An email sent to state senators on Easter Sunday is being called a threatening and cowardly message that crossed the line.
Honolulu Police have opened an investigation and a veteran lawmaker is considering filing for a temporary restraining order.
The email’s subject line was addressed to Senators Donovan Dela Cruz and Malama Solomon — two lawmakers heavily involved with the controversial Public Land Development Corporation.
The email is believed to have been sent from a Hilo resident who strongly urges lawmakers to repeal the state Public Land Development Corporation, which was set up to develop state land through private-public partnerships.
“It’s just sad and unfortunate. It was addressed to all senators and some of the cursing in there clearly cross the line of just a manner in which you try to advocate for a position,” said Sen. Ron Kouchi (D), Kauai, Niihau.
The email states, “Times are hard. People are fed up and ready for action — more than you might expect. Doing the right thing will, in the long run, prevent a bunch of trouble.”
“I’m pretty tough skinned because I’ve been in politics for many many years as well you know, but this is the first email that I ever received where I felt that someone has really threatened or insinuating bodily harm,” said Sen. Solomon (D) Waimea, Hamakua, Hilo.
“We don’t want to intimidate others from participating. I think everyone has a valid point of view but we have to be earnest in wanting to contribute,” said Sen. Dela Cruz (D) Mililani, North Shore.
The email concludes with the author saying he will do every possible legal thing to “see to it that these two individuals regret not doing the people’s will.”
“I did call the police chief on the island of Hawaii to find out who this individual was. I felt that the email was threatening,” Sen. Solomon said. “I’m seriously thinking of going for a TRO at this moment.”
“There’s a civil way to communicate and I think it’s very cowardly,” said Sen. Clayton Hee (D) Kaneohe, Hauula, Kahuku.
“It’s just very sad that someone would actually think that this would be an effective way to try and get someone to support their point of view,” Sen. Kouchi said.
Sen. Solomon says Senate leadership will decide if the Attorney General needs to get involved.