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Public Statements

Letter to Donna Mercado, Hawaii Senate President, and Joe Souki, Hawaii House Speaker - Financial Disclosure Law

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Honolulu, HI

"When it comes to the role of volunteer participation in the policy and decision-making process of governing in a democracy, the power of government to intrude in people's lives becomes far more than a technical issue. It goes beyond labels of left and right. The whole rationale of democratic governance, after all, is to ensure the protection of individual rights, particularly in matters of personal information and dignity.

"There are tough issues to be considered in this bill with competing values: Legitimate inquiry into possible conflicts regarding the public interest versus legitimate concerns about personal information on family, finances, credit history and medical records becoming cannon fodder in political battles.

"It seems reasonable in these circumstances then, to allow this bill to become law with the object of reviewing the disclosure documents to determine what information serves the public interest, what limitations are relevant and most importantly, what constitutes conflict. The issue then, is not about disclosure, but to what end and by what means."


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