As of this writing we do not know who these representatives are from Washington, nor whether they are Democrats who usually comprise the majority in attendance at these junkets, or whether they are Republicans.
The four-day conference started Monday and since then some from California have fessed up. None from Texas as far as is known, Texas being the third of three states sending conferees.
Inquiring news sources have met with resistance in obtaining names as most lawmakers attending the Maui event have, so far, proven unwilling to come forward.
Here is Washington’s official travel advisory: “Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to Washington.”
Above is the official version.
Here, however, is how some as-yet-unnamed Washington lawbreakers, er lawmakers, aka legislators, are apparently interpreting it: “Let them eat brioche.”
Brioche in the 17th and 18th Centuries was a bread enriched with butter and eggs, considered a luxury food.
Luxury food is what your as-yet-unnamed representatives are consuming 2,400 miles from here in “Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort”, the none other Fairmont Kea Lani where rooms can cost $600 night.
While you are instructed to stay home (it’s for your own good), your unnamed representatives are enjoying a swanky getaway, far from prying eyes, in an “oceanfront paradise that redefines luxury” (there’s that word again) according to the website.
While you are prohibited from singing in church, even with a mask on, your unnamed representatives have opportunity to tune out while relaxing in “a state-of-the-art spa” and enjoy “island inspired cuisine, six dining venues, four bars, three swimming pools” and perhaps a partridge in a pear tree.
In this age of the Internet and Zoom, it is hard to stomach your as-yet-unnamed representatives zooming to a tropical paradise when they could have stayed home, like you, and learned online the stuff they are purportedly learning over there.
You might be interested to know – like the as-yet-unnamed representatives should have known – that the host, the Independent Voter Project (IVP), developed a website last year for things like, oh, I don’t know, sharing important information.
You can even sign up for a twice-per-month report from IVP delivered right to your computer where you can sit comfortably in your PJ’s and learn lots even if you haven’t brushed your teeth or are having a bad hair day.
While you are coming to terms with disappointment over missing Thanksgiving meals with your family and loved ones, your as yet unnamed representatives are schmoozing with people they don’t even know.
You sacrifice. They schmooze.
And get this.
While all their expenses were paid by the host (five nights and air fare), and the host therefore warned the conferees to be in attendance “every minute” – the Independent Voter Project chairman and executive director Dan Howle admitted only about 75 of the 120 attendees are actually present and accounted for.
Well, the luxury villa offers “unrivaled access to the best adventures across the island. Aloha awaits!”
But there’s more.
The theme of the four-day event?
How to economically survive COVID.
How ‘bout staying home?
Like us peasants?