushing cable-related bills forward.

Oceanic, which often finds itself at odds with the community access corporations funded by its franchise fees, is seen as a key interest behind these cable-related bills.

Jay April, president of Akaku: Maui Community Television, recently emailed the organization’s supporters:
With Testimony running 100 – 1 against House Bill 2874, which would freeze Community Television funding on all island for five years, the House Finance Committee voted unanimously to PASS the bill with amendments. The language of these amendments are not yet available. Significantly, even though the hearing on this measure was not announced until 9:30PM on Friday night for a Monday morning meeting, scores of people showed up to testify passionately in opposition and hundreds more written testimonies like yours were received by the committee also in opposition…
Even though otherwise funded DOE was the intended beneficiary of a totally undefined plan that would steal PEG monies to buy laptops for schools, they didn’t even bother to show up. This is a bill nobody wanted with Hawaii Public Television and DCCA also weighing in against it. Nobody, that is, except for cable giant, OceanicTime Warner
The sole testimony IN FAVOR of this bill was submitted by TIME WARNER, whose spokesperson clearly misrepresented the facts of how public access TV is funded in oral comments before the committee. Evidently, Time Warner’s testimony is worth more than any 100 of you.
Here’s what House rules say about conflicts.
60.5. If the member has a conflict of interest in legislation, the member shall disclose to the presiding officer (the committee chair or the Speaker, depending on where the vote is taking place) the conflict of interest prior to voting on that legislation. For the purposes of this rule, a “conflict of interest” means that the legislation affects the member’s direct personal, familial, or financial interest except if the member, or the member’s relative, is part of a class of people affected by the legislation.
60.6. If a member is uncertain as to whether a conflict of interest exists, the member may request a ruling from the presiding officer by giving notice and disclosing the direct financial interest to the presiding officer prior to voting. When making a determination in cases where a portion of a measure may place a member in a conflict of interest, the presiding officer shall give due consideration to the context of that portion as it relates to the overall purpose of the measure. If the presiding officer determines that a conflict exists, the presiding officer shall recognize the conflict and honor the member’s request to be excused from discussion, debate, and voting.
If a conflict is declared on the House floor, it will eventually show up in the House journal. But is there any public record of a conflict disclosed in committee? If not, is this something that needs to be addressed?


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