WHO GAVE: Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc.
WHO RECEIVED: Maui County Council Chairman Riki Hokama
DATE: Dec. 30, 2005
Years ago I interviewed a former mainland city councilmember who began her political life at a small planning firm. Though they did good work, they rarely got the big city and county contracts because, she believed, the company principles refused to write campaign contribution checks to local officials. Munekiyo & Hiraga is a fine example of a local firm that isn’t so squeamish. They hand out checks on a fairly regular basis to a variety of elected officials, but I’m focusing here on Hokama because of his greater power relative to the rest of the county council (state campaign records show that since 2003, the firm has given Hokama $900). Last year the state hired Munekiyo & Hiraga to do a “site selection study” for the proposed Kihei high school, but even bigger projects are possible. The Mar. 1, 2007 Maui News story “W. Maui medical center endorsed” on the county council’s support for building a new hospital on the Westside includes the small detail that Munekiyo & Hiraga has already submitted an environmental impact statement on the hospital to the county Department of Planning. Firm principle Mitch Hirano “hopes the Planning Department will approve the environmental study and pass it on to the state Office of Environmental Quality Control for publication,” reported the News.