“While I recognize that the Legislature and many in the community worked hard to pass these measures, it is ultimately my responsibility as Governor to ensure that the bills are legal, constitutional, fiscally sound, and in the best interest of the public.”
What she didn’t say:
There was absolutely nothing wrong with HB 3118—if you believe that most corporations are anti-democratic organizations run by boards of directors focused solely on maximizing shareholder profit. It’s true that many corporations donate much money to worthy charities and causes. But it’s also true that many corporations have committed serious crimes. In the 1990s, BASF, Exxon, ADM, Pfizer, GE, Unisys, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Royal Caribbean Cruises paid a combined $575 million in fines for assorted anti-trust, fraud, environmental and bribery violations. This seems like a lot of money, except when you consider the many, many billions of dollars in profits those same corporations made, making the fines mere drops in the revenue buckets. HB 3118 would have established a state “task force” to watch over corporations here as well as provide tax incentives to companies that “consider the public interest in doing business.” Given Lingle’s addiction to corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) campaign contributions, her veto isn’t at all surprising.