On Feb. 28, according to Maui resident Karen Chun, activists delivered a petition to state Senate President Donna Kim. Chun told us the petition contains the signatures of 7,000 people who object to the appointment of Monsanto lobbyist Alan Takemoto to the state Water Commission’s nominating committee.
In a Feb. 12 Honolulu Civil Beat article, Kim stuck by her choice. “Being one of four people, it’s hard for me to imagine that all three names will be all Monsanto people, so I think there is a balance,” she said.
In a Mar. 1 press release, Chun noted that “In the last election Monsanto donated the maximum allowable” to Senate Water and Land Committee Chair Malama Solomon.
“If you look, I think people get all sorts of contributions,” Kim told Civil Beat. “If you eliminated everyone, then I don’t think the mayor would be mayor or the governor would be governor.”
Kim herself received $500 from Monsanto during the last election cycle, and Solomon received $2,500—two percent of his campaign’s total.
Of course, there’s nothing illegal with having Takemoto on the committee. In fact, he apparently has the background and experience to qualify him for the position. Whether we’re all happy with a representative of Monsanto having such a powerful post is another question entirely.