I don’t understand all the fear mongering about holding a Constitutional Convention. Hawaii hasn’t had one since 1978 and it is only voted upon every 10 years.
The last convention:
• Created the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
• Established the Partial Public Financed Elections Program
• Set term limits for Governor and Lt. Governor
• Required an annual balanced budget
• Established the Judicial Selection Commission and Council on Revenues and Tax Review
• Established the State Ethics Code
• Laid the groundwork for the return of federal land such as the island of Kahoolawe,
All positive improvements to our constitution.
My Democratic Party is saying there is no relevant need for a Con-Con. Really? Are they afraid we might add term limits for state legislators? Or make it impossible to write and pass “gut and replace” bills?
Giving counties back their original transient accommodations tax (TAT) share might be a consideration taken up by the Con-Con.
More local control is looked upon with fear by the Oahu-centric state legislature. Perhaps that’s why most legislators are opposed to a Con-Con.
Now the opposition group, Preserve Our Hawaii, is running ads telling voters to vote “no” for the Con-Con, saying things that make it sound like we will lose our natural resources held in trust and that we will no longer preserve and protect our agricultural lands. Preserve Our Hawaii is made up of many groups each with their own self-interest. They state they see no need for a convention. What about because we can!? Government “By the People, and For the People.”
Their ads make it sound like any changes to the constitution would be bad for Hawaii. Maybe, just maybe, we can improve it and make it even better.
By the way, any proposed changes to the constitution that would come from the convention would have to be approved by the voters.
Since any registered voter can be elected as a delegate, the people might have some say about many issues the government can’t resolve or won’t address. It would give us the opportunity to be more directly involved in our communities. Those organizations who are afraid of a Con-Con can run their own people for delegates to the convention and maybe we can make our constitution even better than it is.
Don’t give into fear. Let’s have a Con-Con and make Hawaii even better for all of us. Vote “yes” on Con-Con.
Dan Sabo is a resident of Kailua-Kona.