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Couch vs. Nishiki

Don Couch [South Maui candidate – County Council] made some strong statements against Wayne Nishiki in his recent primary election night interview at Akaku.

Negativity is unfortunately not uncommon in politics, particularly when a candidate does not have a lot of exciting things to say about his own campaign.

Couch and a few supporters have tried very hard to make a major scandal out of a flawed campaign financial report. This is a common tactic, as Couch himself demonstrated by explaining why his own campaign reporting failure and fine was an innocent mistake, unlike Nishiki’s, who, he says, undermined the whole election.

Couch’s point is that Nishiki’s business loan from a developer, obtained after he retired from the council with no plans to run again – a loan which now keeps him from voting on any of that developer’s business – is evil and corrupt. Couch says his equivalent campaign gifts from many developers, which allow his votes on their business, are wholesome and good.

The best policy I’ve heard for preventing improper influence is Nishiki’s long-standing campaign practice of not accepting donations from developers who want to make money from council decisions – period.

How ironic that a developers’ darling should accuse Nishiki, with his long proven council record of defending the public’s interest against private greed, of being in the pocket of developers seeking to buy favorable decisions.

To be fair, it’s unknown whether Couch would unfairly favor developers; we only know developers overwhelmingly favor him, and would really like to remove Nishiki.

Daniel Grantham
Haiku, HI

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