I don't know whether the Republican Party would fare better without the conservative social policies, but here are a few observations from my personal experience (for what it's worth):
- The only reason I am not a Republican is because of social conservative policies
- The same goes for my two closest friends who are moderate fiscal conservatives and despise MA/RI Democrats
- Not a single one of the Republicans I know is against gay marriage. Not one.
- Virtually all of the abuse directed at Republicans in my social media feeds is on social issues, not economic, and there is a TON of abuse and piling on ("Republicans hate gays. Republicans hate women.")
- Most of the polls I saw during the election had Romney beating Obama on economic issues. The "blowout" debate that send him soaring in the polls was on economic issues.
- Even my most liberal, Democratic friends frequently "like" my economic posts on Facebook
It may not make a difference for Republicans in Rhode Island, but Rhode Island is a hopeless case. It's quite possible that the prescription is not the same for the local party as the national party.
"It may not make a difference for Republicans in Rhode Island, but Rhode Island is a hopeless case."
Perhaps we are putting too much emphasis on changing party affiliations. Rhode Island is made up of several ethnic groups that have been Democrats for generations. Asking them to change party affiliation is similar to asking them to change religions. They cling to the Democratic party as the "party of the poor". Perhaps more emphasis should be put on changing their outlooks. A case in point, my father being Southern "just naturally" registered Democrat. I never knew him to support a Democratic candidate while living in New England. Perhaps we should put more emphasis on advancing that sort of thinking.
While it is passing a media, the state has long needed a good newspaper. The acceptance of a culture of corruption seems staggering, other states such as Louisiana and Hawaii have similar situations. I do not know how the citizens of those states respond to it. Perhaps this is more common than we care to admit. Massachusetts just re-elected a congressman whose wife is a "bagman" for the mob, Jesse Jackson, Jr. was just re-elected. I think RI differs in being so small, everyone "who is anybody" knows someone who can put the fix in. There does seem to be some jocularity about it. Even I am amused when I stop at the ice cream shop at the intersection of Hope and Blackstone Boulevard, when I was a kid it was a tailoring shop which specialized in "hot clothes" in the basement.
"They cling to the Democratic party as the "party of the poor". Perhaps more emphasis should be put on changing their outlooks."
Tough, given both indoctrination and demonization of the party. Look at the youth vote...one result of the constant barrage from teachers/professors (to protect their generous benefits)upon their captive audience that Obama is their savior and that Republicans are the devil. In North Kingstown, the schools "encouraged" high school students come to the School Committee and Town Council meetings when school funding was on the agenda--allegedly to teach them civics. Anyone want to bet what these students advocated for when they came to the microphone?
The ends justify the means....and some of these people have absolutely no shame.
Posted by Mike678: "Look at the youth vote...one result of the constant barrage from teachers/professors (to protect their generous benefits)upon their captive audience that Obama is their savior and that Republicans are the devil."
Withoutdoubt, this is much worse than it used to be. Still, I understand that when the "youth vote" turns out, they vote as their parents would. Not sure where I got that factoid, if I am in error please feel free to note it.
Warrington Faust you said; “The acceptance of a culture of corruption seems staggering, other states such as Louisiana and Hawaii have similar situations. I do not know how the citizens of those states respond to it.”
For your information the culture of corruption does not exist in the State of Hawaii. Hawaii may be listed as a blue state but it does elect GOP Republicans to office. Currently there is only one Republican serving in Hawaii elected State General Assembly but Hawaii did have an elected 8 year Republican Governor and elected Republican US Congressman. People in Hawaii will cross between the blue and red line based on the individual politician’s credentials.
However, the US Chamber of Commerce PAC in 2012 supporting the GOP flooded Hawaii with false campaign ads that were extremely negative going against the grain of State of Hawaii Constitution and the way everyone are taught to live in Hawaii. So in essence I would say mainland GOP PACs ads for Republicans in Hawaii actually cause them to lose their elections.
Hawaii has very very strict independent ethics laws and over-sight of politicians in Hawaii. We the public almost are reported to daily on what color under ware they are wearing. Politicians in Hawaii are put under a microscope on their daily activities. Politicians are not allowed to accept gifts or attend Holiday Parties and if they don’t report all contributions and expenditures they are heavily fined or booted out of office.
So far I’ve seen two politicians caught in a DUI stop; publically censured and forced to resign and one politician publically censured and reprimanded for throwing a pencil across chamber floor.
One of the reasons most people on the mainland can’t figure Obama out is he was born and raised most of his life under the following Hawaii State Constitution mandates:
“Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes:
§ 5-7.5 "Aloha Spirit". (a) "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, "Aloha", the following unuhi laulā loa may be used:
"Akahai", meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
"Lōkahi", meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
"ʻOluʻolu" meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
"Haʻahaʻa", meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
"Ahonui", meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaiʻi. ''Aloha'' is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. ''Aloha'' means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. ''Aloha'' means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, § 1]”
Dan, Google "corruption, Hawaii". You will see that it is of long standing. The FBI says it has been ingrained since before statehood when the Japanese Yakusa(sp?) were in control.
The year-long “State Integrity Investigation” is a $1.5 million public collaboration designed to expose practices that undermine trust in state capitols -- and spotlight the states that are doing things right.
The State Integrity Investigation is an unprecedented, data-driven analysis of each state’s laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and openness. Experienced journalists graded each state government on its corruption risk using 330 specific measures. The Investigation ranked every state from one to 50. Each state received a report card with letter grades in 14 categories, including campaign finance, ethics laws, lobbying regulations, and management of state pension funds.
The two states (Louisiana and Hawaii) that you claim to have a “culture of corruption” in fact are two of the state that were ranked within the top 24 states receiving a passing grade (A to C-) along with Rhode Island on the “Corruption Risk Report Card and 26 states received a failing grade of (D to F). Note; no state received an “A” but closest grade was “B+”
State Integrity Investigation: www.stateintegrity.org
I Google "corruption, Hawaii" per your suggestion and could not find anything from the FBI that you quote and lets be clear about claims of what was going on in Hawaii before statehood because the Japanese were not and never were in control according to all the local history books. The King and Queen controlled Hawaii and the FBI would not have been operating in Hawaii. In 1897 the plantation owners with the help of the U.S. Marines forcefully overthrew the monarchy and it wasn’t until 1898 that Hawaii was annexed by the U.S. 1900 Hawaii was officially made a Territory of the U.S.
Warrington, you have unwittingly (I assume, unless you were sitting around devilishly thinking "Hmm, what can I post to guarantee a fevered response from one of our more distant correspondents") violated one of the basic tenets of the Anchor Risng commentariat, namely
Though shalt not criticize Hawaii in the presence of Ken!
I’m a born and raised Rhode Islander that had been visiting Hawaii for over 40 years before I jumped ship and moved. Over 1,000 Rhode Islanders have moved to Hawaii.
I don’t mind anyone criticizing Hawaii but at least offer some factual information when you do!
Dan, try this one: archives.midweek.com/content/columns/justthoughts_article/hawaiis_culture_of_corruption/
Or this "Feb 6, 1994 – Probably 50 major properties in Hawaii are owned by Japanese criminals, one yakuza associate testified before the Senate investigations ..."
It was a week or more ago that I Googled around about corruption. I cannot now find the FBI quote about the Yakusa. The thing about Hawaii is that so much of it's "revenue" comes from tourists passing through that the locals have no clear idea of the tax burden.
As to Louisiana, I don't care what their score was. As far as history goes, there is the "Kingfish". Have we all forgotten the collapsed levies from Katrina? Each levy had it's own separate commission loaded with political appointees, and no one went to work. How about all of the state employees hiding out, or going to jail, around the time of Katrina.
“archives.midweek.com/content/columns/justthoughts_article/hawaiis_culture_of_corruption/”: This was based on a Honolulu attorney Myles Breiner statement as he prepared to defend a public servant on extortion charges; lawyers will say anything to get their client a not guilty as charged. That does not reflect a whole state of 1.3 million people!
“Or this "Feb 6, 1994 – Probably 50 major properties in Hawaii are owned by Japanese criminals, one yakuza associate testified before the Senate investigations ..."; This is 2012 not 1994 and what Senate investigation was this and the MAJOR word here is “PROBABLY” in the quote. That does not reflect what 1.3 million people do!
Contrary to your assertion “The thing about Hawaii is that so much of it's "revenue" comes from tourists passing through that the locals have no clear idea of the tax burden.” is TOTALLY FALSE and without any factual bases as you don’t live here and see the monthly accounting of tourist spending down to the penny. You CAN NOT enter Hawaii without filing out a State of Hawaii declaration form. We track everything down to the penny as to how much you are expected to spend per day based on where you are arriving from.
Tourism is only one of the many Hawaii’s business incomes as Hawaii is the largest seed corn producer and exporter in the U.S., one of the largest free-range organic beef producers in the U.S., very large Banking (Hawaii has been ranked as having best bank in U.S.A. 2 consecutive years in a row), Insurance sector, Information and Communications sector, Energy and Science sector, Construction and Housing sector, Agriculture sector, Domestic Trade and Services and Foreign and Interstate Commerce.
We know exactly how much it is costing us to live and how our tax dollars are spent as Hawaii government is one state government, 4 county governments and 1 school district for the whole state run by state government. Hawaii governments do more with less and are more streamed lined and efficient than Rhode Island with one state government, 39 cities and towns and 37 school districts and Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation!
Hawaii constitution mandates government fiscal budgets must be balanced across two years and NO government entity can turn a profit so all year end fiscal budget surplus must be returned to taxpayers (I’ve already received one rebate check). There is NO carryover of fiscal budget funds in Hawaii.
My property tax is $300 per year, no property tax on vehicles or boats, my retirement income is exempt from state income tax, sales tax is 4%, my health care insurance dropped $100 a month due to state healthcare reform and my car insurance dropped $1,000 per year due to state insurance reform plus no winter heating bills or need to purchase fall, winter or spring clothing.
As far as Louisiana goes their current State Integrity Investigation rating is based on the last year-long investigation not based on something that happened years ago.
Warrington Faust start living in year 2012 and not the past like Romney did during this election and lost big time as well as all the other Republicans!
I am not in a position to thoroughly vet Hawaiian politics. My small knowledge comes from a casual surf of the 'Net a few weeks ago, unrelated to any true objective.
I would suggest that the tax burden is so light (for instance, your RE tax bill is about 1/15th of mine) that it might be difficult to garner a lot of interest in exploration of the system. If a number of politicians are "wetting their beaks", probably no one cares. Given the known corruption of RI, except for commentators here, the citizens do not seem irate.
Re: Louisiana, I find it difficult to believe that they have "found God" in just a few short years. As to the "score" they achieved, I wonder what score RI would garner over on RIF. If someone is holding a bee, what is in their eye?
Ken, I used to live out west and spent a fair amount of time on Maui, though I never lived there. I always enjoyed myself and would surely enjoy retirement there if circumstances allowed. One question, if Hawaii is so great How come so many people who have to make a living - not retired haoles with a nice government pension check, like you - moved to places like Las Vegas? So many, in fact, that Vegas is called the ninth island? I am sincerely glad you love Hawaii, but it may not be as great for everyone as it is for you. Aloha.
I live in the most expensive and largest county of Hawaii; City and County of Honolulu. 80% of the total state population lives and works in this county. The unemployment rate is currently down to 5% where normal rate is 2 to 3%.
Of course living in Honolulu has many perks of free weekly entertainment, best hospitals and medical specialist in the state, best public transportation system, fine arts, night clubs, stage shows, symphony, opera, ballet, concerts and NY Broadway shows. Over 100 white sand beaches ring the island and all are free with free parking.
The daily census of tourists and visitors in Honolulu is 88,245. For the year 2012 ending in December they are on track to pump over $14 billion into the Hawaii economy but the state tax coffers will only see about $6.6 billion in sales tax. Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) has indicated in writing that they are hoping 2012 brings in $5 billion in tourist spending.
There are only 4 county governments in Hawaii with 4 elected mayors and city councils, police and fire departments and all the rest of city government trappings.
Because the one school district is run by the state the local property tax only supports the local county city government. That is why our taxes are so low.
Also there is no state police department in Hawaii.
For what it’s worth, Rhode Island received a C grade like Hawaii did and Louisiana barely squeaked by with a C- grade.
Why did you go back to the mainland?
Out of the 27 years of Condé Nast Traveler Readers Poll, Maui has been voted “Best Island in the World” 17 years and “Best Pacific Island” 21 years.
Maui County which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai is about the size of Rhode Island.
Larry Ellison, technology billionaire, just purchases 98% of the Island of Lanai and most of the TV, movie, stage, rock stars have primary or secondary homes on Maui. Oprah Winfrey has a large house in upcountry Maui and is starting an organic farm.
The Maui olive farm has started pressing their own olive oil. There is a great brewery and distillery on Maui.
Maui is ground zero for international testing to find out how much alternate green energy can be put on a legacy electrical grid before trip-out and also the same for a smart grid. Nowhere in the world has this test been done.
Maui County is unique in that it does not offer a senior citizen property tax exemption but instead offers all property owners a blanket exemption of $200,000 (used to be $300,000 before recession). The minimum property tax is $150 per year. Property is valued at 100%/assessed value. If your assessed value minus $200,000 times the tax rate equals less than minimum tax then you have to pay at least the minimum tax. This means you can own up to a $260,000 property in Maui County and pay $150 per year property tax.
There is no vehicle or boat tax and sales tax is 4% and if you live below 3,000 ft. average daily temperature is 78 F degrees.
You don’t need a “government pension check” to retire to Hawaii as Hawaii exempts the following retirement income from state income tax: Social Security, first tier Railroad Retirement benefits, military, federal, state, municipal, and “some private pensions are exempt”. All out-of-state government pensions are exempt. “Also, employer-funded pension plans are exempt”. “Distributions from private employer pension plans received upon retirement are partially taxed by the state if the employee contributed to the pension plan.”
The reason why so many people in Hawaii move to Vegas is because they can get more property and a larger house for what they would pay for in Hawaii, warm temperature, plenty of other Hawaiians in the neighborhood and they can gamble and find other jobs that they would not find in Hawaii. Gambling is illegal in Hawaii.
Hawaii regained the title of most expensive housing in the nation with median single family house price of $645,000 and median condominium price of $300,000. Once you go over 1,000 sq. ft. of living space the sky is the limit for prices and if you can live within 1,000 sq. ft. then you’ll find the 50% lower than median prices are reasonable but it all depends on location, location, location.
Sam Boyd owner of the California Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas realized Hawaiians liked to gamble so he setup weekly all inclusive packages to his hotel from Hawaii. Now there are almost daily all inclusive packages (RT flight, all taxes, tips and transfers, all meals, hotel room, game tokens and surprise gifts) for as low as $500 for 7-days. That is why Las Vegas is called the ninth island.