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Legislature & Politics

‘It’s hard to say if they’re schizophrenic or not’

Joe Kent was featured guest on Keli’i Akina’s “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii network on March 1, 2021, and his first observation about legislators at the 2021 Legislature was, “It’s hard to say if they’re schizophrenic or not.” Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, was

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‘Well, Johnny, it’s really been a strange session so far’

It was a good Sunday morning on the last day of February when Johnny Miro once again hosted Grassroot Institute President Keli’i Akina to talk about public affairs on the H. Hawaii Media family of radio stations: 101.1 FM, 101.5 FM, 107.5 FM, 97.1 FM and 96.7 FM.  Miro’s first

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2021 Legislature might actually do some good

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for Feb. 5, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ We’ve only just started the new legislative session, and the biggest surprise might be

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Hill discusses ‘Lockdowns Versus Liberty’ brief

With Hawaii’s COVID-19 state of emergency now in its 11th month, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii this week — on Martin Luther King Jr. Day —released a new policy brief, “Lockdown Versus Liberty,” which calls on the Legislature to step in and restore checks and balances to the state’s emergency powers. The brief

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How Hawaii is harmed by ‘rent seeking’

Examples include special-interest support for the Jones Act, job licensing, project labor agreements and tourism subsidies People who think the United States has a free market apparently are unaware of the economic concept of “rent-seeking,” also known as crony capitalism. During a presentation in October to a political science class at

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Hawaii can thrive despite one-party dominance

Photo by Charley Myers While voters across the nation settled in to await the final results of their state elections, in Hawaii it wasn’t hard to predict that the outcome would be a victory for the status quo. After all, that is what happens when yours is virtually a one-party

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Transparency in government is critical at all times

Editor’s note: These are remarks that Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, delivered April 21, 2020, during a webinar titled, “Democracy in peril: Upholding government transparency during a time of crisis.” He was joined by Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, and Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat

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High voter turnout showed frustration with state’s political class

Hawaii’s most recent primary election achieved several milestones, and University of Hawaii political scientist Colin Moore discussed their significance on Keli’i Akina’s “Hawaii Together” program on the ThinkTech Hawaii network, on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Moore, an associate professor and the director of the UH Public Policy Center, said perhaps

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Help from the Legislature will have to wait

Hawaii’s 2020 legislative session adjourned yesterday (Friday, July 10), and thank goodness for that. It was a session interrupted in March by the COVID-19 crisis, then reconvened for four hectic weeks in June and July. When the session began in January, we had been prepared to fend off new taxes

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Note to Hawaii Legislature: Focus!

With Hawaii facing its greatest financial crisis in generations, the state Legislature is finally taking action on balloon launches, a “climate innovation technology park” and red light cameras. Yes, our lawmakers are back in session after three months off due to the coronavirus crisis, and rather than focus on urgent

Read More →

‘It’s hard to say if they’re schizophrenic or not’

Joe Kent was featured guest on Keli’i Akina’s “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii network on March 1, 2021, and his first observation about legislators at the 2021 Legislature was, “It’s hard to say if they’re schizophrenic or not.” Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, was

Read More →

‘Well, Johnny, it’s really been a strange session so far’

It was a good Sunday morning on the last day of February when Johnny Miro once again hosted Grassroot Institute President Keli’i Akina to talk about public affairs on the H. Hawaii Media family of radio stations: 101.1 FM, 101.5 FM, 107.5 FM, 97.1 FM and 96.7 FM.  Miro’s first

Read More →

2021 Legislature might actually do some good

The commentary below was Keli’i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for Feb. 5, 2021. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org. ______________ We’ve only just started the new legislative session, and the biggest surprise might be

Read More →

Hill discusses ‘Lockdowns Versus Liberty’ brief

With Hawaii’s COVID-19 state of emergency now in its 11th month, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii this week — on Martin Luther King Jr. Day —released a new policy brief, “Lockdown Versus Liberty,” which calls on the Legislature to step in and restore checks and balances to the state’s emergency powers. The brief

Read More →

How Hawaii is harmed by ‘rent seeking’

Examples include special-interest support for the Jones Act, job licensing, project labor agreements and tourism subsidies People who think the United States has a free market apparently are unaware of the economic concept of “rent-seeking,” also known as crony capitalism. During a presentation in October to a political science class at

Read More →

Hawaii can thrive despite one-party dominance

Photo by Charley Myers While voters across the nation settled in to await the final results of their state elections, in Hawaii it wasn’t hard to predict that the outcome would be a victory for the status quo. After all, that is what happens when yours is virtually a one-party

Read More →

Transparency in government is critical at all times

Editor’s note: These are remarks that Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, delivered April 21, 2020, during a webinar titled, “Democracy in peril: Upholding government transparency during a time of crisis.” He was joined by Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, and Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat

Read More →

High voter turnout showed frustration with state’s political class

Hawaii’s most recent primary election achieved several milestones, and University of Hawaii political scientist Colin Moore discussed their significance on Keli’i Akina’s “Hawaii Together” program on the ThinkTech Hawaii network, on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Moore, an associate professor and the director of the UH Public Policy Center, said perhaps

Read More →

Help from the Legislature will have to wait

Hawaii’s 2020 legislative session adjourned yesterday (Friday, July 10), and thank goodness for that. It was a session interrupted in March by the COVID-19 crisis, then reconvened for four hectic weeks in June and July. When the session began in January, we had been prepared to fend off new taxes

Read More →

Note to Hawaii Legislature: Focus!

With Hawaii facing its greatest financial crisis in generations, the state Legislature is finally taking action on balloon launches, a “climate innovation technology park” and red light cameras. Yes, our lawmakers are back in session after three months off due to the coronavirus crisis, and rather than focus on urgent

Read More →