In 1998, Gov Ige was accused of ethical breaches because he was both a lobbyist for a telecom company and a state legislator in a position to vote on telecom legislation.
Perhaps this explains his recent appointments of developer lobbyists to the #1 and #2 positions at Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Either he truly doesn’t “get” that he has created a conflict of interest or perhaps his intention is to thumb his nose at Hawaiians and conservationists and double down on former Gov. Abercrombie’s PLDC.
In 1998 the Star Bulletin wrote an article “Legislator shouldn’t be utility lobbyist”:
“Ige has registered with the city as a lobbyist but not with the state Ethics Commission. And, as co-chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, Ige has promised to allow co-chairman Wayne Metcalf to assume responsibility for matters relating to the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates Hawaiian Tel. Ige pledges not to vote on matters that present a conflict.
However, all the maneuvering in the world by Ige to avoid the appearance of impropriety will not erase the impression that he was assigned to his present job at the phone company because of his position as a state senator. The interweaving of city, state and federal functions makes the confined activities that Ige prescribes for himself impossible to perform.
Senator Ige’s conflict is inescapable and unacceptable. His district would be better served by an engineer rather than a lobbyist.”
Gov Ige promised an “open door” and promised to consult community groups on his appointments. But since a small cabal of advisors has isolated him from outside influence, these lofty promises seem to have withered and died.
Word is that Ige’s advisors are telling him not to listen to anyone besides themselves because he’ll impair his chance of re-election.
Newsflash Gov. Ige – it is these very advisors who have already set you on the road to be another one term governor.