In 2011, the State Senate nearly unanimously approved the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC). This opened nearly half of the land in the State to unfettered development, bypassing established zoning and environmental laws. As a former chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, I knew PLDC was wildly wrong and irresponsible.
It was then I decided to run for the Senate
Thanks to voters like you, I was elected in 2012 and began the fight to repeal PLDC.
In 2013, with a groundswell of public outcry, we repealed the PLDC. In 2014, we stopped the Kakaako Development Board from quietly giving developers variances from approved plans. In 2015, again thanks to an alerted and engaged public, we secured a qualified environmental steward as the head of our Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The battle for the future of Hawaii is ongoing
International luxury condominiums and overly-expensive government projects are proliferating. Agricultural land is being destroyed. The cost of living rises with little relief for residents. We need housing for local families, but that’s not the kind of development we’re seeing.
Politicians are reelected thanks to large campaign donations from those who profit from government contracts and zoning approvals. The oversight by Ethics Commissions is thwarted by back-room decisions, leaving the public interest unprotected. The political influence and access bought by dark money and secretly-funded Political Action Committees (PACs) must stop.
I represent you, not PACs and Lobbyists
I believe democracy means that elected officials should represent the public. In my first campaign, I refused to accept money from any PACs. Since then, I have rejected thousands of dollars in donations, gifts and meals from PACs and registered lobbyists… and I will continue this commitment in my 2016 campaign and as long as I am privileged to serve you.
I am working with Good Government organizations like League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and like-minded legislators to pass stronger campaign finance and ethics laws. Over the past three years we passed laws that improve those laws, but there is much more work that remains to be done.
I am determined to shine a bright light on the forces behind the scenes that are influencing government. Democracy requires that you have full information before you cast your vote, and so you can let legislators and councilmembers know your positions before we cast our votes.
Together we can make this a better place
Join in the groundswell by adding your voice to the demand for more ethical, responsive and transparent government.
We need you to commit to one, two or all three of the following actions:
- Demonstrate that politicians don’t have to take PAC or lobbyists money in order to be elected or re-elected. Support my campaign for re-election to State Senate and my pledge to reject PAC and registered lobbyists funds.
- Spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors. Use your own email list, social media and the old “coconut wireless” to get the word out. You can also share information on legislative activities and decisions we post on Facebook and our Blog. (click here to sign up for RSS feed, Facebook)
- Let Legislators know what you want. Get our monthly update on the Legislature, and email alerts on where and how you can add your opinion before we make our decisions. (Click link to sign up for monthly newsletters and get on email distribution list for legislative alerts)
Our shared experience tells us that if enough people express concern, we can win these battles, despite the odds.
Senator Laura Thielen
State Senate District 25
Don’t hesitate to contact me in person, by phone or email, you can also read my thoughts on and follow important legislation at my Senator Laura Thielen website.