Lawmakers live it up in Hawaii
By John Seiler
Not since Elvis filmed “Aloha in Hawaii” 40 years ago has so much fun been enjoyed in the Hula State. Reported the Bee:
“Seventeen legislators attended one of two Maui public policy conferences last November, each of which was bankrolled by a nonprofit group, according to newly filed financial disclosure statements.
“The annual Capitol Hawaii tradition allows elected officials to talk public policy and schmooze on the dime of Capitol interests without having to disclose their participation until months later.
“The groups do not identify their donors and have strong ties to former legislators.
“The most popular Hawaii conference was the one that offered legislators the most expensive accommodation package as a gift.
“The California Independent Voter Project provided up to $2,800 per legislator to attend the event for three or four days at the Kea Lani resort, which describes itself as a “luxurious haven in one of the most scenic places on Earth.”
“The nonprofit group, which is led in part by former Democratic legislator Steve Peace, is backed by various business, labor and other interest groups whose identities are not reported.”
If this were the Illinois Legislature, I could see flying from the frigid Land of Lincoln to the balmy Islands of Elvis — assuming the plane even could get off the ground through Illinois’ current blizzard.
But why not hold the special-interest junket right here in California where the weather is warm in March? Anywhere along the coast would be great.
That way, while legislators were selling out their constituents to the special interests, at least the tourism cash would remain here in the Golden State.
On the other hand, in Hawaii there’s a greater chance of an Elvis sighting:
May 21, 2013