Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 |
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State Sen. Les Ihara Jr., an advocate of “good government” and campaign finance reform in Hawai’i, will be the keynote speaker at a meeting scheduled for Kaua’i on Saturday, April 5.
Ihara, a Democrat who represents Senate District 9, is scheduled to give his talk at 1:15 p.m. at the Aloha Beach Resort in Wailua.
The meeting, sponsored by Kaua’i’s League of Women Voters, is set to run from 10:30 a.m. and end after 3 p.m.
The focus of the meeting deals with the best way to govern tax-exempt organizations.
For his part, Ihara will give an overview on his topics and will lead a panel discussion. Ihara has spoken out on issues that are important to him: too much power in the hands of few, information kept from the public and abuse of voters’ trust.
Ihara was first elected to office in 1978 as a delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention.
Representatives for the League of Women said that since that time, Ihara has crusaded for open government, sunshine on Hawai’i’s legislative process and improved public access to the government.
Ihara has focused his attention on ethics, rights of voters, citizen rights to government information, public access to the legislative process and impowerment of citizens.
At the April 5 meeting, the League of Women Voters wants more discussion on the best way to govern tax-exempt organizations whose activities impact residents.
Representatives for the League said that when public services are under the control of the government, state law allows for public input and accountability.
But the situation changes when public services are privatized or are run by elite boards.
In this scenario, the public’s access to open records and government are minimized, removing the public’s ability for “oversight,” the League said.
The League contends such organizations complain the “burden of open governance is too difficult” and “slows down the activities of volunteer boards.”
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