Pubdate: Thu, 07 Sep 2000
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Contact:  P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802
Fax: (808) 523-8509
Author: Jack Schweigert


I was troubled by your Sept. 1 editorial on the issue of Hawaii County
having to send back federal grant money for marijuana eradication. You
attributed it to an inability to get insurance against "legal

"Legal harassment" carries with it a tone of opportunism. By using
this term, I venture to say that your newspaper could not have
examined the issue prior to making such a statement.

Had you done so, you would have learned that the lawsuit being
"threatened" is the one constitutional mechanism available under the
County Charter, wherein Council persons may be impeached. This happens
when they openly defy the mandates of the charter -- for example, in
calling for mandatory program review at least once every four years
where county money is used, such as in marijuana eradication.

How is invoking a process called for in the charter tantamount to

Moreover, why does your newspaper, which exists pretty much
unregulated because of the First Amendment, choose to label the
potential action of citizens speaking out against what they perceive
as malfeasance in government as "harassment"?

Speeches that chill the invoking of a process designed to make
government actions accountable to the people do not seem like the
proper role of a newspaper.

Jack Schweigert
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