Loose Lips Sink Ships: Skipper Slaps Gilligan Upside the Head

Gilligan's Garden IslandApparently all is not well on the SS Minnow.

Seems the Skipper’s “little buddy” went temporarily insane and deviated from the script– prompting a dressing down for daring to do so on Wednesday’s “episode.”

It was just before lunch when the Skipper, played by Kaua`i County Council Chair  Jay Furfaro, had another of his patented, blowhard, conniption fits of pomposity chiding Gilligan, played by local newspaper government reporter  Léo Azambuja, for daring to write something that wasn’t pre-approved by Furfaro.

Never known for his knowledge of– or adherence to– the Sunshine Law, Furfaro has continued the tradition of his predecessor, Kaipo Asing, in abusing the law to stifle discussion he doesn’t like by arbitrarily and capriciously deciding that such discussions are not “sticking to the agenda item,” as the law requires.

The fact that the law is supposed to be liberally construed towards openness never comes into the discussion.

So in typical fashion, Furfaro decided on Wednesday that, despite the fact that it wasn’t on the agenda, he was going to discuss the appointment of long-time council “fixer,” Rick Watanabe, to the position of County Clerk. And since it wasn’t on the agenda, he announced he was using what he calls “personal privilege”– a term invented some years ago that loosely translates to “illegal but I’m going to do it anyway” — to talk about it anyway.

Saying “I’d like to congratulate ourselves,” he described a supposedly “wide search” that yielded more than 20 candidates in what he and other councilmembers praised as a process that was “historic” for its “openness,” despite the fact that none of the names of the 20– nor the 5 finalists– has been or is planned on being released, making the process, for all intents and purposes, the same as always– a backroom deal discussed exclusively in closed-door executive session.

But the real howler was when, saying he had prepared a “press release” regarding the appointment, he actually chided Azambuja for having the nerve to include information that wasn’t in his press release in the article in the paper announcing Watanabe’s appointment.

Calling it an “editorial”, Furfaro lit into “the media” saying “you should print the press release as such,” and presumably no other unapproved information along with it.

Azumbuja had the nerve to point out that, before the appointment was announced, Watanabe had said he wasn’t interested in the job.

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