A trail of emails between the city and the state shows the underside of political maneuvering in government and the great lengths to which officials have gone to keep information from the media about the fate of the Waikiki Natatorium.
"They were selective about the information. They were misleading and selective about who they included in their meetings," said Jim Bickerton, attorney for the Kaimana Beach Coalition.
Bickerton obtained hundreds of emails between state and city officials through the Freedom of Information Act.
The emails show how attempts by KITV, Civil Beat and the Star Advertiser to get information-- were stymied by the mayor’s communications staff and city officials.
Buried in the emails are papers that show the governor plans to ask lawmakers to set aside $100 million for the Natatorium.
Bickerton says the emails show how the state and city included the Waikiki Improvement Association and the Friends of the Natatorium who want the war memorial restored.
In August, KITV pressed Mayor Peter Carlisle about who he had talked to about rescinding the executive order to allow the state to take control of the natatorium from the city.
"It wasn't just me and the governor," said the mayor. "So who else?' KITV asked. "I don't remember. I am good at that, not remembering things," said Carlisle.
Another email sent by the Friends of the Natatorium instructs the state and city what to say if asked by the media about the project.
"What troubled me is that these officials seem to view the press as the enemy and really if they were acting in the public interest it shouldn’t be. They should be happy to tell you what’s going on and tell you their plans. I think the lengths they go to put the public spin on and to deflect the reporter’s questions is very telling," said Bickerton.