BY PAT SAIKI – In response to the State Ethics Committee holding a hearing on the way legislators are misusing their office allowance, I have to ask, is this the point that we have come to – that our representatives, civil servants whom the people of Hawaii have invested their trust in, have to be told specifically how to not waste taxpayer dollars?
Our representatives are supposed to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. If they want to buy garlic salt, hand towels or area rugs then perhaps they should do what most people in Hawaii do – use their own hard earned dollars.
Most people in Hawaii are working two jobs just to make ends meet, while their representatives vote to increase their salaries and their ‘allowances’ for which taxpayers foot the $1 million bill.
In less than ten years time, they have more than doubled these allowances.
Among the worst offenders was Representative Tom Brower, who used taxpayer dollars to purchase his infamous sledgehammer, which he later used to harass homeless people and destroy their belongings in Waikiki.
Donna Mercado Kim, now hoping to run against Republican Charles Djou in the first Congressional district, used her funds to buy state of the art iPad mini and Microsoft surface tablet, totaling nearly $3,000.
Senate Minority Leader Senator Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai, has not used any of these funds and returns the money to the state each year.
Pat Saiki is the chair of the Hawaii Republican Party