By B.J. Reyes
If it’s the end of the year, then that can only mean one thing — a Top 10 list of something. Anything!
Thus, the hard-working staff of the Star-Bulletin’s Political Radar blog have hastily put together our Top 10 List of the Biggest Political Flubs of the Year.
There were no hard and fast criteria for this list. A flub was loosely defined as anything that brought embarrassing fallout or unwanted attention to a person or cause. The other common thread among our selections is that all of those involved should have known better.
So without further ado …
10. Bill Brennan: Spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann gets suspended for five days after getting arrested for drunken driving.
9. Rep. Corrine Ching: Lawmaker pleads no contest to excessive speeding, a law she voted in favor of.
8. Kirk Caldwell: Left without an office to run for after a procedural ruling nixes both his run for City Council and state House. (PostScript: Caldwell lands on his feet as the new city managing director.)
7. Democratic Party Caucuses: Chaos ruled as party officials were unprepared for a record turnout at the February preference poll.
6. Kevin Cronin: New chief elections officer criticized over handling of various actions. (PostScript: The Nov. 4 general election ran quite smoothly.)
5. Rex Johnson: Forced to resign as Hawaii Tourism Authority executive director after discovery of his use of a state computer to forward racist and pornographic e-mails.
4. Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam: Rebuked by colleagues but allowed to keep his post after publicly using an ethnic slur in describing undocumented workers from Mexico.
3. U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye: Apologizes to Punahou President James Scott after suggesting that the school and 1979 alumnus Barack Obama are ‘elitist.’ (Remember, Dan had been an early backer of U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.)
2. Ron Menor: Spends two days in jail and later loses his re-election bid after being convicted of drunken driving following his arrest after a Chicago concert at the Blaisdell Center.
1. Gov. Linda Lingle: Faces harsh criticism (mostly from Democrats) after declining a meeting of the nation’s governors with President-elect Barack Obama shortly after the general election.
Hau’oli Makahiki Hou from the Best Political Team in Hawaii!