Hawaii Reporter should listen more attentively to Sen. Willie Espero, D-Ewa, when it comes to manipulation of the television media and abuse of state funds.

See Espero’s letter to Hawaii Reporter: “Rebutting Political Tittle-tattle Report on Media Ethics, Free Speech, Govenor’s Japan Trip”

He’s been doing it for years and should be considered an expert.

Espero is the only legislator of the 76 with a regular Olelo program, The Espero Report.

His cameraman, producer, writer and editor is not so coincidentally his state paid legislative office manager and campaign worker, Tom Berg.

It is nearly impossible to attend an event where Berg is not filming or taking pictures of his employer — Espero — that nearly always shows up on his Olelo program or the other Berg Olelo production, “Ewa Today.”

And who is paying Berg’s salary? We are — the state taxpayers.

It is hypocritical of Sen. Espero to criticize Gov. Lingle’s trip to Japan being covered by a local news television station and paid for by HVCB when his very own television program is also funded by the state taxpayers and is being produced by his state employee.

While Espero grilled in the recent House-Senate tourism committee hearings Gov. Lingle’s public relations people about how he feels they wasted state funds on coverage of the governor’s goodwill trip to Japan, he is busy using his own state funded employee to film and produce his own various public relations promotions on public (taxpayer funded) television.

Espero’s potential abuse of state resources, personnel and funds should be included in the investigation he and other state Democrat legislators recommended the Legislature make of Gov. Lingle’s Japan trip and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s $4,100 expenditure (which will be refunded) so a local news crew could cover the trip.

”’Garry P. Smith, a resident of Ewa Beach, can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:garrypsmith@juno.com

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