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Off the News


And then there were 3

The nominees to replace former state Rep. Hermina Morita are in, now that she’s moved on to her Public Utilities Commission job.

They are: Dr. Neil Clendeninn, a Kauai internist and biotechnology expert; Realtor Foster Ducker; and Kauai County Councilman Derek Kawakami.

The Kauai Democratic Party picked them from a field of eight applicants and sent them up to the Dems’ state office; this week they’ll land on the governor’s desk.

And the winner is … to be announced within 60 days.

Isle spending law at risk

Heads up to those interested in the "voter-owned election" pilot project under way in Hawaii County Council races. The U.S. Supreme Court onMonday heard the arguments in McComish v. Bennett, a case that could decide whether a key component of Hawaii’s own law stays in place.

The case centers on the Arizona law on which Hawaii’s project was based. At issue: whether to use a public fund to "match" a privately funded candidate’s spending.

Challengers say this impinges on the private candidate’s free speech by discouraging them from spending more.

Who knows where this will lead, but a lot of observers think the court is going to strike it down. Stay tuned.

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