Hawaii hypocrisy? West Coast lawmakers soak up sun in Maui

While Americans face renewed Coronavirus mandates and calls to hunker down at home for the holidays, some West Coast lawmakers made a trip to Hawaii this week for a political conference.  

According to Politico, the four-day event, hosted by the Independent Voter Project, is being held at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui. 

“The 18th annual event was a third of its regular size,” Politico reported, based off information from Independent Voter Project Executive Director Dan Howle. “But it still drew nearly 20 lawmakers from California, Texas and Washington state. The theme? How to reopen states' economies amid the public health crisis.” 

While the Los Angeles Times named two California lawmakers attending the conference (and one whose Twitter post included a location tag in Hawaii), so far no Washington state lawmakers have been identified as going.  

“We’re not aware of any, and we’ve checked with the Chief Clerk to see if anyone had requested reimbursement. None have,” a spokesperson for Washington’s House Democratic Caucus wrote in an email.  

“To our knowledge none of our members were in attendance,” the Senate Democratic Caucus said in response to a Q13 News request. 

State Republicans said the same.  

“To the very best of my knowledge, none did,” Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler wrote. “I was certainly here working in Ritzville.” 

Q13 requested a list of attendees from the Independent Voter Project. The request is pending.  

Meanwhile, there was rampant social media speculation Wednesday that Governor Jay Inslee was among the attendees in Maui – a claim his office denied.  

“Any suggestion that the governor is in Hawaii would be laughable if this disinformation wasn’t so dangerous,” said Tara Lee, a spokesperson for the governor.  

Indeed, Inslee has been seen on camera in Washington state this week.

Q13 News has filed a public disclosure request for the calendars of all state lawmakers, which could help determine whether any travelled to Hawaii.