Today’s Civil Beat article, “How Caldwell Has Undermined The Honolulu Ethics Commission” is a must-read.

The article details several serious and substantial accusations that Caldwell’s administration actively interfered with ongoing investigations, questions on severe budget slashing of the Ethics Commission after an investigation into the financing of Caldwell’s inauguration party, the attempted silencing of the commission in the press, and the refusal of Kirk Caldwell to take the lead on ethics issues within the city for years. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has repeatedly refused to address these ethical concerns – he would not even comment to Civil Beat, and left a June 3 press conference through a back door to avoid questions on the subject.

This conduct is simply unacceptable. Like the people of Honolulu, I value honesty and integrity. You may recall that, as a councilmember, I fought to give the Ethics Commission the power to issue civil fines for violations of the ethics code and championed stronger ethics rules that have reduced conflicts of interest in Honolulu. This resulted in the Honolulu Ethics Commission having the ability to fine disgraced Councilmember Rod Tam, who was also later sent to jail, and Romy Cachola, who was fined $50,000 in a case alleging he accepted lavish gifts from lobbyists for the Honolulu rail project.

Corruption has no place in our city government. We should be strengthening our ethics commission, not dismantling it. I believe that the personal integrity of elected officials is fundamental to our democracy. All major public policy goals start with an open and honest government.

That is why I need your help. A serious run for Mayor will require a significant amount of campaign funds. The current Mayor has a huge campaign war chest.

If we all work together, we can make sure our message of trust, responsibility, and accountability is heard. Your contribution of $500 or $100 or $50 will make a tremendous difference.