Senator Brian Schatz on Ted Cruz All Night Grandstanding Effort on Senate Floor – “He Recklessly Wasted Valuable Time…”

Brian Schatz

Aloha —

They’ve really done it this time: Ted Cruz spent all night grandstanding on the Senate floor in an effort to abolish President Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation. He recklessly wasted valuable time holding up real debate and votes on the budget, bringing us even closer to a potential government shutdown.

Cruz’s threats are real – if we don’t pass a budget in the next few days, the government will shut down. Cruz and his Tea Party colleagues would rather send employees home without pay, send the economy into a tailspin, and delay essential public services than fund Obamacare.

We need to show Ted Cruz and his allies that strong progressives like you and me are willing to fight for better health care for middle-class families.

Obamacare is already providing better health care coverage at lower costs for millions of Americans — and it will work even better when the new health care exchanges open on October 1.

But extremists in the House and Senate — led by Texas tea party Senator Ted Cruz — want to kick millions of people off of their health plans, make seniors pay more for essential medications, and end preventive screenings for Medicare recipients.

That’s why my campaign for U.S. Senate is more important than ever. I’ve always stood up for — and will continue leading the fight for — Obamacare, Social Security, and other vital programs that support Hawaii families.

Seeing these values threatened last night and this morning — and seeing how Cruz and his allies are willing to recklessly waste valuable time to grandstand against the health of everyday families — makes me even more motivated to keep fighting for middle-class values.

I’ve got to stay in the Senate to stop people like Ted Cruz and his right-wing corporate cronies from taking away Obamacare.

We can’t let them him get away with this.

Aloha,

Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator 

 

Big Island Police Searching for 38-Year-Old Man Wanted for Bail Jumping and Contempt

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 38-year old man wanted on bench warrants for bail jumping and contempt of court.

Mark Wirth

Mark Wirth

Mark Wirth is describe as 6-feet tall, 170 pounds with short blond hair and blue eyes. He has no permanent address but may be in the Hilo area.

Police caution the public not to contact or approach him if they see him. Instead, anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Lawsuit Charges State Of Hawaii With Breach Of Public Trust – Electric Monopoly

On Wednesday afternoon, September 25, Honolulu attorney, John Carroll, filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, charging the State of Hawaii with breach of the public trust for its failure to address the State’s energy crisis to the satisfaction of its residents.

The defendants in the case are the State of Hawaii and Neil S. Abercrombie, sued in his capacity as the Governor of the State, responsible for the faithful execution of State law.

HELCO Lawsuit

Click to view lawsuit

Big Island Police Searching for 49-Year-Old Kona Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 49-year-old South Kohala man wanted on warrants.

Adrien Haena Kalani

Adrien Haena Kalani

Adrien Haena Kalani, who has no permanent address, is wanted for contempt of court, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. He is also wanted for questioning in connection with an assault and an auto theft.

He is described as approximately 6-foot-2, 300 pounds with short black-and-gray hair and brown eyes.

Police caution the public not contact or approach him. Instead, anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

 

Big Island Police Searching for 48-Year-Old Missing Kayaker

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 48-year-old Hilo man who was reported missing.

Richard Gomez

Richard Gomez

Richard Gomez, entered the water in Hilo in a Kayak at 10 a.m. Friday (September 20) and has not been seen since. He may be headed for South Point.

He is described as 6-feet-tall, 175 pounds and bald with green eyes.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaiʻi Fire Department are assisting in the search.

Police ask anyone with information on Gomez’ whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or the Coast Guard Command Center on Oahu at (808) 842-2600.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

New Report Shows Plan to Expand Hawaii Early Education With Tobacco Tax Increase

President Obama has proposed to expand early childhood education and fund it with an increase in federal tobacco taxes. 

CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS LOGO

In Hawaii, this initiative would provide 853 more children from low- and moderate-income families with access to high-quality preschool in the first year alone and prevent 4,700 kids from becoming addicted smokers, according to a report released today by nine organizations that focus on early learning and/or public health.

Additional Hawaii benefits include:

  • Additional funds provided for preschool in the first year: $7 million
  • Residents saved from premature, smoking-caused deaths: 2,400

In his fiscal year 2014 budget, President Obama proposed to expand federal funding for early education programs, paid for with a 94-cent per pack increase in the federal cigarette tax and a proportional increase in the federal tax on other tobacco products.  “Taken together, these two measures would help ensure a future of smart, healthy kids nationwide and in every state,” the report concludes.

The report can be found at www.smarthealthykids.org.  It details the educational and health benefits of the President’s proposal nationwide and in every state.

Nationwide, the President’s proposal would ensure that two million children in low- and moderate-income families have access to high-quality preschool and prevent 1.7 million kids from becoming addicted smokers.

Organizations releasing the report are the National Women’s Law Center, Save the Children, MomsRising, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and American Academy of Pediatrics.

Background

The President’s proposal would address two major challenges facing America’s children: Too few have access to high-quality preschool programs, while too many still smoke.

Less than half of four-year-olds are currently enrolled in public preschool programs, and many of these programs are not high quality.  Numerous studies show that children who have a high-quality preschool experience perform better on cognitive tests in elementary and secondary school, are more likely to graduate from high school, go to college, be employed and be in good health, and are less likely to become involved with crime or have to rely on public assistance.

The proposed increase in tobacco taxes would significantly reduce smoking and other tobacco use, which is the nation’s leading preventable cause of death.  Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans every year and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills.  Every day, more than 3,500 U.S. youth try their first cigarette.

 

Roger Christie to Plead Guilty to Distribution of Marijuana on Friday

Roger Christie

Roger Christie in front of the former THC Ministry

“…Roger Christie promoted the religious use of marijuana for years at The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry in Hilo.  He was arrested in July 2010 and his operation was shut down.  He has been in custody for more than three years.

Christie’s attorney says his client will enter a guilty plea to distribution of marijuana because he was factually doing that.  However, Christie strongly believes his actions were protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In the plea agreement, Christie reserves the right to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals…”

 

Monsanto Protection Act Removed From Senate CR

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz released the following statement on the elimination of what is known as the “Monsanto Protection Act” from the Senate version of the short-term appropriations bill, the Continuing Resolution.

Brian Schatz
“The Monsanto Protection Act is bad policy for the country and the State of Hawai‘i,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “The Senate version of the Continuing Resolution does not include this provision, effectively repealing the Monsanto Protection Act. This provision took the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to fully exercise his regulatory power over GMOs, and compromised the role of our courts as a check on the legislative and executive systems, making it significantly more difficult for concerned citizens to present their case.

“I strongly urge the House not to sneak the Monsanto Protection Act back into the final version of the appropriations bill. However, if it is slipped back in, rather than letting the issue be deliberated with full transparency and public input, I will immediately introduce legislation to repeal it.”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester from Montana led the charge in getting the Senate to remove the Monsanto Protection Act from the Continuing Resolution.

“Stripping the Monsanto Protection Act is a victory for American consumers and family farm agriculture,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester.  “Corporate giveaways have no business in a bill to fund the government, and I’m pleased that the Senate stood up for accountability and transparency and against special interests.  I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Schatz to make sure that this damaging provision never again makes it into law.”