COMMENTS TO “VEXATIOUS REQUESTER” PROPOSAL REPLACED WITH NEW AND UNRELATED TESTIMONY
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 18, 2010) — The 23 pages of testimony regarding SB2937 which had been posted at the “Bill Status and Documents” section of the Hawaii Legislative website is no longer there, having been posted just last evening.
The link now shows one new page of testimony about SB2937, with a second page which has to do with an endangered Hawaiian seal.
A two-page opposition commentary not appearing on the site last night submitted on March 17 and labeled “Late” can be found here. This testimony is from a Hawaii attorney who had appeared in person at the March 16, 2010 public hearing.
The testimony offered by Cathy Takase, Director of the Office of Information Practices, the agency which would have oversight over enforcing the measure, if passed, and that of Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii Health Department, are both still displayed even though they were presented to the Senate Judicial and Government Affairs Committee on February 23, 2010. Both of those viewpoints are strongly supportive of the proposal.
In response to the mysterious disappearance of the testimony, a citizen sent the following email:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: SB2937 Testimony Removed from Legislature Website
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 16:58:17 -0700
Dear Representatives Marumoto and Thielen,
I, as well as others offered testimony to the Judiciary Committee in opposition to SB2937, a bill to identify persons who abuse Hawaii’s Open Records Laws as “vexatious” and thus ban them from making requests for government records for a period of up to two years. The Committee deferred voting on this bill for an indeterminate amount of time.
I am contacting you because it appears that you are the only Republican Representatives who sit this on Committee.
I have been following this bill very closely, and am in strong opposition as I feel that the DoH and OIP have misrepresented the facts and that the law, if revised, will do more harm than good.
To my point, I checked the website to see if the Committee report had been released and if any additional testimony was offered.
The original 23-page pdf that included testimony both in favor and in opposition has since been removed and replaced with testimony that was not included in the original posting.
My question to you is “Is this standard practice, and if not, why would the Committee intentionally remove something that is supposed to be a matter of public record?”
Please advise, and thank you in advance for your assistance.
The Post & Email will be publishing updates on the disappearance of the recent testimony as soon as new information is available.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.