Final week, a federal courtroom sentenced Hanalei Aipoalani to 46 months imprisonment for his position in embezzling $527,000 from AmeriCorps, and for additionally accepting bribes To impact the approval of fraudulent purposes for CARES Act Funds.
Taken by itself, That is typinamey a bombshell For every the native authorities and our group, however Furtherextra It is but ancompletely different ugly incident in An prolonged-working itemizing of Hawaii scandals.
We’ve all heard the saying that “crime doesn’t pay” and “cheaters by no means prosper” since factorary school. I urge To vary, as a Outcome of in Hawaii crime most undoubtedly pays properly and cheaters do certainly prosper.
Overlook outrages like authorities officers consuming at eating places at public expense, civil servants going buying overseas with a pCard and offering receipts Which will’t be translated, or borrowing state enhancement gear on their lunch break To make the most of for landscaping of their private residences. These are all ridiculously illegal and intolerably dangerous actions, however They’re however peach fuzz manifestations of evil rising on the again of a a lot huger monster of public corruption.
I discover it notably revealing that when federal prosecutors entered into The general public doc textual content material messages between Aipoalani and his co-conspirators, the messages contained detailed, boastful discussions of how fraudulent actions might proceed, suggesting a depth Of expertise and prior expertise Inside the matter, Which suggests corruption is extra widespread and widespread than one might assume in Hawaii.
This is what ought to fear natives. What quantity of completely different notioned people in positions Of presidency affect or monetary power, as we converse, are committing completely different crimes and defrauding The general public, All of the wright hereas masquerading as assisters of weak populations and defenders of the weak and needy?
The public ought to start to marvel how Lots of their elected leaders are pitching grandiose and costly plans beneath the guise of “public service,” “management,” and “daring visions for The Prolonged time period” That are exactly schemes for offshore cartels, extremely effective firms, And private enrichment.
The public ought To impeach whether or not electing The identical people For many years carries with it a slippery slope in the direction of democratic oligarchy, or whether or not it Is sensible that elected officers, authorities businesses, nonprofits, And huge companies in Hawaii all recycle Every completely different’s alumni.
We’re As a lot as our eyebrows in swamp water right here in Hawaii, And since the water is so opaque, We will’t inform What Sort of carnivorous predators are lurking about round us. It is time To empty this swamp and reclaim Hawaii for decency, notion, and honor as quickly as extra.
Two Requirements Of Justice
Our legislators Want to make new factors illegal each session, however Hawaii retains getting More and more extra corrupt as a Outcome of the regulations Are Alleged to make regulationmakers look good, however not truly make Hawaii good.
In case you haven’t noticed, tright here are presently two regulars of justice in Hawaii proper now.
One regular calls for absolute accountability And provides no mercy to poor people, whether or not their offenses are So straightforward as being unable To primarytain current on their increasingly costly car registration or as seemingly nefarious as having a drug behavior and being caught with illegal substances.
For these people, We’re saying the regulation Want to be enforced with out exception, and We’re saying that if tright here are extenuating circumstances which name for particular exceptions, properly, then it’s As a lot Since the courtroom To Search out out your destiny. More typinamey than not, poor Individuals who break the regulations right here see their lives ruined.
We as a people Want to get critical about demanding accountability from the people round us. Which means we cease empowering corruption whether or not it’s our pals or household, and we cease wanting The completely different method.
The completely different regular We now have in Hawaii is one wright here In case You are well-known, In case You are properly-related, In case You are rich, or In case You are a political instrument, the proverb that “to err is human, to forgive is divine” applies to you. And that’s Do you have to’re even caught Inside The primary place, as a Outcome of extra typinamey than not, We look The completely different method and even reward you with greater prominence to defraud us.
I’m reminded of An excellent novel written by native author Mike Bond referred to as “Saving Paradise” which allegorinamey addresses this disparity wright here The exact criminals sucking our society dry On A daily basis go free, wright hereas the petty criminals are used as sacrifices to fulfill The appears of justice. This is The drawback with Hawaii, and it Should cease.
So What’s The reply? To start, we as a people Want to get critical about demanding accountability from the people round us. Which means we cease empowering corruption whether or not it’s our pals or household, and we cease wanting The completely different method. Local authorities, pretty than the federal authorities, Want to be an aggressive watchdog.
We have to cease accepting excuses for wrongdoing and cease enabling wrongdoing, and when huge criminals are caught, these people Want to be sentenced in An monumental method For event for completely differents. Whether it’s committing procurement violations To assist pals or being An factor of An monumental corruption scheme, Everytime you break the regulation, You’d like to be damaged by harsh sentences as a warning to completely differents.
We additionally Want to know that even The appears of impropriety is one factor We ought to almethods study to detest. For a society so purportedly consumed with “saving face” we primarytain smearing the collective face of our society with filth by permitting conflicts of curiosity, unmoral conduct, and greed to thrive All by way of us. This is unacceptable.
Maybe We ought to almethods change the state’s official motto if We anticipate propereousness is such a heavy enhance. I for one am Uncuriosityed in the horrible disparities and The rise of wickedness right here Inside the islands, And that i do know many completely different good Individuals are too.
So let’s do one factor about this, and let our moral, propereous anger draInside the swamp in Hawaii.
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