Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hawaii Gambling Advocates Make Unsubstantiated Claims, False Representations; Won't Reveal Those Bankrolling Lobbying Campaign

Blogger's Note: John Radcliffe (a lobbyist & career union operative who is a confidante of Hawaii's Gov. Neil Abercrombie) and Elizabeth "Liz" Hata-Watanabe, his latest recruit, have failed to be forthcoming and instead demonstrate a conspiracy to mislead and even deceive Hawaii's journalists, voters, public officials and legislators in order to get approvals for their Detroit/Las Vegas clients to build a casino in Waikiki.


By Richard Borreca
Liz Hata Watanabe is not one to sit on the sidelines. The former nightclub owner and entrepreneur has a new cause: getting Waikiki a casino.

Watanabe founded Citizens for a Better Way, an organization she says has more than 300 active members lobbying for a casino to provide new jobs and a new business for Hawaii...

That Citizens for a Better Way (CFBW) has “300 active members lobbying for a casino” is curious.  They may have used mainland money to fund an automated robotic telephone poll or canvas of voters, among whom 300 said they would support the idea of a casino in Honolulu, but that hardly represents “300 active members lobbying.”

Further, that Watanabe represents she has 299 other people actively lobbying for their casino schemes and yet the Facebook page for CFBW, activated more than six months ago, only has 14 fans or “Likes,” suggests someone’s exaggerating the truth again.

Not to mention, when Watanabe organized CFBW she did so as a limited liability company and in the paperwork she filed with the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs she specifically designated that CFBW would only have one member and it was Watanabe.

When Jim Dooley, an investigative reporter for asked lobbyist John Radcliffe & Watanabe where they were getting the money to support CFBW and how much they’d spent lobbying, they refused to reveal where the funds were coming from and told Dooley they would spend “very little.” Very little? 

But when Watanabe was mandated to file a lobbying campaign disclosures report in May 2011, they had spent nearly $40,000 on “Advertising Media.” Very little? Out of 230 entities that reported they’d spent money lobbying in Hawaii, only four spent more than CFBW; the truth is, the pro-casino group fronting for mainland gambling interests was among the Top Five Lobbying Spenders!

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