Communications with Mark Niesse

Communications with Mark Niesse

(Note: This is the communications history so the e-mails are listed latest first. Mark has only ever been a gentleman to me and I regret the snotty tone of my first e-mail to him. I was slightly angry at the time.)


The Department of Health provided me your e-mail request from July 29 titled “Question about Order.” In the message, you say you will send a money order for $98.75, and you request to have a friend pick up the pages.

I don’t remember what time I spoke to Okubo last Wednesday. In our conversation, she said nobody had paid for index data, and that the department was going to consult with the AG about whether it should be released.



From: (redacted)
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 11:57 AM
To: Niesse, Mark
Subject: Re: Regarding your “Birther” Article

Thank you for your response. May I ask what what request of mine they gave you (the date of the request and what I asked for)?

 Do you remember what time of the day on Aug 4th you spoke with Okubo? Did she communicate in the same conversation that nobody had paid the money and that the HDOH had asked the AG to say they don’t have to fill that order? Did it seem strange to you that they would ask to be able to ignore an order they hadn’t received? 

 Again, thank you for your attention to this matter.


 —– Original Message —–

From: Niesse, Mark 

To: redacted

Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 2:22 PM

Subject: RE: Regarding your “Birther” Article

 Mrs. (redacted),

This story idea came from my editors and me. The Department of Health didn’t contact me asking for a story. I called and e-mailed them.

I found your name because I requested the last three requests related to Obama’s vital records that the Department of Health had received. Records requests are themselves public records. Your request was one of those three.

I was able to send you a Facebook message by searching in Google for “Nellie (redacted) Facebook.” Google showed the result as (redacted)

Okubo told me Wednesday, Aug. 4, that nobody had paid the $98.75.

The rest of your questions are good ones, but I don’t immediately plan to write more on this topic. I may write another article if the AG makes a decision or if more news develops.

Please keep in touch, especially if you find answers to your questions.


–Mark Niesse, AP-Honolulu


From: (redacted)
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 4:24 AM
To: Niesse, Mark
Subject: Regarding your “Birther” Article


 I have some questions about your “birther” article in which the HDOH claimed that nobody had submitted the $98.75 to receive the 1961 birth index. I am directly involved in this issue and your article raised serious legal concerns for me.

 First off, did the HDOH contact you asking you to write a story about this? If so, when did they contact you?

 How did you receive my name so that you could contact me via Facebook requesting an interview on this subject? Did the HDOH give you my name?

 How were you able to contact me via Facebook, when my Facebook is private?

 When did Okubo tell you that nobody had paid the $98.75?

 Did it occur to you to ask Okubo why the HDOH believed that the Hawaii AG could single-handedly give the HDOH legal permission to violate the index data reporting requirements in HRS 338-18 and UIPA’s requirement to disclose public records?

 It has been claimed that the law which Lingle signed was originally designed to undo UIPA. To hear from the HDOH that they are petititoning the AG to allow them to do precisely that raises instant alarms to some of us. Did you ask them why they wanted to be able to refuse to follow UIPA and HRS 338-18, when the estimated total work time given to me was one hour of printing and one hour of “segregating” (telling the computer to print 1961 data takes an hour, apparently)? Why the resistance to such a simple order that the requestor pays for?

 As a follow-up would you be willing to ask the HDOH why they are telling requestors that they have such a backlog of work that it will take 4-6 weeks beyond the initial month-long wait before a requestor can even get a RESPONSE to a standard request for a letter of verification? If the business in their office has slowed down so much why are they so backlogged now? We’re talking about 2 1-2 to 3 months for the HDOH to print out a copy of a COLB (which is what Okubo told me they send out when a letter of verification is requested).

 Why is the HDOH so backlogged that it takes them a quarter of a year to print off a COLB for a request they have already determined to be legally discloseable, which they could have done in the time it took them to send the e-mail saying it was going to take them a quarter of a year to get to the request?

 Are you willing to ask them that question and update your article with their response?

 These questions are very important. If I don’t hear back from you by this afternoon I will give you a call.

 Thank you.

Nellie (redacted)
The information contained in this communication is intended for the use
of the designated recipients named above. If the reader of this
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notify The Associated Press immediately by telephone at +1-212-621-1898
and delete this e-mail. Thank you.
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No virus found in this incoming message.
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No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG –
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