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by Sharon Rondeau

The Hawaii Legislature is debating a bill that would revise its UIPA, or open records, law prompted by the questions over Barack Obama's alleged birth in Hawaii

(Apr. 6, 2010) — An amendment to an existing Hawaii law regarding the public’s access to information from state agencies which was previously “deferred” is again being discussed in the Hawaii legislature.  SB2937/SD1/HD1, the “vexatious requester” bill, has been passed by the House of Representatives with changes and sent back to the Senate for deliberation on those changes.

On March 16, 2010, the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the bill “be deferred” (see bottom of linked page).  However, several other actions have been taken since then, despite the bill’s sponsor, Senator Will Espero, having stated that “deferred” usually means “dead” for the current legislative term.

On March 25, the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass the bill “with amendments,” with nine members voting “aye” and seven “excused.”  On March 31, it passed the second reading and was placed on the calendar for a third reading with four members excused.  One of member was excused from both the March 25 and March 31 votes.

The current version of the bill focuses on duplicate requests from a single individual and eliminates the term “vexatious requester” contained in the description of the original amendment.  Also in the new version, the Office of Information Practices, the state agency which has oversight over the UIPA law, would not have the authority to refuse the release of information, but could be called upon to render an opinion as to whether or not a requester has made duplicate requests for information.

The new description of the proposed amendment reads as follows:  “Exempts disclosure of government records in response to duplicate requests from a single requestor, provided that the agency to which the request was made satisfies specified requirements.  Sunset date on July 1, 2013.  (SB2937 HD1)”  However, the Report Title is still listed as “Information Practices; Vexatious Requests”.

The House Judiciary Committee’s proposed amendments to the bill can be found here.  It is interesting to note that a “sunset date of July 1, 2013” has been set when the original bill had stated that it would not take effect until 2050.

Malia Zimmerman, President and Founder of the Hawaii Reporter online newspaper, had written on March 22, 2010 that SB2937 was still alive even though on March 16, the bill had been recommended to be “deferred,” as noted above.  An email exchange between Ms. Zimmerman and The Post & Email on March 23 reads:

From: malia@hawaiireporter.com
To: editor@thepostemail.com
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 09:17:58 -1000

I was told by the DOH two days ago that they are revising the bill and hope to pass it this session.

One thing I learned from the legislature is no bill is ever “dead” and that is the case even if the bill number is not active.

We have something called “gut and replace”, which means language can be gutted from one bill and added into the other bill if lawmakers want to keep it alive.

In addition, if the bill does not pass, the DOH already said they are considering not answering the emails of so called “vexatious requesters” so this issue certainly is not dead.

In terms of what Janice Okubo said, she did say there are other things being requested, but that was to her point that the requests are silly and a waste of time.

Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii Health Department, had testified to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations that her department had been receiving 40-50 requests each month for Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but The Post & Email is in possession of documentation which refutes her testimony.

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  1. b Fuller,
    This is very interesting. Any person who goes to Hawaii who has questions about Obama’s eligiblity should definitely make time to make alot of inquires on his supposed birth there. I think more people need to start going to Hawaii and poke around there. I’m glad you took the time.

  2. It is my understanding that the problem with Hawaii’s COLB forms, is not just about Obama’s BC. It goes back further than that.
    At one time Hawaii had imported very large numbers of people to work in the cane fields. These people were a big drain on the state financially. So, the crated the COLB and illegally made them citizens of Hawaii. By doing so they were able to get financial help from the U.S. government. In other words, the taxpayers in the rest of the states helped to support Hawaii’s slave labor. I believe this is what is behind their refusal to provide documents. Immagine, they may be sued by the other states for immigration fraud. Maybe a lot more than that
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: I read that as well at a site called “Desert Conservative.”

  3. I just returned from a trip to HI. I made the time every day that I was there to find “natives” and ask them what they thought about BO eligibility and what they knew about the cover up going on with the HI state government. Sadly, I can report that I got the same answer every time, ” I hadn’t heard about any of this. Are you sure?”. The best one of all, though, was the guy who asked if I was sure that BO was born in HI. HUH???

  4. So are they saying that this law is only a good idea until the sunset date – July 1, 2013 – and then it is no longer a good idea? Instead of the title “Relating to Information Practices” perhaps they should call it “Temporary Bill To Help The Department Of Health Conspire With Barack Obama To Commit Fraud.” If its a good change in UIPA, why do they need a sunset date? It is obvious that the Hawaii legislature is changing UIPA for a specific targeted political reason.

  5. — let’s blame HI for all of our BO eligibility problems and let the DNC attempt to defend HI from our calls for removal of HI traitors.

  6. I don’t understand why UIPA comes in to play. Obama already gave them permission to disclose his vital documents. ANY Information from them CANNOT be revealed without his express permission. Otherwise Fukino should be rotting in jail right now with a misdemeanor stamped on her forehead. She already got permission to publicize his vitals, so there’s no more secrecy involved.

    So she needs to cough them up, or go to jail. The Attorney General of Hawaii needs to press charges against her one way or the other she is violating Barack Obama’s wishes. He obviously wanted his vitals made public, or she could not have exposed any information therefrom. And if she did it on her own accord, she needs to be behind bars.

    1. “He obviously wanted his vitals made public”

      Somehow, I believe that if Obama wanted his “vitals” revealed, from Hawaii or anywhere else, they would be.

      1. Bob, they WERE made public when Fukino revealed information from them. She cannot do so without his permission without violating Hawaii’s laws.

        Obama had to have given her permission or she committed a crime. And if Obama gave her permission already there is no secrecy involved any longer, and she is committing yet another crime by not upholding Hawaii’s law.

    2. When I asked Gov. Lingle’s office why Fukino is not guilty of a misdemeanor since she revealed data from his vital documents, unless Obama gave her specific permission to do so, and the rep. said ” well everyone just KNOWS he was from here”…she didn’t say “born” here. So Fukino says she’s not guilty of misconduct, so she had to have permission. And Lingle is saying they know she did not get permission but that “eveyone knows”. They have to say this because if Fukino got permission, there’s no more secrecy to the vital documents.

      Seems Lingle is willing to sacrifice Fukino going to jail for sticking her neck out, then denying she had any right to disclose information from vitals. Lingle seems to be throwing Fukino under the bus, the point must have been to get an official meme out and sacrifice the official.